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The Presbyterian Church in Ireland send letter of compassion following the floods

floodsThe following statement is from the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Rt Revd Dr Rob Craig, it is taken from a letter addressed to the URC General Assembly Moderator, the Revd Dr Michael Jagaessar. With the permission of the author we share the following:

"In recent days, thanks to the immediacy of our TV news, we have been kept up to date with the unfolding situa...tion regarding the flooding in the South of England.  Many of us in Ireland, including myself, have family members who are living and working in the affected regions.

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Education Sunday

Stained Glass rainbow and treeThe Revd Elizabeth Gray-King, education and learning programme officer for the United Reformed Church, reflects on the theme of this year’s Education Sunday, focusing on the importance of obedience, faith and action.

"Education Sunday – an odd pair of words. 

"Why are the words Sunday and education in the same phrase, let alone make up a single phrase? "Sunday” names the day when we stop to worship our God, whilst “education” is usually seen written over the doors of schools and colleges. I suspect that these words are together here because, more than 150 years ago someone realised that to worship is to learn, and more deeply, to learn is to worship.

“We can learn from God and from each other, each time we encounter the fullness of God. I hear so much about teaching in worship; telling each other what should be known and what ought to be done.  Yet rich, God filled, education is also about learning, wrestling, coming to new minds, experiencing new hearts for others.

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Britain has ‘moral responsibility’ to accept Syrian refugees, say Church leaders

syria refugeesChurch leaders are urging David Cameron to rethink government policy on Britain accepting Syrian refugees.

Forty-eight Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic and United Reformed Church leaders from across Great Britain have written an open letter to the Prime Minister acknowledging the significant role that Britain has played in providing funds for refugees in countries around Syria. However, the letter also speaks of the 'moral responsibility' to resettle a significant number of refugees in Britain. The letter criticises the Government's initial commitment as falling a long way short of the contribution Britain should make given its size and resources. The leaders suggest that a proportionate figure well in excess of 1,000 would be far more appropriate and point out that following a major conflict most refugees are able and desire to return to their homes.

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My Valentine. My Love...

valentines day 2Happy Valentine’s Day from the United Reformed Church! Revd David Coleman and Revd Zam Walker, husband and wife and shared ministers of Greenock West URC, Scotland, have written a quirky poem in celebration of love in all its forms.

Voice 1: My Valentine. My love…

What is this day, that gives the shove
that makes men fools, but not for love?
The pressure to be seen to try;
To gesture, and fall flat, or fly?

A special day. 
A day I hated before I met you. A day to feel inferior, and make poor decisions.
For true love’s course has timing of its own. 
Yet  today the supermarkets have  stocked up with bright red undies. (French lace at the posher outlets, cheap nylon for the plebs).
And 'Valentine' is in your face.
Shorn of sainthood.  Good for business. Trading on low self-esteem.
A festival of nervous stalkers, unwillingly sending anonymous cards.
Or buying ill afforded teddy bears (£140!) to demonstrate feelings which they feel they ought to express.

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