Scripture bears witness to a God who is good and limitless in his grace. Yet we don't have to look far to be confronted by a world mired in unceasing violence, suffering and death: Ukraine, Iraq, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya - the list goes on.
People naturally ask 'Where is God in all this?' What grounds does Scripture give us for hope in the midst of crisis and temptation to despair? We will be looking at three key passages providing assurance of God's continued presence, sovereignty, trustworthiness, grace and love. It is an opportunity to affirm and understand more fully the sure and certain foundation for the hope that God gives to all Christians as we face adversity in a fallen world.
Lindsay Brown studied History at the University of Oxford and Theology in Paris. For 16 years and until 2007 he was general secretary of IFES. He went on to head the Fellowship of Evangelists in the Universities of Europe (FEUER), also serving as international director of the Lausanne Movement for World Evangelisation. He is the author of Shining like Stars — the power of the gospel in the world’s universities.
Rendle Short Lecture
Glynn Harrison was formerly a consultant clinical psychiatrist and head of the department of Psychiatry, Bristol University. A past president of the International Federation of Psychiatric Epidemiology, he is also an Anglican lay minister and a member of the Church of England’s General Synod.
The National Conference brings together members at all stages of their career. There are separate seminar tracks for:
*this track is by invitation only
Families with children welcome - come and join us for a great weekend together!
A team from YWAM England led by Andy Kennedy will be running our children and youth programmes. The theme will be ‘Unchanging God, Unshakeable Kingdom’. How do we stand firm in our faith when there are troubles in the world around us and in our own lives?
Games, creative prayer and worship, magic tricks, wide games, mess and fun, sports, circus skills, giant bubbles. Come dressed for action and maximum fun.
In 2014 the CMF Public Policy team posted 74 blogs on topical ethical issues. Almost every day there is a challenging issue on health related matters being discussed in the Courts, in Parliament, in the media or facing us in our own daily lives and communities. Yet it is often hard to know what an ethical and compassionate response should involve and what the Christian response should be.
How can we best balance ‘truth’ and ‘grace’ when faced with demands to legislate for abortion for rape and fatal foetal abnormality, or to prevent serious mitochondrial diseases, or to stop prolonging human suffering at the end of life, or to prevent women drinking alcohol in pregnancy? Should infertile couples have free IVF on the NHS? What are the rights and duties of doctors referring for abortion? Is there still a future for conscientious objection? Or even for free speech and debate?
These are just some of the issues we’ve tackled over the past months. In this seminar I will take three topics in the news, Courts and/or Parliament in order to explore and discuss in greater depth some of the broader issues that they raise, and their impact on us.
British doctors who own an average house are amongst the wealthiest 1% in the world’s population. Yet despite the huge wealth in Britain we are also one of the world's most indebted countries with total UK personal debt and public debt each now approaching £1.5 trillion. Gospel economic ethics are both radical and liberating. The Bible tells us that everything ultimately belongs to God who provides generously to us in order that we can meet both our own needs and also those of others. Furthermore our use of money reveals our real heart priorities. Money can disappear quickly – as the banking crisis has poignantly reminded us – but its proper use can also be a great blessing. How much is enough? How much should I give and to whom? How should I prepare for future financial needs? In what way should I save? This seminar will examine biblical teaching on earning, giving, spending and saving and is intended to be highly practical. So whether you are just graduated or retired, saving for the future or paying off debt, looking to invest ethically, give more generously or just trying to keep your head above water come to be encouraged, stimulated and challenged.
Derrett Watts is a consultant addiction psychiatrist, college tutor and honorary secretary of West Midlands Division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
Substance misuse is a topic on which people hold varying opinions and experiences, and this is true within both medicine and the church. Its impact is not just felt by the individual using substances but by their families, friends and even people who are strangers to them (as with the effects of crime). As changes take place in patterns of substance misuse, particular with the emergence of novel psychoactive substances, new challenges are constantly becoming evident, alongside the political interest in this area.
