Adapted from the Office of Public Affairs

The Rt. Rev. Stacy Sauls, chief operating officer of the Episcopal Church, will preach at an Interim Shared Eucharist with the United Methodist Church at 5:30 p.m. March 3 at John Street Church in New York City. The Episcopal Church celebrates the lives of John and Charles Wesley on March 3.

Resident Bishop Jane Allen Middleton of the New York Annual Conference will preside. The Eucharist is sponsored by the Diocese of New York. The service is sponsored by the Diocese of New York and will follow the two churches’ common guidelines for interim eucharistic sharing [PDF].

“The growing unity between United Methodists and Episcopalians is a source of great joy for me as someone who was formed in the Methodist Church as a child,” Bishop Sauls said. “I continue to value the depth of Methodist spirituality and appreciate the Methodist gift for piety in the best possible sense, and I am filled with hope at the missional opportunities we might pursue together.”

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Nicholas Birns, chairman of the Diocese of New York Episcopal-Methodist Dialogue, said this is the second shared Eucharist in the state. The first, he said, occurred at St. Paul’s Chapel, New York City, in May 2012. “At that time, the Episcopalians hosted, United Methodist Bishop Jeremiah Park co-presided, and the preacher was Bishop Robert Rimbo of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA),” he said.

The John Street parish started as a prayer circle of Methodists who also attended formal services at Trinity Church, Wall Street. After American independence, and the consequent formal break between Methodists and Episcopalians, these ties were severed.

Image: Bishop Sauls preaches at the Diocese of Georgia’s annual convention in 2012. • Diocese of Georgia/Flickr

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