Full communion proposal of Episcopal Church-United Methodist:

A Gift to the World: Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Episcopal Church – United Methodist Dialogue group have prepared A Gift to the World: Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness; The Episcopal Church and The United Methodist Church – A Proposal for Full Communion, the result of dialogue for a formal full-communion relationship.

In a recent letter, Bishop Frank Brookhart of Montana, Episcopal Church co-chair of the committee, with Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, the United Methodist Church, Ohio West Episcopal Area, offered, “The relationships formed over these years of dialogue, and the recognition that there are presently no theological impediments to unity, paved the way for this current draft proposal.” The entire letter is available here.

A Gift to the World: Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness; The Episcopal Church and The United Methodist Church – A Proposal for Full Communion, is located here.

In the coming months, opportunities for feedback, regional gatherings, and discussions will be slated.

Additional related information, including historical documents, is available here.

The work of the Episcopal-United Methodist Dialogue is enabled by two General Convention resolutions: 2015-A107 and 2006-A055.

For more information contact the Rev. Margaret Rose, Episcopal Church Deputy for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations at mrose@episcopalchurch.org.

Members of the Episcopal-United Methodist Dialogue
Episcopal
Bishop C. Franklin Brookhart
Bishop David Rice
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Ferguson
The Rev. Dr. Deirdre Good
The Rev. Jordan M. Haynie Ware
The Rev. Margaret R. Rose – Staff

United Methodist
Bishop Gregory Palmer
Reverend Patricia Farris
Reverend Dr. James Howell
Reverend Dr. Pamela Lightsey
Bishop Michael Watson
Reverend Dr. Robert J. Williams
Kyle Tau, PhD, MTS – staff

Comments

  1. Pastor Gordon Braun says:

    It’s about time the followers of Saints John and Charles Wesley came back into the fold! I know that I did.

  2. Doug Desper says:

    I grew up Methodist under their old Worship Book and Hymnal (1960s), both of which made a deliberate effort to align as simplified Common Prayer worship. Such had been the vision of Fr. John Wesley as the Anglican presence in the colonies was disintegrating during the post-Revolution period. His attempt to rescue the Methodist Societies from the catastrophe that befell their root Anglican Church was well-intentioned. His simplified Prayer Book was approved, and over many years mainly ignored. I do not believe that John Wesley would recognize the modern Methodist movement’s worship, much more its organization. In many places the worship is much more loose and unconcerned about including elements such as the Lord’s Prayer or Nicene Creed (this notwithstanding the “official” looking Services as found in their Hymnal). Quite often Methodist worship takes on the opinion and tastes of the pastor with key elements looked on as optional; all being blamed on the Holy Spirit. Altars or Communion Tables are sometimes just places to dump displays, offering plates, or Martha Stewart-like adornments instead of our (and Wesley’s) hope for frequent Communion.

    I am in no way discouraging efforts toward Full Communion, but we had better have eyes wide open on the “average” Methodist Church and not just on the hopeful desires of its leading legislative voices. At a minimum we should insist on never giving an inch for using the Book of Common Prayer. John Wesley’s insistence on such a standard has likely escaped the attention and concern of his spiritual descendants but it should never escape ours.

  3. Mary peck says:

    I’m afraid this movement would water down the significance the Episcopal church takes on the Eucharist. I seen some very loose Services in the Methodist churches.

  4. Susan Norris
    May 17,
    And what do we do with the full representation of Gay, Lesbian and Transgender folks in our Clergy – all the way up and down the “ladder?” Will, I hope, the Methodist majority become comfortable with/happy about, that”

  5. Bob Griffith says:

    I continue to be confounded by some in my Church (the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A) and their desire to give up the uniqueness and distinctiveness of the Episcopal Church and Anglicanism for some sort of pan-Protestantism. I was confirmed in the United Methodist Church (UMC) as a child. I chose to be an Episcopalian/Anglican. The UMC has very good ministry and does very good work. Yet, Methodists and Episcopalians, while sharing much, are not the same! It is a tragic undertaking to abandon the ideals of diversity and assert that we are the same. There are those people in TEC-USA who seem to continue to assert that difference, uniqueness, special charism, traditions, and differing theological foundations should put aside for some contrived version of “unity.” This betrays diversity and the respect for the different sensibilities of individuals and their longings, wants, and needs.

    The people vote with their feet – the more we continue down this path of bland pan-Protestantism, the less people want to be a part of us. Every study I’ve read and the research I’ve done over the past decade indicate that Millennials and those younger are not very interested in this kind meaningless sameness.

    Claim, understand, and live into our uniqueness. Celebrate our differences. Admit and be proud of them, because such variety sparks creativity and speaks to the hearts and minds of diverse humanity seeking God. In no way does admitting that we cannot be fully interchangeable and still fully ourselves diminish the validity or vitality of either church. We will still cooperate, work together, and challenge one another to “love mercy, do justly, and walk humbly with our God.”

    Pan-Protestant henotheism is on its deathbed, but some don’t want to believe it. Will we finally admit it when we have, perhaps, 50,000 showing up on any given Sunday and all the money for doing good is used up? Will we finally admit it when our spiritual and financial patrimony is squandered away? Can we admit that the church of the 1970’s and ’80’s is already over, just like we like to crow that the church of the 1950’s is dead?

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