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Commitment for Life

Jubilee Debt Campaign

A recent online webinar on the impact of debt during a time of COVID-19 was held, and can be viewed here

Book on UN Sustainability goals

The Sustainability Book offers a Christain faith perspective on the UN excellent sustainability goals. Read the book here

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April 2019 Update on Spring Mailing 

Commitment for Life has had to delay to its Spring Mailing. This is because of Cyclone Idai. Christian Aid (CA) contributes to the mailing. But CA has had to prioritise the urgent appeal following the devastating cyclone that hit southeastern Africa. Revd Lydia Neshangwe, Moderator of the Zimbabwe Presbytery of the Uniting Reformed Chruch in Southern Africa, has expressed her deep gratitude for all the work being done by our Commitment for Life congregations on behalf of Zimbabwe. Soon, we will have a 'cracking' mailing on its way to you, along with a great poster from Global Justice Now called ‘Stand with Migrants’. Many congregations display these on notice boards  in Christian solidarity with migrants. We recall that Jesus himself was once a migrant fleeing persecution...

 

 

Information for Campaigning on Climate Change, Tax Justice, Gender and Trade

 

Screenshot 2019 04 02 at 12.10.58Migration

Our partner Global Justice Now has a wonderful programme called 'Stand with Migrants.' They highlight four areas of deep concern when it comes to the major causes of migration: WAR is unjust: EXPLOITATION is unjust; INEQUALITY is unjust; CLIMATE DISRUPTION is unjust. To obtain either a physical or online poster, please contact us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climate Justice

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 http://www.christianaid.org.uk/ActNow/campaigns/index.aspx
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
Lifestyle

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

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 http://fortheloveof.org.uk/
Great resources also available http://fortheloveof.org.uk/resources/

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: http://brightnow.org.uk/ 

Many resources including scientific information and worship resources here


Gender

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


Trade

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’ www.wdm.org.uk/ttip. #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.

 

Why Buy Fairtrade Coffee?bruno emmanuelle YH7mGnigHRs unsplash

Fairtrade coffee farmers invest at least 25 percent of their Fairtrade Premium in improving productivity and quality (pic. courtesy of Bruno Emmanuelle over at Unsplash).

Choose Fairtrade coffee and you’re also supporting farmers to fight the challenges they may face. These include the effects of a changing climate, low and unpredictable incomes and in some coffee growing communities, there may not be enough food available for three to four months a year.

Being part of Fairtrade has meant better knowledge about protecting the local environment and the chance to plant other crops and buy livestock to put more food on the table. You can read more over at Fairtrade 

You can meet Edith in this video. Edith is a fairtrade Farmer in the Ivory Coast 

 

Wessex Synod November 2017

Wessex Synod passsed a resolution at their November Synod encouraging churches to explore becoming a Fairtrade Church. Could your Synod do this in support of Fairtrade?

Proposed by Christine McMillan on behalf of Church & Society Group.

As a Fairtrade Synod, Wessex Synod:

  • commends the URC General Secretary, the Revd John Proctor's statement in response to Sainsbury's decision to drop the Fairtrade Mark from its own-brand tea.
  • challenges churches that display a Fairtrade certificate to visit the Fairtrade Foundation website, study the 3 goals and decide whether they are still entitled to say that they are a Fairtrade church.
  • encourages churches who have not declared themselves as Fairtrade to visit the Fairtrade Foundation website; view the (less than 2 min) 'Don't Feed Exploitation' film and explore becoming a Fairtrade church.

Don't feed exploitation:  

The home delivery they never expected: 

 

Write to the Chief Executive of Sainsburys

Why you should write:Premium received globally

Sainsbury's aim to replace Fairtrade certification on their own-brand Red and Gold Label, Green and Rooibos teas with their own self-assessed 'Fairly Traded' brand. While these products will be marked 'Fairly Traded', it is important to know that they will not be independently certified against transparent independent third-party standards as is the case with any product carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark. Worryingly, Sainsbury's have also suggested that this approach may be extended across other categories including bananas, cocoa and coffee, after an initial pilot with tea. 

Please write a personal letter to: 

Mike Coupe, Chief Executive Officer
Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd
33 Holborn
London EC1N 2HT
or email:  mike.coupe@sainsburys.co.uk

For suggested points to make in the letter see the Joint Public Issues page

Christian Aid's statement  
Fairtrade producers open letter to Sainsbury’s:
Fairtrade Statement on the issue 

Fairtrade Foundation's frequently asked questions on the issueFairtrade Foundation's frequently asked questions on the issue .
Church of Scotland statements


Fairtrade: An integral part of church mission

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What does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God’ (Micah 6:8)

Justice is a central tenet of Christian faith. Standing up for the poor and vulnerable is exactly what Jesus did during his ministry. Putting ourselves out for our neighbour and helping them to provide for themselves is at the heart of Christian mission.

Fairtrade does all these!

  • Fair and just prices to enable farmers and workers in the world’s poorest countries to feed their families and pay for schooling and healthcare.
  • Unique Fairtrade social premium to benefit the wider community through clean water, education, transport and more.
  • Environmental protection to care for God’s earth, farm sustainably and reduce the impacts of climate change.
  • Health and safety and business training to give opportunities to people to reach their potential.
  • No child labour.
  • Campaigning to change global trade to be fair to all farmers.

Fairtrade is a brilliant anti-poverty tool that treats people with dignity and brings justice and hope to those trapped by an unfair trading system. So why has Fairtrade fallen from the church’s radar recently? Common responses are ‘Isn’t it everywhere?’ and ‘Aren’t there more pressing issues for us to address?’

