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 Welcome to Issue 90

18 March 2022
Our prayers and thoughts continue to be with those who are affected by the conflict and violence in Ukraine and those who are working for peace and reconciliation.

As the fighting intensifies and people continue to suffer, we may find ourselves struggling to cope with the constant stream of distressing news that bombards us. Take time out to care for yourself.  Listen to the beautiful new music from John Rutter, make peace prayer doves, pray, complete craft activities, or go on reflective walks.

Find ways to help those who are affected. You may want to stand with women and children fleeing Ukraine with calls for their better protection and read the statement produced by West End Refugee Service.

We have news from Mozambique and a new church community award has been launched in Amble. Find out how to set up an Instagram profile or how to support someone with dementia.

Book now for safeguarding training or a free meal at Newcastle Central Mosque. Don't miss out!

The Northern Synod meeting takes place tomorrow in person and we would love to see you after so long.

Sadly, no newsletter next week but we will be back on 1 April.


Have a great week everyone!

Andrew, Maureen, Wendy
Reflection from Alison Dalton,

CRCW with the Sunderland Partnership:

Grindon, Roker, Stockton Road URCs
Ministerial Musings

I have begun to write this on the Saturday afternoon after meeting new friends and being taken on a spiritual journey by Kathy Galloway of the Iona Community at the Northern Synod Retreat this week. Kathy had entitled this retreat, ‘a tree planted by water ‘, and offered Jeremiah 17:7- 8 as a Bible reading to begin our thinking:
Blessed are those who trust in the LORD, whose trust is the Lord.
They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought, it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.

Read more.
Ukraine
Churches Call to End the War in Ukraine
The Revd Dr John Bradbury, General Secretary of the United Reformed Church (URC), the Revd Clare Downing, Moderator of the URC General Assembly, along with 18 other URC representatives join 300 delegates at the Churches Together in England (CTE) Forum in calling for an immediate end to the war in Ukraine. Read more.

Click Here for Ways to Help Support Those Affected by the Conflict in Ukraine
Prayer for Ukraine - John Rutter

Watch and listen to how the composer John Rutter has responded to the war in Ukraine. Prayer starts at 1.33
multicolored cityscape during daytime
Sunflowers and Doves of Peace

Sun Hats and Wellie Boots have a downloadable sunflower prayer for the people of Ukraine and prayer doves for an all-age prayer installation for peace.

 
Photo credit: Sun Hat & Wellie Boots
WERS Statement on Government Response to
Ukrainian Refugees


The West End Refugee Service has issued a statement on the Government's response to Ukrainian refugees. Read here.

 "We cannot ignore that whilst this government leans on the kindness of the public to prop up its broken asylum system through its proposed hosting scheme, it is pushing through parliament its cruel Nationality and Borders Bill."

Crossing the Border: Scenes from a Polish Church

Read about the work of Marzena, a member of a Baptist church in Poland close to the Ukraine border and their work supporting Ukrainian refugees.
Stand with Ukraine

Muddy Church has produced a free booklet with a range of resources for prayer, reflections, craft ideas, and wandering sheets for trails as we continue to stand with Ukraine.

Racial Discrimination Amidst Invasion of Ukraine
The Racial Justice Advocacy Forum calls for coverage, prayer, and action regarding people facing racial discrimination amidst the invasion of Ukraine. Read their statement here.

  Take Action - Make a Difference
Stand with Women and Children Fleeing Ukraine
International Justice Mission needs your help to advocate for greater protection for refugees especially women and children fleeing the Ukraine conflict who are facing increased trafficking risks.
Could you write to your MP asking for greater protection for women? Read more and find a template letter here.

Cost of Living Crisis

Church Action on Poverty along with 58 other charities has called on the Government to take action to ensure that benefits rise in line with the cost of living in next week's spring statement. They invite you to contact your MP and ask them to call on the Chancellor to make sure everyone gets the help they need. Read more including a template email here.
  Fun for Younger Members
URC Families on Faith Adventures @ Home
Stories, games, challenges, crafts, and prayers to share as a family.
This week: Shhh... We're Christians
 Children, Youth and Families Ministry
Providing Pastoral Support for LGBT+ Young People
29 March


Anyone connected to the URC is invited to join this free event organised by Southern Synod. Register here.
Drug Prevention and Life Skills Programmes
Hope UK works with young people to help them make drug-free choices. They offer a range of free online resources for churches, youth workers, parents and children, and young people. They are also available to work with local churches. Download resources and find out more here.


Join the With Community


 
The WITH community is recruiting community members to join them as soon as possible or in September. The community is open to anyone of any age, who wants to commit to praying with and for young people and those who work with them, and who wants to discover what it means to live in an intentional Christian community, with all the joy and challenge this brings! Read more.
Inside Out
The Spinnaker collective worship theme for Spring 2022 promotes well-being and encourages children to understand their inner feelings. They will hear about Bible characters who expressed their emotions and lived life to the full, as God intended. Videos are available here.
 Northern Synod Events
Northern Synod Meeting
19 March
Come and join us at St Columba's URC, 30 Northumberland Square, North Shields, NE30 1PW at 10am for our first in-person Northern Synod meeting for over two years! The agenda is available here.
We very much look forward to seeing you there.