A key question is whether change in lives affected by substance misuse is possible and how should Christians, both as health professionals and involved in local churches, respond to this need? This session will aim to explore developments in current treatment provision with particular emphasis on “recovery”, looking at national policy and treatment within mainstream services, but also discuss some Christian based responses within the UK. The sessions will use some video material and aim to be interactive, and hopefully help people to feel more equipped to be involved in this field.
Kevin Vaughan is a former GP and chairman of ICMDA. Julian Churcher is a former GP and CMF graduate staffworker, London & SE
'This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.' 1 John 4:10-12
CMF exists to unite Christian doctors, nurses and students and encourage them to deepen their faith and live it out in the workplace. We were made to need each other! Fellowship includes prayer support, mentoring, encouragement, guidance, time spent listening, hospitality and often just good old-fashioned friendship. The world of healthcare, especially in the NHS of today, is a pressurised and challenging place to work. So how can we use established and emerging CMF structures - such as local groups and the Links scheme - to build networks of supportive relationships simply, sustainably and effectively? How can we become better friends? Are we sometimes disabled from doing anything just because we can’t do everything? Join us to share your experiences of past or current successes and disappointments, and help develop 'best practice' for the future.
Jenny Watson is a GP in Southall, London with five years' experience in Pakistan
As Christian doctors our medical skills can be used by God to alleviate physical and mental suffering of people he has made and loves across the world, from war zones to areas of immense poverty. These skills can also open doors of opportunity for relationship with people from some of the most unreached people groups of the world, through which the gospel can be shared both in deed and in words. In 2015 a willingness to be sent to such people could take you to the other side of the world or simply to another part of your city/region within the UK to meet those the Lord has brought to our shores.
This seminar will look at some of the practical aspects of using medical skills overseas, as well as what it means to cross cultures for the sake of the gospel. We will consider how that can be done both overseas and within the UK when working in our increasingly multi-cultural and multi-religious contexts.
With experience as a GP and GP tutor, Jenny Watson spent five years in Pakistan involved in primary care and medical education. Since being forced to leave in 2012 she has been living and working cross-culturally in Southall, west London, enjoying the crossover between her locum GP work and community outreach ministries with local churches.
Trevor Stammers is Editor of The New Bioethics and Programme Director in Bioethics and Medical Law, St Mary’s University, Twickenham.
Most of the recent NHS scandals have not been a result of a lack of competence but a lack of compassionate care. Compassion - long regarded as an optional extra in the era of ascendency of technological medicine, is now back on the agenda. But what is compassion? Can care be given without compassion? Can compassion be taught and if so, how? If not how do we cultivate it?
What does the bible teach about compassion? Is there a specifically Christian form of compassion? If so what is it? If not, does Christianity have anything to contribute to the compassion debate?
These and other questions will be form the focus of an interactive seminar where we will try together to find some answers.
Elsie Maxwell is a retired professor who spent most of her life working with Muslim families in North Africa. Stephanie Moss is a GP in Sparkhill, Birmingham and CMF Graduate Associate Staffworker
Our Muslim colleagues and patients have much to teach us about the integration of faith and daily life, and some practices apply equally to both sexes- e.g. keeping the Fast, making the Hajj pilgrimage, regular prayer and halal medicines.
However some issues are particularly important when meeting women patients and we will be addressing some of these at this seminar aiming to understand better and treat such patients with integrity and respect.
How do you feel when a woman comes with her face completely covered? How do you feel if she declines physiotherapy on her knee because the physiotherapist is male? Or if she refuses to show her serious skin condition to a male dermatologist, preferring to leave the clinic undiagnosed? Why is a woman with stress incontinence finding it difficult to pray? What problems might a Mirena coil pose for a Muslim woman? How are young women affected by the views of the older women? How do women cope when their husband takes another wife? What are the rules and practice about abortion, childbirth, contraception and divorce? What support do imams and mosques offer to women?
