The United Methodist Church, Moravian Church in North America move closer to full communion
April 26, 2018
BLACK MOUNTAIN, North Carolina -- The Southern Province of the Moravian Church in North America on Friday, April 20, voted at its synod meeting in Black Mountain to enter into a full communion relationship with The United Methodist Church.
This key step in the process toward full communion will be followed up by a vote of the Northern Province at its synod meeting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on June 21-25, 2018. An affirmative vote at the Northern Provincial Synod would finalize the ratification of this agreement.
The General Conference of The United Methodist Church has previously approved this full communion agreement at its meeting in 2016.
The proposal for full communion between the Moravian Church in North American and The United Methodist Church was the result of several years of dialogue by the United Methodist-Moravian dialogue committee. The full text of the agreement can be found here.
The formalizing of this relationship is particularly significant given the historic links between Moravians and Methodists. The Moravian Church in North America traces its lineage back to the work of Czech reformer Jon Hus and his followers in the early to mid-15th century. In the 18th century, missionaries from the Moravian movement in London and colonial America played a significant role in the lives of John and Charles Wesley. It was under the spiritual tutelage of the Moravians that John Wesley came to a new appreciation for the deeply personal and experiential quality of faith in Jesus Christ.
Wesley borrowed from the communal life of Moravian small group units called “bands” in his own organization of Methodist Societies and incorporated the practice of the Lovefeast into early Methodist spirituality.
The Moravian Church in North American is already in full communion with The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).The United Methodist Church is also in full communion with the ELCA and is engaged in ongoing work toward full communion with The Episcopal Church.