Religion: Methodist Doubts

The proposed union of four major American Protestant churches is a cart with four wheels—and one of the wheels is slow to turn. The Presbyterian and Episcopal churches and the United Church of Christ continue generally to favor the dramatic project that Presbyterian Eugene Carson Blake put forth in 1960. But the largest denomination involved, the 10 million-member Methodist Church, has deep doubts. Washington's John Wesley Lord, though he is one of the few Methodist bishops who speak out strongly in favor of merger, says: "Methodists have the least enthusiasm, and with good reason. We're strong; what do we need?"

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