Fiona and Bethan are amongst the 10 Synod representatives for Wales and are looking forward to ‘Drinking deeply’ at the forthcoming URC General Assembly in Cardiff in two weeks’ time.
The theme of the assembly was prompted by a story from Australia. In the outback ranchers need vast tracts of land to support their herds of cattle. Rather than fencing off their land they simply drill a deep well , knowing that the cattle will stay near to the well and not wander off.
Here is a flavour of the topics that are up for debate, prayer and for voting:
- There are a series of resolutions about the kind of church we are, including the role of church meeting and the possibility of authorising ‘celebrant elders’ to preside at the sacraments.
- There is a resolution urging the use of ‘inclusive and expansive language’ by worship leaders in order to widen our perception of God and another resolution to raise awareness of the stigma of mental ill health.
- A new way of funding ministerial training is proposed, which involves inviting financial contributions from synods and sending churches.
- A new resource pack on Foodbanks is commended for use by local churches.
The URC website has a section dedicated to the General Assembly. Here you can download all of the Assembly reports and papers, including the discussion booklet ‘One plus One – thinking together about marriage’ which aims to encourage reflection and conversation about marriage in the light of recent legislation allowing same sex marriage.
The event will be live streamed, so you can watch the sessions as they take place, should you wish. There will also be regular email updates from the URC Reform team.
We looking forward to sharing with you some of the highlights after Assembly. Meanwhile you may want to join in praying:
Celebrating God, in whom we live and move and have our being, we pray for the grace that grooms our hearts to receive one another in love, for the vision to see the world and each other through the eyes of God, for the courage to engage in the challenge of discernment in community and for the deepening of our discipleship. We pray in the name of Jesus, deep well and living water, Amen