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The United Methodist Church takes a step towards full communion with the Moravian Church in North America

The United Methodist Church takes a step towards full communion with the Moravian Church in North America

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The Revd Sudarshana Devadhar, New England Area Bishop of the UMC and the Rt Revd Chris Geisler, of the Moravian Church, were both part of the Moravian-United Methodist Dialogue Team.

One thing that the United Methodist Church (UMC) accomplished at is recent General Conference held in Portland OR, was to approve the full communion agreement worked out with the Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church in North America. The UMC and the Moravian provinces have been holding talks for a number of years. The final draft of the agreement between the two churches was reached in 2014 by the Moravian – United Methodist Dialogue Team.

The UMC General Conference announced that the agreement had been passed on 17 MAY, celebrated as Ecumenical Day during the conference. The next step is for the agreement to be presented for approval by the respective Synods of the Northern & Southern Moravian provinces in 2018. If the two Synods approve the agreement the two churches will then be in full communion.

To be in full communion with our United Methodist brothers and sisters means that we mutually recognize and value the diverse gifts present in each church; respect each other as part of the body of Christ in the world today; commit each church to cooperate in common ministries of evangelism, witness and service; recognize the validity of each other’s sacramental life and ministerial orders, allowing for the transfer of membership and the orderly exchange of clergy (subject to the regulations of church order and practice of each church); and commit each church to continue to work for the visible unity of the church, recognizing that this relationship of full communion is but a step toward the unity to which we are called.

The Moravian Church in North America

The Moravian Church is a full communion partner of the Episcopal Church. Unlike the UMC, the Moravian Church’s bishops are part of the historic Apostolic Succession.

The information for this story and the images are from the Moravian Church in North America’s website.

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Lathe Snyder

How are Moravian orders part of Apostolic Succession? They have certainly continously used the term bishop, but it doesn't seem that they have regarded episopacy the way Anglicans do. I have no personal commitment to the concept of Apostolic Succession, so this is not a personal concern.

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