In the week leading up to General Conference, in addition to the necessity of scriptural memory, let us pray that General Conference delegates will also have institutional memory. I note the following as illustrations…
(1) We have been here before, facing the possibility of schism, and rejecting it. I have written about this in recent past blogs.
(2) The holding of differences does not mandate denominational division. The key here is the will to remain united, which can then result in a polity for being so despite disagreements.
(3) Local options are not foreign to UM polity. Some are already allowed by The Book of Discipline, and further options can be identified and defined as the General Conference wills.
(4) Our polity is always developing within the context of experimentation, from which learnings emerge and further refinement can take place.
(5) Unity is always a higher value than schism in the Body of Christ.
The United Methodist Church is under no obligation to divide. Our history alone is sufficient to teach us this.