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The General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, the denomination's executive body, meets from 8 to 11 July at Southport Convention Centre to consider and decide on a range of issues including the marriage of same-sex couples.

The URC's General Assembly meets every two years to celebrate, discuss, and make decisions on the life and work of the URC.

Assembly's first task will be the induction of the new Moderators of General Assembly – the Revd Kevin Watson and Mr Alan Yates – for a two-year term of service. Moderators are the URC's figureheads, chairing major meetings and representing the denomination internally, at home and abroad.

Read more: United Reformed Church General Assembly

Yesterday's attack on Istanbul's Ataturk international airport was one of the deadliest suicide bombings to take place recently in Turkey. More than 40 people have died and many others have been severely injured.

The United Reformed Church global and intercultural ministries team calls on churches around the world to pray for the victims, their families and loved ones.

Read more: URC Global and Intercultural ministries calls on churches to pray for Turkey

Lord, as people of the way
your joy is our strength.
As we assemble in Southport
fill our meeting with the joy of your Spirit.

May that same joy and expectancy
be in our hearts and minds as we prepare
ourselves to meet together as your people.
Lord, as People of the Way

your strength is made perfect in our weakness.
As we assemble in Southport
give us strength to trust, and be open to, your guidance.

May that same strength, trust and openness
be in our hearts and minds as we prepare
ourselves to meet together as your people.

Thank you for the opportunity to be part of General Assembly 2016.
Help us to take that opportunity seriously, and to prepare well.
Guide those who have particular responsibilities for this meeting.
Bless similar meetings of our sister churches in UK and around the world.
May we all, as people of the way, be agents of your generous grace.

For Christ’s sake,

Amen

Lord Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, we are your people, people of the way.
Light our path.
Show us Your way clearly and compellingly.
Through complexity, diversity, dissent, make Your will known,
make Your will shown – in our lives and in our Church.
We give thanks for Your call which gave birth to our Church many years ago.
Help us now to hear Your call afresh.
Like a cool wind on a hot day, blow us out and about, people of the way,
healing, life-giving, wise and faith-full.

Amen