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:

“As we witness hundreds of thousands of Christians, Yazidis, and members of other vulnerable religious and ethnic communities being forced from their homes, displaced, persecuted and murdered in northern Iraq and eastern Syria, we call for prayer and acts of solidarity. 

“The atrocities committed by the so-called 'Islamic State' militants have led to the massacre of thousands of men, women and children belonging to religious minority groups. The violence has displaced approximately 1.2million people in Iraq alone including followers of Islam. The thousands of Yazidis who were trapped on Mount Sinjar with no access to food or water, have now escaped into northern Iraq – searching for refuge anywhere possible. Yazidi villages in Iraq are reportedly being taken over by Islamic State militants who are rounding up and executing the men and taking the women to undisclosed locations. Thousands of Christians in the region are now in exile, as communities flee for their lives to take refuge in Kurdish cities.

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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URC Logo 300The ZI (Zero Intolerance) steering group, together with the liaison group, met for the final time on the afternoon of 29 March 2012. Following the Mission Council decision of 23 March 2012 to terminate the ZI initiative, it is no longer a project of the URC and no more money will be spent on it (although all associated costs up to and including the cost of yesterday’s meeting will be paid in full).

Recognising that Mission Council had “strongly encouraged churches to continue to work on developing their radical welcome, recognising the synergy with Vision 2020 outcomes” those present discussed ways in which this could be done, including the use of the training materials developed for and by the ZI initiative. The group decided that the best way to facilitate this, whilst keeping the integrity of radical welcome intact, was to offer all URC synods an adapted companions’ scheme. This scheme will make use of much of the existing material and include the external support of a companion. It will be supported by the education and learning office at United Reformed Church House and report to both the education and learning committee and the mission committee. Those synods/churches interested in this should contact Fiona Thomas, secretary for education and learning, on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">

All present were completely clear about Mission Council’s termination of the initiative and the bald fact that no more URC resources are to be used in association with the ZI initiative. However, some individuals felt that the advertising materials are too good to lose and are exploring the possibility of it becoming an ecumenical, independent initiative, with no formal ties to the United Reformed Church.