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.

 

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 Dr Kevin Snyman preaching at St Paul's © Melanie Smith

On Saturday afternoon, URC minister the Revd Dr Kevin Snyman, preached from the steps of St Paul’s – he was one of many taking part in the ecumenical, interfaith, service which he described as “deeply meaningful”.

Dr Snyman delivered a children’s address on God’s Fabulous Farmyard, a parable focusing on God’s desire to see love, equality, confidence and celebration at the heart of human community.  His words, although aimed at the children, were heard by around 1,200 people, the vast majority of which were supporters of the Occupy London camp in the cathedral piazza. 

Asked why he supports the protest, Dr Snyman, said: “I believe these issues of economic injustice are the most important facing our Church and our world today. If the Church is not supporting Occupy, then is it not, by default, supporting the economic status quo?”

He continued: “I’m a nonconformist minister and I’m passionate about making sure the voice of protest and dissent is heard loudly – the world needs to hear it and the Church cannot afford to ignore it.”

Talking about the Occupy London camp, Nadene Snyman, Kevin’s wife, said: “The atmosphere in the camp is kind and gentle – as far as either of us can tell there has been no hint of negativity – just a positive environment where many committed, creative, people are able to democratically address things they care passionately about.” 

Mrs Snyman added: “One thing that really saddened me is that it has not been St Paul’s, but Starbucks, which has thrown open its doors in welcome to provide basic amenities for the camp and its supporters.  That should be the role of the Church – the role of St Paul’s.” 

Dr and Mrs Snyman are planning to return to the camp next week.

Since Saturday, the position of St Paul’s has changed and yesterday, 1 November, the Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral unanimously agreed to suspend its legal action against the Occupy London camp outside the church.

Photo shows Kevin Snyman preaching from the steps of St Paul’s on Saturday. © Melanie Smith