Openshaw & Prince thank supporters and call for support for Bishop Talbert


Screen shot from the Reconciling Ministries Network website. Photo credit: Alisha Crossley Photography

Joe Openshaw and Bobby Prince, the two gay men whose marriage was celebrated by United Methodist Bishop Melvin G. Talbert in Birmingham this past Saturday, have written a letter of thanks to their supporters and are encouraging those allies to contact their bishops with expressions of support for Bishop Talbert’s actions.  The letter was published on the website of the Reconciling Ministries Network (RCM), an organization advocating for changes in the United Methodist Book of Discipline to allow for the full participation of GLBT persons in the life of the United Methodist Church.

“We have been overwhelmed with the people near and far who have reached out to us,” Prince and Openshaw wrote. “When we began planning for our wedding, we expected some people to make statements against us—but what we did not expect was that the words of support and encouragement would come from so far away and be so much more numerous.”

The letter asks supporters to write letters to their bishops expressing their support of Bishop Talbert’s “Biblical Obedience” initiative. The letter also asks for financial donations to the Reconciling Ministries Network, and encourages supporters to recruit new members to join RCM’s efforts.

Click here to visit the Reconciling Ministries Network website and read the full text of the letter.

Jay Voorhees, Former Executive Editor

The Rev. Jay Voorhees is the Executive Editor of The United Methodist Reporter and the Chief Creative Officer for CircuitWriter Media LLC which operates this site and Jay is an ordained elder in the Tennessee Annual Conference. Jay has written on life and the practice of faith in The United Methodist Church at Only Wonder Understands since 2003.

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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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JayJulie A. Arms MeeksJay Voorhees, Exec.John JP PattersonMike Baughman, UMR Correspondent Recent comment authors
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Jay Voorhees, Exec.

In this case, the photo is a screen shot from the original web posting (note the text at the bottom of the pix). We had taken a similar approach in the article on Good News's video statement in clipping the image from the original posting. In both cases, since the stories were referring to statements issued via the web, we were attempting to display those web sites.


WAD's delicate sensibilities notwithstanding, the photo is entirely appropriate. Only someone who literally hates gay people would find it offensive.


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John JP Patterson

Bishop Talbert in word and deed has reminded us that our covenantal relationship with God and Jesus Christ is our highest and most ultimate of covenants. That is why he did what he did in Birmingham, Alabama on October 26, 2013.

– Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell


This is not a news story. It looks like the UMR is just forwarding reconciling Ministry propaganda. Why is the official communications agency of the church promoting anti United Methodist propaganda?

Mike Baughman, UMR Correspondent

really? their last post on this issue was about the video released by Good News. just sayin

Jay Voorhees, Exec.

You, of course, are certainly entitled to your opinion about our editorial policy. However, for the record, The United Methodist Reporter does not and has not had any official relationship to the United Methodist Church. As we say in our description on our site, we are an independent entity owned by United Methodists who love our church and are trying to facilitate conversation about life and practice in the UMC. We receive no church funds, and our funding comes solely through the ads on the site. For 166 years, the United Methodist Reporter has always been independent from the general… Read more »

Julie A. Arms Meeks

Jay, I think the UMR is doing a fine job of balanced reporting, especially with the abundance of church and secular coverage of Bobby & Joe's wedding. Keep up the good work.

Jay Voorhees, Exec.

For the record, yes we have changed the descriptors of organizations when people have challenged them as less than accurate. In at least two cases this was after conversation with those organizations in order to be more accurate about those groups. We were certainly under no obligation to do so, but did so in the interest of fairness and accuracy. If that is a "liberal journalistic technique", so be it, but our intention is to try and recognize when we make mistakes and try to fix them. We recognize that we are moving on to perfection, but that we certainly… Read more »


Good Bless, Joe Openshaw and Bobby Prince.

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