MINISTERING TO ONE ANOTHER
the Covenant Ministerium
by Brad Boydston
An edited version was published in
the Covenant Companion, August 2001
If you search for the word “ministerium” in your dictionary you probably won’t come up with much–unless it’s in German, Latin, or Covenant-speak. A ministerium is a department of a governmental ministry or the company of ministers. In our case it is the latter.
The Covenant Ministerium is the body of all Covenant clergy. It approves ministerial credentials before they can be acted on by the Annual Meeting of the Covenant. It also works to strengthen the bonds of fellowship among Covenant ministers and renders help to members during times of special need.
The Annual Meeting of the Covenant Ministerium was held June 26-27, 2001 at the Holiday Inn, Rosemont, Illinois, just prior to the 116th Annual Meeting of the Covenant.
The opening session on Tuesday afternoon was a continuing education presentation by Dr. Susie Stanley, professor at Messiah College and leader in Wesleyan/Holiness Women Clergy, International.
Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the decision to ordain women in the Covenant, Stanley lectured on the historical and current struggles of women in pastoral ministry.
The Ministerium met for business on Wednesday morning and afternoon, during which it:
· approved 19 candidates for ordination
· approved 12 candidates for commissioning
· approved 480 ministerial licenses at the recommendation of the Board of Ministry moved to revoke the ordination of a minister
· endorsed David Kersten as the candidate for the position of Executive Minister of the Ordered Ministry so his name could be presented to the Annual Meeting of the Covenant
· heard that Wendy Crawford Larson has been appointed to the presidency of the Ministerium for one year as Kersten is resigning to assume the Executive Minister of the Ordered Ministry position. Herbert Hedstrom will assume Larson’s position.
· honored Dotty Anderson, who is retiring after 15 years of service in the Department of Ministry
· received and endorsed a report on the Sanctuary Project, a pilot project on pastoral care of pastors, which was coordinated by Jerome K Johnson in the North Pacific Conference. This report can be found online at www.covchurch.org/cov/ministerium
· spread on the minutes a revision to the body’s constitution and bylaws for action at the 2002 Annual Meeting. This proposal would bring the Ministerium’s charter into harmony with those adopted by the Covenant Annual Meeting this year. This document can be found online at www.covchurch.org/cov/ministerium/
· elected Brian T. Brooks for a three-year term as vice-secretary approved a budget of $53,550 for the 2001-2002 fiscal year (the Covenant Ministerium is funded by member dues)
· endorsed the Recommendation for Church Family and Medical Leave Practice. These are recommendations to help churches as they seek to establish staff policies related to issues surrounding maternity/paternity leave and the care of family members with health problems. The recommendations can be found online at www.covchurch.org/cov/ministerium/
· honored Don Frisk, North Park Theological Seminary professor emeritus of theology, on his 90th birthday.
On Wednesday evening the Ministerium gathered in a combined meeting with the Annual Meeting of the Covenant. Tracy Kay planned and led the worship. Dr. John Phelan, president and dean of North Park Theological Seminary preached a sermon which developed the biblical foundation for women in pastoral roles. He argued that Jesus, in reaction to the narrow holiness codes of his time, emphasized open access to God and full participation in his kingdom for all people – including women.
The Covenant Ministerium is about clergy–male and female–working together, challenging and caring for each other, for the benefit of the Covenant. Even though you may not find much about the Ministerium in the dictionary it plays a vital role in the life of the Covenant.