Kenneth H. Carter is president of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church and serves the Florida Conference area. He is the author of ten other books, including Pray for Me, A Way of Life in the World, The Gifted Pastor, and Near the Cross.
People find it refreshingly inspirational being able to use the scripture at a station to conduct their own journey of discovery. Instead of the worship through this church season being focused, as it is all too often, on the particular theological stance or biases of the preacher, the participation at the stations draws each worshipper to the person of Christ and brings the focus on to their own experience of the Easter story.
At times, a denomination is able to hold these two conceptions of church in tension. And at times, as in recent experiences of American Christianity, there is fragmentation and division. The division may finally be the result of clearly articulated values that are not compatible. And the division may also be the result of how leaders do harm to each other.
What great things could be accomplished if we rediscovered orthodoxy in service of the healing, instead of dividing, of our bodies—our churches! Such a generous orthodoxy would help us not to become immersed in the emotional processes that pit people against each other. Such a generous orthodoxy would keep us from becoming stuck in cycles of harmful collusion and escalating conflict. Such a generous orthodoxy would know that the source of our capacity to be healed of our schisms is a miracle beyond our human power or goodness or intelligence.