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 Welcome to Issue 92

8 April 2022
Can you believe that it is almost two years since the first issue of the Northern Synod e-newsletter was first produced? Circulated at the beginning of the first COVID lock-down it was hoped that it would act as a link between churches and provide a platform for sharing the ever-changing news and rules during the pandemic as well as providing local, regional, and national news from the URC and beyond.  

Two years on and COVID is still with us although we are 'learning to live with it' and we are facing another totally unexpected crisis, a war in Europe. No one's lives have been untouched by the events in the last twenty-four months and I hope that the e-newsletter has informed, guided, and maybe inspired, challenged, and occasionally amused you during these difficult times.

The reason for these musings is that this is my last issue as editor. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has contributed to the newsletter in any way. I would especially like to thank those who have provided a weekly reflection without complaint even on the second or more times of asking, photographers, event sharers, news providers, and feedback givers. Big thanks also to Wendy and Andrew who helped steer things in the background.

The e-newsletter is now taking a short break but will be back in a few weeks. 

Have a very happy and blessed Easter.

Easter Reflection from Revd Dave Herbert

Northern Synod Moderator
First, read John 20: 1-18, slowly, prayerfully, then read on …
Kittiwakes are nesting on the Tyne Bridge and the nearby Baltic Gallery’s slender ledges again.  Roadsides have delivered their annual sequence of snowdrops, crocuses, and daffodils. The days are lengthening.  An increasingly noticeable dawn chorus from nearby trees and shrubs signals fresh industry and purposeful communication as territory and mates and nests are established.

brown rock formation during daytime
Spring has sprung, the hallmarks of which impact even the urban landscape of our city centres.  Another orbit completed around our nearest star, with that divinely perfect tilt of the polar axis, bringing to these latitudes the familiar, refreshing and reassuring seasonal changes with seemingly inexorable momentum. Spring. Transformation. New life after the die back of winter.
Read more.
'Because He Lives

A song for Easter - click below
Supporting Refugees
Read about the support that churches can offer to Asylum Seekers and Refugees.
Useful websites and organisations that can help support you in supporting refugees from Ukraine include Homes for Ukraine, a Matching site from ResetSanctuary Foundation, and Ukraine Welcome
blue and brown hand painting
Use of Church Properties by Ukrainian Refugees

We have been advised by Edwards Insurance Brokers that they have received information from their main insurers Congregational and Ansvar regarding the use of church properties to provide temporary accommodation for Ukrainian refugees. Read more. In addition, local churches and trustees should also consent to any arrangement.
Click Here for URC Information and Updates on the War in Ukraine
  Fun for Younger Members
Easter Prayer Stations
Make your own prayer stations for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday
Northern Synod Children's Work Advisor, Hannah Middleton, and Pioneer Workers Angela Feather and Esther Bailey have produced a range of activities, Bible readings, prayers, and crafts to help you make your own prayer stations for these significant days in Holy Week.
swiss plant
URC Families on Faith Adventures @ Home
Stories, games, challenges, crafts, and prayers to share as a family.
This week: Mark My Words
Celebrating the 100th Issue of Families on Faith Adventures @ Home

Watch Hannah Middleton help celebrate the 100th issue of Families on Faith Adventures @ Home
 URC Youth
Lombard Prize Winner

Victoria Turner, a member of URC Youth has won first prize in the 
World Communion of Reformed Churches Lombard Essay Prize! Read more. Congratulations Victoria!
 Children, Youth and Families Ministry
Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
17/19/24/26 May

Sign up now for this really valuable subsidised online course being offered by members of the URC CYDO+ team. Details of the course content available here. Read more and sign up here.

2022 Holiday Club Material

Watch out for this year's bumper pack of holiday club materials that will be available on the URC website from May 2022.

Entitled 'Time travellers' it will pick up the theme of Jubilee and take children and volunteers on a whirlwind journey across the centuries in their time machine.
 Northern Synod Events
Fun for All the Family!
2 July

Join us for a fun day at Beamish Museum as we celebrate
the 50th anniversary of the URC. 
Find out more here, or on our website, and book now!

 URC 50th Anniversary Celebrations
On Sunday 9 October at 3pm, an anniversary service will be held at Jesmond URC, Newcastle. The preacher will be The Moderator of General Assembly, Revd Fiona Bennett.
Look out for more information coming soon.
See you there!
Parenting for Faith 
Starts 25 April
 A new free 6-week Northerly Synods event starting after Easter.
Email Hannah Middleton to book your place now!

