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Walking the Way News

2020 04 27rOn looking at the life of Jesus, Elizabeth Clarke, rural officer for the URC and Methodist churches, based at the Arthur Rank Centre, believes that is clear that Jesus comes from a rural context. She shares more:

It wasn’t until I began reading the Gospels while living in the countryside that I began to see just how rural they are. Growing up in the city, I hadn’t really made that connection. The word ‘village’ appears about 27 times across the 4 Gospels and the plural ‘villages’ about 8 times, dependent on translation.

Read more: Jesus was a rural person

2020 04 20rWith 20 groups across the URC either engaging currently, completed a stream, or enquiring about starting Stepwise, confidence in the URC’s developing educational experience for people of all ages and backgrounds who seek to deepen their discipleship continues to grow from strength to strength, especially following the latest Task and Finish Group meeting at Westminster College, Cambridge.

Read more: Stepwise grows from strength to strength

2020 04 06r‘Living the life of Jesus today is not about meandering wherever we want to go. Neither is it about obediently Walking the Way.’

These thought-provoking words from Neil Thorogood, Principal of Westminster College opened the ‘Meandering Off the Path’ conference, held at the college by a group of URC friends and colleagues with thoughts to share about the direction and future of the denomination.

With input on the future shape of ministries, ecumenical living, discerning God’s call, listening to the Spirit, the importance of silence, the intricate nature of humanity in relation to each other and to God, as well as the effect of privilege on theology and life, there was certainly enough for everyone to think about.

Read more: ‘Meandering Off the Path’ conference a great success

2020 04 13rIn these times of isolation and lockdown, taking time to relax into the silence of God’s company, although very challenging, can be an enriching and enlightening experience. The URC: Spirituality network has much wisdom and experience to share in this regard, shown at its recent gathering at Westminster College, Cambridge, looking at ‘Heaven in the ordinary’.

This diverse network, formerly known as the URC Silence and Retreats Network, is focussed on enabling people across the denomination in deepening their spiritual awareness and action through the sharing of information, strategies and resources around many helpful themes including, but certainly not limited to, meditation, prayer, Bible study and spiritual direction (having someone to support you in your spiritual journey).

Taking the opportunity to meet together, with input from Susan Durber, a URC minister serving in Taunton and with the World Council of Churches as its Moderator of Faith and Order, as well as Terry Hinks, author of ‘Pray the Way’, a helpful resource for Walking the Way, made the event even more special.

Read more: The importance of silence and spirituality

2020 03 30rGathered worship could be referred to as our ‘re-imagination station’ for faith, the time when we come together as Christians to uphold, equip and support each other, through the power of God, for whatever life may throw at us. For LGBT+ people, however, this vital element of discipleship development can often, still, be denied them. The Metropolitan Congregation of Wilbraham St Ninians’s United Reformed Church in Chorlton in South Manchester attracts people from far and wide, many of whom have experienced rejection in other churches both in the UK and beyond. Perhaps most interestingly, it does so not by offering something different to those churches, but precisely because it seeks to offer what they offer, with radical openness, generosity and compassion.

Read more: Traditional worship can be powerful only when it’s open to all

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