Bishop Swenson dissents from COB Birmingham statement

MaryAnnSwensonRMNBlog, run by the Reconciling Ministries Network, published a dissent by Bishop Mary Ann Swenson today from the statement issued by the Council of Bishops Executive Committee urging Bishop Melvin Talbert to refrain from conducting a same-sex wedding. Swenson, who was listed as a member of the Executive Committee issuing the report, said that she was not present when the statement was approved, and that she did not agree with its contents.

She stated in clear terms her belief that she believed that Bishop Talbert was justified in carrying out the call to “biblical obedience” in the face of the “unjust” laws of the church:

The language in our Discipline is wrong. Indeed, we must work to change these immoral laws at General Conference. But General Conference only comes every four years and no LGBTQ person should have to wait any longer to experience the full love of God in Christian community at a United Methodist church.

via Bishop Mary Ann Swenson writes dissent on Council Birmingham statement.

Bishop Talbert has announced that he intends to follow through with the service on Saturday.

UMReporter Staff

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8 Comments on "Bishop Swenson dissents from COB Birmingham statement"

The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
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Sandy Wylie

Bishop Swenson is right. Bigotry, prejudice, and injustice have no place in the church of Jesus Christ and must be resisted. Should the Discipline rule over the gospel?

Here's an idea…Bishops Swenson and Talbert, if they really care about these so-called convictions, should resign their positions as Bishop, give up their pension (which the Western Jurisdiction can't afford and is thus relying on other jurisdictions to cover) and then they can do what they want! Bishops are not called to pastor…they care called to serve the denomination and support and uphold the BOD! We are a democratic denomination and how dare they think they God has spoken just to them with the General Conference continues to vote to NOT change the language or to support same-sex marriages and… Read more »
Judy Dirks

Thank you, Bishop Swenson, for standing firm for human rights and justice for all. What part of "all" in Scripture to some not understand?

Marilyn A.
Everytime the laws of the UMC (i.e., the Book of discipline) is ignored willfully (lawless generation anyone?) EVERY law in the BOD is diminished and the trust people have in their leaders and in the UMC. On what grounds can anyone challenge any of the OTHER actions identified as chargeable listed in Para. 341.6 or 2702 for Bishops, Clergy and Local Members – IF these actions of willful disobedience (not Biblical – they agreed to the laws when they join and as they continue in relationship with the UMC) are allowed to go unchecked. NO ONE is required to be… Read more »

Ignore her & obey God's Word & our BOD

Galen Colbert

The bigotry and hate that continues to be spewed, swathed in a cloak of "Christian love", is mind-boggling to me.


Thank God for Bishop Swenson. There is so much ugliness spewed by people who claim faith that it is truly refreshing to read Bishop Swenson's simple but forceful statement on behalf of justice.

Derek Robinette

Biblical obedience? Really. You want to play that card. The UMC does allow for all persons to experience the full love of God in Christian Community. That doesn't mean we all have to agree or can't hold different convictions.

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