More... Annual Conference 2019    

Annual Conference 2019

Theology in the public square - Monday 15th to Wednesday 17th July 2019 at High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon, Herts.

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More... Modern Church is 120!    

Modern Church is 120!

Modern Church is celebrating 120 years with a social media campaign recording key moments in its history

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More... Modern Church, Greenbelt & Pussy Riot    

Modern Church, Greenbelt & Pussy Riot

Modern Church General Secretary Jonathan Draper reflects on our partnership with this year's festival and sponsorship of three acts

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More... Our annual conference - A student's perspective    

Our annual conference - A student's perspective

Trainee Methodist Pioneer Minister Dave Shaw thanks delegates who donated to enable student volunteers to attend this year

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More... New head of contemporary spirituality    

New head of contemporary spirituality

NEW Managing Editor of Modern Church's quarterly liberal theology journal Modern Believing announced as Coordinator of Centre for Contemporary Spirituality…

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Review - Mindfulness and Christian spirituality: Making space for God, by Tim Stead

by John Hall-Matthews
from Signs of the Times No. 62 - Jul 2016

Whenever I have a prayer time, I prepare myself by doing some stilling exercises.

I sit usually on a chair with a straight back, and then focus on different parts of my body relaxing my muscles, so that the whole of me becomes loose and relaxed. I then spend some time concentrating on my breathing, noticing the air as I breathe in and out. I pay attention to any noises either in the room or outside, and tell myself not to be distracted by them during my time of prayer. And finally I try to still my mind, laying aside any things I have brought with me from the past or any anxiety I may have for the future, so that I become more aware of being in the present moment. Imagine my surprise when I discovered in this book that what I have been doing for years was very similar to mindfulness, so quite naturally I found it a fascinating read.

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Letter to the editor

by Dr John Quenby
from Signs of the Times No. 62 - Jul 2016

Jean Mayland and Robert Baldwin have both written articles ending: ‘What do the rest of MC think?’ [Signs, January & April 2016].

First re: language. As an attendee with my wife of the St Hilda’s Community after it left Queen Mary College and accepted hospitality from the Methodist Bow Mission, I very much regret the disappearance of the feminist liturgies and prayers developed at that time. The current concentration on prayers to Jesus can be countered by the biblical statistics to be found in James Dunn's Did The Early Christians Worship Jesus? where it is shown that the most common form is addressing God through Jesus.

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Wanted - Assistant treasurer

by Rosalind Lund
from Signs of the Times No. 62 - Jul 2016

Our previous Treasurer, Richard Hall, was in post for five years. It is very likely that I will want to stand down after a similar period - I have served nearly three years now.

The Trustees and I would very much appreciate it if someone is willing to act as Assistant Treasurer, with the possibility of taking over from me in due course.

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Transfiguration - a poem

by Tracy Reynolds

from Signs of the Times No. 62 - Jul 2016

In the beginning the rolling slopes of green and brown
shine majestically in afternoon sun. Warm and welcoming
arrayed in the splendour of autumn jewelled trees.
A gentle stroll along century worn tracks,
safe with knowledge that many feet have gone before
a myriad of footprints marking out the way.

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Containing multitudes

Editorial by Anthony Woollard
from Signs of the Times No. 61 - Apr 2016

A Modern Church supporter within my congregation is a great enthusiast for the poetry of Walt Whitman. I have never really got on with Whitman myself, but one stanza of his has resonance with me:

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then, I contradict myself.
I contain multitudes.

This can be read as an extremely pompous and self-satisfied statement, or as an expression of the Boston mysticism which Whitman shared with such as Emily Dickinson. It is probably both, but I prefer to focus on the latter interpretation.

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