By ACNS staff
On St Patrick’s Day at Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Ms Gillian Kingston, Vice President of the World Methodist Conference, together launched the Agreed Statement of the Anglican-Methodist International Commission for Unity in Mission (AMICUM), Into All The World: Being and Becoming Apostolic Churches.
AMICUM chose this occasion for the launch to highlight the new relationship of full communion between Irish Anglican and Methodists churches, and the historic concrete steps towards an inter-changeable ministry.
These included the mutual laying-on-of-hands at the most recent installation of the Methodist President /Episcopal minister and at the most recent the ordination of a bishop of the Church of Ireland. As well, the Church of Ireland Bishop of Down and Dromore, the Rt Revd Harold Miller, was the Anglican co-chair of AMICUM.
Into All The World explores how Anglicans and Methodists have understood mission and ministry. It surveys places around the world where there is already active cooperation, and goes on to provide a ‘tool kit’ with practical advice for Anglicans and Methodists for ways to witness together in mission.
Archbishop Welby commended the report to Anglicans, Methodists and to the wider ecumenical family. He noted that the document dynamically brings together unity and mission: ‘visible unity in a common mission must be our goal’.
Ms Kingston said, “A vital part of the text is the ‘tool kit’, which can be used to facilitate relationships between local churches. The document reminds us all that real unity is spiritual, visible, and missional.”
Professor Robert Gribben, Methodist co-chair of AMICUM said, “This Report is the fruit of some twenty years of honest questions and considered responses, built on trust among the dialogue partners, and a practical ecumenical vision for our common mission.”
The Methodist co-secretary, the Revd Gareth Powell, noted: “The Report reflects that together our two traditions are stronger and more faithful to God. In a closer encounter with each other we are enriched in worship and our call to mission.”
Bishop Harold Miller said: “The heart of Into All The World is missional; unity is a gift from the Lord, given to enable us to proclaim Jesus Christ effectively. The report is, therefore, not simply for academics or church leaders, though they will be interested in it. It is for the whole people of God. It is an encouragement to embrace gladly God’s future for a church that is seamlessly an agent of the mission of Jesus Christ in the world.”
Into All The World: Being and Becoming Apostolic Churches will be available shortly from shop.anglicancommunion.org at a cost of £10.99, or can be downloaded as a PDF document.