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 Welcome to Issue 89

11 March 2022
This week has seen further atrocities in Ukraine, the like of which we had not thought we would ever see in Europe again. Read a thoughtful reflection from Roberta Ritson and access prayers and other resources to support us as we support those involved in this conflict.

Don't miss the 'How to Do: Community' session which is being held this evening - the first session was a great success.

Lots of events for those involved with children or young people. Sign up for the Parenting for Faith course, appropriate for anyone with child-caring responsibilities, find out how to engage with schools and colleges, and join a special information event for those involved with siblings of children who have a rare disease.

Young people find a voice in the new book compiled by URC Youth member Victoria Turner and for the young and young at heart, it's time to book for the Greenbelt Festival.

Newcastle Central Mosque invites you to a three-course meal and find out how our financial decisions can help shape a fairer world along with guidance on ethical buying for churches.

Have a great week everyone!

Andrew, Maureen, Wendy
Reflection from Roberta Ritson,

Ministry Student on Placement at

St Columba's, North Shields
Elena Kozhena was a small girl when her family fled the siege of Leningrad.  Between September 1941 and January 1944 around 800,000 lost their lives there.  That’s a higher number of civilian casualties than those from the whole of the United States and the United Kingdom combined. More on Elena a little later…

I am sure that you, like me, feel the darkness of these past two weeks.  Familiar, everyday comforts are finely woven with a sharpened awareness, the knowledge that for too many others everything has been snatched away. Life feels precarious.  Whatever we think, say or do to shield ourselves doesn’t quite work. Read more.
Prayers for Ukraine

Prayer from the International Justice Mission working to combat trafficking and slavery and violence against women and children.
Psalm 31 is Bringing Comfort in Ukraine
Watch this powerful video from Bible Society of Psalm 31 read by Ukrainian Christians, some in bunkers and shelters.

Ukraine and Unity

Churches Together in England have complied resources and reactions from Member Churches to the conflict in Ukraine. Read more.
Talking to Children about the Conflict in Ukraine
Action for Children has produced some helpful guidance about how to support your child and reassure them at this challenging time.
They also have a parents and carers helpline to support you with your queries and concerns on handling this and other issues.
unknown persons standing outdoors
  COVID Update
The Moderators have issued updated guidance following recent Government changes regarding the pandemic.
Read here.
black and gray i love you print textile
  Fun for Younger Members
URC Families on Faith Adventures @ Home
Stories, games, challenges, crafts, and prayers to share as a family.
This week: First Shall be Last
URC Birthday Card Competition!
Calling anyone aged 12 years or under with connections to the URC!
URC Children want you to design a birthday card that churches and Synods can use to send to their children on their special day. Find out more here.
person holding balloons
URC Youth
1-4 June

Book now for this exciting event for young people aged 12+. Early booking before 30 March, £30. £40 after 30 March. Find out more here.

 Children, Youth and Families Ministry
New URC Jubilee Resources

Has your church received the URC all-church mailing yet?
If you're not sure then you may want to check so you don't miss the new all-age resource booklet Jubilee. 
Jubilee is packed with ideas and suggestions for all ages from babies to young adults to engage with the Children’s and Youth Work theme for the year. Also available to download online
Talking About: Engaging with Schools and Colleges
24 March

Find out more and register for this free online URC event here.
Hybrid Church Meet Up
30 March

Come along to share ideas and good practice, and gain inspiration on children's and youth work, community outreach, and worship. Join on Zoom -
Meeting ID: 892 8553 7599 Password: 655777

 Northern Synod Events
How To Do: Community
11 March - Tonight at 7.30pm

The second in this great free series of 'How to'  sessions.
Click here for full details and Zoom link.
Email Jane Rowell for more details and to book.Too good to miss!
Northern Synod Anniversary Celebration Event
2 July

Book the date for our Northern Synod day of celebration as part of the URC 50th anniversary events on Saturday 2 July at Beamish Museum. Look out for further information coming soon!

Morning Prayers    

Everyone is invited to join the Northern Synod morning prayers. Join at 9 am for 15-20 minutes, Monday to Friday, through Zoom or by phone.
More details and joining instructions here.

person sitting while reading book
Northern Synod 2022 Prayer Diary Available Here
Five Northerly Synods Events
Parenting for Faith
Starts 25 April
 A new free 6-week Northerly Synods event starting after Easter.
Find out more here.
Email Hannah Middleton to book your place now!

