The session, called by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, will center on the possibility the church might become split into two factions, each opposing the other on the question of homosexuality.
The Christian Science Monitor said the meeting will be an unusually high-profile test of an issue that is simmering in many Christian denominations. The newspaper noted that other religions, such as the Presbyterian and United Methodist churches, are also torn over the issue.
At stake is whether the differing viewpoints will solidify, or be healed, within the U.S. Episcopal Church and between it and Anglican churches worldwide.
The flap developed after the U.S. Episcopal Church approved a gay bishop and voted its acceptance of same-sex commitment ceremonies performed by local pastors. Anglican traditionalists say the U.S. church has betrayed biblical teaching and must be disciplined and repent.
The Monitor said Williams hopes through consultation to find a way to "preserve our respect for one another and for the bonds that unite us."