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Take part in a spiritual journey with TLS

TLS advert Reformv2xNext Friday, 31 May, is the deadline for receipt of applications for those wishing to enrol on Training for Learning and Serving (TLS).

TLS offers a reflective and practical learning experience through personal and group study, local and residential gatherings and engagement at a range of educational levels. Whether you are seeking to explore opportunities to serve God in the future or develop your understanding of Christian discipleship, TLS can help you to enrich your faith, equip you for service, delve deeper into the gospel message and help you to discover ways in which your pastoral care, prayer, faith and discipleship can be developed.

 

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Churches challenge food poverty with latest resource on foodbanks

JPIT logoThe Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and Church Action on Poverty have produced a three-part resource for churches about the growing food poverty crisis. "Faith in Foodbanks?" recognises the ministry of many churches helping people who cannot afford to eat, looks at why there has been such a growth in foodbanks, and suggests ways churches can take action to tackle the underlying causes. It offers worship and bible resources to help Christians to reflect on food and poverty in Britain today.

In the last five years the need for foodbanks in the UK has grown dramatically. Thousands of Churches have responded by starting or supporting foodbanks within their communities. Last year Trussell Trust, which helps 4 in 10 of the UK's foodbanks, fed over 900,000 people including more than 300,000 children. The entire foodbank movement will now feed well over a million people a year.

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Vocation Sunday

vocational sunday - window cleanerThis Vocation Sunday, 11 May 2014, is a day for churches to encourage everyone to reflect, discover and recognise God's call to them. The Revd Penelope Smirthwaite, minister of Nairn United Reformed Church and Dyke and Edinkillie Churches of Scotland, reflects on the concept of vocational callings in the light of Acts 2:42-47.

“Reflecting on vocations has got me thinking about my window cleaner. He would say that my job as a minister is vocational but his is just a job. Yet I would have to disagree with him. Although what he does is to clean windows, in truth he achieves so much more.

“People around the town all know him but if asked would not comment on his cleaning skills but on the small moments of joy that he brings to their homes. His upbeat, cheerful persona, his diligence to his work in some appalling working conditions, (the winter weather in Nairn comes straight from the Arctic) - his dependability and his gift of listening make his monthly visits a delight. This leads me to suggest that a vocation is not the job we do but what we bring to the job at hand.

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Christian Aid Week: Sharing Hospitality

J2450-CAW-ChristianAidWeek2014-webgraphic-300x250-banner-gifThis year Christian Aid Week, 11 – 17 May, is focusing on giving people a future without fear. Throughout the week individuals, churches and communities across the country will be helping to raise awareness and money for the work of Christian Aid around the world. Linda Mead, United Reformed Church programme coordinator for Commitment for Life, works alongside Christian Aid and shares her encounter with some of the vital work that they are doing to fight poverty and end a life of fear.

"Do you like inviting people into your home to share hospitality and friendship?

"It was one thing I was really keen to do when I married and we had our own house. I wanted to invite people to come and share food and friendship together, as the early Christians did when they shared all they had with each other. Over the years the house has been full of our friends and children.

"Within my role as programme coordinator for Commitment for Life and a volunteer for Christian Aid, we have had Christian Aid partners staying with us. It is a privilege to share hospitality with them as they share their stories in churches. Earlier this year we had such a visitor – Sarjon Toma.

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