Autumn 2019

Editorial

HOW is God prompting us to develop the ordained and lay ministry of the Church of Ireland today? What does God want for our future? Could death and resurrection be in the plan somewhere? This was indeed suggested at the Spring 2019 Colloquium that gave rise to the summer issue of SEARCH.
In this issue and the next, we will be exploring the issues further, hoping to encourage new developments and, as Bishop Burrows put it, to see the ‘hatchable eggs’ produce new life. Legal and missional issues are to the fore in the following pages: Barry Forde and Bishop Paul Colton write on the need for changes in the Church’s constitution to foster new ministry initiatives, while Tanya Olhausen explores one markedly effective tool for Christian outreach and encouragement, the increasingly popular Alpha Course. Further examples of new styles of ministry will follow in our Spring 2020 issue. But to answer the question about our future, we need to go deeper than any of the above - into the relationship with God and one another from which all ministry and organisation of ministry must spring. This Robin Stockitt does by urging us to find our deepest identity and authenticity within the embrace of the Triune God, whose indwelling enables us to love and value one another. At this time of political crisis and increasingly clamorous argument two further issues are inescapable: the future relationship between the two jurisdictions and multiple communities in Ireland, and that between people of faith and non-believers. So we invited Dr Johnston McMaster of the Irish School of Ecumenics Reconciliation programme in Belfast to ponder possibilities for harmony in the future of this island, while Peter Admirand, along with US philosopher Andrew Fiala, demonstrates the possibility of respectful ‘believer – nonbeliever’ dialogue. This issue closes with a Liturgica penned by Bridget Nichols and with a varied crop of book reviews. Our thanks to all concerned, and happy reading to all our valued subscribers and their friends!

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