This festive season, be inspired by our Advent stories featuring local URCs helping their communities and reminding us all of the true meaning of Christmas.
Tap the plus symbol on each of the chapters below to discover a joyful story of hope for each day of Advent.
Advent Prayer shared by the Revd Lucy Brierley, Minister at Woking URC:
We praise you for all you have shown us in Jesus.
For now we know that you are not far away.
We thank you that though we cannot see you, You have promised us that no matter who or what we are, You will be very near to each of us.
As we prepare for Christmas,
Help us to remember the coming of Jesus.
We praise you for the joy of his living presence in our lives.
We praise you that he came into the world just as we did, as a helpless baby.
We thank you that his coming has left us in no doubt about your love and mercy.
We praise you for the story of Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the angels, the wise men and the star.
We praise you for the carols we sing and the joy we share celebrating the arrival of Jesus.
We are all the more thankful that it is not just a story but a message of the birth of the saviour of the world.
Forgive us, loving God, if we spend so much time preparing to enjoy ourselves that we forget those who will have little joy this Christmas.
Forgive us that as we decorate our homes, If we forget those who have no home.
Forgive us if, as we welcome the baby in the manger, we forget he was the man of the cross.
For we pray in the name of Jesus,
Cumnor United Reformed Church (URC) in Oxford appealed for books to fill a suitcase to take to Zambia and help stock a new school library there.
They received 4,000 books!
A Children’s and Youth Work (CYW) grant has helped a teenager participate on an adventure in Mexico.
“I cannot fully express how I feel. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this opportunity.”
The money helped fund Maya’s trip to the Mexican rainforest to aid her education in animal conservation.
yoURChurch, a URC congregation that meets exclusively online, received its first members at a Communion service.
The digital age brings well-document problems but it can also bring hope and joy, and help share the good news.
Find out more at yoURChurch
2023 Community Project Award Winner - St Johns URC Causeway Community Garden, Warrington.
St John's Causeway Community Garden has been a key part of the Church's mission over the past four years. They were one of the worthy winners of this year's Community Project Awards. View their story...
This year's Children and Youth Work resource pack focussed on the theme "Love is…" and is based on 1 Corinthians 13.
You can view the content at Love Is
The United Reformed Church (URC) Finance Committee provided a grant of £50,000 to the Open Table Network (OTN).
OTN is an exciting, growing network of Christian churches where LGBTQIA+ people can worship and grow in faith and discipleship.
Find out more about the Open Table Network
£11,000 Raised for Christian Aid
The Revd Lucy Brierley and the team at Woking United Reformed Church raised a staggering £11,000 for charity after an 82-hour Bible readathon, as part of Christian Aid Week.
The group endured long days trudging over challenging terrain and raised around £15,000 in September.
URC inducts first black and ethnically-minoritised woman as General Assembly Moderator
History was made in 2023 when the United Reformed Church (URC) General Assembly inducted its first black and ethnically-minoritised woman Moderator.
The Revd Dr Tessa Henry-Robinson was inducted into the role of Moderator at the annual meeting held from 30 June to July 3 at The Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick, Derbyshire.
Lundie Award Winner
An active member of a Mersey church and a young West Midlands Pilots member have both gained a Lundie Memorial Award.
Another of our Community Project Awards Winners
Wooler Warm Welcome is a warm, safe space, meeting 2-3 times a week serve a variety of homemade food made by volunteers, to members of the local community, and is completely free. Wooler meets the very real need of loneliness and rural isolation, and wants to provide a space where people can chat, feel welcomed and valued as well as receiving food.
Congratulations were in order in July, after the Eastern Synod and Clitheroe United Reformed Church gained prestigious awards for work towards helping to protect the environment.
Read more at environmental success
Future Generations Changemaker 100
The Revd Gethin Rhys, Policy Officer for Cytûn (Churches Together in Wales), featured on the Future Generations Changemaker 100 in Wales.
Share the Gospel this Christmas
This weekend join thousands of people and 'Shine Your Light' to share the Gospel this Christmas.
Let your light so shine before men , that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. - Matthew 5:16
Find out more at: Shine Your Light
Boys' Brigade Centenary
In February the 11th Northampton's Boys' Brigade, based at Dunton United Reformed Church celebrated its centenary.
The National Synod of Scotland, in agreement with the wider United Reformed Church (URC), reaffirmed its commitment to the ministry and mission of EcoCongregation Scotland.
Read more about EcoCongregation Scotland
Jesus and the Spirit
The first edition of Reform magazine for 2023 featred a fabulous front cover image tied to a new series focussing on Jesus and the Spirit.
If you aren't already subscribed to Reform magazine, why not add that to your first New Year resolutions for 2024!
The United Reformed Church (URC) has joined Let’s End Poverty, a major new social movement launched to help bring an end to poverty experienced throughout the UK.
Go with Greta and Connect to
The Children and Youth team launched the latest set of country resources in the 'Go with Greta' and 'Connect to' series. This time the focus is on Zimbabwe, adding to the resources already available on Nicaragua, and Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.
Award Winner - DARE
DARE is a community-based mission for asylum seekers and refugees who live in the Blackburn with Darwen area. It supports clients from war-torn and unsafe countries of the world. This support manifests itself by giving practical aid for health, solicitors, education, wellbeing and spiritual orientation.
They were another of the worthy winners of this year's Community Project Awards. View their story...
A July Christmas Carol service at Monks Chapel URC in Corsham.
When heavy snowfall in December 2010 forced a move of the carol service to July 2011, few could have expected the popularity to make it a regular event. Thirteen years later carols in summer is still going strong!
Connecting in Many Ways
Earlier this month the United Reformed Church's Reform magazine team launched the first in a new series of Podcasts. You can listen to it at…
Churches from different denominations working together for real change.
Wharton United reformed Church and Clegg's Lane Methodist churches came together in a local ecumenical partnership in a beautiful way that put justice and service at the heart of their new identity.
URC at 50
On April 15th we got to celebrate our 50th anniversary with a Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration.
You can relive the glorious day on our YouTube channel.
Spread the joy on social media
If you use social media, please look out for the hashtag #AtTheHeartOfYoURCommunity and help us spread the joy this Advent.