Mission Center: The Episcopal Church: Partnerships

Ecumenical Relations

As part of the Episcopal Church’s aim of fostering unity among the separated branches of the Christian church, for the sake of cooperation and mission in the world, dialogues constitute a major component of the work of the EIR.

Click on the appropriate link for more information about the Episcopal Church’s ecumenical relationship and dialogues with the following churches:


United Methodist Church
An international Anglican-Methodist dialogue met in the 1990s and produced its final report, Sharing in the Apostolic Communion, in 1996.  Anglicans and Methodist in Great Britain came very close to reunion and full merger in the early 1970s, but the proposal did not garner the majorities it needed.  In 2002, the Methodist Church and the Church of England signed a Covenant, beginning a 10-year process of examining how the churches might grow together.  In the United States, the Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church have been in dialogue.  In 2006, the two churches entered a relationship of Interim Eucharistic Sharing through which churches grow together by sharing worship while continuing to study remaining issues.  The theological dialogue group continues to meet, focusing on how the two churches might reach agreement on full communion, which would allow for interchangeability of ministries.


Presbyterian Church USA
The Presbyterian Church, USA and The Episcopal Church have been in dialogue as members of Churches Uniting in Christ (and before that, the Consultation on Church Union) since 1962.  A bilateral theological dialogue met from 2002-2007 and produced an Agreement between the two churches.  This Agreement is not full communion or interchangeability of ministers, but does commit the two churches to work together in mission and ministry where possible.  On the international level, the Anglican-Reformed Dialogue, sponsored by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Anglican Consultative Council, published their final report, God's Reign and Our Unity: The Report of the Anglican-Reformed International Commission, in 1984.


Orthodox Churches
The Orthodox Church is the oldest official dialogue partner of the Episcopal Church, with contacts dating back to 1862. The Episcopal Church is involved in dialogues with the Orthodox Churches mainly on the International Anglican-Orthodox dialogue, established in the 1960s, which operates through the Anglican Communion Office.


Roman Catholic Church
The Roman Catholics are the oldest ecumenical partners of the Anglican and Episcopal Churches. Dialogues between these two traditions gained new impetus after the Second Vatican Council, resulting in the formation of international and local ecumenical commissions.  In the United States, the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue (ARC-USA) has been meeting regularly since the 1960s.  There have been three rounds of dialogue at the international level, the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Consultation (ARCIC). 


Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC)
Churches Uniting In Christ (CUIC) represents a commitment to living in unity in Christ and common mission by the following denominations: African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Episcopal Church, International Council of Community Churches, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Church of Christ, and United Methodist Church.  Churches Uniting in Christ has taken combating racism as its primary mission and focus.


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