- The Early Stages: Pre-1910
- Laying the Foundations: 1910–1948
- Pivotal Years: 1948–1965
- Intense Activity: 1965–1990
- Consolidation and Challenge: 1990—Present
- Pentecostal and Charismatic
- Faith and Order
- World Council of Churches
- Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
- Bilateral Dialogues
- Chevetogne, Taizé, and the Groupe des Dombes
- United and Uniting Churches
- Regional and National Councils of Churches
- Interchurch Families
- Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
- Global Christian Forum
- Britain and Ireland
- United States of America
- Latin America
- The Middle East
- The Unity We Seek
- In Search of a Way
- Method in Ecumenism
- Kenotic Ecumenism
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter explores the notion of covenant as an instrument which may facilitate closer and more binding relationships between or among churches wanting to commit to each other in a further step on the road to complete unity. The history of the term is outlined, noting its origin with the World Council of Churches. Several recent covenant relationships in different parts of the world are examined, with comments on their development and documentation. It is observed that a leading motivation in the establishment of covenants has been that of mission, while a significant challenge has been varying theologies of ministry. Particular note is taken of the covenant between the Methodist Church in Ireland and the Church of Ireland (Anglican), in which these churches are formulating legislation to facilitate interchangeability of ministries.
Gillian Kingston is Vice-President of the World Methodist Council. She was the first Lay Leader of the Conference of the Methodist Church in Ireland (2010-2013).
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