Formal complaints filed against Bishop Talbert

Bishop Melvin Tablert

Bishop Melvin G. Talbert

DENVER – Complaints have been filed against Bishop Melvin G. Talbert alleging he has violated the sacred trust of his office.  Acting in accordance with United Methodist church law, a supervisory response has been initiated by Bishop Elaine Stanovsky of Denver.

The Council of Bishops requested that complaints be filed against Bishop Talbert, of Nashville, Tenn., after he performed an October wedding for two men in Alabama.  The bishop of the region, Debra Wallace-Padgett, had asked him not to perform the ceremony.  The Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops also made this request.

Bishop Stanovsky, president of the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops, has been assigned to guide the confidential supervisory process according to the provisions of the Church’s Book of Discipline.  Bishop Talbert is a member of the Western Jurisdiction, where he served before his retirement in 2000. Church law requires that complaints against bishops be heard in the jurisdiction where the bishop is a member.

The supervisory response is a review of the bishop’s ministry which “shall be directed toward a just resolution” of the complaint.  The supervisory team consists of two bishops working in consultation with one clergy and one lay member of the jurisdictional committee on episcopacy.

The supervisory team carefully maintains the confidentiality of the supervisory response, as guided by the Book of Discipline.  “We find that confidentiality protects the integrity of the process and provides the best hope of the parties reaching a just resolution and offering healing to the Church,” Bishop Stanovsky said.  “We need the whole Church to respect the supervisory process and uphold it in prayer.  Everyone involved takes their role very seriously and is working for a just, healing and faithful outcome.”

For relevant positions of The United Methodist Church go to:
http://www.rmcumc.org/new/component/content/article/425.html
http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/what-is-the-denominations-position-on-homosexuality1
http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/para-363-complaint-procedures
http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/para-413-complaints-against-bishops 

UMReporter Staff

This story was posted by a staff member of The United Methodist Reporter. For over 160 years The United Methodist Reporter has been helping the people called Methodist to tell their stories. If you have stories that you think need to be told, please let us know at editor@circuitwritermedia.com

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17 Comments on "Formal complaints filed against Bishop Talbert"

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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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james
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Thank you WAD for posting this website. I’d never visited it. It is now in my “favorites.” I pray your 2014 Lenten Journey to the Cross and Resurrection Sunday is a distinctly blessed one……………….

Don Hamilton
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Personally, I am proud of Bishop Talbert – for his constant Christian witness over the years. I appreciate his courage to do the right thing – even if we are stuck – for the time being – with church law that is outdated, unresponsive to human need, out of character for our “Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds.” We mean that motto except for those we would exclude from total and complete fellowship in our church family as United Methodists. Our very motto exposes us as hypocrites. We only partially mean it. Let us remember Jesus, for he was willing… Read more »
jim
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Hmmmmmmmmmm………. Seems like I’ve heard this term “conversion.” Seems like I’ve also read that united Methodists got away from this years ago and embraced the social gospel as opposed to the Good News Gospel!! Might the term be likened unto such a thing as “saved” or “born again?”

Wes Andrews
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When we start marginalizing Scripture, we start marginalizing any hope of a standard of justice that transcends government and cultural whim. “Bishop” Talbert marginalizes Scripture and the justice truth within…..

james
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The whole scenario of the constant dialogue is a vey sad commentary. The council of bishops will do nothing to reprimand one of their own–the phylacteries of their office blind them. In conferences, bishops and ds’s will do nothing to reprimand that particular cabinet. Effective preachers/pastors–most of whom are 2nd or 3 career folks–will continue to be denied a voice at annual conferences. All the while those who sit in the pews will be held hostage by the book of discipline, apportionments and the many progressive causes they support, and the umc will continue its rapid decline. Why waste time… Read more »
Wes Andrews
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james, your comment makes me wonder if the Council of Bishops has ever been an effective form of leadership. Prior to the 1960’s Episcopal authority was more accepted, because the culture tended to trust those in authority. But just because it was more accepted then doesn’t mean that it was ever an effective form of governance. There’s no CEO who has the authority make hard decisions. There’s no effective process to remove an ineffective or unproductive Bishop (or D.S. for that matter). Lord knows many Bishops over the years have done nothing to lead or inspire. Think about it. The… Read more »
james
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Wes: my statement is a “blanket” one–and one can get in a pickle for sure when that kind of generalization is made. I agree–that are great and faithful Bishops, no doubt. But, in my mind, it seems that precious few of the ones who serve today are of the caliber that Nicodemus was or Saul became after he met the Risen Savior and became “Paul.” Presently, perhaps Bishop Jones ranks at the top–and that is only an opinion. Most expect their “subjects” to pay homage and blindly follow.

