Prayers for the people of Scotland in the run up to the referendum

scottish voteA resolution brought forward by the synod of Scotland at the United Reformed Church General Assembly last month, called for the URC to pray for the people of Scotland before, during and following the independence referendum to be held on 18 September 2014. The resolution stated: "These prayers should be for all, regardless of conviction, recognising how important the peoples of these islands are to each other."

 

Faith through a lens

faith-through-lensAre you interested in entering a national photography competition celebrating “Faith Through a Lens”? The Congregational & General is holding a prestigious annual photography competition which celebrates diverse representations of faith. Now in its fifth year, the contest is aimed at amateur photographers across the UK and is calling for creative photography that showcases everyday demonstrations and expressions of faith.

Time for creation

creation-timeFrom 1 September to the 4 October churches around the world will be taking time to pray for the protection of creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles that reverse our contribution to climate change.

 

Archbishop to deliver keynote speech at public issues conference

welbyThe Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will give the keynote address at the ‘Love your neighbour: Think, Pray, Vote’ conference organised by the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church. This will be the third such conference arranged by the three churches and will be held at Coventry Central Hall on Saturday 21 February 2015.

Moderator prayers for Scotland

mod-prayers-for-scotlandAs the date of the Scottish referendum draws closer and politicians from both sides continue their campaigns for a Yes or No vote, the Revd John Humphreys, moderator of the synod of Scotland, reflects on the subject of Scottish independence and how we as a church can respond:

 

Racial Justice Sunday 2014

racial-justice-picThe second Sunday of September is Racial Justice Sunday, an initiative of churches together in Britain and Ireland that offers an opportunity for Christians to focus their worship, prayer and action on racial justice by celebrating human diversity and rejoicing in how far God’s people have travelled together, whilst acknowledging that there is much further to go both in the Church and in the world.

 

Churches campaign for the abolition of Trident ahead of Peacemaking Sunday

JPIT logoAs diplomatic initiatives gather pace to build a framework for a nuclear-weapon-free world, three British Churches are reiterating their call for the abolition of Trident. The call comes in advance of Peacemaking Sunday, which falls on 21 September this year.

 

Community Project Awards 2014

Community-project-playlist-videosOn 6 July the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church celebrated the work of the many community-based projects based in or linked to United Reformed Churches with the Congregational and General sponsored Community Project Awards.

Four projects won awards – the overall winner was Glenorchy Work Club based at Glenorchy United Reformed Church in Exmouth and the three runners up were Chapelfield Grow Your Own; Hope Restored, and Messy Church SEND.  Short films of all four projects are available here.

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Victoria Paulding and David Harvey at FURY Assembly 2011

FURY (Fellowship of United Reformed Youth) Assembly took place between 28 and 30 January at the Pioneer Centre in Kidderminster.  Here, Victoria Paulding, incoming moderator, reflects on the weekend.

“Worship. Fellowship. Refreshment. Sleep-deprivation. To me that sums up FURY Assembly as more than 100 young people met together to share something of the wonder of God and to discuss issues affecting young people today.

“During the weekend four resolutions were passed, including ones relating to the difficulties young people face in finding a new church when moving house or moving to university, the request for a code of conduct for FURY advisory board members (inspired by the guidelines for ministers of word and sacrament, church related community workers and elders which were presented at General Assembly 2010), and the creation of a position of welfare representative on FURY advisory board. The proposers and seconders of the passed resolutions are now forming task groups for further work of these resolutions.

“Of course, there’s more to FURY Assembly than business. Various workshops were on offer, giving delegates the opportunity to discuss issues such as Commitment for Life, the street pastors’ scheme or ways to share faith, or to get creative, producing artwork, practice Christian DJ-ing or learn puppetry. All of the workshops were designed to give the young people something to think about and, hopefully to take back to their local churches.

“For me, a key part of FURY Assembly is the fellowship.  During a murder mystery and a self-run ‘FURY Gameshow’ there was time to laugh together, and it was particularly special to share worship with young people from across the country, especially at the late night communion service. Many of the young people who attend are the only young person in their local church and FURY Assembly is an opportunity to meet with other young Christians, share the God we all worship and realise that we are not alone. Young people have so much to say to the Church and FURY Assembly is one opportunity for these voices to be heard.”

FURY Assembly 2012 will be held on 27th-29th January 2012. For more information please contact the URC youth office on 020 7916 8682 or check out www.fury.org.uk

Photo shows Victoria Paulding, moderator of FURY Assembly, pictured with David Harvey, the outgoing moderator