The United Reformed Church commemorates the lives behind the names of World War One

poppy red and whiteThousands of red and white poppies have bloomed across the United Kingdom as the United Reformed Church begins a series of commemorations to mark the outbreak of World War One.

 

The United Reformed Church prays for peace in the land we call Holy

URC-Logo-Web-2014As the situation in Israel and Palestine worsens, and the number of lives lost and civilians wounded continues to rise, the United Reformed Church prays for peace and an end to the suffering. You may like to join us, using this prayer written by the Revd John Proctor, general secretary of the United Reformed Church:

 

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."

 

The Windermere Centre offers radical generosity – not raised prices

Windermere CentreThe Windermere Centre – one of the United Reformed Church’s resource centres for learning – has taken the radical decision of abandoning its policy of charging set fees for guests attending courses and events or simply using the centre as a base for a holiday in the Lake District.

 

The United Reformed Church offers statement of solidarity on crisis in Iraq and Syria

iraq crisisModerator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, the Revd David Grosch-Miller, offers the following statement of solidarity as the crisis continues to unfold in Syria and communities in northern Iraq continue to face unrelenting persecution for their religious beliefs:

 

A Reflection for Slavery Remembrance Day

slavery remembrance dayThe 23 August of each year has been designated by UNESCO to memorialize the transatlantic slave trade. This date is significant as it commemorates the uprising of slaves on the island of Saint Domingue (today Republic of Haiti), on the night of 22 to 23 August 1791, which set forth events which were a major factor in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. A reminder that enslaved Africans were the main agents of their own liberation. The Revd Tessa Henry-Robinson, is a newly ordained minister at the United Reformed Church, who has been greatly involved in Racial Justice and Multicultural Ministry and Cascades of Grace, she has written the following reflection for Slavery Remembrance Day:

“On a regular day, perhaps no different than yesterday or today, my African ancestors lived freely...

“Then, imagine being brutally captured, dragged off in chains to a castle or under a tunnel, chained-up with cattle under a tree, and forced to wait on the unknown. This is what happened to them, sometimes their captors were familiar and other times they were white foreign faces. Then imagine yourself packed in tight horizontal rows after being herded in chains onto a ship built by the Dutch for the purpose of transporting thousands of human beings as cargo. Then the ship sets sail to a place unknown to you.

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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You may not have been lucky in the first round allocation of Olympics tickets, but there’s still time to reserve a guaranteed seat at More than Gold’s On Your Marks tour! Reserve your place today and learn how your church can make the most of the mission and communication opportunities that the 2012 Games will bring.

More than Gold is the ecumenical umbrella organisation coordinating the Christian community’s involvement with the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and it’s on the road again this month, taking its On Your Marks roadshow to 13 towns and cities across England. 

The evening events (7pm refreshments for 7.30pm presentation) will focus on three key programme areas designed to give practical help to churches wanting to make the most of the Games in reaching their community. The three areas are:• The Torch Relay: How it will impact your community – and the part your church can play• Community Festivals: Why, how, and who can help• Sports Outreach: How to reach all ages, and access the available resources.

The United Reformed Church is working closely with More than Gold, and strongly recommends that URC members interested in maximising the opportunities presented by the 2012 Games attend their local event.  Francis Brienen, the URC’s secretary for mission and URC member of the More than Gold’s executive, says: “I really recommend that URC ministers and members looking to use the Olympics and Paralympic Games to reach out to their local communities attend one of these More than Gold events. The feedback we’ve had so far has been overwhelmingly positive: they’re a great way to start engaging with the opportunities – go, if you can!”

The roadshow will visit the following locations: 6 June:  Stratford; 7 June:  Bristol; 8 June: Weymouth; 9 June: Worthing; 13 June:  Chelmsford; 16 June: Birmingham; 20 June: Leeds; 21 June: Manchester, 22 June: Leicester and Newcastle; 23 June: Cambridge: 28 June: London; 30 June: Nottingham.

For more information and to reserve your place visit http://www.morethangold.org.uk/your-church/on-your-marks-tour.html