Interim Shared Eucharist Planned in New Paltz

Interim Shared Eucharist Planned in New Paltz


An “interim shared eucharist” will be celebrated among the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on April 13 at Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in New Paltz, N.Y.

Bishop Andrew Dietsche of the Episcopal Diocese of New York will be the celebrant at the 6 p.m. service; Rev. Timothy Riss, superintendent of the Catskill Hudson District for the New York Conference of the United Methodist Church, will preach. The pastors and congregations of all three local churches will help lead the worship.

The shared eucharist provides an opportunity for the churches to come together in Eastertide and rejoice in their growing dialogue and concord.  For more than 10 years, the United Methodist and Episcopal Churches have been in talks to move toward “full communion,” where both denominations mutually recognize the sharing of essential doctrines. Both of the denominations already share full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The event is sponsored by the New York Conference of the UMC, the Episcopal Diocese of New York, and the New York Episcopal Diocese Interfaith and Ecumenical Commission. This is the third in a series of interim shared Eucharists celebrated by Episcopalians and United Methodists in the New York area since 2012; previous celebrations were at St. Paul’s Chapel and the John Street Church, both in Manhattan. Rev. Robert Walker, assistant to the bishop of the New York Conference of the UMC, and Dr. Nicholas Birns, a member of the Interfaith Ecumenical Commission, are the co-chairs of the Episcopal-United Methodist dialogue in the greater New York area.

The liturgy will emphasize elements common to all three denominations. Those partaking of communion may receive either wine or grape juice. The bread will be gluten, dairy, and egg free, so that all may come to the table.

After the Eucharist, pizza, salad, and soft drinks will be served. All are invited to come for worship and stay for fellowship. Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church is located at 90 Route 32 South in New Paltz. For more information, contact Birns at