NASHVILLE (AP) -- The United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church in the United States have begun their first interreligious dialogue.
Representatives of each denomination met last month and planned to meet again in the winter to prepare a statement for the Episcopal General Convention next year and United Methodist General Conference in 2004.
''It is our hope that the two denominations will have closer partnerships at the local level to reach a point of reconciliation of ministries, working together in common mission,'' said United Methodist Bishop William B. Oden of Dallas.
He expects a final report, with suggestions for action, to be presented to the Episcopal General Convention in 2006 and the United Methodist General Conference in 2008.
An attempt at a dialogue between the Methodist Episcopal Church and Episcopalians in the 1930s had failed after one or two meetings, Oden said.
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