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Day Three: Sunday 14 May 2017


Paper F1: The Wider Fold

On Friday afternoon, the Revd Elizabeth Welch presented Paper F1 on behalf of the faith and order committee. The paper proposes a scheme for including isolated members who wish to continue as part of the United Reformed Church while not being able to belong to a local church. Ms Welch explained: ‘We want to honour the commitment of those at a distance from local church who want to maintain membership.’ She recalled how, after Mission Council in 2014 decided that church membership needed to be reconsidered, the faith and order committee looked at principle, while the law and polity advisory group looked at process.

The paper was presented with two amendments. The first is to be inserted as paragraph 2.0 (just above 2.1)

Read more: Mission Council round-up day three

Day Two: Saturday 13 May 2017

Paper B1: Commitment to God’s creation

Presenting paper B1, Dan Morrell, Youth Assembly Moderator, said: ‘Tackling climate change is a big issue for those of URC Youth age. We need to demonstrate to the wider church and world that we care. Climate is changing so let’s change ourselves, because we must.’ 

The paper was warmly received by Mission Council. It was reported that some churches have joined the Big Church Switch as a result of it. 

Asked what specific luxuries the URC might sacrifice, Mr Morrell offered the example of using environmental criteria when selecting venues for meetings. It was suggested that the assembly arrangements committee be encouraged to book venues on these principles. 

Hannah Jones, Youth Assembly Moderator Elect, answered a question about the contribution of meat production to climate change, saying that having one vegetarian day a week made a big difference. 

Read more: Mission Council round-up day two

faith in politics News images 554x415As political parties step up their General Election campaigns, the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) is encouraging Christians to consider not only how they should vote but also what their churches should be saying and doing in the run-up to 8 June.

JPIT’s latest resource, Faith in Politics, addresses four issues around the 2017 General Election – the UK’s relationship with the European Union; migration, forced displacement and the UK asylum system; poverty and economic inequality in the UK and the UK’s role in the world.

Read more: Faith in Politics: JPIT resources for 2017 General Election

All Mission Council papers are available online.

Day One: Friday 12 May 2017

Mission Council begun with opening worship. Following the Opening Worship, in which the Revd Kevin Watson, Moderator of General Assembly, preached, Mission Council dealt with some matters of basic administration – including the appointment of Andy Braunston as minutes secretary, introduction of all new members, acceptance of the minutes from the last meeting of Mission Council in October 2016 and John Proctor, General Secretary, noted that the Revd Bernard Thorogood, former General Secretary (1980-1992) would turn 90 ‘in a few weeks’ time’ and birthday greetings were to be sent to him from Mission Council.

Paper X1: The Fourth Scottish Church Census

The Revd Dr David Pickering, moderator of the National Synod of Scotland, shared with Mission Council some key outcomes for the URC of the 2016 Scottish Census of Churches, the results of which were published in April 2017.

Read more: Mission Council round-up day one

The United Reformed Church’s Mission Council is meeting at the High Leigh Conference Centre in Hertfordshire from 12 to 14 May 2017.

Mission Council is the executive body of the General Assembly, and meets twice a year to reflect on and make decisions about the day-to-day life of the Church. Items on the agenda for this meeting include a debate and decision on the future of the Windermere Centre; the Church’s context for mission, with reflection on the coming General Election and on our commitment to God’s creation, together with a paper from the synod moderators, on ‘where is God calling the URC?’.  All Mission Council papers are now available online.

Read more: Mission Council meets this weekend