United Methodist Church Bishops Approve ‘Full Communion’ Agreement With Episcopal Church

The United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops approved sending a resolution to the 2020 General Conference to approve a “full communion” agreement with The Episcopal Church.

Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, co-chair of the United Methodist-Episcopal Dialogue Committee, told those gathered at a meeting last week where they approved the resolution by a unanimous voice vote, that it was important to explain what the full communion proposal “is and what it is not.”

“It’s not an organic merger, two denominations becoming one, but the reminder that we see in one another the signs of church — one holy catholic and apostolic church,” said Bishop Palmer, as reported by the United Methodist News Service.

As part of the agreement, the UMC and the Episcopal Church will officially acknowledge each other as partners in ministry, recognize each other’s baptism and communion and share clergy.

The bishops approved a resolution brought by the Dialogue Committee, which came from a committee meeting held in Austin, Texas, on April 29-30.

In a statement released on May 1, the committee acknowledged that their resolution comes amid great internal debate within the UMC over LGBT issues, which they believed might introduce “sharp and as yet unanswered questions about the prospects for full communion between our churches.”

“And yet, we believe that what we are experiencing in the various crises of our denominational life is the birth pangs of something remarkable, something new,” stated the committee.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski