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Document Details :

Title: Guest Membership
Subtitle: Note on a Discussion in the Netherlands
Author(s): VAN EIJK, A.H.C.
Journal: Bijdragen
Volume: 62    Issue: 2   Date: 2001   
Pages: 143-153
DOI: 10.2143/BIJ.62.2.769

Abstract :
The question of whether a Christian can be a member of his or her own church and guest member in another is itself a fruit of the ecumenical movement. In the Netherlands this question has been on the agenda of the Roman Catholic Bishops' Conference and of the so called Small Synod of the (Protestant) SoW-churches. What were the motives of people who asked for this double or guest membership? How did the church authorities and their advisory bodies respond to their requests? And what arguments do they produce? It appears from the discussion that the terminology of guest, double or plural membership is rather clumsy. What is really at stake is the communion between the churches on the local level that is enhanced by their sharing of each other’s spiritual resources. Individual Christians who, while remaining members of their own church, contribute to the life of another church, participate in the shaping of this communion, that, though yet imperfect, is real.