URC Safeguarding Training 
Various dates April / May

Book now for online safeguarding training facilitated by the Northern Synod Safeguarding Advisor, Matt Knowles. Visit our website for dates in April and May for foundation and intermediate-level sessions via Zoom and to book a place.
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
News from Mozambique
Mary Davidson has received an email from Isaias with a brief update on the refugee relief work in Cabo Delgado. Read here.
Please continue to hold Isaias, his family, the church and the ongoing relief work in your prayers.
Local Church News
New Community Award

St Mark's URC, Amble has started a new award that recognises the wonderful contribution made by people in their community.
Read more.
Knitted Bible at St George's URC, Hartlepool
 

The Moderator Dave Herbert was delighted to visit the Knitted Bible Exhibition held at St George's URC, Hartlepool recently and can be seen here admiring the display along with Sandra Twist, Rose Hastings and Margaret Humberston. Thanks to Paul Rodgers for the great photo.
URC News
Call For Global Vaccine Equity

Simeon Mitchell, Secretary for Church and Society for the United Reformed Church, reports on the call for global vaccine equity as we reach the second anniversary of the start of the pandemic.
Read more.

Good News Stories Wanted!
If you have a good news story that can inspire, raise hope, or show God's work in action then please let URC Communications know. We would love to help share your news across the denomination and in local news outlets. Email the URC press office.
No photo description available.
URC 50th Anniversary
Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration
1 October
Are you going to the Anniversary Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration on 1 October? Could you help as a steward? Find out more here.
There are still tickets available but don't delay they are going fast. Book your free tickets now!


The event will be live-streamed and the Order of Service will be available in September for churches holding events to take part in the service while watching it.
Songs of Praise
2 October
 

The URC’s 50th anniversary will be featured on Songs of Praise on 2 October, and the programme has asked for video clips of events from the year.
Please take photos and record clips of services taking place this year. 

 
string lights cross on dark area with spot lights
50th Anniversary Pin Badges

Special anniversary pin badges are available from the URC shop in a range of colours. Limited edition so buy now!
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.
International Day for the Elimination of

Racial Discrimination


21 March
World Council of Churches will be sharing regional prayers in the lead-up to the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The prayers are an invitation to stand in prayerful solidarity with one another across regions and condemn all manifestations of racial injustice. Europe Regional Prayers were held on 14 March. Global Prayers will be on 20 March. Find out more here


Play this moving music taken from the Europe prayer service.
Church Online
Creating an Instagram Profile

Watch the first in a new series of bitesize on-demand learning from Digital Labs on creating an Instagram account or read their blog. Subscribe to hear about new videos as they are added.
person holding black samsung android smartphone
Courses, Training, Conferences and Webinars
Migration, People of Colour and the Nationality and Borders Bill
28 March

This free webinar is hosted by Racial Justice Advocacy Forum, in partnership with JPIT, the Evangelical Alliance and Churches Together in England. The panel will share the potential consequences of the Nationality and Borders Bill, what it means for our churches and discuss its adverse impact on those seeking asylum and citizenship of people of colour living in the UK.
Book here.

Plenty! Facilitator Training
30 March
Facilitator training on Zoom continues to be available for anyone who wants it prior to facilitating the Plenty! course produced by Green Christian's  Joy in Enough project. Email Cat if you would like to take part.
The Church In and Of the Community
12 - 14 May
This year's lay preachers and worship leaders conference run by Northern College will focus on The Church in and of the Community. Flexible attendance options are available. Download the event programme. 
Read more.
Theologies of the Body
23-26 May
Luther King Centre summer school will be exploring theologies of the body in relation to themes of intersexuality, race, gender, sexuality, disability, aging, and eco-theologies. Read more.
International Ecumenical Fellowship
46th International Conference
25 July - 1 August
The British Region of the International Ecumenical Fellowship invites you to this international conference that will be held at Hope University in Liverpool.
The theme is ‘I will heal my people’ (Jer.33:6) – Together in hope, prayer, and action for a renewed world.'
Find out more here
Statelessness: A Product of Racialised Nationality?
24 March

A free webinar from the World Council of Churches which explores the intersectionality between statelessness and racial discrimination. Find out more and register here.
Books, Resources and Newsletters
URC Pulpit Supply Materials for April

Worship material for Sunday worship from URC Daily Devotions is available here.
Walking with my Dog/God

In Walking with my dog God, URC Minister Nick Stanyon invites you to join him on his daily walk with Nina, his border collie. Along the way, Nick encounters all sorts of things that prompt thought, reflection, and prayer. The walks become a deep and meaningful journey with God. Buy from URC Shop.
Could It Be Dementia?

This book puts dementia into a Christian context. It is written with great sensitivity and can help you to understand what dementia sufferers are experiencing, and how to interact with them. Available to buy here.
Thy Kingdom Come

Free resources for this year's Thy Kingdom Come are now available here.
The Quest for Authority

In this new book by Matthew Prevett, he focuses on the United Reformed Church in the United Kingdom, and explores the particular shaping and bringing together that is a characteristic of a United and Reformed ecclesiology and examines how this influences ecclesial polity and practice
. Read more and buy here.
News Nuggets
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 more
To book a place email Andy Lie, Northern Synod Ecumenical
& Inter-Faith Officer as soon as possible.


person reading book on brown textile
Free Sympathy Cards

The Sue Ryder charity is offering free sympathy cards to help you support people you know who are grieving. Find out more and order here.
Live Out Your Faith Through Your Finances

Find out if you've bridged the gap between your faith and finances with this short quiz from The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility.
Vacancies and Volunteeering
The Northern and Yorkshire URC Synods are seeking a part-time Synod Safeguarding Support Officer. Details on our website.
Closing date 20 March.
The Joint Public Issues Team has three full-time paid opportunities to join them as an Intern attached to either a Labour or Conservative MP. For role details and to register for an information evening click here.
e-Newsletter Events Calendar
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Click below for all upcoming events included in Northern Synod
e-newsletters with links to details.
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