The Rev. Adam Hamilton, senior pastor, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kansas, speaks at a prayer service on January 22, 2013 in Washington, DC.

The Rev. Adam Hamilton, senior pastor, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kansas, speaks at a prayer service on January 22, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Methodism is one of America’s most politically divided denominations, with congregants and their pastors roughly split between political parties.

And so our rising national partisanship is a particular challenge for pastors like Adam Hamilton.

Reverend Hamilton pastors Church of the Resurrection — the biggest United Methodist church in the country. When he founded the church in Kansas in 1990, Hamilton was hoping to attract what he has described as “thinking Christians” who had little or no engagement with their faith. Today, the church has multiple campuses and a membership of over 20,000 people. The megachurch has been cited as one of the most influential in the nation.

Within this congregation, Hamilton has seen deep divisions that reflect the larger disunity in our country; ones tearing at our social fabric.

Hamilton made headlines in July when he said Christians can support gay marriage and not go against church orthodoxy.

“We feel like we can’t be around people like that who believe these things that are different from what I believe or practice something different or interpret the Scripture differently,” Hamilton continued, in his comments about same-gender marriage.

“Then we start calling them names. We pick the good names for us and we pick the bad names for them. We’re the orthodox, that must mean you’re the heretics.”

What role does faith play in bringing people together?

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