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 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:

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.

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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Linda Rayner

Linda Rayner, the URC’s new national coordinator for Fresh Expressions, began her new role on 1 September and has already started her first major task – mapping all of the denomination’s existing fresh expressions of church.

Linda says:  “Lots of URC congregations are at the forefront of mission in their local communities, but up until now, no-one has actually drawn up a map or made a list to show what everyone is doing. Having a “big picture” view of the new ways the URC is doing church will mean we can share ideas around the denomination and pass on experience to other churches as they think about local mission too.”

Many URC churches are already doing extremely creative work, sharing the love of Jesus with people who have no interest in traditional church. If your congregation has introduced  imaginative, new-style worship, whether it’s messy church, café church, walking church, late-night drop-ins for night-clubbers, or anything that’s not a traditional form of church, Linda would love to hear about it.

She concludes: “I encourage everyone to have a look at the Fresh Expressions website, particularly http://freshexpressions.org.uk/stories where you can see what other churches are doing. There are not many URCs on this site yet – and I know you’re out there – so let’s make sure everyone is included!

To take part in this mapping project please email Linda at linda.rayner@freshexpressions.org.uk or call on 01625 878264.  If emailing, please include the name of the church, brief details of the activity and a named contact with contact details.