Bishop Talbert complaint resolved

Bishop Melvin Tablert

Bishop Melvin G. Talbert

UMC bishop no longer facing trial for officiating same-sex wedding

(Reconciling Ministries Network) January 5, 2015–Complaints filed against Bishop Melvin Talbert alleging he violated the sacred trust of his office for officiating a same-sex wedding have been resolved, avoiding trial. In the agreement, Bishop Talbert “holds steadfastly to the conviction that his actions were just and right,” and Bishops Wenner and Wallace-Padgett maintain that “pain exists throughout the entire connection, including among those who support the actions of Bishop Talbert, and those who object to the actions.”

Joe Openshaw and Bobby Prince asked Bishop Talbert to preside at their wedding after the pastor at their church was forbidden by her supervisors at The United Methodist Church to have any part with the wedding of her same-gender, committed church members, including pre-marital counseling or attending the wedding. Bishop Talbert traveled down to Birmingham from his home in Nashville, Tennessee to help the couple celebrate their love for each other and their covenant to let their love be a sign of God’s love for the world.

North Alabama Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett not only filed a complaint against Bishop Talbert for performing the wedding, but for interfering in her region, drawing parallels for some of former United Methodist bishops of the same Birmingham area, calling Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. an “outsider” and calling his witness “unwise and untimely.”

Upon hearing news of the Resolution, Bishop Talbert was elated, but still firm in his conviction for Biblical Obedience, a movement he believes can offer the best way forward for The UMC:

We reached a Just Resolution! Praise God! I’m grateful to my colleague Bishops Rosemarie Wenner and Debra Wallace-Padgett, consultants, and all the support persons, for their openness, honesty and fairness in the process. However, our primary mission of ‘making disciples…’ is still before us. At some point our church must choose its best future. Out of the depth of my heart, I believe embracing Biblical Obedience offers the best way forward for maximizing its potential for growth and full inclusion. I pray that we will remain open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, as we continue the struggle to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ. As the prophet Micah said, “God has told you, human one, what is good, and what God requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.” – Bishop Melvin G. Talbert

Matt Berryman, Executive Director of Reconciling Ministries Network, said in his statement:

Whereas this is a day to celebrate, it is still sad Instead of recognizing and blessing the ‘signs and wonders’ of God’s presence in the love between faithful United Methodists Bobby and Joe, welcoming them as a couple into Christian service, and moving forward with this couple to do the work of God in a hurting world, the church continues to act as if this were the fulcrum on which Christian identity and practice must be measured for its orthodoxy. As a result, the church weakens its connection to the ‘essentials’ of the Great Salvation of the gospel entrusted to it by the Wesleys, continues to silence the telling of these ‘loves’ by refusing their blessing at the altar, and by punishing the prophets who dare to be in ministry with these ‘loves.’ In addition to doing great harm, the church misses an opportunity to point to Joe and Bobby’s love as a means of grace.

For Berryman’s full statement and more on the Resolution: www.rmnetwork.org/talbert-resolution

Reconciling Ministries Network is a growing movement of United Methodist individuals, congregations, campus ministries, and other groups working for the full participation of all people in The United Methodist Church, mobilizing United Methodists of all sexual orientations and gender identities to transform our Church and world into the full expression of Christ’s inclusive love. RMN envisions a renewed and vibrant Wesleyan movement that is biblically and theologically centered. As committed disciples of Jesus Christ, Reconciling Ministries Network strives to transform the world by living out the Gospel’s teachings of grace, love, justice, and inclusion for all of God’s children.

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61 Comments on "Bishop Talbert complaint resolved"

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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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Elaine T.
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This discussion has brought back memories of times with my brother. being a very strong willed and opinionated individual, he loved to argue; you might even say lived to argue. He lived by the philosophy that you NEVER loose. and he always believed that he won. Most often his discussions would begin with very curt remarks about his opinions, challenging anyone to disagree with him. As the discussion would evolve someone would make a good point or ask him a point blank question that he didn’t want to answer. He would then throw some extraneous remarks that had a minimal… Read more »
George Nixon Shuler
Guest

Welcome to UMR Comments.

