Bishop Middleton to Preside at Shared Eucharist with Episcopal Bishop

Bishop Middleton to Preside at Shared Eucharist with Episcopal Bishop

1/29/2015

Bishop Jane Allen Middleton will preside at an “Interim Shared Eucharist” on March 3 at 5:30 pm at John Street United Methodist Church in New York City. This Eucharist between The Episcopal Church (TEC) and The United Methodist Church will follow the TEC-UMC Common Guidelines for Interim Eucharist Sharing.

For the past ten years, the United Methodist and Episcopal Churches have been in talks to move toward “full communion.” “Full communion” involves a relationship between church organizations that mutually recognize sharing basic doctrines. This relationship involves: mutual recognition of members, joint celebration of Holy Communion/Eucharist, mutual recognition of ordained clergy, mutual recognition of the sacraments and a common commitment to mission. Both the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church share full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, but not with each other.

These are exciting times for Anglican-Methodist cooperation worldwide. Recently in Ireland, several Methodist consecrators joined in Canon Kenneth Kearon's consecration as Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe in the Church of Ireland. An Interim Shared Eucharist between the UMC and Episcopal Church was recently celebrated at the National Cathedral in Washington DC.

A team of clergy and laity from both denominations in the New York area has been attempting to walk along the same paths. The March 3 service is the fruition of this. United Methodist New York Annual Conference Resident Interim Bishop Jane Allen Middleton will preside, while Bishop Stacy F. Sauls, the Chief Operating Officer of the national Episcopal Church, will preach. Informal fellowship and free pizza will follow.

The John Street parish started out as a prayer circle of Methodists who would also attend formal services at Trinity (Episcopal) Church. After American independence, and the consequent formal break between Methodists and Episcopalians, these ties were severed. This service is a small step in reconnecting them. March 3 was chosen because on this date, The Episcopal Church celebrates the lives of John and Charles Wesley on the Calendar of Saints.

The John Street Church is south of City Hall at 44 John Street, near the Fulton Street stations on the A, C, 2,3,4, and 5 lines.
 
For more information contact Nicholas Birns at nicholas.birns@gmail.com or 646-469-3124.