In her Christmas message, the Rev Roberta Rominger, General Secretary of the United Reformed Church, has talked of the harsh realities and disappointments of life in 2009 and linked them to the abiding promise of the Christmas story.
Ms Rominger wrote: “This year it will be difficult for many people to find a place where the promise connects with their lives. The economic crisis has taken a bitter toll on people’s jobs and pensions and prospects. Copenhagen was meant to be a vehicle of promise for the whole world - and fell far short. In one way or another, bleak midwinter is a reality for all of us."
But, she added, “Christmas can be joyful even when times are hard. The essence of the Christmas story is especially for the fearful and disappointed and lonely. It’s good to see beyond the trappings to look at the profound truth that stands at the centre of Christmas: that God chose to enter this world and our lives, close enough to hold like a baby in your arms, strong enough to lean on, and deeply compelling in his call to follow him. God transforms the world through changed lives."
The United Reformed Church appointed Roberta Rominger as its General Secretary in March 2008. She became the first woman to hold the senior post in the Church, or in any of its predecessor denominations.
Congregationalists, Presbyterians and members of the Churches of Christ came together in a series of unions since 1972 to form the URC, one of the three largest non-conformist Christian denominations in Britain.