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Four days after the country went to the polls, Grace Pengelly, the URC Secretary for Church and Society, reflects on the uncertain political landscape we are currently inhabiting.

Since Theresa May called the snap election on 18 April, politicians and political parties have campaigned intensively, seeking to secure their place in our next government. Voters were encouraged to reflect on the challenges that face the whole of the UK, as well as those specifically affecting our most marginalised individuals and communities. Many of our churches will have played a crucial role in this process, hosting hustings that provided a platform for parliamentary candidates to present their policies to the local electorate.

Read more: As the dust of the election settles, much remains uncertain

The Revd Zimbabwe Nelly Tapelo 554x415Ruth Whitehead, Moderator of the South Western Synod of the United Reformed Church, reflects on her recent visit to Zimbabwe representing the URC’s Commitment for Life world development programme

‘I owe Commitment for Life a great debt. Of all the General Assemblies I have attended, the one at which I came nearest to standing on my chair and cheering was in 1992 when Commitment for Life was launched. The concept of learning about, praying for and giving to people in the developing world, through Christian Aid, stirred in me a desire for justice, action and committed giving.

Read more: Reflection on the ‘debt that is owed’ to Commitment for Life

polling stations 554x415Denominational leaders from the Joint Public Issues Team are calling on Christians to pray for all voters and everyone standing for office today.

A JPIT statement, which has been signed by the Revd Kevin Watson – General Assembly Moderator of the United Reformed Church – says: ‘We recognise that Christians across our nations will prayerfully vote for a variety of parties and candidates in good conscience. We celebrate the fact that Christian people are inspired by their faith to debate passionately – and to disagree well – on how the United Kingdom should be governed at this present moment. 

Read more: The United Reformed Church joins call for Christians to think, pray and vote wisely

London 554x415The Revd Dr Peter Stevenson, minister of Crossway URC, London, reflects on Saturday night’s terror attack in the capital, and offers a prayer for us all.

Crossway URC is a mile from London Bridge and the Borough Market area where the most recent act of terror took place on Saturday night. The church was ready to offer help and accommodation to any displaced, confused or frightened people and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those closely affected. We particularly commend the emergency services for the professional and courageous work that they carried out.  Walking to worship on Sunday morning the area was more notable for the normal approach that people were taking, almost as if nothing had happened 12 hours earlier.  Let us hope that people are not suffering from compassion fatigue.


Read more: A prayer for London

Obama and Merkel and Kirchentag group newsBerlin and Wittenberg played host to the 2017 German Protestant Church Assembly, or ‘Kirchentag’, and a team from the United Reformed Church joined more than 145,000 at the event to mark 500 years since the Reformation.

Led by the Revd David Tatem, Secretary for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, the URC had a stand in the ‘Marketplace of Opportunities’ space which was home to 603 exhibitors. A dizzying array of almost 2,500 events and talks ran alongside an arts’ programme, from 24 to 28 May, to explore the theme of ‘You see me’.

Read more: Kirchentag: ‘a platform for debate and dialogue’