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comphobe dec17‘Some of us see her as our pastoral challenge but pressure has been building’

Moving on from atheism,  Commitment-Phobe toured churches and tried God. Now as a new Christian, her journey continues.

'Things are not always hunky dory in the land of the Christians,' says Commitment-Phobe, in her latest Reform magazine column.

'We are all growing at different stages in our faith and in our own maturity. This week I have been on a steep learning curve.

Read more: Commitment-Phobe: handling Martha

Crossway Church credit Crossway ChurchWith 19 members and a building about to be demolished, Crossway United Reformed Church might have disappeared. Instead, as the Revd Peter Stevenson recounts, it became a religious hub at the heart of the community.

'When I came to Crossway, south London, in 2009, there was no eldership, no secretary, no treasurer. They didn’t know they had any reserves or how their church worked. It was a low place to start,' he says.

Read more: Building up the Castle

Epiphany image Three Wise Men credit Leopold Kupelwieser Mr Alan Yates, Moderator of the URC’s General Assembly, reflects on celebrating Epiphany in Spain.

In the mid-90s I spent some time working in Spain.  My client boss was a smart and amusing man called Toni.  It was through Toni that I learnt about the format of a traditional Spanish Christmas, and how presents are typically given on 6 January not 25 December.  

Read more: Celebrating Epiphany with a twist

Fleur 2The UN described the plight of Rohingya people as the world's fastest growing refugee crisis. More than half a million people have risked death to flee persecution in Myanmar for neighbouring Bangladesh since August 2017.

Since 2015, more than one million migrants and refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, and Iraq have crossed into Europe, creating division over how best to deal with resettlement. The excess of headlines about refugees can cause people to become desensitized to the plight of those in desperate need. Indeed, it’s easy to lose sight that Jesus and his family were, at one point, refugees and given refuge.

The Revd Fleur Houston, author of You Shall Love the Stranger as Yourself: The Bible, refugees and asylum (biblical challenges in the contemporary world), a retired minister of the United Reformed Church and member of Macclesfield and Bollington URC, highlights biblical perspectives on the refugee crisis, encouraging people to give to those in need.

Read more: Love the stranger as yourself