The United Methodist-Episcopal Church Dialogue Committee met at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, Georgia, on Nov. 1 – 3. Major focus was given to planning strategy for upcoming churchwide conferences in 2024; the UMC Annual Conference will occur in May with The Episcopal Church’s General Convention happening shortly after in June. Notably, this will be the first in-person UMC conference since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the docket for the United Methodists will be issues of their book of discipline related to human sexuality, as well as questions of regional restructure. The Episcopal Church remains committed to moving toward full communion with the United Methodists and continues to pray and live in solidarity with our partners as we all seek to be a more inclusive church.
During the course of their meeting, the dialogue participants asked a simple but important question: “Why does this matter?” Here is their short and passionate answer:
“Full communion embodies our oneness in Jesus’ heart, pledges mutual support, and bears hopeful witness to a divided, broken world.
1. Jesus prayed that we all may be one. The visible unity of our churches can break down barriers to our embodiment of the Gospel so that the world may believe.
2. Full communion will allow our denominations to provide a shared witness to Christ in an increasingly complex world, especially in under-resourced areas.
3. In a time of division in church and society, our embrace of unity through full communion offers the gift of mutual support and hope.”