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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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