What Say You to This?
GC2006 approved "Eucharistic Sharing" [Warning: link to Titusonenine] with the United Methodist Church, stopping short of full communion including interchange of ordained ministries, but clearly intending such full communion and interchange some time in the future. We already have full communion with the Lutherans of the ELCA, and recently their Assembly approved "Interim Eucharistic Sharing" with the UMC. On the face of it, these three churches seem to be drawing together, and full communion between them cannot be far off.
Of the TEC/UMC move, a TEC representative said,
...we can stand together at the Eucharistic table, but not interchangeably. There must be ordained members of both churches at the table.
However, he claimed "The ultimate goal, as with the Lutherans, is full Communion and interchangeability of ministers and ministries."
Some objected at GC2006; Bishop Ackerman of Quincy said (same link as above) "I cannot comprehend that we can be serious about this;" the Methodists, he noted, deny the Real Presence. Having never studied Methodist doctrine on the Eucharist, I cannot second Ackerman's concern (if you have more time to read carefully than I, here is a UMC link to a PDF giving their eucharistic doctrine).
We seem to be living out Huntington's dream partially, at least--or at least we could do so. If we can hang on to our catholic doctrine long enough we might be an adequate bridge between Protestant and pre-Reformation Christianity. But of course, can we hang on to our catholic doctrine? For instance, might there be a way of reaching full Communion while getting the UMC to admit Real Presence? Or at least its possibility and cogency? Or does it make a diffrence? What say you to this?