Rev. Tony Franklin-Ross (Methodist Church New Zealand)
To foster Methodist participation in the ecumenical movement and to promote the unity of Methodist witness and service. The World Methodist Council Ecumenical Relationships Committee engages in its mission in the following ways:
A joint initiative of World Methodist Council in cooperation with the Methodist Church in Britain and The United Methodist Church, this office is a resource in the city of Rome for the global Methodist family and helps facilitate Methodist relationships with the wider ecumenical community. See the Methodist Ecumenical Office in Rome page for more information and for annual reports.
The Second Vatican Council caused an ecumenical revolution when it proposed conversations one-on-one with a wide range of other Christian churches, known as bilateral dialogues. Multi-lateral conversations are familiar from the work of the World Council of Churches. The Roman Catholic-World Methodist Council one was among the earliest, beginning in 1967 and has produced reports every five years. In 2011 a digest of the previous 40 years’ results, Synthesis, was published.
In the recent past, dialogues with Lutherans and Reformed churches and the Salvation Army have been fruitful.
In 2015, the report of the Anglican-Methodist international dialogue, Into All The World, became available.
The first dialogue with the Baptist World Alliance began in 2013 and is continuing.
A significant recent player in the ecumenical field is the Global Christian Forum, on which the World Methodist Council has a place. The Forum offers new opportunities for broadening and deepening encounters on the way to Christian unity. It especially promotes relationships between and among Christian churches and traditions which have not been in conversation with each other previously. Its Guiding Purpose is to be ‘an open space wherein representatives from a broad range of Christian churches and inter-church organisations, which confess the triune God and Jesus Christ as perfect in His divinity and humanity, can gather to foster mutual respect, to explore and address together common challenges.’ See their website http://www.globalchristianforum.org/.
The World Methodist Council also enjoys many times of celebration and consultation with other world churches, sending representatives to a variety of meetings and events, and in turn offering hospitality at Methodist occasions.