From a recent interview I had with our local paper, The News & Observer:
“Disagreement has been a hallmark of Methodism throughout the denomination’s history, before and after the United Methodist Church was formed through the 1968 convergence of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church.
The United Methodist churches he pastored before he retired were typical in that way, said William Willimon, a member of the Council of Bishops and a professor of the practice of Christian Ministry at the Duke Divinity School.
When it comes to matters of policy and practice — of mission and ministry, Willimon said in a phone interview after the General Conference vote — United Methodists understand that almost no congregation will ever be of one mind.
‘The churches I know just carry on, and recognize that we have people with different opinions who don’t like each other, and who disapprove of each other, in the same room,’ Willimon said.
‘That’s what Jesus does. He brings us together with people we don’t especially care for. And that’s called a church.'”