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Mersey Synod Latest

 
URC Mersey News
Welcome to our end-of-February news report, longer than usual but persevere, there are some great opportunities for you so please read to the end. We've also introduced prayer pointer sections, so we hope you will take a moment to stop and pray! Don't rush this one – get a cuppa, relax and read on!

Looking Ahead

As the Prime Minister outlines the way ahead for the country we pray you may see a way forward for yourselves and your congregations. If you need advice on how to move into a new era, our staff are on hand to support you, from Mission to Training to Youth to Communications, as well as Safeguarding, Property, Finance, Human Resources and more besides.



As a Synod we too are looking ahead, as we hope to welcome our nominated new Moderator the Revd Geoff Felton in the summer.

Prayer Pointers
  • Please pray for Geoff and his family as they work through the many issues of relocating and starting this important work
     
  • Please pray for all our staff as we seek to respond to the challenges and opportunities ahead.
 
Did you know???
 
The Northerly Synods have a Listening and Reconciliation team available across our synods. They would be so grateful if you could you answer the three questions below to help planning:
 
  1. Do you know there’s a Listening and Reconciliation team to help with mediation, difficult conversations, and change management available to you? 
  1. What would prevent you from approaching the team for help?
  1. What kind of additional information would help you more readily look to the Listening and Reconciliation team?
Please email your replies within the next week if possible.
Funding available!

The National Churches Trust has Cornerstone Grant funding available for structural repairs and improvements to facilities (toilets, kitchen). Deadline is 1 March. More details at: 
https://www.nationalchurchestrust.org/cornerstone-grants-apply
 
Our Synod needs you (or someone you know)!

Mersey Synod has a number of committees and smaller groups which help support all the churches and we’re currently looking for nominations for people for the following:
  • Communications Reference Group – an understanding of modern communications would be helpful
  • Human Resources group – experienced Line Managers are needed
  • Mission and Discipleship
  • World Church
  • Eco    
  • Notetaker/Secretary for the new Ministries Group
Of those nominated, the relevant team will carefully choose the skill set most relevant to the role required. If you would like more information please email Rita or call 07838 103310. If you know someone who you think will be a great fit, please forward this request to them and encourage them to get in touch or nominate them to Rita and she will contact them for you.

Rita said, ‘By being a part of a Synod group or Committee you will be contributing to the bigger picture of how Synod assists churches and the wider church; you will be part of a team helping to make a difference and you will gain such a lot from the experience. Your Synod needs you!’


Prayer Pointer

Please pray that the right people will step forward to help Synod at this crucial time.

Online Easter Festival

 


yourchurch is hosting The Uprising of Jesus Online Easter Festival from 21-22 March. With the help of Chine McDonald, Wes Howard-Brook and William Young, they will look at ways in which Jesus overcame the powers of Empire in the pursuit of justice for all peoples. The risen Christ calls us to walk that same Way of the Cross. Our Easter commitment is to recognise and resist Empire in all its forms today. Find out more 

Events and Opportunities
 

Free Bossey ecumenical online course 

The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Institute is offering a free online course, entitled Together Towards Unity. Being Church in a Fragmented World. The course aims to expand opportunities for students to explore biblical, theological, ethical, societal, interreligious and missiological dimensions of ecumenism. Through specific assignments, students are guided in exploring ecumenical relations in their local context. Application deadline is 1 March. Course details 

Online Discipleship Network 

Join the URC’s Walking the Way online network to explore discipleship. How do we use technology to help us deepen our relationships, so we can help each other walk the way of Jesus on a daily basis? You’re invited to attend a Zoom session to think about what we mean by 'discipleship' and how we can take things forward into more intentional community building. If you, or someone you know, is interested please e-mail wtw@urc.org.uk

Church on the Edge Sessions

If you need a space to meet others for conversation and support as we live in these challenging times, e-mail wtw@urc.org.uk to sign up for the first of three monthly Zoom sessions. Brought to you by the URC's New Reality Same Mission on Thursday 1 April at 2pm, the opening session will be joined by Al Barrett and Ruth Harley, co-authors of Being Interrupted: Reimagining the Church's Mission from the Outside, In to help us think about what God wants of us in the midst of everything that has interrupted normal life.

Black History Monthly

Don’t forget about the URC Black History Monthly, a one-hour conversation on the third Monday evening of every month at 7.30pm on Zoom, where we’ll all be encouraged to review a film, book or other resource for ourselves, before coming together to share an hour’s discussion. More information can be found on the URC’s website.

Preaching Online: 10-15 Minute Sermons that Transform, 1-2 March

The Internet - and Zoom in particular - makes it easier to preach short sermons aimed at transformation. This two-session course explores the distinctive ways in which we behave online and relates that to how we preach differently online. There are two opportunities to join these sessions: 
DAY Session 1: 10am - 12 noon (1 March) Session 2: 2pm-4pm (1 March)
EVENING Session 1: 7pm - 9pm (1 March) Session 2: 7pm - 9pm (2 March) Join each session using the following details: https://zoom.us/j/92584144811 Meeting ID: 925 8414 4811

Safeguarding Training

Further Basic Safeguarding Training dates have been added to our list. If you haven't yet attended a Zoom session and need to please see the full list on our website here. One person who attended said, 'Many thanks for last night's training – I thought that it was excellent, and the best safeguarding training which I have undertaken in a church context.'

News in Brief

Seasonal Reflections

If you need inspiration for prayers and reflections of the season, see thoughts from the Revd Cath Atkinson, Minister of Ormskirk Street, Haresfinch and Rainford United Reformed Churches, on our website here.

Annual Church Returns

If you have not yet submitted the Annual Church Returns to the Synod Office, we hope to receive it at the earliest opportunity. A new feature is the request to list the Elders in each church. Please note that LEPs should complete the details of all of those performing the equivalent role in the LEP. The reason we require this information can be found on our data privacy policy