A message to all who are the United Reformed Church
from Derek Estill and Nigel Uden, Moderators of the General Assembly
Amid this Covid-19 shaped world, we greet you in the name of God –
by whose grace we were created,
by whose mercy and love we are sustained,
by whose love we will be held forever.
Even as we are moderators of the General Assembly, so we are immersed in local churches, and it is as your companions on the Way that we wished to write to you this weekend. Our experiences mirror yours – we, too, are distancing ourselves physically from others, we too are feeling uncertain, sometimes even fearful.Read more
The Church of Scotland, as part of the holy catholic or universal Church, seeks to participate fully in the Mission of God in the world by following the example and priorities of Jesus Christ and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit.Read more
One of my first experiences in the UK was going to a festival a few hours away with my supervisor’s family. We saw a comedian in a giant circus tent, who asked the audience to raise their hand and say where they are from. I shot my hand up, eager to talk about the location of my new home. But upon saying that I am from Chicago and now live in Wolverhampton, the tent erupted with laughter. The comedian continued to joke, questioning why an American would go to Wolverhampton instead of London or, frankly, anywhere else.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Mark 6:1-13
Prayers for the United Kingdom:
God help us see the gifts of each other. Help us value the people living in our communities as well as praising others who have travelled great distances to do your work. We know that You are needed everywhere: near and far, among the rich and the poor. For when we are ourselves empowered, we enlighten others to feel empowered as well. When we ourselves are doing Your good work at home, we can share those blessings with others around the world. We are thankful for those whom you sent. Specifically, we pray for the United Kingdom during this tumultuous time of the Windrush scandal and Brexit. We pray that those who were not born in the UK, but invited to live and work there, feel welcomed, loved and supported. We pray that the ever-changing diversity of Britain is held with high political and social importance. Lift up the Roma community specifically Lord and help the British and Roma cultures live peacefully together. Open our ears so that we might begin to understand each other. Lord, support the URC church in its proactive work in local communities. Inspire the members of the churches to contribute time and creativity to the local projects. Amen.Read more
Recently, I’ve been struggling with how my work here in Wolverhampton seems to make no difference to large-scale issues such as poverty and discrimination. I wonder if my time spent this year is changing this city. I doubt if I, myself, am learning or changing enough to bring back something that will benefit the disadvantaged Americans I want to work with in the future. Seeking hope this Christmas season, I question what I can give to Wolverhampton.Read more
This past month while watching the (sadly minimal) BBC coverage of the Winter Olympics, I was reminded of my privilege as an English speaker. Book-casing the half-pipe and back dropping the ice rink were signs written in Korean and in English. If the Olympics had been in an EU country, that would not have surprised me. However, seeing familiar English words while viewing sports I am largely unacknowledged about taking place in a country I know even less about, brought an unexpected comfort to me. I thought about people across the globe who don’t know English or Korean and that small, but still present, barrier they would experience from having to rely more on their commentator to translate the events of the Games.Read more
After living in England for about 2 months, I have adjusted very well to my work schedule, made new friends, and know exactly the latest time I can leave the house to catch the train in time!
This is my work schedule so you can get a sense of my daily life.
In the wake of the third terror incident in the United Kingdom this year, and an attack on Tehran, the capital of Iran, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit called for an end to attacks on innocent people and a unified voice of love and hope across the world.Read more
This past week the world witnessed a heinous terrorist attack against young people attending a pop concert in Manchester, England. Along with all people of goodwill, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA condemns this horrific act of violence, and we mourn for the victims alongside their families and friends.Read more
Today we pray for the people of Manchester, England:
For parents whose children will never return,
For children, youth and young adults whose safe world has been shattered,
For first responders who arrived on the scene
To care for the injured, the traumatized, the deceased.