I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one.
As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
-- John 17:20-21, NRSV
Ecumenical / Interfaith Headlines
June 2, 2015
Council of Bishops Office of
Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships
NEW YORK – The Episcopal
Church-United Methodist Church Dialogue Committee on Full Communion met at the
United Methodist Building in Washington, DC from May 26-28, 2015. The United
Methodist Church’s Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships hosted this conversation with supportfrom the Episcopal Church’s
Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations. Bishop Gregory Palmer and
the Right Reverend C. Franklin Brookhart co-chaired the Dialogue Committee
Following a welcome by the Rev.
Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the United Methodist General Board
of Church and Society (headquartered at the United Methodist Building), the
Committee reviewed the work of previous dialogue conversations, which began in
2002 and resulted in an Interim Eucharistic Sharing Agreement in 2006. Over the
course of three days of prayer, conversation, deliberation, fellowship, and
long-term planning, the Committee adopted a Memorandum of Understanding to
guide its work through December 2017. Conversations took place amidst a spirit
of mutual respect, good humor, authenticity to our shared and different
traditions, openness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and deepening
Building on an earlier
committee’s affirmation that there are no church-dividing obstacles to the
ratification of a full communion relationship, the Dialogue Committee received
an internal document entitled Assist Us to Proclaim the Gospel: A
Proposal for Full Communion.
The Dialogue Committee committed
itself to study of the existing full communion relationships enriching the life
of each church, and looked in particular at a 2014 document proposing the
recognition of a full communion relationship between United Methodists and the
Northern and Southern provinces of the Moravian Church.
In its next meetings, the
Dialogue Committee will agree to the content of resolutions to be submitted to
the General Convention of the Episcopal Church and the General Conference of
The United Methodist Church. The Committee will also seek to identify and
encourage local expressions of existing unity in mission between Episcopalians
and United Methodists—in congregations, theological education, advocacy,
worship, and service. To these ends, the Committee agreed to a practice of
coordinated and regular communication about its work through appropriate
channels in each church, including a common social media strategy and the
release of communiqués.
Richard J. Mammana, Jr.
Ecumenical and Interreligious
The Episcopal Church
Glen Alton Messer, II
Associate Ecumenical Staff Officer
The United Methodist Church
The North American Academy of Ecumenists invite you to participate in the realizing the gift of unity with
which Jesus Christ establishes the church and by which the Holy Spirit
sustains it. The annual conference is open to all who are interested and
involved in ecumenical work.
The Academy features presentations from leading theologians and ecclesiastics on the
ecumenical issues of the day. Its membership includes teaching
theologians, church officials, and clergy, religious and laity actively
pursing Christian unity.
NAAE membership provides a subscription to the Journal of Ecumenical
Studies in which conference presentations are published. Membership also
helps support the expenses of the essay contest and providing the
conference at the end of September.
The membership period follows an academic year of June through May,
while the JES subscription is a calendar year beginning in January. Each
annual volume includes four separate issues, one per season, with NAAE
papers appearing in either the Summer or Fall issue; roughly a year
Click here for full details.
By Donald E. Messer*
Amid the distracting noise in the heart of
bustling Berlin, Germany, exists an ecumenical, interfaith Room of
Silence where people from around the world stop to pray and meditate.
within the famed Brandenburg Gate, where opposing military forces and
political ideologies clashed until the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989,
the Room of Silence was created as a symbol of peace and inclusiveness
for all people.
Persons are encouraged to enter without fear. A
statement of purpose invites individuals to "remain in silence, . . .
relax, gain strength for daily life, . . . meditate and to feel
gratitude . . . ." The sponsors say the room is "a symbol . . . to
tolerance and the brotherhood of humanity embracing all nationalities
and ideologies, a continuous reminder against violence and xenophobia .
. . a small step towards peace and spiritual unity.”
As an active participant in Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC) the United
Methodist Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships
(OCUIR) recommends United Methodist pastors share in a pulpit exchange
with our CUIC partners.
The hope is such an exchange will enliven visible unity among the
churches and celebrate the journey we are taking together. Such
exchanges would be between the following faith communions: The African
Methodist Episcopal Church, The African Methodist Episcopal
Zion Church, The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), The Christian
Methodist Church, The Episcopal Church, The International Council of
Community Churches, The Moravian Church (Northern Province), The
Presbyterian Church (USA), The United Church of Christ
and The United Methodist Church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America is also a partner in mission and dialogue and may be included.
CUIC suggests the exchanges take place during the Easter Season (between
now and Pentecost on May 24) and between the
International Day of Prayer for Peace (September 21) and World
Communion Sunday (October 4), remembering any non-United Methodist
preacher should be approved in advance by the local District
Click here for suggestions for implementing Churches Uniting in Christ.
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