[Anglican Communion News Service] The final meeting of the Anglican-Methodist International Commission for Unity in Mission (AMICUM) took place Feb. 22 to March 1, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, hosted by the Anglican Communion. Members of the Commission worshiped together morning and evening, and the Eucharist was celebrated according to both traditions.
The Commission has after five years completed the phase of work mandated to it by the World Methodist Council and the Anglican Communion, and has now prepared a report for both bodies. As the last three words in its title suggest (Unity in Mission), AMICUM aims to foster the unity of the Church so that the Church can engage more fully in God’s mission of love to the world. The report begins and ends with biblical reflections, on our Lord’s prayer for the unity of his people that all might believe, and on the radical nature of Jesus’ ministry as a mandate for mission.
AMICUM has set out key points of agreement concerning the interchangeability of ordained ministries, and the awareness of each Communion’s need of the other. It sees a common, interchangeable ministry as crucial in making the unity of the Church visible.
The report analyses the place of the apostolic tradition and the nature of the oversight (episkope) in the life of the Church. It explores the history of oversight, and the way it has been exercised in the Methodist and Anglican traditions, and the way it is exercised today.
AMICUM has closely monitored dialogues and agreements around the world, and has drawn lessons and recommendations from these which it now offers to both Communions. The report shows that each tradition has affirmed the authenticity of the other’s ministries, and encourages churches that have not yet entered into mutual agreements to do so.
A toolkit is provided for churches wanting to move into closer co-operation, giving questions for consideration to enable this process to advance.
AMICUM is recommending that the World Methodist Council and the Anglican Consultative Council establish an Anglican-Methodist International Coordinating Committee to oversee and foster relationships between Methodist and Anglican member churches.
The Report will be published during 2014.
The Commission is grateful for the warm hospitality given by the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, at the Parish of St John’s Ocho Rios, by the United Theological College, where the Commission worshiped, and by Bishop Howard Gregory. At this meeting AMICUM met the President of the Jamaica Methodist Church, the Rev Everard Galbraith, and the Rev Dr George Mulrain who gave a lecture on Anglican and Methodist relationships in the Caribbean and the Americas.
Present at the meeting were,
- The Rev. Professor Emeritus Robert Gribben (Uniting Church in Australia) (Co-Chair)
- Dr. Elizabeth Amoah (Methodist Church, Ghana)
- The Rev. Dr. Wong Tik Wah (Methodist Church in Malaysia)
- The Rev. Professor Sarah Lancaster (The United Methodist Church)
- The Rev. Gareth Powell (The Methodist Church) (Co-Secretary)
- The Rt. Rev. Harold Miller (The Church of Ireland) (Co-Chair)
- The Rev. Canon Professor Paul Avis (The Church of England)
- The Rev. Garth Minott (The Church in the Province of the West Indies)
- The Rt. Rev. Dr. P Surya Prakash (The Church of South India)
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- The Rt. Rev. Walter Jagucki (Great Britain)
- The Rev. Canon Dr. Alyson Barnett-Cowan (Co-Secretary) (Anglican Communion Office)
- Mr. Neil Vigers (Anglican Communion Office)