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Drinking the Cup … new opportunities

Christy Miller Black

Acknowledging that actions taken in The United Methodist Church have generated  both anger and hurt, Rev. John Boley encourages a turn toward new opportunities. 

REV. JOHN BOLEY
Clergy Assistant to the Bishop

A couple of weeks ago Bishop Bard wrote an eloquent blog on the unfinished business after Annual Conference. I don’t need to reiterate or elaborate. But here’s my two cents:

So now everyone is mad and victimized.

The progressives are angry over what happened at General Conference, and they are happy about what happened at Annual Conference. The conservatives are happy about what happened at General Conference, and they are angry about what happened at Annual Conference.

So now everyone is mad and victimized.

So, is this a deadlock or an opportunity? Well, probably both.

Here is my take on it in the form of ten pointed questions:

  1. Since everyone is mad and victimized, can we now all have a little more empathy and compassion for each other?
  2. Now that these matters have sucked the life out of us, can we become rejuvenated by doing the work of Christ in all of the other important ways?
  3. Can we see the work of the Church and discipleship as being so much bigger than we have allowed it to be, bringing new opportunities and passion?
  4. Is there now an opportunity for healthy discussions about the underlying substantive issues – about the use and interpretation of Scripture and about the change in our understandings due to the tension between understandings of sexual orientation v. sexual behavior?
  5. Is there an opportunity to find an amicable path to separation?
  6. Can we refrain from rancor and animosity and a binary, primitive desire to crush and defeat each other?
  7. When separation comes, can we wish each other all the best so that we have thriving Methodist movements into the future – perhaps even supporting the different branches to enhance the overall ministry of the Church?
  8. Are there ways to strengthen the Church so that, when separation comes, the Church and all of its new components can be in as strong a position as possible?
  9. Can we agree that every human being is a precious Child of God?
  10. Can we act accordingly?

All things are possible with God.

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