It was love of The United Methodist Church that brought 16 — sometimes hostile — people to a point of agreement for a path forward for the worldwide church.
Even though the agreement is to split, participants still talked about loving each other in a livestreamed discussion Jan. 13 to explain how the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation was formed.
“We started with quite a bit of tension and, really, hostility in the room,” said Bishop Christian Alsted, Nordic-Baltic Episcopal Area. “But a sense of hope and the possibility of finding common ground emerged. This was a rollercoaster ride … sometimes we wanted to get off but all stayed.”
Front and center of the group was famed mediator Kenneth Feinberg, who helped the United Methodists representing strongly held, diverse viewpoints, get to a yes.
Feinberg said the question he posed to the group was, “What is the alternative to decades of strife, tensions and stress?"