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
Do You Have a Passion For Mission?
The Northern Synod is seeking people with a passion for mission!
Could that be you?

We’re changing the way Synod Mission Committee works. We are setting up a Mission Forum. The Forum will inspire and encourage work by individuals and groups in the Synod, maintain effective communication about mission issues, and highlight good examples of work. We’re looking for four people who are interested in the ‘big picture of mission in all its forms, enthused for mission work, and able to work with others in organising occasional events.

For further information click here

Do Something Great neon sign

Local Church News
Update from St Mark's URC,  Amble
man holding Holy Bible leaning on bricked wall
The congregation of St Mark's URC, Amble closed the door on their church building on 31 December 2021.
Read how things are going for them.
Pray for Ukraine

On Passion Sunday, Guisborough URC, North Yorkshire came together with churches and Christians from across the UK and Ireland to pray for Ukraine, as requested by Christian Aid.  The congregation stood as the Ukrainian National Anthem was sung, followed by an English translation, and prayers were offered written by the Synod Moderator Revd David Herbert at a service led by Revd Ray Anglesea.
Lent Lunch for Ukraine Success!
The musical Lent lunch for Ukraine held at Robert Stewart Memorial URC
this week raise an amazing £323 for Ukraine and a further
£80 for West End Refugee Service.
The money raised for Ukraine has been donated through the Disasters Emergency Committee which with matched Government funding, means £646 has been donated. RSM sends thanks to everyone that helped in any way. Read more.
Property Matters 
New Northern Synod Architects-Surveyors Appointed

low angle of black metal tower
Following an open tendering process, the firm Howarth Litchfield, Chartered Architects based in Durham has been appointed to undertake future church building quinnennial reviews. Churches will be contacted directly by Howarth Lichfield to arrange visits as timetabled.
URC News
Click here for the Latest URC News
URC 50th Anniversary
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.
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.

Green News
A Taste of Forest Church
11 June

To book a place on this event email Joanne.

NEW Green Christian Posters

Green Christian has produced a set of six posters to display in church, in the community, and share with friends and neighbours. Order here.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- Sixth Assessment Report
The final part of the IPCC's sixth report was released on Monday. It was a stark and urgent assessment of the actions taken so far to avert climate disaster, and what else needs to be done.
Listen to a 10-minute podcast from the Joint Public Issues Team talk about the impact warnings the government’s committee on climate change are making, and the drastic need to make change in the next 3-5 years.
Take Action - Make a Difference
Forced Labour in Fashion: Who Makes Our Clothes?
The Joint Public Issues Team has been contacting high street brands whose factories in China have been reported to have received transported Uyghur workers. Read about their progress so far and their analysis of the responses from the different brands.
Support the campaign and send your own email to brands.

person holding assorted clothes in wooden hanger
Legacies of Slavery Consultation
Pat Poinen, the Northern Synod Racial Justice Advocate sends the following message to everyone:

Please can I remind you to send in your responses on the Legacies of Slavery consultation ASAP  to Wendy Watson.
All responses are important and appreciated as they will contribute towards the bigger picture going forward to General Assembly. Your views matter and I thank you in advance. Blessings to you all. 
brown metal chain in close up photography
URC Legacies of (Transatlantic) Slavery consultation resources: 
Consultation document
Consultation video
Journey FAQs
Questions for consideration
Please note the closing date for responses is extended to 31 May.
Christian Aid Week

15 - 21 May

Variety Show for Christian Aid
7 May

Since 2014 St Mark's URC, Amble has organised a variety show for Christian Aid every other year, usually raising over £1,000. With free entry and fun for the whole family book the date now! More details here.
300,000 Steps Challenge

Keep fit and raise money for Christian Aid. 
Can you walk 300,000 steps in May? Go on - it's only 10K steps each day and think of all those Easter egg calories you will burn off!
Sign up now.
Summer Holidays 2022

Various dates in August

reNEw is running summer holidays for anyone aged 8 - 80+ based at Scoughall, between Dunbar & North Berwick, There are different holidays for those 8-12 years old,  12-16 years old, a family camp, and 16 years+.
Find out more here, visit the website, and book here.
Courses, Training, Conferences and Webinars
Enquirers' Event
30 April

Find out more about lay pioneering ministry and the proposed
URC Pioneeering Hub.
Email the URC ministries team for more information and Zoom link.

