Washington, D.C. – To commemorate the recent Interim Eucharist Sharing agreement between the Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church, Washington National Cathedral will be hosting a special celebration, inviting Rev. Canon Gina Campbell to preside over the service of the Holy Eucharist on Sunday, January 25 at 11:15 a.m. EST.
The Cathedral has always served as a House of Prayer for All People and has welcomed preachers and participants from many Christian traditions. However, this is the first time a United Methodist preacher will celebrate at the table.
Canon Campbell, an ordained United Methodist minister and Canon Precentor at Washington National Cathedral, has participated in services at the Cathedral for nearly 5 years, but has never been allowed to preside over the Holy Eucharist until now.
“I am overjoyed that the close relationship between The Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church now allows for the kind of Eucharistic sharing that will bring our two churches closer together,” said the Very Rev. Gary Hall, Dean of Washington National Cathedral. “I am personally thrilled that the Reverend Canon Gina Gilland Campbell will now be able to preside at the Holy Eucharist and Holy Baptism in the Cathedral’s liturgies. As the cleric directing our worship, Gina has brought depth and skill to the crafting of Cathedral services. It is a gift to us that she will now be fully authorized to stand at the table as a full participant in liturgical leadership.”
The Interim Eucharistic Sharing agreement comes as The Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church are taking steps to deepen their expression and practice of Christian Unity. At the heart of the shared agreement, the two traditions recognize one another as members of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, faithfully and rightly preaching and proclaiming the Gospel of Christ.
“In the Cathedral’s Canterbury pulpit, I have discovered a more profound sense of my own preaching voice,” said Rev. Canon Campbell. “Studying the prayer books from across the Anglican Communion, I have reconnected with my denomination’s own theological and liturgical heritage. With this next step toward Eucharistic sharing, the sacramental part of my vocation – which, for me, has always been the deepest way I have experience assurance of my calling – can now live with full expression at the Cathedral. I found it difficult to live with vocational integrity with the previous limitations on sacramental authority. By God’s grace, and with human cooperation, the brokenness of Christ’s body continues to heal.”
Sunday’s service will include a video message from the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, a sermon by guest preacher the Rev. Dr. Kim Cape, General Secretary of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church and the Rev. Canon Gina Campbell officiating the Holy Eucharist.
Media is invited to attend the event. The Very Rev. Gary Hall and Rev. Canon Gina Campbell will both be available for interviews following the service.