A Covenant For Common Life
A Covenant for Common Life Between
The Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi And
The United Methodist Conference of Mississippi
Be it known by these presents, that we Duncan Montgomery Gray III by Divine Providence, the Episcopal Bishop of Mississippi, and we Hope Morgan Ward, by Divine Providence the United Methodist Bishop of Mississippi desiring to foster the development of common Christian life between our two churches did under the protection of Almighty God on the Feast of John and Charles Wesley, 3 March 2009 in Jackson enter into this solemn agreement to mark a right beginning of our two churches sharing a common mission and a common ministry.
We ask that in those cities and towns where our two churches co-exist that the congregations in those places reach out to each other and form partnerships. We desire that these partnerships be established by the end of 2009.
We look forward to the day when our national churches are reconciled and brought into full communion with one another. Until that time we commit ourselves to having one shared Eucharist a year in Jackson. We give our permission and blessing for partner congregations to do the same. We require that the guidelines for such Eucharistic services be those approved by our national churches in September 2006.
We ask the members of our congregations in the course of 12 months to attend Sunday worship in an Episcopal congregation and to attend Sunday worship in an United Methodist congregation, with members and clergy of the guest congregation being invited to preach, read scripture and offer prayers.
We ask our congregations to complete the six week study Make Us One with Christ as we commit to complete this study together. We desire that this study be completed no later than 24 months of the establishment of this partnership.
We give profound thanks that for many years our congregations have had joint programming and we strongly desire that this joint programming increase and deepen to the greatest extent possible. This programming should include religious education, mission, evangelism, social action, and the joint use of facilities.
We commit to continuing the tradition of our predecessors by meeting together monthly to nourish the bonds of fellowship and cooperation. We ask that our clergy follow our example and meet together on a regular basis and to exchange newsletters and other appropriate communications.
We ask our congregations to include the names of both Bishops and Congregational Partner Pastors whenever prayers are offered in Sunday worship.
This agreement remains in effect until our successors in office are elected or until such time our national churches commit to enter into full communion.
We delegate to our Ecumenical Officers to oversee the implementation of this agreement. In testimony whereof we have affixed our signatures and seal.