Graham Buxton in The Trinity, Creation and Pastoral Ministry: Imaging the Perichoret...
(2005, Paternoster), seeks to expose the perichoretic interconnectedness, in both the theological and scientific senses, between the nature of the Trinity, creation, pastoral care and ecclessial life.
Providing much of his theoretical framework in the first half of the book, Buxton begins to develop some themes for pastoral life, and the book begins to turn to the practical outworkings. Having stated that it is much easier to endorse a practical theology of the Trinity than it is to articulate one, he attempts to provide us with some insights from his work.
Dr. Buxton describes the "pastoral" in Christian ministry as the outward orientation (ekstasis) of God's triune life to all people
Buxton argues that "the church is identified as such not only in its catholicity,... but also in its witness to the triune God as it lives out his life in the arena of the world." (2005, p.143), and he affirms James Buckley's assertion that "continuing conversion to God's triune communio
is the central condition for continual reform of our own churches" (2001, p.223).
Perichoretic Themes in Pastoral Life
1. Community Formation - Difference and Diversity.
A "vision of the church that is more communion than hierarchy, more service than power, more circular than pyramidal, more loving embrace than bending knee before authority." (Boff, 1988, p.154).
2. Community Realisation - Love.
3. Community Operation - Worship.
4. Community Operation - Mission.
A mission orientation predicated on welcome of the stranger and availability to all people.
5. Community Operation - Compassion.
"This analogous correspondence between divine and human perichoretic life in the practice of ecclesial life in its worship, mission and pastoral care parallels similar insights with regard to the formation and realisation of the community of faith, demonstrating the robustness of the perichoresis
construct in the pastoral life of the church." (Buxton, 2005, p.193).
Buckley, J.J. (2001) 'The Wounded Body: The Spirit's Ecumenical Work on Divisions among Christians', in Buckley, J.J. and Yeago, D.S. (eds), Knowing the Triune God: The Work of the Spirit in the Practices of the Church, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI.
Buxton, G. (2005). The Trinity, Creation and Pastoral Ministry: Imaging the Perichoretic God. Paternoster, UK.