The Fresh Expressions communication team has made a short film about the URC’s commitment to Fresh Expressions, featuring Francis Brienen, the URC’s secretary for mission. The film first appeared in the January 2013 issue of their e-xpressions e-newsletter.
For more information about Fresh Expressions, and to access resources, visit their website.
The United Reformed Church is proud to be part of a groundbreaking new campaign calling on church members to help increase the number of blood and organ donors in the UK. Founded as a two-year partnership between creative agency KORE and NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), the initiative aims to profile the need for more blood and organ donors and encourage donation as an alternative way of personal giving.
Sponsored by Give.net and in association with several denominations, organisations and festivals, the fleshandblood campaign marks the first time the NHS has worked alongside the church on a national initiative of this kind.
The campaign has three main calls to action, all of which can be accessed through the website:
1. Register online: Sign up to give blood or join the NHS Organ Donor Register
2. Make a date to donate: Book a date to give blood at a centre near you
3. Be an advocate: Lend your voice, raise awareness, and find ways to involve others.
As this Sunday’s Holocaust Memorial Day approaches, Roy Lowes, moderator of the West Midlands Synod of the United Reformed Church, examines some of the many issues around the Holocaust —and reminds us of the importance of not forgetting the lessons it taught us
“The Holocaust arose out of an attempt to find a solution to a perceived problem. A final solution – the final solution. Whilst in so many ways the Holocaust is related to the perverted and pernicious policies of the Nazi regime, I believe it’s also indicative of a human tendency to reach for violence to solve our problems. When experiencing a sense of threat or rivalry or vulnerability there always seems to be one easy option – the ‘getting it sorted once and for all’ option. We long to get rid, to wipe out ... but in so doing we take the road that leads to the destruction of all.
“The tendency is so deeply ingrained that not even the horror and shock of Belsen and Auschwitz fully brings us to our senses. Ethnic cleansing is in the headlines not just our history books. Places like Rwanda and the Balkans have recently testified to that. As does the violence between near neighbours who feel mutually threatened in the Middle East and Northern Ireland.
Fiona Thomas, the United Reformed Church’s secretary for education and learning, takes a fresh look at Education Sunday, celebrated by the Churches for the past 135 years - and this year celebrated on Sunday 27 January
“There is a Chinese proverb that condenses a great deal of wisdom into a few words: Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself.
“This summarises the difference between education and learning as complementary rather than interchangeable concepts. Education is the open door. Learning is entering into the educational experience.
“Education Sunday celebrates the open door. It is a day when churches in England and Wales join to offer to God the work of education, in schools of all kinds, in colleges and universities and in the church. The Church began marking Education Sunday in 1878. It celebrates the achievements of education, recognising the challenges, and supporting and praying for all who are involved in education. It is traditionally celebrated on the ninth Sunday before Easter, with resources developed by an ecumenical steering group, of which the United Reformed Church is a part.