St Albans, United Kingdom
The Trans-European Division (TED) has unanimously affirmed a report from its Biblical Research Committee that calls for “an inclusive and gender-neutral ministry”.
The report gives good reasons for the Church to review its practices in order to let them harmonise more with the Bible.
The recommendation was made by the TED Executive Committee during its year-end meeting on Monday, following a two-hour discussion on the “Theology of Ordination” report. The report also covered issues such as biblical hermeneutics, terminology, and the significance of the laying of hands.
A statement on the TED website said it hopes the Church will “[approve] a revised policy” at its 2015 General Conference Session, “in which unions, whose constituency meetings in session have voted approval and whose division committee has voted approval, be allowed to maintain an inclusive pastoral ministry which removes all gender distinctions within the work of the church in that union territory”.
Pastor Bertil Wiklander, president of the TED and chairman of its Biblical Research Committee, said the team has been “astonished” at what the 19-month study into the biblical roots of ordination had revealed. “The report gives good reasons for the Church to review its practices in order to let them harmonise more with the Bible,” he said.
Pastor Wiklander has been outspoken in his support for women’s ordination in recent months, saying he “would die for it” during a presentation on the subject at Newbold College in September. Following Monday’s vote, however, Pastor Wiklander noted the importance of the world church working together and moving forward in unison.