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date: 25 August 2019

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.

Keywords: covenant, instrument, Methodist, Church of Ireland, ministry, mission

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