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Martin Luther King credit Luke Zhang UnsplashAgainst the backdrop of public tragedies and outrage, Simeon Mitchell, United Reformed Church Secretary for Church and Society, explores the pursuit of justice and the redemptive power of love:

Jesus is dead. Who is to blame?

It is often maddeningly difficult to get to the bottom of evil acts and gross injustices. Who can be held responsible for this unwarranted suffering, this unnecessary death?

Read more: Good Friday: The System Failed

united nations covid responseSteve Summers, United Reformed Church(URC) Development Worker for Church Related Community Work (CRCW) and Special Category Ministry, explores how we can use the resurrection of Jesus to build back better post pandemic.

I don’t know about you, but as I write this reflection, it feels as if we are still experiencing gloomy and troubled times, although lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease.

As Christ’s disciples, how can we alleviate loneliness, reduce poverty, address the shortage of decent housing, and improve poor job prospects – especially for young people and women, that the pandemic has highlighted?

Read more: Easter Sunday: Recognising Jesus in your neighbourhood

Myanmar Military coup statement credit Gayatri Malhotra UnsplashMembers of the United Reformed Church (URC) have expressed shock and dismay at recent events taking place in Myanmar, starting with the military coup on 1 February:

Speak out for those who cannot speak,
    for the rights of all the destitute.
Speak out, judge righteously,
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

(Proverbs 31:8-9)

We have listened – almost in disbelief – to reports of unarmed civilian protesters, including children, being killed indiscriminately by members of the Myanmar Armed Forces. We are outraged by the blatant disregard for the welfare, safety and wellbeing of Myanmar’s citizens displayed by the military regime which claims to be “on the side of the people”, and the callous behaviour of military leaders in light of the violence used to suppress the nationwide protests resulting in the deaths of more than 100 protesters on a single day (27 March).

Read more: URC issues statement expressing shock at events in Myanmar

Maundy Thursday credit Catholic Church of EnglandThis year, Maundy Thursday and April Fool’s Day falls on the same day, 1 April. The Revd Adrian Bulley, United Reformed Church Assistant General Secretary, reflects on this juxtaposition:

As a child and teenager, even as a young adult, I used to look forward to this date in the calendar, planning for weeks beforehand how it might be marked.

I’m talking, of course, about April Fool’s Day. The day when nothing can be taken at face value.

Read more: Maundy Thursday: The April Fool

resized image Promo 40Churches and charities have joined together to urge the UK government to act decisively and urgently in tackling the harm caused by gambling. They issued the following statement ahead of the deadline for submissions to a review of the Gambling Act:

Our Churches and charities, which will all be making submissions to the UK government’s review of the 2005 Gambling Act, have united to call on the government to treat gambling as a public health issue. Gambling related harms affect families, communities, colleagues and friends as well as individuals, and can cause mental and physical ill health, indebtedness, family breakdown and most tragically may even result in suicide. 

Read more: Government urged to act now to prevent more harm from gambling

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