URC News
Young, Woke and Christian: Words from a Missing Generation
An exciting new book edited by Victoria Turner, a member of URC Youth was compiled after a complaint about how young people’s views are often dismissed by churches. Each chapter of Young, Woke, and Christian: Words From a Missing Generation, is written by a different young Christian from a different tradition and covers many themes and issues. Read more.
URC 50th Anniversary
Help Us Celebrate the URC 50th Anniversary in Word and Song
woman carrying brown acoustic guitar
Don't miss the chance to enter the URC at 50 Worship resources competition.
There are four categories: traditional hymn /song, poem, contemporary hymn/song, and rap.
Find more information here but hurry, the closing date is 8 April.
50th Anniversary Jubilee Resources Pack

Each church should have received a free copy of the special resource pack to help celebrate the Jubillee but if you need more, they are now available to buy from the URC Shop. You can also download resources here.
Click here for URC 50th Anniversary News
Has your church got anything planned to celebrate this special anniversary? Do let us know, we would love to be able to share your events and activities.
Green Matters
Latest IPCC Report on Climate Change

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was released recently. Watch the launch conference with its findings here. Carbon Brief provides a brief overview of its findings along with a helpful Q&A section here. Find the full report along with summary reports, FAQs and facts sheets here.
Finding Christ in the Eucharist, the Poor and Creation
9 April

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle's Justice and Peace Council are inviting others from all church traditions to come along to this free online event. Read more and book here.
New Leaflets from Green Christian

Green Christian has released some new downloadable leaflets to share with others in the church and in the community. Download these and other free resources here.
What Does Russia's invasion of Ukraine Mean for Energy and Climate Change?
Carbon Brief has produced a set of Q&As on this important issue. Read here.
factories with smoke under cloudy sky
Lent and Easter

Events and Resources
Outdoor Easter Trail

Sun Hats and Wellie Boots offers a new outdoor interactive Easter trail for children with Dotty the Donkey.

Easter Postcards

Faith in Later Life has produced an Easter postcard to send to older people in your church or community to let them know someone is thinking of them this Easter time. Available to buy here.
Wake Up at Greenbelt!
Greenbelt Festival
26-29 August

Join in all the fun at Boughton House, Kettering.
For tickets and to find out more, click here.

Courses, Training, Conferences and Webinars
A Journey Towards Sibling Support
14 March

This online information event will launch the research report 'A Journey Towards Sibling Support' looking at the emotional and spiritual needs of siblings of children who have a rare disease. Find out more here. Join on Zoom, meeting ID 513 691 1077, passcode: coffee
Education Dinner at Newcastle Central Mosque
30 March
You are invited to a free three-course meal at the Newcastle Central Mosque to give you a chance to ask any questions about Islam and Muslims along with the opportunity to see how Muslims worship and pray. Read moreEmail Andy Lie, Northern Synod Ecumenical & Inter-Faith Officer as soon as possible to book a place.

person reading book on brown textile
Setting Us Free
21 March

This free Racial Justice Advocacy Forum webinar, in partnership with the Movement for Justice and Reconciliation and the Sankofa Collective, will explore how to heal the 400 years of damage caused by enslavement and racism to Black Christians. Register here.

After Pestilence
26 April
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland invites you to attend the annual David Goodbourn Lecture presented by the Centre for Theology and Justice.
The online lecture will be exploring the centrality of social justice within the Church and the social gospel.
Book here.
Books, Resources and Newsletters

Photo credit: Christian Aid / David Brazier
Christian Aid Week
15-21 May

Resources are now available to help you prepare your fundraising and worship for Christian Aid week.
Click here.
Valuing Women: Making Women Visible
24 March

A new report from Theos explores what can be learned from how Christian charities provide support to women experiencing multiple and severe disadvantages. Read more. Read the full report here.
Sign up for the online launch event on 24 March.
Ethical Buying Guide for Churches
A new resource from the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility,  Ethical Buying Guide for Churches equips churches to take practical steps with their spending to shape a fairer, more sustainable world.
Comfort in Uncertain Times
Launch 18 March

Parenting for Faith is soon to publish a new book Comfort in Uncertain Times to help you navigate anxiety, loss, and transition with children and teens. Sample the book here.
Join the online book launch by registering here.

Prayer Request Cards

URC Prayer request cards are now available from the URC Shop,
The Cost of Living
Listen to this 10-minute podcast from the Joint Public Issues Team's Faith in Politics considers recent rises to the cost of living caused by increasing energy prices and puts these changes in the longer-term context of poverty in the UK, and discusses how churches and Christians might want to respond. Listen here.
Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is
As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, Shared Interest and Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility ran this webinar to explore how our financial decisions can help shape a fairer world. Watch here.
News Nuggets
Plant a Tree for the Queen's Jubilee
green and brown tree
Ray Angelsea, retired URC minister, encourages you to plant a tree to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee along with details of other tree planting initiatives this year and some of the many references to trees in the Bible. Read more.
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and Churches Together in England, have compiled a list of resources and initiatives to help churches take part in community events. Find out more here.
Chairs Still Looking for Good Home

Cromer Avenue URC, Gateshead, has 50 chairs that stack and link, surplus to requirements. Suitable for worship or community spaces. Contact Ian Patterson for more details: Email or call 0191 487 6786. Please note corrected phone number.
Vacancies and Volunteeering
The Northern and Yorkshire URC Synods are seeking a part-time Synod Safeguarding Support Officer. Details on our website.
St James URC, Newcastle is seeking a part-time Facilities and Lettings Manager. Details here.
The URC North Western Synod is seeking a Deputy Synod Clerk. Details here.
The URC is seeking a part-time Digital Content Assistant. Details here.
The URC is seeking a part-time Finance Assistant. Details here.
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