The United Methodist Church is committed to the ecumenical movement, which seeks unity among the churches in Jesus Christ through interreligious dialogue, cooperation and shalom among all peoples and cultures. The United Methodist Church is a connectional church; this connectional dimension helps to ensure the diversity and unity expressed in Christian koinonia.
Christian unity is founded on the theological understanding that through faith in Jesus Christ we are made members-in-common of the one body of Christ. Christian unity is not an option; it is a gift to be received and expressed.
United Methodists respond to the theological, biblical, and practical mandates for Christian unity by firmly committing ourselves to the cause of Christian unity at local, national, and world levels. We invest ourselves in many ways by which mutual recognition of churches, of members, and of ministries may lead us to sharing in Holy Communion with all of God's people.
Knowing that denominational loyalty is always subsumed in our life in the church of Jesus Christ, we welcome and celebrate the rich experience of United Methodist leadership in church councils and consultations, in multilateral and bilateral dialogues, as well as in other forms of ecumenical convergence that have led to the healing of churches and nations.
We see the Holy Spirit at work in making the unity among us more visible.
It is the practice of the Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships to engage in dialogue with other faith traditions as part of a Christian fellowship. We do not engage in bilateral dialogues as an individual denomination. When building understanding and trust with other faith traditions, it is much more effective to join with other Christians. To draw the table larger is to build better understanding.
OCUIR has addressed interreligious relationships by affiliations with the National Council of Church's Interfaith Relations Commission, Religions for Peace, as well as several Muslim and Jewish organizations. OCUIR has developed print and electronic educational and resource materials to be used by local congregations and regional groups for interfaith encounters.