Yesterday we had a delegation meeting for those elected from South Carolina to attend next year's General Conference. Part of our discussion was the final report from our church's General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. In my very first post I wrote about their initial report and potential changes they proposed to the way we order ministry. The gist of GBHEM's final report was the recommendation that GC appoint another study commission for the upcoming four years to continue the work!
Still, the direction they propose includes some major changes: moving ordination to an earlier point in the process of the ministry journey, and separating ordination from full membership in the covenant connection of ministers. Though they suggest four more years of discussion, I wouldn't be surprised to see petitions at this GC relating to these same proposals.
I do like the idea of streamlining our process as much as we can. I like the idea of changing the nomenclature of the "probationary" years to "Residency." And basically I think the idea to move ordination earlier, (which would drastically reduce the number of LP's by making them Elders in Provisional Membership), along with not giving Local Pastors the authority to administer sacraments (except under extreme conditions by the authority of the Bishop), is a good recommendation - I just don't see how it would work out. So maybe it does call for more study and discussion. I hope to hear how others think about this.