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Separation barrierThe Revd Philip Brooks, United Reformed Church Secretary of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, visited Israel last month and took part in an Israel-Palestinian task group to learn about and educate the denomination on issues affecting Israel and Palestine ahead of a denominational tour in 2019. He reflects on his trip in the wake of the controversial news that the United States moved its embassy to Jerusalem.

This week sees a small US consulate in Jerusalem become the focus of a global controversy. Situated in Arnona, a quiet neighbourhood in the south of Jerusalem, the consulate building, with fewer than 100 employees, will be transformed into the official US Embassy for Israel. Forty miles away, the former fortress-like embassy, and its 800-strong staff, will become the ‘Tel Aviv Branch Office’.

Read more: A lament for Jerusalem

news banner alan kevinFor the past two years, the Revd Kevin Watson and Mr Alan Yates, Moderators of the United Reformed Church, have chaired General Assembly and other meetings, and travelled around exploring local congregations.

As they approach the end of their term, in an interview with Reform magazine, the Moderators look back on whether the past two years have been what they expected and share some of their insights.

Read more: Moderators share insights as they approach end of term

Foodbank news banner credit The Trussell TrustFigures released by The Trussell Trust – Britain’s largest foodbank network – show that more families are being forced to use foodbanks to meet their day-to-day needs.

Analysis of foodbanks in areas where there has been full Universal Credit (UC) rollouts, show that these projects experienced an average increase of 52% in the 12 months after the full rollout date. In areas where UC is not yet in place, or has not been fully rolled out, people using foodbanks have increased 13%.

Read more: Universal Credit drives more families to use foodbanks

MG group shotMore than 340 United Reformed Church Ministers and Church Related Community Workers from across the denomination’s 13 synods, spent four days being inspired and challenged.

The URC’s first Ministers’ Gathering took place at Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre, this week (between 30 April – 3 May 2018), as part of Walking the Way: Living the life of Jesus today. The gathering offered ministers and CRCWs an opportunity to reflect on their own roles as disciples of Jesus and to consider what it means to serve in a Church that seeks to empower everyone in their call to and participation in missional discipleship.

Read more: Inspiration and ideas shared at first Ministers’ Gathering