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.

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.

 

The United Reformed Church prays for the people of Scotland

flower of scotlandThe Revd John Proctor, general secretary of the United Reformed Church, wrote the following prayer for the people of Scotland prior to the Scottish Referendum, praying for the future it will open, whatever the outcome. John has lived three quarters of his life in England, but retains strong links to Scotland, where he began his life and began his ministry.

 

Peacemaking Sunday

jerusalemPeacemaking Sunday is the Sunday closest to the United Nations International Day of Peace on 21 September. This year it falls on 21 September itself.

 

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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The Revd Roberta Rominger

A decade on from the 9/11 attacks British Church leaders are calling for the Government to examine its use of military force in response to violent extremism.

The Revd Roberta Rominger, general secretary of the United Reformed Church (pictured); the Revd Lionel E Osborn, president of the Methodist Conference and the Revd Jonathan Edwards, general secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain state:

“It is clear that our reaction to the attacks on 9/11 has caused more suffering and loss than the original attacks. The “War on Terror” has done little to make anyone safer, but has harmed human rights, depleted our coffers and damaged our standing in the world, and at a cost of many lives.”

The Churches will celebrate Peacemaking Sunday on 18 September. A service booklet and worship resources are available to download online here: http://jointpublicissues.org.uk/peacemakingsunday/?dm_i=BVI,J7TI,3698E2,1KB3K,1

The full statement reads: “The ten year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks will be a day of huge sadness for the whole world and our hearts and prayers are with all those who continue to mourn the loss of their loved ones in the terrible atrocities of 9/11. We remember those who died in the attacks, and those who died in the wars that followed.

“A decade on, it is also an appropriate moment to pause and consider what lessons we have learned as a nation in the intervening years. Our military action in Afghanistan and Iraq has taught us that defeating an enemy may take only days, but rebuilding a just and inclusive society will take many years.

“It is clear that our reaction to the attacks on 9/11 has caused more suffering and loss than the original attacks. The ‘War on Terror’ has done little to make anyone safer, but has harmed human rights, depleted our coffers and damaged our standing in the world, and at a cost of many lives.

“It is sad and ironic that regimes that seek to maintain their rule through military force have often purchased their weapons from Britain, such as Libya, which has purchased 120 million Euros worth of British arms since 2005.

“Our government aspires to support democratic reform in the Middle East, but at the same time tax-payers’ money is being used to support the London Arms Fair, hosting 1,300 weapons companies from around the world.

“There can be no future security if we place our trust in more sophisticated weapons.  We cannot rely on military intervention but must concentrate on supporting the principles of political progress, human security and economic justice if we are to achieve a better and more secure world for all.

“As Christians we follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace. We pray for world leaders, for peacemakers and for those suffering violence everywhere, and we look to the future with hope.”

Read Frank Kantor's blog post on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 here: http://jointpublicissues.blogspot.com/2011/09/to-remember-and-reflect-meditation-on.html

Mr Kantor is the URC's secretary for church & society