Presbyterians approve ties with Episcopal Church


According to a report in The Living Church, The Presbyterian Church, USA, has agreed to move forward in dialogue with The Episcopal Church.

Along with eliminating homosexuality as a bar to ordination as deacon elder or minister, representatives to the recent General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. also agreed to move forward with a dialogue with The Episcopal Church aimed at encouraging closer relationships between congregations.

The agreement, which must be approved by The Episcopal Church’s 76th General Convention next year, would permit Presbyterian and Episcopal clergy to perform ministerial functions in each other’s congregations “when requested and approved by the diocesan bishop and local presbytery.” It stops short of a full communion agreement like the one that The Episcopal Church signed with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2000.

Under the polity of the Presbyterian Church, the General Assembly action must be ratified by a simple majority of the denomination’s 173 regional presbyteries. That ratification is expected to be completed by the General Assembly’s next meeting in 2010.

Bishop Christopher Epting, the Presiding Bishop’s deputy for ecumenical and interreligious relations, described the agreement as “the way to take one step forward on the local level” which eventually “helps advance the whole ecumenical cause.”

Read the article here.

Presbyterian votes are here.

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Kit Carlson
Kit Carlson

Even if it is not as full an arrangement as the one with the ELCA, this has the opportunity to be a great blessing to both our denominations. The common mission agreement between TEC and ELCA has blessed my life and ministry in many ways. I look forward to sharing similarly with my Presbyterian colleagues.

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