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Woking congregation signing news bannerWoking United Reformed Church has found a creative way to ‘sing’ during worship despite Covid-19 restrictions currently preventing congregations singing.

Since the first lockdown, the church established a ‘signing project’ with a Makaton expert who taught the congregation a sign a week during each service.

At an all-age service filled with families on 13 June, the lessons paid off when the entire congregation used Makaton to sing with their hands.

Read more: Congregation uses hands to 'sing' worship

No justice no peace credit clay banks UnsplashThe next session in the United Reformed Church (URC's) Black History Monthly series takes place on 21 June from 7.30-8.30pm via Zoom.

Hosted by the URC’s Legacies of Slavery task group, the online conversation will focus on The Case for Reparations, an article written by Ta Nehisi Coates. 

Karen Campbell, URC Secretary for Global and Intercultural Ministries, says: “Although the subject is controversial, many people feel that the arguments are very clear.  For example, in

Read more: Black History Monthly: The Case for Reparations

Daleen Ten CateThis year’s winner of the MA in Mission prize is the Revd Daleen Ten Cate, Mission Enabler for the United Reformed Church (URC’s) North Western Synod.

Daleen’s MA dissertation ‘A critical examination of the theological basis of a Christian Charity engaged in community ministry’ was deemed by the judges to be a robust and rigorous piece of work which "clearly engaged a community of practice out of deep relationship".

Churches Together in England (CTE), alongside the Mission Research Network, set up the MA Mission Prize to draw out high-quality, recently passed MA theses to add to a small but growing repository of MAs and PhDs which will be made available on its new website. When launched later this summer, the resource will include about 50 MAs and 20 PhD theses. 

Read more: URC Mission Enabler wins Churches Together in England prize

In lifting others brett jordan unsplashLockdown has been hard on many communities and households but as we move beyond our restricted lives, what needs to change and what needs to remain? Mal Breeze, a Church Related Community Worker from Blackburn, reflects on this question:

The words of the song and album The Times They Are a-Changin, written by Bob Dylan in 1964, must have felt as true then as they feel now, 57 years on. Perhaps even more applicable given the last 18 months of Covid-19.

As individuals we have changed, families have changed, our communities have changed. So too have our churches, and many of us have had to rethink how to carry out our ministry.

Read more: Blackburn CRCW reflects on lessons from lockdown

G7 flags Number 10 Flickr CC BY NC ND 2.0As world leaders arrive in Cornwall this week for the G7 Summit, the United Reformed Church (URC’s) General Assembly Moderators joined dozens of faith leaders to call on the UK government to use its presidency of the G7 and of the UN climate talks to drive real progress on addressing the climate crisis.

In an open letter to the Prime Minister, they state, “As people of faith, we cannot stand by while world leaders continue to delay action. Delays on phasing out support for fossil fuels and on addressing climate impacts are destroying lives. From the Pacific islands to sub-Saharan Africa, from Bangladesh to Brazil, the climate crisis is a present reality for the world’s poorest people. They have little power to tackle this catastrophe which they did not cause. We ask you, who do have power, to use the UK’s G7 and COP Presidency in their interests.”

Read more: Faith groups call for G7 Summit to use power wisely

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