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Remembering 9 11 20 years on. Credit Steve Harvey/UnsplashAs the 20th anniversary of September 11th approaches, the United Reformed Church joins with the Revd Jennifer Mills-Knutsen, Senior Pastor of the American International Church in London, in offering this reflection:

I wish I could remember this event as the tragedy it was, rather than the tragedy it still is.

The 2,977 souls who lost their lives that terrible day were only the beginning. Hundreds more have died since, from 9/11-related illness and cancer (especially first responders) along with countless others who had their lives cut short by the spiritual and emotional distress they experienced.

Read more: Remembering 9/11 on 20th anniversary

Boy by the sea credit Michal Parzuchow/UnsplashThe United Reformed Church (URC) has welcomed the publication and findings of the report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) following its investigation into Child Protection in Religious Organisations and Settings.

As core participants of the inquiry, the URC is committed to ensuring that safeguarding continues to be paramount throughout the denomination and to ensuring that its churches, services and programmes are safe places for everyone.

The URC has robust policies and procedures in place to ensure the welfare and protection of all who attend church and who use its premises, and the Church will continue to make sure that safeguarding remains a priority – it is the responsibility of everyone, and we continue to be advised and guided by our team of safeguarding professionals.

Read more: URC welcomes publication of IICSA report

Shiregreen cyfcs award news bannerShiregreen United Reformed Church (URC) in the Yorkshire Synod has become the first church to receive the new Children and Youth Friendly Church Scheme award.

Launched in September 2020, the scheme replaces the old Child Friendly Church Award and is a reflective and encouraging process which any church can undertake with the support of a CYDO+ or similar to help grow their engagement with children, families and young people.

Shiregreen URC received its award for the work it does to support its local community.

Lisa Wigfield, Shiregreen URC’s Church and Community Development Worker, said: “Children and young people are a massive part of everything we do at Shiregreen. We value their opinions, input and presence. They bring a whole different aspect to worship.”

Read more: Yorkshire church becomes first to receive youth award

Haiti appeal news bannerThe United Reformed Church (URC) has launched an appeal to help Haitians whose country has been devastated by a catastrophic earthquake and tropical storm.

The appeal aims to raise £2,000 to help people affected by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake which struck Haiti at Les Cayes, 75 miles west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, on 14 August.

As the country reeled from its impact two days later, on 16 August, Tropical Storm Grace struck causing further devastation on the island.

Read more: URC launches Haiti charity appeal

Learning hubThe United Reformed Church (URC) Education and Learning team has created a new home for blended learning programmes in the church - the URC Learning Hub.

Blended programmes mix online preparation study with in-person sessions in order to make the best use of both digital and human resources for learning, while also allowing access from wherever participants may be located geographically.

In this way programmes in the Hub will bring a greater selection of learning options to a wider church audience.

Read more: New learning hub launched

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