On Wednesday, April 13, at 6 pm, an Interim Shared Eucharist celebrated by the Episcopal Church with the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America at Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church on 90 Route 32 South in New Paltz, New York. Bishop Andrew Dietsche of the Episcopal Diocese of New York will celebrate the Eucharist, and the preacher will be the Rev. Timothy Riss, superintendent of the Catskill Hudson District for the New York annual conference of the United Methodist Church. The pastors and congregations of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and the New Paltz United Methodist Church will be involved in the readings and musical offerings, along with the chaplaincies at SUNY-New Paltz and Vassar College.
Both wine and grape juice, in separate chalices, will be available at the Eucharist; there will also be gluten-free bread.
This is an opportunity for our churches to come together in Eastertide and rejoice in our growing dialogue and concord. Not only will three different denominations be represented, but also there will be diversity in musical offerings (including performances of settings by the host pastor, Tobias Anderson of Redeemer) and in the language of the readings. Yet the liturgy will be traditional, emphasizing elements common to all three churches and giving a sense of their rich and frequently shared heritage. Ecumenism offers an opportunity not just to develop links between individual churches but also to participate in a common and inclusive fellowship and witness to the glory of God.
The Episcopal Diocese of New York, the UMC New York annual conference, and the New York Episcopal Diocese Interfaith and Ecumenical Commission sponsor the event. It is the third in a series of interim shared Eucharists celebrated by Episcopalians and Methodists in the New York area since 2012; previous celebrations were at St. Paul’s Chapel and the John Street Church, both in downtown Manhattan. The Rev. Robert Walker, Assistant to the Bishop of the UMC New York Annual Conference, and Dr. Nicholas Birns, parishioner at Grace Church Broadway and member of the Interfaith Ecumenical Commission, are the co-chairs of the Episcopal-Methodist dialogue in the greater New York area,
After the Eucharist, pizza, salad and soft drinks will be served at Redeemer Lutheran; all are invited.