Friday, March 6, 2020
Recommended Reading: Michigan-Liberia Partnership
The Michigan Annual Conference recently posted this report about signing a new covenant to continue a 20-year long partnership between United Methodists in Michigan and those in Liberia. What makes this story particularly interesting is the way in which it honestly acknowledges the deep differences between Michigan and Liberia about the place of LGBTQ persons in the church and the tensions that those differences bring to the partnership. Moreover, the story indicates that those tensions exist for both parties - Liberians, as well as Michiganders, debated whether to reaffirm their partnership. Ultimately, both parties did, for the sake of the mutual mission and ministry that their partnership has facilitated and will continue to facilitate, despite the real potential that the two groups could end up in separate denominations. While it may or may not appear in official press, the sorts of conversations, tensions, and reassessment of missional relationships described in this article are certainly occurring for many such partnerships across the denomination.