“Unity at what cost?”
Having just listened to Bishop Bruce Ough, president of the Council of Bishops, call the General Conference of The United Methodist Church to stay united in the midst of our differences, I find myself wondering about the cost of unity.
The Bishop acknowledged that we “collectively have a broken heart”, saying we are broken by conflicts around human sexuality, the interpretation of Scripture and the inclusion of LGBTQI persons, and that our divisions are “fueled by despair over the decline of the UMC in the US.”
Still Bishop Ough told us the Council of Bishops, while not united itself, is “committed to maintaining unity of The United Methodist Church…unity which is not afraid of truth and is respectful and inclusive of all.”
If indeed we can pull off that kind of unity, then it makes sense for us to continue this great adventure of faith together. However if the unity we share is anything less than fully honest, respectful and inclusive, then I think the cost may be too high.
Bishop Ough concluded his remarks by saying “This may be the moment to let God’s unlimited imagination lead us to a new way of imagining life”
It feels like the moment is pregnant with possibility. I covet your prayers for the church!