These are my thoughts and hopes for the church--
In a world where divisiveness is rampant, there is little to model unity and we believe the church is being called to reveal to the world a way to move forward in the midst of difference.
While resolutions are being put forward to change the wording in the Book of Discipline, and statements are being made suggesting schism, we desire to create plans and possibilities for moving forward even without complete resolution and agreement. Yet still moving forward in the messiness of theology- in the messiness of what it means to be church. And are we yet alive? We believe we are and can continue to be.
How can we inspire and share with others that even in all of this, it is still worth it to be this messy, imperfect, Body of Christ, that may muddle through and loving one another especially when it is hard to do so? How can we reveal that we do not give up- that church is not just an idea, but a reality of people who come together to love not because it is easy, but because the Holy Spirit makes it possible and our lives are richer for it. How can we reveal the kingdom of God when we are so focused on our own animosity and disagreements?
We do not argue over how we understand the trinity, the divinity of Jesus, the mystery of the sacraments, the truth of the resurrection- why should we debate this? These were Wesley's essentials, if we cannot think alike we can love alike and "if your heart is with my heart, take my hand."
We confess that we have failed to listen to one another and we have allowed our egos to rule, rather than our hearts. Too often, we seek to be right, rather than to learn. We seek to claim who is on God’s side rather than to love. We repent of our earthly desire to win debates, and ask God to help us love one another even when we do not agree. We commit to pray for God to work through us to create a third way where we may be one in unity in the midst of our differences.
We covenant together to Love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength and with all our mind and to love our neighbor as we love our selves, not because we agree with our neighbor, but because we were Created by love to love, Jesus calls us to love, and the Holy Spirit empowers and equips us to love.
We covenant to focus our time and energy on the mission Jesus Christ has given us to make disciples and to transform the world.