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racial justiceThe United Reformed Church global and intercultural ministries team is offering a collection of poems, prayers, hymns, stories and artwork to help churches mark Racial Justice Sunday, which falls on 12 February 2017.

Launching the resources, the Revd Dr Michael Jagessar, Secretary for Global and Intercultural Ministries, said: “Racial Justice Sunday is an opportunity for all Christians to join together to reflect on the importance of racial justice, to acknowledge the racism, in its various forms, that continues to be perpetrated in our society and to find ways in which to resist it.

Read more: Resources ready for Racial Justice Sunday

2017 image high res cSenior church leaders celebrated strong relationships and a shared sense of purpose on 19 January, when they gathered to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at Methodist Central Hall Westminster, at the invitation of Churches Together in South London (CTSL).

The Revd Nicola Furley-Smith, moderator of the United Reformed Church Southern Synod, was asked to offer a reflection on reconciliation. Drawing on this year’s unity theme of Crossing Barriers, she recounted a recent international conference where tensions were raised over a number of issues affecting community: Brexit, growing antagonism to refugees in Germany, and towards the Romany community in Ostrava, and concerns over the advent of US President Trump. In each instance, she reminded the gathering, the Gospel call is to live not for ourselves but for Christ, to reach out to others and to break down barriers.

Read more: Westminster gathering for Christian unity

Pilots Summit Group ShotExcitement is mounting for the URC Big Day Out 2017 at Warwick Castle on 20 May. The festival for all ages will be hosted by Pilots, the URC’s ecumenical, non-uniformed organisation for children and young people.

Activities will run from 10am to 5pm in the historic and beautiful setting. A festival-like programme on the Pageant Field will celebrate many aspects of the URC’s life, with participants including the URC’s General Secretary John Proctor; Neil Thorogood, Principal of Westminster College; Paul Northup, Creative Director of the Greenbelt festival; Wayne Hawkins, Mission Secretary (Europe) for the Council for World Mission; and representatives from the Christian Aid Collective and Messy Church.

Read more: ‘Sense of belonging’ at URC Big Day Out

ALISON GREAVES PHOTOURC Youth member Alison Greaves will be flying to New York next week as the UK’s sole delegate to the United Nations 2017 Winter Youth Assembly. The event, at UN headquarters from 1 to 3 February, involves 13,000 young people and adults from over 100 countries.

The eighteen-year-old, who attends Bamford Chapel and Norden United Reformed Church in Rochdale, is in great demand for conferences. This week (27 to 29 January) she is speaking to the United Reformed Church Youth Assembly in Whitemoor Lakes, Staffordshire about the task ahead!

Read more: Alison flies the flag for UK youth at United Nations