Monday, 7 February 2011

Interchangeability of Ministry

The Tom Moreland Interchange in DeKalb County,...Image via Wikipedia
The third theological question raised at a recent meeting of National Ecumenical Officers is: where may interchangeability of ministers be found?

There is a distinction between shared ministry and interchangeability of ministry.  Shared ministry is where one tradition helps out another, but the original tradition still has pastoral responsibility.  With interchangeability, the traditions would be able to collaborate over the deployment of ministers.

Theoretically there is interchangeability between the Methodist, United Reformed and Baptists churches.  All the primary issues have been addressed and agreed but in practice it doesn't happen because secondary criteria make sure it doesn't.

It seems that as first order questions are addressed, the second order questions become first order.  Interchangeability, even in the world Methodist communion, tends to be blocked by erection other criteria.

So, what do we mean by interchangeability?

Please comment on this issue, as it is currently under discussion and your views might swing the balance!  All comments will be passed to relevant people and views from a local perspective are particularly welcome.
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