Actually, only a tiny percentage of goods from developing countries are sold on Fairtrade terms. In fact, some tea plantations that have worked so hard to achieve Fairtrade status currently sell less than 5% of their tea as Fairtrade – the rest they have to sell for whatever they can get, often not even covering the costs of production. Climate change is a vital issue and Fairtrade is actively involved in those areas that are most affected – through training and adaptation. Migration and war are often caused by extreme poverty, and Fairtrade helps mitigate this making communities more resilient.

These are serious issues, but Fairtrade can be fun too. Who doesn’t love chocolate and bananas? Simply by buying fair we are proclaiming a belief in a just and inclusive world, where everyone is loved and valued and deserves a fair chance.

So what are you waiting for? Become a Fairtrade Church

How to become a Fairtrade Church – the three goals

To be part of the campaign by becoming a Fairtrade Church, please register with us. Your Church Council must agree to the following:

  • Use Fairtrade tea and coffee after services and in all meetings for which you have responsibility
  • Move forward on using other Fairtrade products such as sugar, biscuits and fruit
  • Promote Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight and during the year through events, worship and other activities whenever possible

Once you have achieved the three goals, please complete th Application Form and return it to the Fairtrade Foundation by email or post to Fairtrade Church Application, The Fairtrade Foundation, 3rd Floor, Ibex House, 42-47 Minories, London EC3N 1DN.

Once your application has been processed, they will send you a pack of materials including a Fairtrade Church certificate to display in your church. You can also download a Welsh version of the Church Application Form

 

 

Video Resources

Christian Aid's John Plant speaks to us via Zoom

John Plant speaks to the URC

Munther Isaac speaks the URC's pilgrims about life under occupation

Munther Isaac in Bethlehem

Katy Henderson vlogging her experiences in Israel and Palestine

Katy's Vlog

Brian Jolly and William Young offer some reflections and prayer while in Israel and Palestine

Brian and William

Issa amro is an interantionally renowned activist in Hebron City. He spoke to the URC's pilgrims to the Holy Land

Issa Amro

Brian offers his reflections on the situation in Israel and Palestine

Brian Jolly

Emma Clare Nutbrown-Hughes on Israel and Palestine

Emma

William Young - Service of Worship from Jerusalem

William Young

Bible Study by Lawrence Moore in Bethany: Jesus takes on the Temple system of economics and exploitation

Bible Study in Bethany

Bible Study from the very spot where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount with Lawrence Moore

Bible Study on the Mount

Bible Study on Jesus in Jerusalem with Lawrence Moore

Bible Study in Jerusalem

 

 

New Logos

Here are our newly designed Commitment for Life logos. They are in keeping with a contemporary, web-based design philosophy, and offer more negative space to draw the eye. The blue echoes the new URC logo, bringing Commitment for Life firmly into the URC's global justice, missional focus.

Several options are offered here for different purposes. For example, the logo with strapline (white) might work well for a PowerPoint with a dark background.

Feel free to download and use any for your publishing, webpage, PowerPoint and social media requirements.

 

 

CfL logo

Basic Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Logo with Strapline (black)

CfL logo with strapline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Logo with Strapline (white)

CfL logo with strapline white

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Logo with Associated Partners (black)

CfL logo with associated logos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Logo with Associated Partners (white)

 

CfL logo with associated logos white

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Logo with Bangladesh (black)

CfL URC CA logo Bangladesh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CfL URC CA logo Bangladesh white v2

Logo with Bangladesh (white)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Logo with Zimbabwe (black)

 

CfL URC CA logo Zimbabwe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Logo with Zimbabwe (white)

CfL URC CA logo Zimbabwe white v2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CfL URC CA logo Central America

Logo with Central America (black)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Logo with Central America (white)

CfL URC CA logo Central America white v2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Logo with Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories (black)

 

CfL URC CA logo Israel Palestine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Logo with Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories (white)

 

CfL URC CA logo Israel Palestine white v2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Logos

 

These will be kept here for a while before being archived. The logo was designed for various media and includes a range of tones whilst keeping its identity. Only a selection of sizes are shown here to be downloaded. If the file type or size you require is not shown, please contact the programme co ordinator for more details.

Guidelines for use: These explain the positioning of the logo and different types of files available and their suitability for different tasks.

Powerpoint slides: Use these master slides for Powerpoint presentation when talking about Commitment for Life.

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C4Llogo smallest CMYK

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C4Llogo dark smallest CMYK

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C4Llogo smallest Greyscale

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C4Llogo Reversed smallest CMYK

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CfL logo with strapline

 

 

 

Programme Administrator: suzanne.pearson@urc.org.uk  020 7916 2020 ext. 224

Programme Officer: kevin.snyman@urc.org.uk  020 7916 2020 ext. 256, or mobile 07547 984 899

Office postal address
Commitment for Life
United Reformed Church House
86 Tavistock Place
London
WC1H 9RT

Cheques: Contributions, in the form of cheques, should be made out to 'The United Reformed Church Trust CFL' or 'URC Trust CFL' or URC Trust Commitment for Life'.

Direct Transfer: For churches wishing to send contributions by direct transfer please contact suzanne.pearson@urc.org.uk for details or telephone 020 7916 2020 ext. 224 (Tuesdays & Wednesdays).

 

We have a network of advocates all over the country that can come to your church to explain about the scheme. Many will also lead worship. Please contact the above address to find out the name and contact details of your nearest advocate.

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