A portion of the Episcopal Church-United Methodist Dialogue Communiqué, issued after the dialogue’s meeting of Oct. 2-4 at the United Methodist Building in Washington:
The principal tasks of the dialogue group for this meeting were to review responses from members of both churches to the January 2017 document A Gift to the World: Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness: A Proposal for Full Communion [PDF] and to plan for the future consideration of this proposal by each church’s legislative body. The committee is working to design a series of regional conversations between United Methodists and Episcopalians related to this proposal. They will also seek to develop a series of communications celebrating the close relationship between our denominations, highlighting the practical and missional opportunities that a full communion agreement would foster.
The group also reviewed and revised a document of Frequently Asked Questions about the full communion proposal. This material will be available online in the short term.
Finally, the dialogue committee was dismayed that once again our meeting took place in the wake of yet another mass shooting. Events of mass violence in our world are so frequent that it almost feels inevitable that each time we meet there will be another atrocity to mourn, more victims to commend to God’s eternal care, additional communities in need of prayers for healing, reconciliation, and peace.
Our dialogue team opened our meeting by praying the Great Litany from the Book of Common Prayer. Together we prayed these words: “That it may please thee to strengthen such as do stand; to comfort and help the weak-hearted; to raise up those who fall; and finally, to beat down Satan under our feet.” As we continue to work for peace and justice in the world, it is the sincere hope of the dialogue committee that our work together may serve as a sign and symbol of the wider work of God’s reconciling love in each and every place.
The dialogue will meet next on April 23-25, 2018, in Chicago.