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Proposal for full communion between TEC and UMC unveiled

Proposal for full communion between TEC and UMC unveiled

from the Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs


The Episcopal Church – United Methodist Dialogue group have prepared A Gift to the World: Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness; The Episcopal Church and The United Methodist Church – A Proposal for Full Communion, the result of dialogue for a formal full-communion relationship.

In a recent letter, Bishop Frank Brookhart of Montana, Episcopal Church co-chair of the committee, with Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, the United Methodist Church, Ohio West Episcopal Area, offered, “The relationships formed over these years of dialogue, and the recognition that there are presently no theological impediments to unity, paved the way for this current draft proposal.” The entire letter is available here. 

A Gift to the World: Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness; The Episcopal Church and The United Methodist Church – A Proposal for Full Communion, is located here.

In the coming months, opportunities for feedback, regional gatherings, and discussions will be slated.

Additional related information, including historical documents, is available here.

The work of the Episcopal-United Methodist Dialogue is enabled by two General Convention resolutions here and here.

For more information contact the Rev. Margaret Rose, Episcopal Church Deputy for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations at

Members of the Episcopal-United Methodist Dialogue are:
Bishop C. Franklin Brookhart
Bishop David Rice
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Ferguson
The Rev. Dr. Deirdre Good
The Rev. Jordan M. Haynie Ware
The Rev.  Margaret R. Rose – Staff

United Methodist
Bishop Gregory Palmer
Reverend Patricia Farris
Reverend Dr. James Howell
Reverend Dr. Pamela Lightsey
Bishop Michael Watson
Reverend Dr. Robert J. Williams
Kyle Tau, PhD, MTS – staff


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Dr Billy Beets

I am greatly concerned about TEC requiring the MC to acknowledge the necessity of apostolic succession. This identifies we Episcopalians as holding to the orthodoxy because we hold to our Bishop. A Bishop is not just an administrator. I believe a first century or thereabout Church leader stated where there is the Bishop there is the Church. No Bishop no Church.

Philip B. Spivey

I’ve pondered this Proposal for a new relationship with the United Methodist Church since the posting. Typically, I find these greater-Church-issues difficult to discern because I lack the basic understanding of the complexities involved; therefore, I rarely comment on them.

In this instance, however, I find I’m perplexed about the motivations for this change. Who benefits from full communion with UMC? How does TEC benefit? More importantly for me, how do we faithfully reconcile UMC’s stance regarding LGBTQ communities with our own? Further, how do we reconcile our cardinal tenant of apostolic succession with UMC’s? —the proposed solution to this seems somewhat tortured.

I guess what it comes down to for me is that this move doesn’t appear to be a theological slam-dunk.

Paul Woodrum

Well, there we have it. In the spirit of blessed Esau, willing to trade near 2,000 years of tradition for a mess of pottage like insurance rates.

Kevin Montgomery

For those claiming the lack of theological reflection on such matters as the episcopacy, I would recommend reading through some of the related documents from the dialogue over the last several years. The page for the UMC-Episcopal Dialogue can be found at I’d especially recommend the document on the theological foundation
communion ( and the study guide that came out with the interim eucharistic sharing agreement (

Gregory Tipton

I’m a little fuzzy on details here.

1) Say I work in ATL as a TEC priest. Am I liable to UMC authorities? If not is this unity or just a verbal agreement that we both prefer similar ideas?

2) If we work together and agree on everything which side has the better insurance and retirement plans for clergy and diocesan employees?

3) If TEC is replacing Apostolic Succession (form and matter) with Historic Episcopate (just matter, ie hands laid on), them does this mean that Reformed Episcopal, ACNA, Amia, Anglican “Catholic,” and any group that’s broken from TEC is also a valid church with valid orders? If so how could the Historic Episcopate ever be a source of unity since TEC is clearly not in union with these bodies? Reductio ad absurdum?

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