Thursday, February 5, 2009

Methodists & Anglicans

Among all of the news in the Anglican world (and there is a lot: from the AMiA Winter Conference; the TAC/RC developments; the meeting of the Anglican Primates in Alexandria, etc.), there comes some news that is a little closer to home for those of us who are a part of World Methodist Council denominations (including us Nazarenes! ).

The United Methodist News Service is reporting on the meeting of the new Anglican-Methodist International Commission on for Unity in Mission. - According to the Rev'd. W. Douglas Mills, an executive with the United Methodist Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, the new group “will look for ways to cooperate in mission, in evangelism, in service.” But, it should be clear, although the United Methodist Church is heavily involved in these discussions, this is not merely a UMC-Anglican discussion. This is a WMC-Anglican discussion and deals with Methodism and Anglicanism internationally.

That very fact speaks to one of the complications between Methodists and Anglicans, internationally. Unlike the Anglican communion, the structure of Methodist denominations can vary from country to country. The Rev'd. George Freeman, General Secretary of the World Methodist Council, explains, “Within the Methodist-Wesleyan family, we have a variety of expressions of how we do church. We’re not uniform in our governance.” Nevertheless, the hope is that the commission can identify geographic areas “where there are regional understandings and covenants” between Methodists and Anglicans, and it can study those documents to see how they might be applied elsewhere.

The next meeting is scheduled for February 2010 in the United Kingdom, and the Right Rev'd. C. Franklin Brookhart, Episcopal bishop of Montana, expressed hope that the commission’s work “will result in at least a much closer sharing of mission around the world. Ideally, I would look for full communion between the two bodies” (almost certainly speaking more specifically about TEC & the UMC, which have been working toward full communion).
The pictures & primary content of this post was taken from the above mentioned article by the United Methodist News Service. The article can be read in its entirety, here.

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