The Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church have recently presented a proposal for full communion: “A Gift to the World: Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness; The Episcopal Church and The United Methodist Church” which could be passed at the UMC’s General Conference (likely in 2020) and at TEC’s General Convention (likely in 2021).
The writer of Ecclesiastes says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Over the past sixteen years, I have been privileged to serve at least three “seasons” with you — five years as Missioner and two seasons across almost eleven years as your bishop. Now is the time for me to enter a new season of ministry and for you to enter your own new season as well.
I greet you as one whose heart is filled with the joy that comes from being “. . . convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). I also greet you as one whose heart is heavy in the midst of national division, increasing rhetoric of hate, profound misunderstandings of one another, and our inability to sustain levels of civil discourse that are fundamental to both Christian community and the continuing experiment of American democracy.