Members from the Methodist–Roman Catholic International Commission (MERCIC) met in Duke University, Durham, North Carolina from 3–7 March in order to prepare a draft text for the forthcoming Commission plenary in October 2020. The Commission is currently in its eleventh round and working on the theme of reconciliation. Normally each round of dialogue consists of four plenary meetings so that the Commission can present its work to the World Methodist Council (WMC) and Conference which meets every five years. The next WMC meeting will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden, from 18–21 August 2021, and therefore the next MERCIC plenary to be held in Jerusalem 9–16 October will be the last plenary at which to agree the Commission’s report.
The participants prepared a draft of four chapters. The first chapter deals with reconciliation as a model of salvation. The second chapter looks at the structures of our respective churches as means of reconciliation, holding the faithful in unity whilst allowing and reconciling legitimate diversity. The third chapter examines the rites of reconciliation practised by both communions and the fourth chapter considers the Church’s mission of reconciliation to the world.
Four members of the Commission met in Duke: Revd Dr David Chapman, Methodist co–chair; Revd Professor Edgardo Colon–Emeric; Professor Catherine Clifford; and Revd Anthony Currer, Catholic co–secretary. Two members were unable to travel due to illness but joined the meeting by video conferencing, namely Revd Professor Karen Westerfield Tucker, Methodist co–secretary, and the Right Revd John Sherrington, Catholic co–chair.
The drafting team members were particularly grateful to Revd Prof Edgardo Colon–Emeric and his wife Kathleen for their generous hospitality throughout the week and to the community of Duke University Catholic Centre for hosting them to dinner.
(Photo: From left to right: Revd Dr David Chapman, Professor Catherine Clifford, Revd Anthony Currer and Revd Professor Edgardo Colon-Emeric, with the statue Reconciliation by Margaret Adams Parker based on the parable of the Prodigal Son).