The next General Convention, in 2018, plans to consider a proposal for full communion with The United Methodist Church. A full communion relationship represents a big step in restoring ties and opening the door for closer cooperation.
The Episcopal Church is currently in full communion already with five other denominations:
- The Moravian Church – Northern and Southern Provinces (since 2010)
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (since 2001)
- Mar Thoma Church (since 1979)
- Philippine Independent Church (since 1961)
- Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht (since 1934)
The process of reaching a full communion agreement requires dedication and persistence on both sides, and restoring these ties often involves retracing decades – if not centuries – of history; it also often involves collaborating with our Anglican Communion partners worldwide. Our agreement with the Moravian Church took about 15 years to complete in the United States, but the beginning of the dialogue on a larger scale dates back to 1749 in the British Parliament. The Church of England and the British Moravian Church held more focused dialogues in the 1980s and 90s, reaching an agreed statement in 1995. Building from this, a dialogue was established by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church in 1997; the conversations continued from 1999-2007 in the US, and after a trial period of Eucharistic sharing beginning in 2003, the dialogue advanced to the point of writing out an agreement. The proposed agreement, titled “Finding our Delight in the Lord: A Proposal for Full Communion,” was approved by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church in 2009 and then by the Moravian Church at its Northern and Southern provincial synods in 2010 and inaugurated with a celebration of the Eucharist with co-presiders from all three bodies. See a slideshow of photos from the service.