Monday, February 04, 2008

Geographic Ecclesiology

One can only reasonably be a part of parish life if travel time is not too great. If a congregation is particularly evangelistic and new to an area, the travel time can be increased somewhat but there's still a limit. Also, on the 'iron sharpens iron' principle and given various realities which I'll label political, the requirement should be extended to: two congregations in full communion both within reasonable driving time (where I define full communion not denominationally or ethnically but rather via the full recognition of one another's sacraments, and where sacrament is extended to, for example, the gift of tongues among Pentecostals - that being their confirmation sacrament). What counts as reasonable travel time will, of course, vary.

My own rule of thumb, given current modes of transportation and expectations, is that an ecclesiastical community has a presence in a place if there are two congregations in full communion within a 30 minute drive of that place, or at least if both are within a total driving time of an hour of that place.

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