Is it modern to be modern?

by Jonathan Clatworthy
from Signs of the Times No. 36 - Jan 2010

'Modern Churchpeople's Union' is not the most attractive name for an organisation.

We began in 1898 as The Churchmen's Union for the Advancement of Liberal Religious Thought.  We owe the word 'modern' to an unlikely benefactor, Pope Pius X whose 1907 encyclical condemned as 'modernists' those Roman Catholics who developed their own ideas instead of just accepting what the Vatican taught. Many Anglican catholics were happy to call themselves modernists, and by way of including them we became The Modern Churchmen's Union in the 1920s. In 1987 'Churchmen' became 'Churchpeople', producing the name we have now.

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Assisted dying: A conference at St Deiniol's Library on 12th November 2009

by David Taylor
from Signs of the Times No. 36 - Jan 2010
[NW region conferences]

Our morning session on this theme was led by the Very Revd Professor Gordon McPhate, Dean of Chester and former pathologist, with special interests in the Science-Religion dialogue and Medical Ethical issues; this was a highly structured, case-based discussion.

The afternoon session was led by Dr Oenone Wollaston, a Christian GP with special interest in geriatrics and end-of-life issues; this was a much more fluid discussion, with contributors being invited to present their own arguments and points of view.

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Review: The Gospel in the Global Village, by Katharine Jefferts Schori

by Anthony Woollard
from Signs of the Times No. 36 - Jan 2010

This book by the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church in the USA is a collection of addresses and sermons given over the past two or three years in various settings. It sets out her understanding of what it means to 'seek God's dream of shalom'.

Like some similar anthologies, it has the weakness of being a little repetitive at first. Schori has one overriding message: the relevance of faith to social and political justice.

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Review: Dear Sir or Madam: A Journey from Female to Male, by Mark Rees

by Mark Dalby

from Signs of the Times No. 36 - Jan 2010

I first met Mark Rees - as a man - nearly forty years ago when, as a dental student at  Birmingham University, he joined the congregation of St Peter, Spring Hill, where I was then the vicar.

But at birth he was registered as a woman, and Dear Sir or Madam is an account of his long and often difficult journey from female to male.  His book was originally published in 1996, but so much has happened on the transgender front  since then that a new and updated edition is a great boon.

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The Anglican Church In North America

by Paul Bagshaw
from Signs of the Times No. 36 - Jan 2010

The Anglican Church In North America (ACNA) is the major schismatic grouping in North American Episcopalianism.

It was created on 22 June 2009 and has received a welcome amounting to formal recognition from some Primates and leaders in other parts of the Anglican Communion. It purports to be a 'Province-in-formation in the global Anglican Communion' and claims a membership of 100,000 with 800 clergy.

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