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Episcopal Church seeks to widen its sphere of influence, heresy and web of deception

Episcopal Church seeks to widen its sphere of influence, heresy and web of deception
The United Methodists and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria are the next candidates to join the ever-widening "Episcopal Communion"

By Mary Ann Mueller
VOL Special Correspondent
June 3, 2024

While domestic dioceses scramble to stay afloat, with the dioceses of Eau Claire, Fond du Lac and Milwaukee collapsing to re-form the Diocese of Wisconsin, the wider Episcopal Church is already present in 19 foreign lands -- Cuba, Haiti, Micronesia, Taiwan, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the Republic of Georgia, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, and Venezuela.

Around the world The Episcopal Church is in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada; the Moravian Church-Northern and Southern Provinces; the Mar Thomas Syrian Church of Malabar, India; the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht; the Philippine Independent Church, and the Church of Sweden.

Three resolutions have been proposed for the upcoming General Convention to eventually add what is left of the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria into full communion with The Episcopal Church thus opening up full altar and pulpit exchange with the Methodists and additional Lutherans.

Resolutions A009 and A037 seek to establish full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria; and Resolution A049 puts the United Methodist Church along the same path.

A009: "That the 81st General Convention of The Episcopal Church receive and commend Sharing the Gifts of Communion as set forth following as the basis for a relationship of full communion to be established between The Episcopal Church and the Evangelisch Lutherische Kirche in Bayern (ELKB) (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria) ...

A037: "Accepting the agreement 'Sharing the Gifts of Communion' between The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria" is a carryover of Resolution B001 from the 2022 General Convention.

A049: That this 81st General Convention affirms previous resolutions 2018-A041, 2018-A261, and 2006-A055 for The Episcopal Church to continue dialogue with the United Methodist Church with the goal of reaching full communion ... That this Convention encourages and supports prayerful consideration by all Episcopalians during the coming triennium of this significant step forward in response to our Lord's fervent wish 'that all may be one.'" ...

But the unifying factor is not the Gospel, the Altar, the Cross -- nor even Jesus Christ -- but the pride flag which has been solidly planted on Lutheran and Methodist ecclesial soils. Nor is unity being sought in the fulfillment of the Lord's Holy Thursday Night Prayer in the Garden "that they all may be one ..." (John 17:21).

Lutherans in Canada and the United States; the Moravians; the Malabar Mar Thomas Syrian Church; Union of Utrecht Old Catholics; the Philippine church, and the Lutherans in Sweden have all drunk from the poisoned chalice of diversity, inclusion and equality -- the woke trinity of death. Now the Methodists and Bavaria Lutherans are lining up to take a swig.


The Episcopal Church rejoices in the United Methodist Church's recent full ecclesial embrace of the LGBT agenda.

Resolution A049 concerning the Methodists continues: "That this Convention celebrate with The United Methodist Church the historic and sweeping changes to the Book of Discipline and Social Principles made at their 2024 General Conference regarding the "ordination and marriage of homosexual persons," advancing towards our common goals of an open and inclusive church for all God's people ..."

Coming into full communion with the Methodists has been a long drawn out decades-long struggle.

"Over fifty years of dialogue, our denominations have reached differentiated consensus on the historic creeds, baptism, Eucharist, Scripture, ordained and lay ministry, mission, and the role of bishops," Resolution A049 explains. "At its General Conference in May of 2024, The United Methodist Church (UMC) clarified marriage as a relationship between two consenting adults. In addition, The UMC removed the language from their governing documents (The Book of Discipline and Social Principles) that previously prohibited some members of the LGBTQIA+ communities from ordination or marriage."

But it wasn't until the United Methodist Church shed its conformity to Scripture allowing the Holy Writ "to be understood today in the light of reasoned reflection on our contemporary experience" that The Episcopal Church is kicking into high gear to grease the skids towards full denominational inter communion.

However, it will not be a done deal at this General Convention that the distant kissing ecclesial cousins will be brought into full communion.

Methodism's roots are firmly planted in Anglicanism. Originally Methodism was a revival movement within the 18th Century Church of England. John Wesley was a CofE priest, and like Martin Luther, study of the Scripture convinced him that it was by faith a believer was transformed into the likeness of Christ.

Through Scripture study Luther saw that it was "by grace we are saved through faith" while Wesley fleshed it out that "through faith we are transformed" more into the likeness of Christ.

Wesley was methodical in living out his deeply personal faith, so he and his followers were called "Methodists."
In 1735 James Oglethorpe, the first governor of Colonial Georgia, requested that John Wesley and his brother Charles come to Savannah.

John, as an Anglican priest, came to the New World as an evangelizing missionary to Christ Church, the first Anglican church in Colonial Georgia and the Mother Church of what would become the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. There he established the first Sunday school. Charles, also a Church of England priest and the great hymn writer, was appointed Secretary of Indian Affairs and became the chaplain at Fort Frederica which was the military headquarters of the Province of Georgia.

