Title: Samarbetskyrkor: potential och hinder
Author: Leif Nordenstorm
Institution / Affiliation:Direktor för Stiftelsen Fjellstedtska skolan, Uppsala, Sverige
Cooperation churches (samarbetskyrkor) have since 1966 been organized in cooperation between Church of Sweden and the Swedish Evangelical Mission (Evangeliska Fosterlands-Stiftelsen, EFS), which is an independent movement working for renewal within Church of Sweden. These cooperation churches have the advantage of a combination of the evangelical spirituality and the volunteer tradition of EFS and the strong feeling of affinity between Church of Sweden and the general public.
The article is discussing the book by Marie Rosenius, Samarbetskyrkan, en fråga om ecklesiologiskt kapital (The cooperation church, a question about ecclesiological capital), which was written based on a questionnaire, but also supplements the results presented in the book with the result of an interview survey, based on unstructured open-ended questions.
One conclusion of Rosenius is that the cooperation churches often work well but there can be problems. It has become evident that when a new vicar has begun to serve in a congregation, problems can arise if the new vicar is not familiar with the spirituality of EFS and because different ecclesio logies can be in conflict with each other. Another problem is that many congregations have become more like event organisers, than fellowships around Christ. In this regard, EFS adhere to the ideal of a fellowship around Christ, in which personal conversion is important. Another problem is differences about current language usage. For example, “congregation” and “mission” can have different meanings in different traditions. The article also compares the situation in the cooperation churches in Sweden with the different traditions in Church of England and ends with some ideas how to avoid misunderstandings and how to strengthen the cooperation in the future.
Cooperation churches, Swedish church order, Church of Sweden, Swedish Evangelical Mission, EFS, ecclesiology
Published by NLA University College
In partnership with Johannelund School of Theology