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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    news article

    Statement from the Council of Bishops clarifying the status of The United Methodist Church’s relationship with The Global Methodist Church

    May 15, 2024 / By UNY Communications / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Editor's note: This letter was published by The United Methodist Council of Bishops on May 14, 2024 and shared with United Methodists of Upper New York.

    “Make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together.” (Ephesians 4:3 CEB)

    Holding Scripture’s call for Christian unity before us, we lament that some have chosen to leave The United Methodist Church. At the same time, we must clarify that the Global Methodist Church has no official relationship with The United Methodist Church and has not been endorsed by any of its official bodies. There has been no request for such a relationship and, as such, there is no communication taking place to negotiate a common understanding of our two bodies.

    In a strong commitment to ecumenism and in order to fulfill our mandate to be the body of Christ, The United Methodist Church offers processes for establishing full communion relationships with other Christian denominations. In our United Methodist Book of Discipline, ¶431.1 states that a formal “full communion” relationship is one that exists between two or more Christian churches that: 

    1. recognize each other as constituent members of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, the body of Christ, as described in the Holy Scriptures and confessed in the     church’s historic creeds; 
    2. recognize the authenticity of each other’s sacraments and welcome one another to partake in the Eucharist, 
    3. affirm the authenticity of each church’s Christian ministry, and 
    4. recognize the validity of each other’s offices of ministry. 

    This commitment is a beacon of hope, signaling our optimism for future relationships.  However, at the heart of such relationships is a mutual recognition that each denomination is a faithful expression of ministry in the name of Jesus Christ, bearing the marks of one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. 

    The mission of the church to make and nurture disciples of Jesus Christ is enhanced when various bodies of Christ collaborate in a mutual ministry of grace and respect.  Likewise, the mission of the church is harmed by the denigration of one body at the expense of another.  To that end, we call upon the members of the Global Methodist Church to formally recognize The United Methodist Church as an authentic and valid denomination and to cease all efforts to coerce members of The United Methodist Church to join their fellowship.  Likewise, we commit ourselves to the same standard of respect and grace.

    We believe that the ministry of Christian discipleship requires us to be co-laborers who work together in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord “until Christ comes in final victory, and we feast at his heavenly banquet.”  In order to maintain the integrity of this mandate, we cannot in good conscience enter the mission field with the members of the Global Methodist Church until there is a clear understanding of this mutual recognition.  We pray that we may do so with a spirit of charity even as we expect it from others.

    As our Book of Discipline states, “All United Methodists are summoned and sent by Christ to live and work together in mutual interdependence and to be guided by the Spirit into the truth that frees and the love that reconciles.” In that spirit, we remain open and hopeful for future conversations with the Global Methodist Church that might lead to reconciliation and healing. This openness is a testament to our commitment to unity and peace. This will not happen with words and actions that undermine and disparage one another.  

    Even as we call for this spirit of mutual recognition from the leadership of the Global Methodist Church, we earnestly pray that God will help us to lead The United Methodist Church in working to fulfill Christ’s own prayer that someday, all who believe in Him will live in unity and peace.  

    In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, may it be so. Amen.

    TAGGED / Communications / Episcopal Office / Bishop Burgos

    With more than 100,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 675 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."