WASHINGTON - Representatives of the United Methodist Church and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) announced the release of the results of its latest round of dialogue in the form of a two-part publication. This eighth round of dialogue was co-chaired by Bishop David P. Talley of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis and Bishop Peggy Johnson, resident bishop of the Philadelphia Episcopal Area of The United Methodist Church.
The work entitled Catholics and United Methodists Together is being released today. Both parts are available on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (here) and the website of the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church (here).
The first book subtitled “We Believe, We Pray, We Act,” emphasizes the importance of our shared recognition of one another’s baptisms, and pastoral commentaries on the Apostle’s Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the commandment to love God and neighbor.
The second book subtitled “Shared Prayers and Resources,” offers a practical guide for Methodists and Catholics to learn, pray and worship together. It describes shared traditions of prayer and worship and includes models for ecumenical prayer services. It also includes accessible teaching on conducting dialogue, a description of our mutual and divergent sacramental practices, and a summary of the results of all of our past fifty years of official dialogues.
The collaborative project is the product of the sincere desire of the dialogue committee that the deep spiritual communion shared within the group over the decades be shared among United Methodists and Catholics everywhere. The episcopal co-chairs of the dialogue conclude their introductory letter with this commendation: “It is now time for the dialogue to take on new life within and between our respective communions. The unity of Christ’s church must take root in our hearts and bear fruit in shared learning, prayer, worship, and service within our faith communities.”
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