A Warm Welcome in Wooler
A warm welcome awaited Synod members at Wooler United Reformed Church. This included use of the congregation’s recently competed community Warm Hub, which provides comfortable seating, projection facilities, coffee bar, kitchen and toilets.
Worship, led by members of the host congregation, reflected the rural Northumberland setting, including the hills to which we lift our eyes (Psalm 121:1).
Where did I see God this week?
David Salsbury, Manager for Stepwise, introduced the URC’s new discipleship development programme to Synod.
Stepwise aims to equip everyone in the URC to be “whole of life disciples”; people who ask, “where did I see God this week?” and then apply the answers.
Stepwise has five “streams”:
- Faith-filled life – an introductory experience (available now)
- Faith-fuelled leadership (available now, having been piloted in Northern Synod)
- Faith-filled confidence – about our own faith and faith of others (early 2020)
- Faith-filled community – being a church shaped by God’s mission (early 2020)
- Faith-filled worship – including equipping our worship leaders (September 2020)
Stepwise is a web-based resource, which prompted some discussion about ways all URC folk will be able to access it.
View video at http://bit.ly/StepwiseVideo
Also see https://urc.org.uk/stepwise/
“We Bring Good Report”: news from visits to the world Church
Referencing the prophet Habakkuk (3:2), concerning reports of God’s good work, members from St George’s URC, High Heaton, celebrated involvement in a children’s Bible holiday club in Uganda. Supported by prayer, goodwill and financial help from around Northern Synod, they contributed to work with more than eight hundred children over two weeks.
Mary Davidson shared experiences from the trip that she and Synod Moderator, Dave Herbert, made to our church partners in Mozambique. Dave also updated Synod on links with the United Church of Christ New York Conference.
Fliss Tunnard spoke to Synod (via video) from the windy shores of the Sea Of Galilee, offering to visit churches to speak of her experiences of the URC 2019 education tour to Israel and Palestine. To contact Fliss firstname.lastname@example.org
Northern Synod / Eco Synod
At the suggestion of Trevor Jamison, Synod’s Green Apostle, the Meeting unanimously agreed to register with the Eco Church movement our intention to work towards being an Eco Synod.
Trevor pointed out that this is will be a big challenge, involving not just kind words and good intentions, but a range of actions relating to Synod Meetings, Synod Committees, Synod Officers, and the Synod office. And that’s all linked to how much is happening on the ground in our congregations.
Responsibility for moving this work forward was given to the Synod Mission Committee, including our Green Apostle.
To see what’s involved in being an Eco Synod https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/denominational-awards/eco-synod/
Church and Young People in a Changing World
Adviser, John Stephenson, outlined his passions and approach to work with young people.
First, we need to connect effectively with young people who are connected with the church in any way. The Staying Alive summer youth event, jointly organised with the Church of England Diocese, is one way in which we do that. The Growing Young Leaders course (for Year 10+) is another.
Second, though, we need to find ways to connect with young people who have no church connection at all.
To contact John email@example.com
Rural Community Work and Lay Presidency
Stephen Collinson reported on work on an application by the Synod Pastoral Committee to have the URC’s first rural-based Church Related Community Worker post at Wooler.
A proposed revised Synod policy on lay presidency at communion was presented to the meeting. Following discussion, the Committee will now do some further work on the proposals.
News in Brief
- Wheel Will Not be Re-Invented – Synod agreed that, when appropriate, one of the five Northerly Synods can do work on an issue on behalf of the others.
- No Objection – Synod had no objection to proposals concerning General Assembly and Mission Council. GA will revert to annual meetings. MC meetings will reduce to being annual. Those attending MC will normally be from among those who were at GA.
- Safeguarding – Matt Knowles is the new Safeguarding Officer, working for both Yorkshire and Northern Synods. Don’t hesitate to contact Matt 07761 525 592 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Now see photographs from Synod: https://urc-northernsynod.org/photos-from-october-synod/