Report by Liz Poynton
from Signs of the Times No. 39 - Oct 2010
[NW regional Ggoup conferences]

Basing his talk on his recent book, Liberal Faith in a Divided Church, our General Secretary led us through the history of the relationship between religion and science, culminating in a consideration of the situation today where the desire for certainty often eclipses a more complex, integrated approach.

Amongst the issues we discussed following this session were consideration of how fact and fiction are defined, the role of scientific thinking today, how we tolerate differing views without inducing chaos, the need for the freedom to challenge tradition in order for it to grow, the need to accept that we may be wrong in order to learn, and the concern that expert consensus doesn't always convince general public opinion.

by Christine Alker
from Signs of the Times No. 39 - Oct 2010

For thousands of people, the August Bank Holiday is marked out in the annual calendar as Greenbelt weekend: families, young people's groups and seasoned Greenbelters of all ages descend on Cheltenham racecourse to set up tents, caravans and stalls.

For Modern Church our presence at the festival was a first and we approached it with some trepidation. Paul Badham shared his views on assisted dying with a panel in front of a tent full of interested listeners. The rest of us staffed the Modern Church stall over a total of 35 hours; from 5pm on Friday until 6pm on Monday we took turns to answer questions, discuss issues, share experiences and hand out literature to those passing through the exhibition tent.

from Signs of the Times No. 39 - Oct 2010


2010 Conference - Shifting Paradigms: Theology & Economics in the 21st Century

Alan Wolfe

Although a member of MCU for several years (mainly to get my own copy of Modern Believing), this was my first Conference, and a very pleasant experience it was. The venue, High Leigh, Hoddesdon, is beautifully sited, its accommodation quiet and comfortable, with a variety of conference and recreation rooms, and varied, appropriate and appetising meals.

by Graham Hellier
from Signs of the Times No. 39 - Oct 2010

'Next Sunday, in the morning service, we will drink blood together - everyone welcome.'

Is this what we mean or do we mislead when, at the heart of our worship, we offer blood to drink? The meaning is unmistakable when we warn that those who do not participate are as good as dead

'Except you eat my flesh and drink my blood, there is no life in you' - Jn 6:53.

For this reason, many have stayed away and many more repress their doubts.

by Mary Taylor
from Signs of the Times No. 39 - Oct 2010

'Creationism' is a joyous, positive-sounding word for a destructive ideology. Creationism is Judeo-Christian biblical literalism concerning the origin of the universe with the intention or the result of limiting rational thought and/or imagination.

But this is only one of its meanings. Even this narrow definition covers a range of beliefs - not only flat-earth-ism and impossibly-young-earth-ism. And there are many ways of believing. We can consistently believe several creation myths, countless other myths, and evolutionary science.