Mark & Rachael Pickering are Yorkshire prison GPs running a social enterprise healthcare company for marginalised patient groups
The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46) reminds us that God counts our service to needy patients as if it was service to him. Although that’s nice to know, it doesn’t make such work easy. Doctoring society’s marginalised groups – including prisoners, homeless people, refugees & asylum seekers and sex workers – is very hard work, yet it’s one of the most brilliant career moves a Christian medic can make! The pay packet isn’t always huge but the rewards are beyond price!! Interested? Then, whether you’re seeking your full-time career destination or simply thinking of developing a side-interest, sign up to our seminar to find out more about bringing hope to suffering marginalised patients! See you at the Conference!!
Emma & Phil Hayward: Emma is a GP and clinical educator. Phil is an engineer and a fantastic dad to Eleanor, Daniel and Zachary
Life can feel a bit like juggling. Work, home, church, exams, exercise, extended family, mission, more exams… but what happens when you add a baby to the mix? Or even two or three? If you are thinking of having children or have a young family already, this seminar could be for you. We will take an honest look at the issues which arise from deciding to start a family through to the pre-school years. As parents of three small children we know there is no magic formula and we certainly can’t provide a ‘How to’ guide to raising children, but we are willing to share with you the highs and lows of the last six years. The session will be interactive and you are encouraged to bring your questions, thoughts and experiences to share. For those of you who prefer experiential learning please join us at a meal time. Follow the sounds of a small riot and the trail of food debris on the floor to find us!
Roxana is a locum GP, pregnancy crisis support worker and mother
The junior doctor years present many challenges. Long hours, on-calls and shift patterns make it difficult to maintain a routine. Moving to a new area can mean losing contact with church and Christian friends who offer support and accountability. Working with difficult colleagues, facing new clinical scenarios and being confronted with illness and death can be physically and emotionally draining. All of these things can sap our enthusiasm for spending time with God, just when we need Him the most.
We will look at ways of ‘Practising the Presence of God’, not just in our ‘Quiet Times’ but throughout the day.
We will also look at the content of our devotional times, and think about how different personalities relate to God in different ways. I will encourage participants to explore which methods can help them to grow in their relationship with God.
We will consider how our churches, Christian friends and CMF groups can be both sources of support and places where we can encourage and build up one another.
My prayer is that you will be inspired and will grow in your relationship with the God of grace who gladly bears our burdens as we walk with Him.
Sue Allen is Changemaker project lead, University of Northampton. Tim James is senior project nurse for Clinical Informatics & Operations, Evelina Children’s Hospital London.
Aim: to explore the importance of Christian values and a Christ-centred approach to nursing practice.
To understand the predominant culture and values in nursing practice
To become familiar with the Six ‘C’s as a value base for modern nursing
To examine the positive and negative effects that impact on embedding consistent good nursing practice based on the Six ‘C’s
To explore the biblical concepts of the Six ‘C’s and discuss the implications for contemporary nursing practice.
This workshop will introduce the model current in the UK to ensure that all nursing care is underpinned by the Six ‘C’s, and will identify the tensions in delivering care to a standard of excellence when resources and staffing levels are limited. The discussion will use a case study approach and personal experience of the participants and will include a discussion on the importance of leadership and management principles that are supportive of care.
The session will aim to highlight the importance of knowing the teachings of Jesus that are relevant to this issue but also reinforce and celebrate the personal knowledge of the role of the Holy Spirit in our personal lives as Christian nurses.
The history of nursing and midwifery goes back as early as Biblical times (see Exodus 1 for example), and certainly to the early church. The first deacons and deaconesses practised the teaching of Jesus in caring for the most vulnerable in their own communities and others (e.g. in Acts 2:42-47, 4:32-37, & 6:1-7). But it is easy to forget today how radical an idea it was for the early church to care for the poor, the sick, the stranger and the outcast in this manner. How did that early church practice eventually lead to modern nursing as we know it and what can we learn then from that history about practicing nursing as a Christian in the 21st century NHS?
Student Leaders' Track
This will run concurrently with other seminars but is only available for student leaders.
Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was formed in 1949 and currently has over 4,000 UK doctors and around 800 UK medical students as members.
Our passion is uniting and equipping Christian doctors and nurses.