By Linda Green
A UMNS Report

Members of the Commission on Pan-Methodist Cooperation and Union want to affirm their Wesleyan heritage and mutual covenant as churches in full communion wit

The commission adopted a resolution to that effect during its Nov. 15-17 meeting in Chicago. The body includes representatives of The United Methodist Church and three historic African-American Methodist churches - the African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion and Christian Methodist Episcopal.

African Methodist Episcopal Zion Bishop Nathaniel Jarrett, who chairs the commission, said the resolution reflects uncertainty about whether commission members are in full communion with one another.

Full communion, Jarrett explained, means that each of the Methodist bodies recognize and accept their common connection with Wesleyan tradition, recognize and honor various orders of ministry, agree on the basic tenets and doctrines, and acknowledge that there are ministries "we are fully called to and obligated to share in.

"We are one people, yet diverse, yet one," he said.

To take effect, the resolution must be affirmed by the 2008 general conferences of The United Methodist Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and the 2010 meeting of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

Two other churches, the African Union Methodist Protestant Church and the Union American Methodist Episcopal, were earlier approved as new members of the Commission on Pan-Methodist Cooperation and Union. The 2008 and 2010 general conferences are expected to approve the full membership of these two churches into the commission.

The general conferences also will vote on a proposal to change the name of the commission to the Pan-Methodist Commission. The proposal stems from conversation among Methodist bishops last March about the lack of clarity about the word "union."

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