The theme for our programme of events, displays and concerns in 2017 is FEASTS AND FESTIVALS.
This is also the theme chosen by the URC to signal a year in which we are all invited to celebrate some significant anniversaries in the history of the church, such as the 500 years since a dramatic action by Martin Luther signalled the start of the Reformation; and 100 years since the ordination of Constance Coltman, the first woman to enter the congregational ministry. Along with the rest of the URC and other churches we shall be celebrating these.
But we want to celebrate other aspects of life, to remember, to rejoice and be thankful. ‘Feasts and Festivals’ are a natural part of human life and therefore of the life of the church.
Watch out for the ones we shall be marking with exhibitions or activities – but let us know, too, of any you think we should be marking. Let us celebrate them together.
Our next Exhibition—Can YOU help? WINTER One aspect of life that we sometimes forget to thank God for is the changing of the seasons – both the ones we enjoy and the ones we find less comfortable, but which are necessary for the continuation of the life and fruitfulness of the earth. So we are going to begin the year by celebrating WINTER, and looking at it in all its fullness. We want everyone to join in this, so we are asking for: your photographs, your favourite poems or memories, everything that winter means to you, to make up an exhibition that will lighten the darkness and help us to begin the year with celebration.
How often have we thought a picture, an incident, an unexpected meeting spoke to us – and even changed our outlook?
This year we will listen to voices that are not always heard, use our own voices to sing and speak out, and reflect on the way in which many life events ‘speak’ to us.
Come and listen to the voice of scripture.
Come and lift up your voices in praise and thanksgiving.
Come and pray for those who have no voice.
Come and worship in silence, in song and in sincerity.
Come and worship God who is the voice of love.
Texts for 2016 that are the inspiration for our theme:
‘Then from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my Son, my Chosen, listen to him!” Luke 9. 35
‘Now may God grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Romans 15.6
Fairtrade Fortnight 2016
Change in our world, in our land, in our church and in our own lives. Not all change is good or blessed, nor is it all bad. But we pray that whether it seems good or bad to us, it may be blessed by God and that blessings may come out of it in ways that we perhaps cannot imagine and may not even know.
The theme for our life and mission this year is ‘SHALOM’ – a wonderfully rich Hebrew word that is central to God’s purpose for the world and which has many rich and resonant connotations; it is usually translated as ‘peace’.
‘Shalom’ has a sense of well-being and fulfilment and not just an absence of conflict. To be at peace is to be all that we have been created to be, with every potential open to realisation, and that means that the hungry, the poor, the homeless, the crushed and the deprived cannot be in a state of shalom and nor can the world to which they belong. That sense of the word locates it at the very centre of the church’s mission which is to bring to fruition and fulfilment God’s plan for all creation and for every God-imaged human being.
‘Shalom’ is a relational – it has to do with right relationships. As human beings we have been created to be in relationship with God, with one another, with the natural world of which we are a part, and with ourselves. This means that our gospel of shalom is holistic, embracing every dimension of life.
‘Shalom’ involves reconciliation and the embracing of differences. Shalom brings together God and humanity. It brings together people who are different from one another as well as people who are at enmity with one another. It embraces all living creatures in all their bewildering diversity.
‘Shalom’ has a rainbow quality about it, and a monochrome world where differences are suppressed is not in a state of shalom, and nor is one where conflicts simmer beneath the surface, breeding suspicion and resentment – even if these are not expressed openly in conflict.
In short, this single word ‘shalom’ sums up beautifully the Gospel with which we are entrusted and which we seek to live out as a church.
Tuesday January 21st at 7.30pm
‘Shalom’ – the biblical vision of peace
Revd. Dr. Janet Tollington and Revd. John Proctor
Biblical tutors at Westminster College, Cambridge
Tuesday February 18th at 7.30pm
The Israeli – Palestinian Conflict: what hope for peace?
Revd. Colin Chapman
Tuesday April 29th at 8.00pm
Why I am a Pacifist
Revd. Prof. Richard Hays
George Washington Ivey
(Professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School)
Tuesday May 20th at 7.30pm
The Mystery of the Last Supper:
reconstructing the final days of Jesus
Prof. Sir Colin Humphreys Professor & Director of Research Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy, Cambridge University
Wednesday July 15th at 7.30pm
‘Restorative Justice – a better way?’
Prof. Joanna Shapland
Tuesday September 23rd at 7.30pm
‘GM Crops – are they the answer?’
Prof. Sir Brian Heap
Tuesday October 21st at 7.30pm
Making Peace with the Great War
Prof. David Reynolds
Tuesday November 18th at 7.30pm
‘Natural disasters and the shalom of creation’
Prof. Bob White
What does it mean to go on a journey?
Philosophers, scientists and poets alike have compared life to a journey,
and journeying is the theme we are taking for our activities this year.
The journey of life – our own and others
the journey of faith
and journeys in story.
Environment Expo at Emmanuel URC – 6&7 Sept 2012 – Cambridge
… because we were put in the Garden to till and to keep* it
Emmanuel United Reformed Church, hosted a FREE Environment Expo at our Trumpington Street Church, from 11am to 3.30pm on both Thursday 6th and Friday 7th September 2012 . The focus of this event was sustainability in buildings, particularly saving energy and especially in older buildings such as our beautiful church (for which we have ambitious plans). We invited building professionals, managers and owners of both public and private buildings and home owners to come and discuss these issues.
