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New Publications Celebrate 30 Years of Catholic-Methodist Dialogue
WASHINGTON (February 14, 2001) – Two new publications which explore the results of some 30 years of United Methodist-Roman Catholic dialogue–and invite local level congregations to partake in the spiritual fruits of these conversations themselves–have been jointly published by agencies of the two churches.
Yearning to Be One: Spiritual Dialogue Between Catholics and United Methodists is a six-session study guide designed to help small groups of United Methodists and Catholics experience ecumenical dialogue. Dialogue between Catholics and United Methodists has been taking place at the national level since 1966. Yearning to Be One expands the dialogue from the national level to the local level. It is published jointly by Discipleship Resources, Nashville, and the United States Catholic Conference (USCC) in Washington.
Methodist-Catholic Dialogues:Thirty Years of Mission and Witness is a resource to introduce the theological dialogues, which deal with the careful, and often technical, discussions by which the two churches hope to achieve full communion in faith, sacramental life, and joint witness.
The dialogues were sponsored on the global level by the World Methodist Council and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and on the U.S. level by the General Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Concerns of the United Methodist Church and the Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Methodist-Catholic Dialogues is published by the USCC and the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns of the United Methodist Church in New York.
Both books contain prefaces by Bishop William Boyd Grove, United Methodist Church Ecumenical Officer of the Council of Bishops, and Bishop William Skylstad, National Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interrreligious Affairs. The two churchmen, who were Cochairs of the United States dialogue from 1993 to 2000, expressed a desire to share with others what they and their dialogue partners had experienced.
“We studied together about one another,” they wrote. “We celebrated John Wesley’s Love Feast and sang Charles Wesley’s hymns. We read and discussed Pope John Paul II’s letter That They May Be One (Ut Unum Sint): On Commitment to Ecumenism. We read one another’s worship books and prayed one another’s prayers…We have found the process of producing these materials for you an exciting time of spiritual sharing. We hope it will be a blessing for you as well,” they said.
Both publications may be ordered from the USCC by calling toll-free 800-235-8722. The U.S. Bishops’ Internet site is www.nccbuscc.org.