MethodistPie
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Those who see things as Bishop Talbert does may or may not be right re the great issue. This much, however, is for certain: As a bishop, he made vows he has not kept. There are many and various honorable ways to be true what he believes re same sex unions, including renouncing his ordination. He has chosen a path that, in my opinion, does dishonor to the office of Bishop of The United Methodist Church. The same body that paid him an episcopal salary and now funds his pension spent ten million dollars on a General Conference in 2012.… Read more »
Carolyn Clark
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When I was a little girl in Sunday School at Faith Methodist Church in South Houston, Texas, there was a Bible verse on the bulletin board that said “God is love.” The tipping point for gay marriage in the United States has passed. United Methodists can agree or disagree, but they must get beyond this issue, and focus on bringing God’s love to the world again. Right now they are making the Bible verse seem like “God is politics.”

Used to be religious
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This is the reason younger generations are turning away from the church at an alarming rate. So much for “Open Doors. Open Hearts. Open Minds.” That slogan is laughable when something like this surfaces.

Wes Andrews
Guest

Actually, it’s because many UMC’s are still stuck in the 50’s or are doing a bad job catching up to the 80s. In other words, pretty boring. Also the UMC bureaucracy is a heavy weight on the local church and local pastors and functions as a distraction rather than a help. And UM seminaries are pretty weak when it comes to preparing pastors to lead people in the 21st Century. The church grows when disciple-makers make disciple-makers, not when politically correct progressives make politically correct progressives.

John
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Agree

John
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I am delighted that a formal complaint has been made. It illustrates perfectly the pettiness and homophobia of the Council of Bishops. It will also give the Western Jurisdiction an opportunity to find the same kind of “just resolution” that New York Bishop McLee found in the case of Dr. Ogletree. Good bishops will follow Bishop McLee’s example and refuse to try someone on an unjust law. God Bless Bishop Talbert for standing up for justice and for refusing to be moved in the face of discrimination.

Don Hamilton
Guest
Personally, I am proud of Bishop Talbert – for his constant Christian witness over the years. I appreciate his courage to do the right thing – even if we are stuck – for the time being – with church law that is outdated, unresponsive to human need, out of character for our “Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds.” We mean that motto – EXCEPT – for those we would exclude from total and complete fellowship in our church family as United Methodists. Our very motto exposes us as hypocrites. We only partially mean it. Let us remember Jesus, for he… Read more »
Lerrad Veracity
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Yes – Yes by all means continue in the path of these rogue Bishops and Pastors who are willfully ignoring God’s Word and His plan for Holy living…I say – the match is lit – the gas is spreading – let’s sick back and watch this damnation…eh…denomination burn to the ground – look at the signs – the word Ichabod is already written above the door frames of our churches – because of our wanton wickedness the Glory of God has already departed from us!

Marilee Gabriel
Guest

Doesn’t Christian conversation as a means of grace require truth telling? If the Council of Bishops is requesting complaints be filed against Bishop Talbert, why doesn’t it also request letters of support? A one-sided trial does not seem to set the stage for truth or or openness to grace.

Bruce
Guest

The only just resolution must be that nobody cares anymore if an out of jurisdiction, retired bishop does not respect the direction of the active, resident bishop. Especially when the retired bishop so obviously possesses superior wisdom on the matter. Yawn.

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