Assembly theme announced: People of the Way
Mr Alan Yates and the Revd Kevin Watson, the moderators-elect of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, have announced that the theme for 2016 Assembly, and their two years in office, will be ‘People of the Way’.
The theme arose from two complementary convictions: the need to return to the fundamental teaching of Christ, and a desire for the church to be more open to all of God’s people.
The moderators-elect are calling for the two years that starts with General Assembly in July 2016 to be a time of renewed focus on the fundamentals of the Christian life; the People of the Way theme is intended to provide an opportunity for United Reformed churches across the three nations to return to the basics of their identity and life in Christ.
Mr Watson said: ‘We have a real need to celebrate being the people of God, and to celebrate being the United Reformed Church. Assembly will be a celebration of God’s grace, of what he has given us and what is embodied in God’s people. We want the denomination to get excited about God again! To return to the root of their faith – the love of Jesus as shown on the cross.’
That’s why the moderators-elect are asking every congregation in the URC to participate in an Assembly display reflecting the breadth of church life across the denomination.
Mr Yates explains: ‘We are all People of the Way and we know that local churches are creative in the ways they express their faith, worship God and engage with their communities. We want churches to shout about the good things they are doing – and so we are asking every congregation of the United Reformed Church to send us photos of the glorious variety and vitality of their church life – and we’ll use the best of them in a specially-arranged display at Assembly.’
Images of activities, worship and community connections, together with portraits of church people will all contribute to the display – showcasing just how broad and dynamic is the life of the United Reformed Church. The moderators-elect cannot guarantee to use everything received – but they will use as many as possible and all submissions will be received enthusiastically and with interest and gratitude.
Kevin Watson concludes: ‘It is spiritually powerful that the issues discussed and the decisions made at the General Assembly will be in the presence of images of all the congregations of the whole denomination – send in your images now and be part of this.’ For further information contact Sandy McLeish (Communications & Publicity Team leader).
The United Reformed Church General Assembly runs this year from 8 to 11 July in Southport.