The EMU Partnership

The Scottish Episcopal Church, Methodist and United Reformed Churches' Partnership (EMU)

For several years, the Scottish Episcopal, Methodists in Scotland and United Reformed Churches in Scotland met as the EMU Group in order to work out how they might move forward together in unity. The EMU Conversation follows from the 4 denomination Scottish Churches Initiative for Union (SCIFU) (rejected by the Church of Scotland). While the discussion specifically focussed on ways the three denominations might continue to journey together in cooperation towards even fuller Christian Unity, it is not a conversation about organic union.

Rev John Humphreys (URC), Rev Lily Twist (Methodist) andMost Rev David Chillingworth (SEC) signing the EMMU Partnership Agreement.

These discussions led to the signing of a partnership agreement on 23 January 2010 at St Ninians SEC Cathedral in Perth by the Rev Lily Twist (Chair of the Mehodist Church, Scotland District) the Rev John Humphreys (Synod Moderator URC National Synod of Scotland) and Most Rev David Chillingworth (Primus of the SEC).

The agreement sets out to work to identify, explore and develop opportunities to share in mission and ministry by continuing to forge stronger ties between us. Specifically we shall explore together ways of:

1.  Being Church and serving God together;
2.  Increasing the confidence of our members to speak of God and faith in ways that make sense to others;
3.  Cooperating in teaching and learning about Jesus Christ, and our mission together;
4.  Cooperating on Church and Society issues, supporting community development and taking action together for justice, especially among the most deprived and poor in Scotland;
5.  Sharing in the provision and deployment of both lay and ordained ministries of all the people of God;
6.  Sharing our resources across Scotland to fulfil our shared Christian mission to spread the Gospel

The EMU Partnership shall seek to widen our Ecumenical engagement within this Partnership and with other denominations, wherever possible, so that our working together may be as wide as possible and our diversity not hindered by ongoing dis-union and rivalry. Progress in this partnership will be formally reviewed on a 5 yearly basis from the date of signature.

Already the three denominations are working closely togeter on learning and development opportunities and hoping to further develop these initiatives.  Currently, a conversation is taking place into how we can cooperate more closely on Church and Society or Public Issues. This is mindful of the work of the London based Joint Public Issues Team (of which both the URC and Methodist Churches are part) and the broad areas of cooperation on Church and Society issues all three denominations are involved in through wider ecumenical contexts in Scotland. Another thread of active work is building on the shared cooperation we have for learning and training including ministerial but with a greater focus on lay learning and training and how we might cooperate in delivering this around Scotland.

Should these initiatives or others develop into concrete proposals they will be publicised through this page.

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