Dialogue Discusses Power

Excerpts from a brief report by the Episcopal-Presbyterian Dialogue, which met Oct. 4-5 at the Diocese of Chicago’s Nicholas Center:

After a time of updating dialogue members on both personal and denominational occurrences, the dialogue members began a review of the draft report that will be presented to both the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Episcopal General Convention in order to review what work has been done in the dialogue since it began in 2009.

The dialogue members discussed what issues still need to be addressed between the denominations and this resulted in a conversation that included sacramental and theological issues, but also a discussion regarding how both denominations have been a part of the systems of power in our world, and how that power has been misused in many ways. The dialogue members felt that further conversation on the issues of power and privilege in our denominations was greatly warranted. …

One of the challenges that is faced in joint Episcopal-Presbyterian congregations is the issue of how those congregations financially support their judicatory bodies; the PC(USA) makes that financial determination based on active members, and the Episcopal Church makes those determinations based on a congregation’s operating revenue. Given that the issue of financial support to judicatories was a challenge for joint congregations, the Episcopal and Presbyterian members of the dialogue presented on the theological and canonical view of membership in each denomination, in order that we might be able to better support joint congregations.

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