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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

fireworks credit unsplash Nicolas TissotAs we enter 2018, Moderator-elect of General Assembly, the Revd Nigel Uden encourages people to walk the counter-cultural way of Jesus Christ.

Throughout 2018 we will mark the end of the First World War with thanksgiving that it ended, the commemoration of the ‘lost generation’, and reflect on what its lessons were. 

A century on, many ponder the mysteries of a prosperous continent choosing to risk everything, and of soldiers fighting on, yet piercing the war’s impenetrable shadows with the light of their comradeship, dependability and self-sacrifice.

Read more: Walk the way paved with faith in the New Year

Boy under tree credit Unsplash Andrew NeelThe Revd Kevin Watson, Moderator of the URC’s General Assembly, shares a story about the greatest Christmas gift of all time.

Imagine the scene one Christmas morning a few years ago in a materially rich house, but emotionally poor home. 

Down the stairs, a child runs excitedly and expectantly along the hallway passing room after room, and into a huge reception room. There in the corner stood a huge artificial tree resplendently adorned with every kind of ornament – except with anything Christian that could be deemed offensive – that was admired by all the business guests at the party the night before. 

Read more: From the past, the present for the future