Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Ordination and non-itinerant ministry

Download here

Author: Rev Peter Grassow

Date: August 2010

Context: Discussion document on the meaning of ordination and non-itinerant ministry in the MCSA

Status: DEWCOM response for Conference 2010

2 comments:

unlimited3 said...

From the 2007 Yearbook, there were two main reasons for introducing this category:

“Our present model of ministry makes it difficult to move quickly into new or developing settlements of people. Our existing model forces us to either wait until sufficient Methodists who can pay their way move into a new area or we attach these new areas to existing Circuits which then become more cumbersome and stretched for resources. The result is that while other churches are evangelising and planting churches in such areas, we are often left behind.” (L&D 2007:50)

“Where the circumstances of a local church are such that the inability to afford a full-time Minister will have a negative impact on the health and growth of the Church and no viable alternative exists for a shared ecumenical appointment …” (L&D 2007:52)


From this we can see the original intent was both:
1. Missional, (church planting).
2. Cost which are part of both the above motivations:
a. “.. until sufficient Methodists who can pay” to establish a presence, and
b. assisting societies who can no longer meet a minimum stipend plus their assessment.

I would submit that according to the MCSA Yearbooks since 2004, the emphasis of the NINS has been in reducing cost, and not missional.

The MCSA Yearbooks from 2004 until 2010 raise “concerns” about this category but only Years 2009 and 2010 give any specifics:

“… primary purpose of introducing this category was to assist poor circuits.” (Revd. Vuyani Nyobole, Yearbook 2009:25).

There were two rationalisations for the programmes introduction – only one of them was cost.

“…The main problem being the availability of our ministers in this category to attend training sessions as scheduled . ... The bulk of challenges arise from the interpretation and understanding of the system and procedures as they journey towards their ordination.” (Revd. Norman Raphahlela, Yearbook 2010:137 emphasis mine).

I would also submit that the EMMU Director is speaking of EMMU’s problem, not the MCSA’s problems.

As a NINS I agree with EMMU on this point. At no stage, at no time, did my super nor EMMU sit me down and explain exactly what the expectations were. Only recently has the NINS been required to submit a letter from their employer to confirm that the employer understands the time requirements.

On the question of de-ordination I submit that according to Laws and Disciplines #4.117.8.2 NINS are de-ordained when the Circuit has no further use for them - they are dismissed and loose all status (including that of an LP)within the MCSA!

unlimited3 said...

From the 2007 Yearbook, there were two main reasons for introducing this category:

“Our present model of ministry makes it difficult to move quickly into new or developing settlements of people. Our existing model forces us to either wait until sufficient Methodists who can pay their way move into a new area or we attach these new areas to existing Circuits which then become more cumbersome and stretched for resources. The result is that while other churches are evangelising and planting churches in such areas, we are often left behind.” (L&D 2007:50)

“Where the circumstances of a local church are such that the inability to afford a full-time Minister will have a negative impact on the health and growth of the Church and no viable alternative exists for a shared ecumenical appointment …” (L&D 2007:52)


From this we can see the original intent was both:
1. Missional, (church planting).
2. Cost which are part of both the above motivations:
a. “.. until sufficient Methodists who can pay” to establish a presence, and
b. assisting societies who can no longer meet a minimum stipend plus their assessment.

I would submit that according to the MCSA Yearbooks since 2004, the emphasis of the NINS has been in reducing cost, and not missional.

The MCSA Yearbooks from 2004 until 2010 raise “concerns” about this category but only Years 2009 and 2010 give any specifics:

“… primary purpose of introducing this category was to assist poor circuits.” (Revd. Vuyani Nyobole, Yearbook 2009:25).

There were two rationalisations for the programmes introduction – only one of them was cost.

“…The main problem being the availability of our ministers in this category to attend training sessions as scheduled . ... The bulk of challenges arise from the interpretation and understanding of the system and procedures as they journey towards their ordination.” (Revd. Norman Raphahlela, Yearbook 2010:137 emphasis mine).

I would also submit that the EMMU Director is speaking of EMMU’s problem, not the MCSA’s problems.

As a NINS I agree with EMMU on this point. At no stage, at no time, did my super nor EMMU sit me down and explain exactly what the expectations were. Only recently has the NINS been required to submit a letter from their employer to confirm that the employer understands the time requirements.

On the question of de-ordination I submit that according to Laws and Disciplines #4.117.8.2 NINS are de-ordained when the Circuit has no further use for them - they are dismissed and loose all status (including that of an LP)within the MCSA!