John Wesley brought his methodical pietism with him and planted it in the rich Georgia soil from which sprang up American Methodism which was spread by circuit riders.

As American Methodism grew it started splintering into separate entities and then reuniting into common groupings based upon political, doctrinal, cultural or regional differences -- Methodist Episcopal Church (1784); Republican Methodist Church (1792); African Methodist Episcopal Church (1816); African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (1821); Methodist Protestant Church (1828); Wesleyan Methodist Church (1841); Methodist Episcopal Church-South (1845); Free Methodist Church (1860); Christian Methodist Church (1870); Congregational Methodist Church (1881); People's Methodist Episcopal Church (1938); The Methodist Church (1939); Southern Methodist Church (1940); Evangelical Methodist Church (1945); Bible Methodist Connection (1968); United Methodist Church (1968); and the Global Methodist Church (2022).

It is the United Methodist Church that The Episcopal Church is in dialogue with about full inter communion and pulpit exchange.

However, the conservative leaning Global Methodist Church has splintered from the UMC in its attempt to maintain "theological and ethical Christian orthodoxy" within Methodism taking 4,500 congregations with it.

The Global Methodist Church (GMC), is what Jeff Walton at Juicy Ecumenism calls a "mainline-adjacent" denomination. Other such conservative splits include the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), North American Lutheran Church (NALC), and Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO).

ACNA formed out of The Episcopal Church, NALC formed out of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the ECO formed out of the Presbyterian Church-USA.

Each mainline-adjacent ecclesial group sought to reform and maintain the original authenticity of their parent faith community which has strayed from the Gospel straight and narrow. But they have been pushed away from their original denomination because they found they could not walk together but had to walk apart and therefore established an autonomous conservative denominational alternative for fellow like-minded Christians.


The second denominational group TEC is seeking inter communion is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria (Evangelische Lutherische Kirche in Bayern -- ELKB) which is a liberal Lutheran body in southeast Germany.

RESOLUTION A039: "An earlier version of this resolution was referred from the 80th General Convention. It was listed as 2022-B001 and referred to Legislative Committee 19 - Ecumenical & Interreligious Relations. It has been entered as Resolution 2024-A009. The Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations is proposing this amended version of the resolution."

RESOLUTION A009: "The discussions between the Evangelische-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern (ELKB) and The Episcopal Church (TEC) began as the result of a meeting in June 2013 between then Landesbischof Dr. Heinrich Bedford-Strohm and then Presiding Bishop the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts-Schori. In their meeting, the two Presiding Bishops expressed the wish and challenge for the two churches to explore the possibility of closer communion, including, if possible, full communion with interchange of ministers and sharing of the sacraments."
The (ELKB) is one of 20 Lutheran, United Protestant and Reformed churches of the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD) or the Protestant Evangelical Church in Germany.

ELKB has 2.2 million members spread across 1,500 congregations. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria is also a member of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany, the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, and of the Lutheran World Federation.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria dates back to 1821, even though German Lutheranism was three hundred years old by then. Bavaria was a Catholic stronghold so it took three centuries for Lutheranism to get a good foot hold of that part of Germany.

The Bavarian Lutheran Church, too, has closely danced with The Episcopal Church for more than five decades.

"A close relationship has existed for over 50 years between Episcopal Church and the ELKB in Munich, especially between the Church of the Ascension in Munich, a parish of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, and the Emmauskirche, a parish of the ELKB," the Resolution explains.

The Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe has seven congregations in Germany: St. Boniface, Augsburg; Christ the King, Frankfurt; St. Columban's, Karlsruhe; St. James the Less, Nuremberg; Ascension, Munich; St. Augustine of Canterbury, Wiesbaden; and St. Michael's Church, Weimar.

Bavaria is the largest of Germany's 16 states with Munich being the capital with a city population of 1.6 million. Nuremberg and Augsburg are also Bavarian cities. There are three Episcopal congregations in Bavaria: St. Boniface, St. James, and Ascension.

Episcopal worship in Bavaria dates back to before the turn of the 20th century.

"In 1896 the first recorded American Episcopal services were held in Munich," Ascension's website explains about the early history of Episcopal ministry in Bavaria. "The Church of the Ascension was formally incorporated in 1903."

Since 1970 Ascension has shared space in the Emmauskirche, a Bavarian Lutheran congregation. Similar close TEC-ELKB ties exist with the Episcopal congregations in Nuremberg and Augsburg, which also share worship space with ELKB parishes.

The ELKB has also strayed from its foundational Lutheran roots as it ordains women and embraces same-sex marriage making it a "perfect fit" for intercommunion with The Episcopal Church.

Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to Virtue Online.

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