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

joebobbyletter

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.

The Rev. Jay Voorhees is a Contributing Editor of The United Methodist Reporter and the Chief Creative Officer for CircuitWriter Media LLC which operates this site and MethoBlog.com. Jay also serves as the Sr. Pastor of the City Road United Methodist Church in Nashville, TN. 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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  1. Good Bless, Joe Openshaw and Bobby Prince.

  2. So, Joe and Bobby are being presented as key point people for the pro-gay agenda side of this schism. (And don't think for a moment that the secular pro- gay agenda people are not involved big time in this) There's obviously more in mind here than just their "wedding". They seem to be just a part of a larger plot, a plot that includes the declaration of war against the United Methodist Church. As this movement has now entered into a significantly more aggressive phase, they seem to want to push the church off the fence and towards a 'final resolution'. And, it is looking more and more that decision time on this is gaining speed rapidly.

  3. 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?

    • Yes, it appears that the UMR is in the tank with the pro-gay movement no matter how hard they try to disguise it. They often go back and modify articles after publication on the website by gauging the comments in order to try to appear "objective" in the edited updates, a typical liberal "journalistic" technique.

      • 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 aren't there yet.

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

    • 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 church, and we continue to be in the belief that this independence allows us to feature voices that are sometimes ignored in the "official" UM news operations. While you may believe that we are failing at the attempt to be balanced in our coverage, I can say that we have worked hard to maintain good relationships with both the Good News organization and the Institute for Religion and Democracy (IRD), as well as the Reconciling Ministries Network, all three of which are independent organizations who love and are trying to discern God's will for our church.

  4. 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

  5. The purpose of the photo? My guess is it's most likely not winning many over to that side. Besides, don't recall seeing such a photo of a married heterosexual couple on display in the Reporter before. After all, what is the standard of appropriateness here?

    • 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.

      • Perhaps that will be the winner of the convoluted statement of the year award. I, personally, find the photo offensive and embarrassing right there in the middle of a Methodist church news source. Your bias is overflowing.

        • 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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