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Mission Council meets next week

mission councilThe United Reformed Church’s Mission Council is meeting at the High Leigh Conference Centre next week: 10-12 March.

Mission Council is the executive body of the General Assembly, and meets twice a year. The key debates at this meeting of Mission Council include the provision of ministerial training on Safer Space training and the role of the synod moderators

Decisions will be reported on the URC website and  facebook page during the meeting and a full report will be included in the April issue of the denomination’s e-newsletter – News Update.






Women's World Day of Prayer

stream in desertToday is Women’s World Day of Prayer, this year’s theme is “streams in the desert”, produced by the women of Egypt. The Revd Ruth Whitehead, United Reformed Church moderator of South Western Synod, offers the following reflection:

“In a world where most denominations (still) do not welcome women into roles of leadership, the Women’s World Day of Prayer provides an oasis of inclusion and involvement.

“What makes these services different is that it is produced by groups of women, and usually led by groups of women, many of whom are gaining their first experiences of leading worship.

“The service gives an opportunity for the voices of women from all parts of the world, to be raised in praise of God, using an order of service that has been developed this year by the women in Egypt and centres on “stream in the desert”.


Encountering the Cross

ash wednesday 2Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, signifying the beginning of the liturgical period of prayer and fasting before Easter Sunday. The Revd Roberta Rominger, general secretary of the United Reformed Church, reflects on the centrality of the cross of Christ in our daily lives.

“Earlier this year, I had the enormous pleasure of returning to St John’s United Reformed Church in Wideopen, North Tyneside, where I was minister for seven years prior to moving to London. A dear friend there reminded me of a game the members used to play if the sermon was boring (never the case with the current minister, let me hasten to say!) The game is count the crosses. There’s the big cross on the wall of the chancel which presides over all the worship that takes place there. There are smaller crosses on lecterns and the communion table. Then there is artwork which has been added over the years as talented church members have offered something for the decor of the sanctuary. There are kneelers (used for weddings) and stained glass. There are the flags – the Union Jack and the Pilots flag. There are banners. If you haven’t spotted more than ten crosses by the time the sermon is over, you haven’t tried hard enough.


Climate Week

Climate-Week-2014-Logo-RGB-medium-resClimate Week, which runs 3 to 9 March, is Britain’s biggest climate change campaign, inspiring a new wave of action to create a sustainable future. This week’s reflection by Andrew Bradstock, United Reformed Church, secretary for church and society, contemplates how we can help to keep hope alive in the fight against climate change.

“How would it be if we approached climate change with the same attitude people adopted during the First World War? This is a question I read recently and it got me thinking.

“According to the TV documentaries being shown to mark the War’s anniversary, there was a sense of purpose at that time. Winning was all that mattered. Governments could not turn round and say ‘we’re doing our best’. They had to implement measures that would actually secure victory.