Episcopalians and United Methodists met in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the third session of their Dialogue on Full Communion ( 25-27 April 2016). The ten committee members, along with staff from each church, shared in conversation, meals, prayer, and a celebration of the Eucharist. It was a time for building relationships between representatives of two sibling churches that have long desired to grow closer in common witness to the gospel of Christ and in mission for the healing of God’s world.
The dialogue session made substantive progress towards a proposal for full communion between The Episcopal Church and The United Methodist Church. Committee members continued to learn about the history, beliefs, practices, and ways of living as church that are found in each tradition. Many are shared in common by both traditions. Dialogue participants also discussed and appreciated our distinctiveness. Among these are the ways our churches have shaped their institutions and approaches to ministry appropriate to their particular missional contexts.
Dialogue participants shared their own questions with one another and began developing FAQs . Sharing answers to these queries will assist both churches as we grow closer in relationship with one another.
The next session will be held in October 2016.
Alongside their work as a Dialogue Committee, participants, noting the recent passage of House Bill 2 in the State Legislature of North Carolina, found themselves confronted with an example of the common challenges faced by all Christians as they work to faithfully give witness to the sacred dignity of all people. The Committee, in recognition of the harmful effects of the bill, stands with our Episcopal and United Methodist bishops in North Carolina, calling upon the legislature to repeal this discriminatory law.
The central point of Episcopalians and United Methodists working to strengthen their relationship with each other is faithfully and effectively to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and to work for the healing of a divided and suffering world.
Our gratitude goes to Rev. James Howell and Myers Park United Methodist Church for their gracious hospitality.
- Bishop Frank Brookhart
- Bishop Gregory Palmer
- Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey
- The Rev. Jordan Haynie Ware
- Dr. Deirdre Good (guest)
- Rev. Dr. Robert J. Williams
- Bishop David Rice
- Rev. Patricia Farris
- The Rev. Dr. Tom Ferguson
- Bishop Mary Ann Swenson
- Rev. James Howell
- Staff: Dr. Glen Alton Messer, Ms. Jeanette Nunez, The Rev. Margaret Rose
This article was originally posted at http://www.ocuir.org/2016/04/27/episcopal-umc-dialogue-communique/.