Assembly has appointed the Revd David Herbert as Moderator of the Northern Synod and reappointed Moderator of the Wessex Synod the Revd Clare Downing, and Southern Synod Moderator the Revd Nicola Furley-Smith.
Members of General Assembly enjoyed a taste of Greenbelt, the Christian festival which the United Reformed Church is an associate for 2016 and 2017, as organisers set up a mini campsite in the venue and gave a presentation about the festival.
Steve Summers, chair of the URC’s Greenbelt planning group, told Assembly: ‘For myself and hundreds of thousands of others over the years, Greenbelt has been much more than an annual festival. It’s become a dynamic and enduring movement, a spiritual sanctuary, a creative environment to encounter new ways to worship and to view God’s creation and a seedbed for learning about ways to be disciples in our own neighbourhoods.’
The Revd Dr Susan Durber, Moderator of the faith and order commission of the World Council of Churches, commended to General Assembly the World Council of Churches (WCC) convergence document ‘The Church: Towards a common vision’.
Dr Durber explained that the document is the fruit of 30 years of international ecumenical conversation about what it means to be the Church. She invited members of Assembly to be part of URC’s response to it.
The United Reformed Church has joined the Churches’ Mutual Credit Union (CMCU), enabling ministers, elders and congregations to invest savings in it, funding affordable loans to people who might otherwise have to use payday lenders.
General Assembly enthusiastically agreed to join the CMCU, commending the three years’ work done by the URC treasurer John Ellis and the finance committee to make it possible.
In the first of Saturday afternoon's business sessions, the United Reformed Church faith and order committee presented resolutions 21, 22, 23 and 24. Resolutions 21, 22 and 23 were referred to facilitation group. Resolution 24 was passed by consensus, noting disagreement.
Elizabeth Welch, convener of the faith and order committee, presented Resolutions 21 to 23, commending ‘What Is the Spirit Saying to the Churches?’ a new series of short affirmations for use in local churches, distilling the result the committee’s extensive consultation with them. The resolutions also encouraged churches to share good news stories, and asked the faith order committee to produce resources for study and worship on the theme of ‘What Is the Spirit Saying to the Churches?’.