Polity as Basis for United Methodist unity



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Resubmitted alternative perspective

As you write your next two installments, I would throw a little traditionalist grist in that mill:
There was a time when most all of us were English or something descended from that general area. We were tied by family, culture, traditions and even monetary realities to “home”. Those ties remained and generally worked for well over 200 years. Then, as time went on, issues arose that caused friction, the friction finally became action, sides were drawn, then guns were drawn, and in 1776, the legal ties were gone. There was a complete split in governance. Polity perished.
The Methodist church I joined at birth in 1948, was always a welcoming, spirit-filled place, with people of similar interest and beliefs gathered for fulfilling worship, MYF, covered-dish suppers, home-made ice cream and very special celebrations at Easter and Christmas. My dad volunteered in various ways and always told me, “son, serve your church, just not on the Board”. I later found out why. It is a place of conflict, of strained “polity” within a place of praise. There were certainly differences, but they could be worked out and the church moved on… General Conferences were like church board meetings on steroids, but none of the issues could not be either handled or kicked down the sanctuary…
Now, however, we have indeed come to issues which cannot be handled. The issues are, in fact, non-negotiable. While the Methodist Church I knew was always welcoming and had a place for any and all of us sinners who came in for forgiveness and grape juice, we old traditionalists are now being told to accept certain things as normal which have been taught by parents, society, our church. The Book of Discipline, as not normal. Things that are now regularly represented by a “Q” cannot be accepted as normal by many of us. Just as the colonists reached the point where they just could not stay under King George, no matter their love of their heritage and culture, they had no choice but to break the ties…
I accept that we have reached that point with the UMC. I believe that there should be an amicable, but total split so we can all stand down from the endless fight and go back to doing what we are supposed to be doing: saving our souls and as much of our world as we can. However, for me, I have joined those who have just quietly left. Still a “member”, but I never go or contribute or volunteer. At 69, I’m just tired of it all. So, I suppose there will be a split 3 ways: this way, that away and far away.

Reese more than 4 years ago

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