In the wake of the 2019 United Methodist General Conference, I want to share some common patterns and feelings that you may recognize in yourself or others, as well as some suggestions for healthy ways to channel energy.
It’s fine to say, “We’re one big family. We agree to disagree.” But when the disagreement is about a matter of fundamental principle, such as who can be recognized as a full member of the family, it’s not so simple.
Can we find ways to call ourselves back to constructive ways of managing our differences?
If we are to successfully overcome polarization, we must first look deeply into its roots.
Economic inequality has increased, even inside congregations.
In a time when polarized opinions are rampant and vigorously defended on social and other media, we need to intentionally invite each other to show up at congregational meetings with more than our opinions.
Congregations that started a “new community outreach” in the previous five years were much less likely to report a significant conflict than similar congregations that did not.