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On the opening day of its General Assembly, the United Reformed Church inducted two new moderators – the Revd Kevin Watson and Mr Alan Yates. Moderators of General Assembly are the URC's national figureheads, representing the denomination both at home and abroad.

The URC elects two moderators, a minister and an elder, who serve together for two years. Mr Watson and Mr Yates succeed the Revd David Grosch-Miller and Mr John Ellis, who were thanked for their hard work during the induction service.

Read more: The URC inducts two new moderators

Lawrence Moore, Director of the URC's Windermere Centre for the past 14 years, has announced that he is to step down from his role in order to explore ordination to non-stipendiary ministry and to offer himself more widely as a resource and enabler to encourage members and churches across the denomination in missional discipleship.

URC General Secretary John Proctor said: ‘Lawrence has been a gifted and influential figure in our Church. His contribution in these 14 years has rippled outwards from Windermere, right across the three nations that make up the URC. We thank him warmly and gratefully for the ways that he has helped us to learn our faith, to grow in Christ, and to serve the good news.’

Read more: Lawrence Moore takes on a new challenge

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

The Joint Public Issues Team of the United Reformed, Baptist, and Methodist Churches and the Church of Scotland has released released a new resource – Made for Goodness – to help churches respond to the refugee crisis

Made for Goodness says, 'Our response to the plight of the forcibly displaced is a practical test of our commitment to refugees and human rights. It is a test which the UK is in danger of failing.

While the UK has given significant money to help those refugees who remain in countries bordering Syria, we have been slow to recognise the need of migrants who move into Europe. There is far more still to be done, both immediately, and long into the future.'

Read more: Made for Goodness: responding to the refugee crisis

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