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Sacred Conversations on Migration

This is a collection of resources to enable, encourage and stimulate what we are calling ‘sacred conversations’ on migration. It for use in congregations and by small groups. To this collection we will be adding more materials as we receive them or are made aware of any such resource relevant to the theme @home in a strange place.

In using the materials we note the following:

  • Read firstly the introductory leaflet (@home in a strange place).
  • Afterwards have a look at some model conversations we have provided to help you get your conversation going. You can use any of these, either as we have suggested or as you may wish to redesign to suit your own context.
  • The resources are grouped together under two broad categories: primary resources and other or secondary resources. Under each category the resources are further subdivided to help you find them easily.
  • Should you use any of the resources, we would very much appreciate if you can to let us know of your experience in using the resources (what worked well? What did not work so well? What else we need to consider?). To help with your feedback, kindly see the evaluation resource sheet below ('your feedback matters').

Primary Resources [to enable conversations]

sacred conversations [the idea and some suggested outlines for conversation]
@home in a strange place flyer [introducing sacred conversations on migration]
your feedback matters [evaluation form]

model conversations [some suggested format and content]
@home - journeying
(conversation and questions. This model is for churches that may have projection/film faclities)
@home - entertaining angel
(conversation and questions. This model is for churches that have projection/film facilities)
@home - moved
(This model uses audio recordings for conversation and questions. A short video clip titled 'moved' is available upon request)
@home - real life images
(This is a collection of photo images with questions for conversation accompaning each image)
@home - walking with stranger
(This model is a collection of short stories with questions for discussion)
@home - your outline model for a conversation
(This is a suggested outline of a conversation shape, with some pointers on planning a conversation and the qualities of a sacred conversation.)

worship - liturgical
stations of the cross [through images and stories of today's refugees]
Vigil Service for Refugees [ecumenical service]
Intercession for those who have lost their lives [CCME]
Beyond Borders - Ruth [sermon]
My Neighbour - Ruth [sermon]
Journeying [bible study and worship]
Seeking a home [prayer]
Fears [prayer]
Strange place to born [reflections]
Various Services and Resources [by Carla Grosch Miller]
Prayer and Other Resources[Churches Together Merseyside]
Prayer Resources [Baptist Together]
Prayer Tree for Refugees [Bible Society]
Hymn - God travels with us [Colin Ferguson]

poetry and reflections
Imagine a world [Karen Campbell]
They ask me where I come from [Karen Campbell]
Who is my neighbour? [Karen Campbell]
Home [Warsan Shire]
A URC Minister reflects/speaks [the Revd Melanie Smith]
Students Reflecting on @home [Holly Scott-Riddel; True deBolt; Loh Wan Ling]

resolutions and declarations
URC and Synod Resolutions [GA, Mission Council, Wales, Scotland, Eastern]
Northern Synod [Resolution on Refugees]
The Birmingham Declaration 2014


Moved audio only

Moved audio questions

Other Resources [to further support conversations]

Making History Work [Collection of family Histories and Migration Stories]
Bangla Stories [Stories of Migration as told by 8 interviewees]
Countries Promoting the Integration of Migrants [figuring the stats]
Migration Timeline [Britain in Global context - interactive]
Welcoming the Stranger [Resource booklet of Churches Together - the Merseyside Region]
Mapping Global Refugee Crisis [New Internationalist Map Overview]
Mapping Migration -Churches' Responses in Europe [Research by CCME]
Tangled Roots [stories across borders]
Migrant Voice [promoting the voices of migrant]

Mission, Migrants and Refugees [Juliet Kilpin reflecting]
The Star Still Shines [Jesuit Refugee Service]
Migration and Movement [Us which was formerly USPG]
The Other is my Neighbour [World Council of Churches]
Living alongside or living with [Sally Foster-Fulton reflecting]
Hospitality and Sanctuary for All [Inderjit Bhogal]
God in Exile [Jesuit Refugee Services]
Home, Belonging and Identity [Diocese of Norwich]
Focus on Refugees [Churches Together in Britain and Ireland]
Together we Walk [Church of Scotland Resource for youth]
Mission, Migrants and Refugees [Church of England, MAPG]
Free to be Freeing [CWM-Europe Resource: Reflecting on Human Trafficking]
Moving Stories - The Bible and Migration [Bible Studies from the Baptist Union of GB]

podcasts - videos
Beyond an ecology of Fear [podcast by Dr Susanna Snyder, at London Churches for Social Action]
Migration Museum Project [short videos and other resources]
Coventry Refugee Conference [Baptist Union of Great Britain]

 [With thanks to the members of Working Group for their time and contributions and to all who have kindly allowed us to use or link their resources to this page.]


