God and the Big Bang

by Christine Alker
from Signs of the Times No. 56 - Jan 2015

Much has been written about the relationship between science and faith, not least by the early founders of Modern Church more than 100 years ago.

The discussion and argument is, of course, on-going, not least amongst our young people.

Read more ...

Obituary: Christina Mary Tebbutt 1919-2014

by Rosalind Lund
from Signs of the Times No. 56 - Jan 2015

Christina Tebbutt, who died on 2nd July 2014, was a long serving member of Modern Church.  Her parents, Mary and Herbert Pettit, joined the Modern Churchmen’s Union (as it then was) sometime in the 1920s, so Christina was brought up in a liberal and free thinking Christian home.

Her mother had been brought up a Congregationalist, but by the time Christina was born, they were living in the Northamptonshire village of Boughton and had joined the village parish church.

Read more ...

Review: What clergy do, especially when it looks like nothing by Emma Percy

by David Driscoll
from Signs of the Times No. 56 - Jan 2015

When going on retreat I invariably packed The Christian Priest Today by Archbishop Michael Ramsey, which is full of spiritual wisdom and common sense. I only wished I’d been able to take Emma Percy’s book too because, by a long way, it’s the best description I have come across of a vicar’s ministry.

I vividly recall, in my first incumbency during the early 1980s, doing lots of things by trial and error. If I’d had the chance to read this book then I’m sure I’d have avoided many mistakes I made. I was always grateful for a very understanding congregation when they happened.

Read more ...

Review: Psalms redux - poems and prayers by Carla Grosch-Miller

by Mary Roe
from Signs of the Times No. 56 - Jan 2015

I am grateful for the opportunity to review this book as it is always good to have one’s horizons broadened. I am also glad that I heard Carla Grosch-Miller’s explanation of why she called it Psalms Redux.

From the earliest times of Christian worship, the Hebrew psalms have been felt to express every aspect of our human relationship with God. At different times and in different cultures new translations and paraphrases have appeared which were thought to be capable of expressing an individual’s or a community’s hopes, fears and emotions. These poems are neither translation nor paraphrase but a personal response to each psalm as the author read and meditated upon it.

Read more ...

Review: Reconciliation - The journey of a lifetime by Brian Castle

by Lorraine Cavanagh
from Signs of the Times No. 56 - Jan 2015

This book is a clear and timely contribution to the reconciliation debate, a debate which is not only intensifying, given the current world political climate, but becoming ever more nuanced and complex. Brian Castle responds to this complexity with a nuance which is hidden in the title itself.

Reconciliation is a life changing event, but also a journey. There are two vital pieces of wisdom to be drawn from his writing and which are pivotal to the book itself. The first, that reconciliation is an ongoing process which does not depend on the cessation of conflict.  Conflict is therefore a potential for good. The second, that life is in itself a reconciling process from the start.

Read more ...