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URC General Secretary warns of climate change challenges ahead

Leaders of the UK's three largest free churches have welcomed the breakthrough at climate change talks in Durban, but warned of significant future dangers.

What our Moderators really think...

Lawrence Moore & Michael Jagessar
Moderators-elect of General Assembly, 2012-14

The Revd Dr Michael Jagessar was born and brought up in Guyana, where he was ordained as a pastor in the Lutheran Church in 1980. He is the Secretary for Racial Justice and Intercultural Ministry for the United Reformed Church, as well as being honorary research associate at Westminster College, Cambridge, and honorary lecturer at the University of Birmingham.

Surviving Winter

Vulnerable older people are set for vital assistance through the coming winter months thanks to a new campaign being launched by the South Yorkshire Community Foundation.

Through the Surviving Winter Appeal, which launches next month, those who can afford to are being encouraged to donate their Winter Fuel Payment to benefit those living in fuel poverty in South Yorkshire.

On average between 2002-2009 almost 700 people over the age of 65 died EVERY WINTER in South Yorkshire, the majority from largely preventable causes related to the cold conditions.

Government figures show 10% rise in homelessness

According to the latest statistics issued by the Communities and Local Government Department on 7 October, 44,160 households were accepted as homeless last year - a 10 per cent increase on the previous year.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of the housing and homelessness charity Shelter, said: "It is perhaps the most shocking consequence of our housing crisis that so many households in our affluent nation do not have a home to call their own."
Information obtained from Ekklesia website

URC Moderator Val Morrison asks of the riots: Where is God in all this?

The front page of the newspaper showed a hooded figure backed by flames and the headline: Mob Rule. By the end of the day there were interviews with people armed with nothing more threatening than brooms and shovels clearing up the mess, helping businesses to re-open, to get the local economy going again. What are we Christians to make of this sudden eruption of violence and looting on the streets of our cities? What are any of us to make of it?

Voices from East Jerusalem

Four Palestinians and two Israelis used cameras provided by the Guardian and B'Tselem human rights organisation to record video diaries about their lives and experiences in East Jerusalem. For the results, follow this link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2011/jun/08/east-jerusalem-i...

Roberta Rominger, URC General Secretary, on church buildings

Sermon preached on 16 April 2011 at Meersbrook Park URC
I Chronicles 15:25-28; 16:7-13; John 4:15-24

Friends, what a fantastic transformation of your buildings, and what a wonderful celebration! Thank you for inviting me to come to this party.

URC in Easter protest over Zimbabwe peace prayer service attack

Representatives of the United Reformed Church have expressed their anger and concern at the news of the violent disruption of an ecumenical prayer service for peace at a church in Harare by Zimbabwean police earlier this month (April 2011).

Their comments, drawing on the Easter message, are based on a press statement from the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (see below) which describes a vicious attack by Zimbabwe armed riot police on a Harare congregation of approximately 600 people.

United Reformed Church seeks halt to deportation of Ugandan asylum seeker

The United Reformed Church has expressed its support for the campaign to halt the deportation of refused asylum seeker, Brenda Namigadde to Uganda, based on grave concerns for her physical safety as well as her spiritual and emotional well being.

The recent murder of the Ugandan gay activist David Kato significantly increases the dangers of her return to Uganda, say human rights advocates.

Good news from Botswana

In a momentous decision, Botswana's Court of Appeal today (27 January) quashed a ruling that denied the Kalahari Bushmen access to water on their ancestral lands.

With support from Survival International, the Bushmen appealed a 2010 High Court judgment that prevented them from accessing a well which they rely on for water. The panel of five Appeal Court judges has found that:

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