Mission Team 2014

The central task of the Mission Team is to focus on mission. We work with the whole church to give expression to our mission and faith in ways which bring alive our vision of ‘being Christ’s people, transformed by the gospel, making a difference to the world.’ Our work areas are wide-ranging, reflecting the vision2020 priorities.   


(Picture from the left - Michael Jagessar, Wendy Cooper, David Tatem, Andrew Bradstock, Tracey Hardingham, Helen Garton, Becky Harrington, Linda Mead, Francis Brienen. Elizabeth Clark is pictured below.)


Mission Development, Evangelism and Church Growth

We seek to enable and support the church at all levels to develop a sustained focus on mission and evangelism. Deputy General Secretary - Mission: Francis Brienen.  Administrator: Tracey Hardingham


Church and Society

We seek to give expression to the peace and justice aspects of our faith at the interface of Church and Society in order to demonstrate practically the love, compassion and justice of Christ in the public square. Secretary for Church and Society: Andrew Bradstock Administrator: Wendy Cooper


World Church Relations

With other churches and church agencies around the world we are partners together in God’s global mission. In this partnership we are called to learn from one another, support one another and together proclaim and live out God’s healing and reconciling love for the world. Secretary for World Church Relations: vacant, Temp Administrator: Carla Grauls 


Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations

The URC is committed to seeking the unity of all God's people. The task of Ecumenical Relations is to carry out this work in relation to other churches and the wider community in Britain, across Europe, and throughout the world. Secretary for Ecumenical Relations: David TatemTemp Administrator:Carla Grauls


elizabeth clark web

Rural Mission

Based in the Arthur Rank Centre in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, the National Rural Officer works alongside other colleagues to ‘rural-proof’ the URC’s mission thinking and practice. National Rural Officer: Elizabeth Clark



Commitment for Life

Commitment for Life is a network of churches committed to prayer, campaigning and support for a series of partnered development projects overseas. It has a special focus on four countries: Zimbabwe, Jamaica, Bangladesh and Israel and the Occupied Territories. Programme Coordinator: Linda Mead


Racial Justice and Intercultural Ministry

The URC has declared itself a multicultural church and with this in mind we are striving to express this, understand our identity and promote intercultural and interfaith understanding. Secretary for Racial Justice and Intercultural Ministry: Michael Jagessar, Administrator: Tracey Hardingham


Interfaith Relations

In response to our faith in God in Christ, working towards relationships of integrity and respect with our neighbours of faith.

Belonging to the World Church & Commitment for Life trip to Israel/IOPT: Day 1.

16th February 2013

A busy day within the Bethlehem area: A day of hope, of constructive healing, the reality of constraints, (the separation wall and the ever expanding loss of land) and those still waiting for the ‘Right to Return’ as set in international law through UN resolution 194 in 1948

The visit to the Lutheran funded private school, Dar Al-Kalima started the day with a wonderful talk from the principal, Naila Kharroub who reinforced the ethos that education is a way forward to continue to help the constrained peoples of Bethlehem and its environs locked behind the stranglehold of the separation wall. She was not just passionate, but compassionate about how the school which is both co-educational and mixed Christian/Muslim through education, (even if the university/higher education is in a different country) work for, and within their communities. This was born out with a question and answer session with a class of 17 year olds. Their positivity was moving; answering questions with; ‘One day we hope to have peace with the Israeli’s, ‘My education will make a difference, but I will need outside help’; and though we might have to leave, we will return to Palestine because this is our home’.

From there a change of reality; that of the need for practical help with those suffering as victims from disabilities both physical and psychological from all the past and present conflicts. Nader Abu Amsha, director of both the Biet Sahour branch of the East Jerusalem YMCA and the Rehabilitation Programme, (which he founded) spoke about changing not just the lives of those disfigured by physical disability caused through the conflicts with occupying forces as they protested, but the unseen ones left behind from youth imprisonment end the isolation that their own communities placed upon them. From being the ‘Hidden people’ with little hope, now they are beginning to be seen for whom they are, people! The change has had to come from their communities, work places, even the Palestinian Authority that they are part of society and can be helped through rehabilitation and training to be full members of their communities.

Yet with this vision and hope, still as we saw is the ever snaking ‘Separation Wall’, a wall that seeks to divide and at the same time take land for the further expansion of illegal Israeli settlement building. It is not just separating but dividing communities, making simple journeys that we would take for granted; ten minutes from X to Y now at least one hour on a good day.

The final stop was one of ‘present history. The Aida Refugee Camp. Founded in 1950 after the ’48 Nakba by the UN it now house 5200 refugees in an area no larger than half a square kilometre. Four generations still awaiting the ‘Right to return to their lands taken from them in 1948.

