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Anglican Methodist covenant Aotearoa New Zealand

There are a lot of notices going around about services on 24 May celebrating the signing of the Anglican Methodist Covenant in Aotearoa New Zealand. But it appears relatively difficult for people to actually get hold of the covenant being signed.

Here you can download a pdf of the Anglican Methodist Covenant.
Here is a not dissimilar covenant made in England in 2003.

We, the Methodist Church of New Zealand (Te Hahi Weteriana o Aotearoa), and the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (Te Hahi Mihinare ki Aotearoa ki Niu Tireni, ki Nga Moutere o Te Moana Nui a Kiwa), on the basis of our shared history, our agreement on the apostolic faith, our shared theological understandings of the nature and mission of the church and of its ministry and oversight, and our agreed vision of a greater practical expression of the unity in Christ of our two churches, hereby make the following covenant.

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14 Responses to Anglican Methodist covenant Aotearoa New Zealand

  1. This is a generous approach to covenant, made possible, obviously, by decades of conversation and seeking, slowly, step by step, to work together.

    It will be interesting to me to observe how the concept of “ecumenical space” develops– how conversations in such space can be both “safe” and frank, as at times, no doubt, they will need to be.

  2. Does this covenant make any specific difference to the already excellent relationships between Anglicans and Methodists in NZ? I cannot find, for instance, where we (Anglicans) have shifted one iota on recognition of Methodist ministry re the sacrament of communion.

  3. The PDF link gives me a 404 Error and I am an anglican who married a methodist – this is the first I heard of the covenant between the denominations but its interesting.

  4. Where a Methodist minister takes up an Anglican position or vice versa each remains a member of their own denomination and presumably is subject to its disciplines and practice. Should a conflict or the perception of one arise in the practice of their ministry is there a two-denominational body called to resolve it or is the sole responsibility of the denomination where the person holds their ministry licencse?
    An obvious possibility relates to eucharistic practice where Anglicans hold a consubstantial – even with some – a transubstantial belief and Methodists mostly hold more of a protestant remembrance doctrine.

    • I am not aware, John, of any situation where a “Methodist minister takes up an Anglican position or vice versa” in New Zealand, so your question does not arise. In a cooperating parish the minister would normally follow their own tradition. The Anglican Doctrine Commission ruled that if a non-Anglican clergyperson used, for example, an Anglican eucharistic rite in an Anglican building (as is possible) that this is not an Anglican eucharist. I hope that helps.

  5. THIS IS THE ISSUE: The covenant seeks organic union of our two churches, meaning the unification of the two churches’ ministries – an interchange ability between our two churches . Whereas the Methodist Church fully recognises the ordination of Anglican ministers and they can work within the Methodist system, this full recognition is not mutual. The Anglican Church recognises the ordination of Methodist presbyters for ministry within the Methodist Church but they must be re-ordained to work within the Anglican system. Methodist feel insulted by this as it casts doubts on the validity of their ministry. So, how can we resolve this problem? How can we as Anglicans fully recognize Methodist clergy in order for them to celebrate within our churches? Any ideas?

    • The issue you describe, Rob, has similarities with Anglican-Roman Catholic relations (about which I think you’ll find points on this site). I certainly have no breakthrough ideas. In part, I guess, we can acknowledge God works beyond our structural limitations. I think it is easier to move forward if there is acceptance of three-fold orders. That means Methodists accepting episcopacy – but it may also involve Anglicans rethinking diaconate from Methodist positive insights (and I write about that on this site). After that there are two ways historically of uniting ministries. One way is of accepting current orders and having all new ordinations done episcopally. The other is to have leaders ordaining each other to meld orders as it were. Both approaches have been used in India. Do you or anyone else have better ways forward?

  6. Is the real issue the theology of the Eucharist? For those holding to a physical episcopal succession a non-episcopally ordained person is by definition not qualified to consecrate the elements. For those of us who hold to a spiritual succession the material succession is not a critical factor.
    Obviously order is important – every upstart visionary cannot proclaim themselves as ‘ordained’ (by God if no-one else will oblige)and expect acceptance by the orthodox churches.
    At both ends of the eucharistic continuum are implacable proponents of opposite perceptions. In between the common ground should keep the common people in Communion.

    John Marcon

    • I think there is a different way to express this that may help move forward: God consecrates the bread and wine in response to the community’s prayer which is led by the presider. It does appear that having an episcopal structure guards against the fragmentation and disunity so typical of protestantism.

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