Dan Martins, over at his blog CARIOCACONFESSIONS, not surprisingly has a good short analysis of the Covenant Proposal and why he likes it. Dan is a solid clear thinker and when he says "what we have to consider now is a relational covenant--a set of ground rules for how the autonomous provinces are accountable to one another interdependently. In our present condition, this is something we need very badly," we need to listen.
This set of ground rules seems relational, but it is relations as determined by "the instruments of unity", which he calls the 4IU. What that gives us, friends, is not a relational covenant, but a power determined covenant. Lost in all this is the power of the voices of the widow and her mite, the poor or oppressed, the unloved and the wounded, the left out and the outcasts. This is relational between the haves only.
What do the "powers" in this relational covenant have? They have the assurance from the rest of us that they are called to high office. We say they are called by God to their offices, and so they are. But that does not give them God given rights to determine how we relate. It gives them opportunity to provide more or less convincing reasons for relating this way or that.
I am thinking, for example, about the various rules that govern the reception of communion, both in our own churches, among our churches and ecumenically. All the decisions from on high may seem to determine the relational covenants on which reception of communion is based, but on the ground most of us who are starved for God's Word (which is every bit as much in the reception of Communion as in the reception of Scripture) will go where we need to and find comfort there.
I respect Dan for his read on the matter. I am more sure than ever that the notion of a covenant without a discussion of power is a mistake.