The thoughts for me from the day, after being here a number of times, things are not getting better. Each time peace is talked and believed and peacefully worked for on one side whilst the other is clearing the land for the permanent settlement of its peoples without any regard for the lives of those established here for 3000 years; living and sharing their lives within cooperating communities.

A difficult day, one that brings back for me the reason for the passion to help through funding but maybe most importantly, acting upon a remark made by the principal of the Dar al-Kalima School this morning: ‘Tell our story, we want to live in peace with the Israelis and we want to be who we are, Palestinians.’

My reflections on the day:

JON (Rev Dr. Jon Morgan)

C4Llogo smallest CMYKInformation for Campaigning on Climate Change, Tax Justice, Gender and Trade


Climate Justice

The Big Shift 

We need a Big Shift in the way our economy works. Trillions of pounds  are sitting in personal bank accounts to be lent to or invested. The decisions made with that money are crucial. So are our banks using it in a responsible way that will allow God’s people and abundant planet to thrive? Christian Aid’s research suggests that the answer is no. Banks are still financing oil and gas companies and the building of coal-fired power stations far more than renewable energy projects. The largest UK high street banks do not seem to have a plan to reduce and phase out their financing of fossil fuels, even though most of them have publicly recognised the need for global temperature rises to stay below 2°C of warming. So how can you get involved? Christian Aid has been engaging with the biggest UK banks about their climate plans already. But the banks are more likely to act fast if members of the public ask them to. Your voice is crucial to getting this issue heard and winning the changes needed. Thousands have already emailed the CEOs of four of the biggest high street banks: Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS, making it clear that climate change is a matter that concerned citizens really care about.

But emailing the banks will not be enough, by itself, to shift their practices. We must increase the pressure on them in other ways too. Here’s how you can take the campaign further, and stop our banks fuelling climate change.

• Get more people involved and demonstrate the size of our movement.

 • Learn more about the financial risks associated with climate change and talk to others about the issues.

• Visit your local bank to show that this really matters to your community.

 • Ask your church and church leaders to speak out.

Campaign resources can be found at
Climate Bible study – download discussion startersworship resources including prayers, sermon notes and suggested hymns to link in with The Big Shift campaign.

Eco Church

Complete an online survey about how you are caring for God’s earth in different areas of church life. The answers you provides will allow you to collect points towards an Eco Church Award – the more your church does, the more points you get! The survey takes you through five key areas of church life:

Worship and teaching
Management of church buildings
Management of church land
Community and global engagement

You can save your survey responses at any point and return to update them as your church completes additional actions.

The Climate Coalition- Show the Love  green heart

This February, thousands of people across the UK  again turned hearts green to #showthelove for the people, places and life we want to protect for generations to come.

Watch this year's film here
Great resources also available

Pray and Fast for the Climate 1st of the Month
Pray and fast with Christians across the world on the first of every month. Lots of ideas and worship resources here

Operation Noah
Operation Noah is an ecumenical Christian charity providing leadership, focus and inspiration in response to the growing threat of catastrophic climate change.

Global Divestment Mobilisation coming soon!
From 5-13 May, thousands of people all over the world will be taking action to highlight the climate impact of our churches, universities, pension funds and banks and call on them to divest from fossil fuels and invest in a brighter, cleaner future.

Operation Noah's Bright Now campaign is calling on churches to take a lead by divesting from fossil fuels and investing in clean alternatives. Perhaps your local church could make a divestment commitment (or commit not to invest in fossil fuels in future) and urge national/regional church investors to do the same? Please visit the Bright Now website for details 

Many resources including scientific information and worship resources here


Christian Aid Report on genderOf the same flesh: exploring a theology of gender written by Susan Durber


TTIP (Transatlantic trade and investment partnership) European Action. The Trade Justice Movement is now supporting the campaign against TTIP. TTIP will install global trade rules that threaten public services in the UK and give companies the power to sue states. It will also lock in global trade rules that make it harder for the developing world to ‘catch up’ . #No TTIP Times and action cards are available from Matthew Bramall, Global Justice now - formally World Development Movement (0207 8204934)

Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement CETA Update:

Unfortunately, when the European Parliament voted on CETA , campaigners lost and CETA was ratified. Global Justice Now are proud of the campaign they ran – over 10,000 people emailed their MEP to ask them to oppose it and they managed to convince the Scottish National Party and a majority of Labour MEPs to support the campaign. Thanks for all your support. It’s not completely over. CETA still needs to be ratified by all national governments across the EU. While that gets going, they continue to build a movement to ensure democratic control and parliamentary oversight of all future trade deals.