Editorial by Anthony Woollard
from Signs of the Times No. 59 - Oct 2015

Our annual conference on ‘Seeking the Sacred’ in an interfaith context took place under the dark shadow of the late June atrocities by Islamist militants in Tunisia and elsewhere.

Even so, there was much to celebrate by way of common ground - perhaps especially with our Sikh brothers and sisters who made some notable contributions - and the worship, whilst at all times firmly based in Christian tradition, drew deeply from wells of Hinduism and Sufism. The account of the conference by Julian Wood - a new and younger participant - is especially welcome and gives an excellent flavour of proceedings.

by Lorraine Cavanagh
from Signs of the Times No. 59 - Oct 2015

A certain frisson comes with holding an unlit match to an already burning candle.

It has to do with the release of pent up energy and the satisfaction which comes with seeing pyrotechnics working in reverse; releasing fire from its own source while at the same time returning that energy to its centre which is the flickering candle.

From what I have heard, two of my blog posts In June (What hope for the Church in Wales? and Minding the Gap) on the state of the Church in Wales seem to be producing a similar effect, which suggests that it does not take much to re-ignite the fire pent up in the hearts of God’s people. It also suggests that the institutional Church (and not only the Church in Wales) needs to allow that energy to re-vision its life so it can become a new creation.

Modern Church conference 2015
by Julian Wood
from Signs of the Times No. 59 - Oct 2015

I thoroughly enjoyed this event. It was my first Modern Church conference, and I was excited about the prospect of meeting many new people interested in progressive Christianity, as well as engaging with the topic of learning from other faiths.

I refer people to the Modern Church website for more information about the speakers - I am offering my personal response to the conference as a whole.

by David Taylor
from Signs of the Times No. 59 - Oct 2015

I was delighted to find the July issue of Signs of the Times devoting space to this issue, because I have recently fallen out with the local vicar on just this subject.

As his pronouncements became ever more oppressive, I felt bound to point out to him that he was in possession of a house, a wife, a family, an income, a car, a wardrobe - all of which things Jesus insisted a disciple should not have.

by Tim Belben
from Signs of the Times No. 59 - Oct 2015

It is a commonly accepted problem that the English language lacks a gender-free singular personal pronoun, so we cannot quote St Paul’s 'In him we live and move and have our being' without risking offence through our use of ‘in him’.

The usual refuge in the plural ‘them’ will not do here, for that would raise the spectre of the classical pantheon - a result very contrary to St Paul’s express object of developing the Athenians reverence for their ‘unknown God’... from whom we are, St Paul tells us, inseparable. ‘Them’ will not do. ’She’ carries other echoes of an entirely different religion.