Opened 6/9/2012 by Councillor Sheila Stuart, Mayor of Cambridge.
**** Green Tomato Energy – a group of engineers with experience of high standard energy-saving retrofit in older properties (see the Green Tomato retrofit video greentomatoenergy.com/build/retrofit)
**** Kershaw Contracting Services Ltd – Industry leading supplier of insulation and renewable energy solutions, and member of the Kershaw Group. Services include installation of cavity wall and loft insulation together with external and internal wall insulation, solar photovoltaic and thermal installation, and heat pumps. Currently offering free home insulation, with costs covered by Government funding for Carbon Emissions Reductions Targets. Kershaw Ltd
**** Sustainable Parish Energy Partnership (SPEP) is a programme run by South Cambridgeshire District Council in partnership with parish councils, to help residents save energy and cut carbon emissions. Projects include thermal imaging, electricity monitor loan schemes, village energy days, renewable energy workshops and village ‘sustainable living’ directories. There will be information about SPEP projects and how to get involved (if you live in South Cambridgeshire). And the SPEP will also have information about the soon to be launched ‘Green Deal‘, which aims to make it easy and affordable to upgrade your home to make it energy efficient (more).
**** Beechdale Energy Ltd – Renewable Energy consultants, providing advice and installations in a range of technologies including solar pv, solar thermal, air source heat pumps, and low energy lighting. Also domestic wind turbines, and a new range of electric scooters perfect for zero carbon cities. They have their own installation team and in-house electricians, plus assessors, and pride in being able to offer the complete package from a Cambridge base – to both the domestic and commercial customers, with finance for some commercial schemes. Beechdale Group
**** and other consultants and suppliers for energy saving and generating renewable energy.
**** The sustainability study commissioned on our own church, was launched at the Expo. It was conducted by Brian Cox and is available for download here (1.2MB). We also prepared an analysis of speculative energy and carbon savings that could be achieved using current technologies and relate their performance to the PassivHaus standard.
LECTURE: Actions to Improve the Environmental Impact of Older Public Buildings (such as Churches) by Brian Cuthbertson, Head of Environmental Challenge at the Diocese of London slides (2MB) audio (14MB)
Also, Transition Cambridge Energy Group offered advice on ‘Managing Your Home Heating’ on Thursday evening (link to Transition Cambridge – Managing Home Heating ).
Static displays are available for viewing between 10:30-3pm each day from Tuesday 11th to Friday 14th September 2012.
|Why we are doing this: As predicted by 1950, we have now used half of the worlds oil resources. Or, as others put it, we “have reached peak oil”. There is less than half left, which is also more costly to extract. Burning fossil fuels, thus adding even more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, will result in dangerous levels of global warming. For this reason the UK government committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.
Such a big reduction is readily feasible, with more efficient heating, transport, insulation, and much less waste.
We have the divine duty to steward the world’s resources properly, both for future generations as they are finite, and because the resources are intrinsically valuable. Why should we squander 10.4 kg of oil equivalent each per day, just because we choose to drive vehichles that are absurdly heavy and ill-suited to our purposes, and because we like it warm but could not be bothered to keep the heat in?
There is much poverty in the world and, the more we waste, the less there is for others to use. With waste, prices will be needlessly higher, thus depriving the poor all over, including in our own country.
PassivHaus has demonstrated, on an exacting and huge scale in many countries, that it is easily possible to live comfortably using less that 20 kWh per metre squared of floorspace per year. The average house in the UK uses 160 kWh/m2/yr. This level of waste could translate directly into money saved, and into lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Please feel free to email comments to Emmanuel URC – bottom right (or firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Visitors Information: We are located on Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RR, UK – opposite Pembroke College on the corner of Little St Mary’s Lane. The Trumpington ‘Park and Ride’ (readily accessible from the M11) stops right outside our front door – which we would recommend, along with Cambridge public parking, because there is very little street parking nearby. The nearest public parking is the “Grand Arcade Car Park” on Corn Exchange Street. The Citi 4 and Cambourne 4 buses also stop outside, and we are about 25 minutes walk from Cambridge Station (or a taxi ride of perhaps £5).
Café, bookstall, and fair-trade stall were all open throughout the Environment Expo.
keywords: Energy saving; sustainability; climate change; efficiency; householders; retrofit; older buildings; churches; heritage property; insulation; 20kWh/m2/yr; Cambridge; UK
* in the original Aramaic in sense of ‘to keep’ as in “to steward”, or “to look after” – the resources of the world. (Genesis: chapter 2 verse 15)
Christians believe in what they call ‘the Incarnation’ – that God became flesh and dwelt among us in the person of Jesus. Another way of putting this would be to say that God chose to become ‘Earthed’.
‘Earthed’ is the theme of our Ministry and Mission programme for 2010. This programme will offer a series of exhibitions, talks, workshops and other activities focusing on the place of humankind in God’s purposes. Beginning with creation and the vast distances of space and the Cosmos, we then focus in onto our own Earth and its plant and animal life, and finally onto Humankind, seeking in doing so to deepen our understanding of the environment we share – its order, multiplicity, diversity and changefulness. People of any faith or none are welcome – the main talks will all be by people who are prominent in their field and able to bring us the latest scientific knowledge. At the same time, we aim to relate what we learn from this programme to our own faith, so as to discover more of the wonder of God’s creation and our own responsibilities towards it. In this we seek to be honest to God, to the world, to our neighbours and to ourselves.
“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them.” [Psalm 8]