Christian CND Speaker Network
10 May

Christian CND is looking for people like you to speak at churches and Christian groups in their local area on issues around nuclear weapons and encourage people to come to their own conclusions on the matter. 
Join a taster session to see if this might be something for you. Support, training, and resources you need are provided and there's no obligation. Book here.
Hybrid Church Meet-up
3 May

Join this free online URC event open to everyone interested in hybrid church. No booking is needed - just Zoom in!
Debt Justice Launch Event
16 May
On 16 May, Jubilee Debt Campaign will be relaunched as Debt Justice. Find out more about the name change here. Sign up to come to an online pre-launch information event on 11 April and book now to get tickets to the online launch event.

Valuing Women: Making Women Visible
13 April

Join this free webinar from Theos that will launch their new report ' Valuing Women: Making Women Visible', and explores what can be learned from how Christian charities provide support to women experiencing multiple and severe disadvantages. Read more and book here.
Creative Journaling - Listening to the Heart
17 May

Holy Rood House invites you to an online retreat where you will be offered a creative space to help reflect on what is emerging for you and learn about creative journaling. Find out more here
Loss and Damage
21 April

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) and Christian Aid will be hosting a webinar focusing on ‘Loss and Damage’, exploring our world, in which damage and degradation have been caused to our environment, blighting lives and livelihoods. Read more and book here.
Time to Tackle Inequality - Time to Tax Wealth
11 April
Church Action for Tax Justice invites you to a free online panel discussion exploring how a renewed tax system and increased taxation on wealth can contribute to the Common Good and build a more
sustainable life for all. 
For more information and to book, click here.

Books, Resources and Newsletters
Refugee Week
20-26 June
Refugee Week is coming, and you can take part by holding your own event or activity, big or small. Download the Refugee Week 2022 Event Organiser Pack and celebrate the contributions, creativity, and resilience of refugees.

Book Launch - 'The Gospel of John: A Theological Commentary'
4 May 
The Rt Revd Mark Wroe, Acting Bishop of Newcastle, and Ian Galloway, Director of the Free Church Track, Cranmer Hall invite you to this free event in Newcastle, which welcomes David Ford, a leading Christian theologian to the North East as he launches his new book ‘The Gospel of John: A Theological Commentary’ Read more and book here.
Caribbean Buzz

Read the latest issue of Caribbean Buzz, a bi-monthly newsletter from the Council for World Mission.

If you have any feedback please email Michael or Vickeisha.
Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility Newsletter

Read the latest newsletter from ECCR here.

Migration, People of Colour and The Nationality and Borders Bill

Last week Churches Together In Britain and Ireland Racial Justice Advocacy Forum hosted the Migration, People of Colour and Nationality and Borders Bill webinar in partnership with Churches Together in EnglandEvangelical Allianceand Joint Public Issues Team. Watch the webinar here.
News Nuggets
Synod Meeting Collection for International Justice Mission

The retiring collection at the recent Synod meeting raised £331.20 for International Justice Mission. A big thank you to everyone that donated!
Searches for Churches on Lindisfarne

Join a free walk to explore the origins of the early medieval monastery and the most recent archeological evidence. Email Andy Denton to book a place.
National Sports Sunday
15 May

Find information and resources from Sports Chaplaincy UK  to help your church celebrate National Sports Sunday here.
Fancy a Retreat in Northumberland National Park?
If you are in need of a quiet break by yourself or with a small group for a day or a few days then Nightfold Retreat might be just what you are looking for.
Located on a working farm, the retreat space offers self-catering accommodation with no wi-fi, tv, or phone - bliss!
For more information, visit the website.

Top Ten Fairtrade Easter Eggs
Find the finest Fairtrade Easter Eggs this year thanks to Fairtrade Foundation. Read more and buy them now before they are all gone! 

Vacancies and Volunteeering
Theos is seeking an Intern (Research, Communication and Events). Details here.
e-Newsletter Events Calendar
Forgotten which newsletter had the details of a forthcoming event?
Click below for all upcoming events included in Northern Synod
e-newsletters with links to details.
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