George N. Shuler
Guest

expressing a politically incorrect opinion is not ‘”derailing”.

Richard Hicks
Guest

So when do the rules apply? And to whom are they applied? If I’m in with the in-crowd, I can do what I wish with no price paid. Thank you, Richard Hicks, OKC

Kevin
Guest

By now you should have figured out that George’s purpose is to derail the discussion and maybe drive you away. You might want to consider ignoring him and simply engage with the adults. Just a thought.

Jeff stone
Guest

Translation of “derail” as used here: express a viewopint other than right-wing political correctness.

Jeff Stone`
Guest

Derailing as used here means to express an opinion outside right-wing political correctness.

George Nixon Shuler
Guest

“One-sided” = fact-based.

Jay
Guest

Thank God for Bishop Talbert. Sometimes justice triumphs.

George Nixon Shuler
Guest

Amen! “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24)

George Nixon Shuler
Guest

Do you take Leviticus 15: 15-30 at face value? Did your plumber install a mikva? Do you have a red tent?

George Nixon Shuler
Guest

Do you take Leviticus 15: 15-30 at face value. Did your plumber install a mikva? Do you have a red tent?

Paul W.
Guest
Gee, George, I thought you didn’t like scripture? You do know that this verse is talking about justice and righteousness as defined in God’s Law, not your personal opinion about what “justice” and “righteousness” might be derived from man’s sinful nature, right? Also, in context, the whole chapter is about the severe punishment that is coming for not following God’s Law in regard to holiness of heart and righteousness even though they were maintaining the ceremonial trappings; this verse is appropriate to the current situation in the UMC only as a call to true repentance and a warning of punishment… Read more »
George N. Shuler
Guest

Why try to put words in another’s mouth? I never said I do not like scripture. i believe the scripture applies directly to the situation being discussed. We definitely need to repent of the terrible way we have treated LGBT persons and LGBT clergy.

George Nixon Shuler
Guest
Context, my friend. Jesus was not in the business of making policy. He spoke to people of the culture in which he lived. In those times, marriages were financial arrangements whereby a father sold his daughter to the husband. Jesus was surely not endorsing that. He dealt in reality, not policy. Of course, today, we have some on the fringe who want to return to arranged marriages while keeping their daughters as chattel. At least they are consistent. And the states with the highest divorce rates – Nevada excepted – Oklahoma, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas – are part of… Read more »
Jeff Stone
Guest

Is this sort of meanspiritedness necessarry?

Gary Bebop
Guest

Behold the grotesque nature of the conversation around this topic. Reason has flown, now only ideology and outright slam-dunk bias reigns with a whip. Look out! Don’t ever imagine they are going to deal kindly with evangelical-orthodox folk in the coming new paradigm.

Wes Andrews
Guest
The individual progressive’s thoughts and prejudices are their only authority. It is a destruction of We The People, because the people are NOT smart enough to know what is good for them, so progressives will dictate what is “correct.” That’s the very reason the “We the People” book of United Methodism, the Book of Discipline and its due process is ignored and trampled upon. No one claimed the BOD is perfect, but they cite its imperfection to get around the due process. In the end their only appeal to a higher law is no higher than the progressives’ ego and… Read more »
MethodistPie
Guest

Sounds to me as if the complaint was resolved by the complainants essentially apologizing to Talbert and gays and lesbians everywhere. Farce.

Gary Bebop
Guest

Farce is indeed the measure of this complain resolution. It’s a hideous burlesque of justice. The clowning has begun in earnest and the spectacle will be magnified day by day through General Conference 2016.

George N. Shuler
Guest

Thank you. I was in the Cal-Pac Conference previously. I was considerably impressed with the previous Bishop we had, Mary Anne Swenson.

George Nixon Shuler
Guest

I don’t believe this is farcial; I believe it is an exercise of justice. What is farcical is the dead enders opposition to all forms of human progress whenever possible. For example, Herman Cain running for President was funny; Ben “Plagarist” Carson running for President is a farce.

George N. Shuler
Guest
My friend, I do not recall the question being asked of me. I am a SW, but do not reside in California at this time. I did ask another fellow who claimed to be a SW if his GSSW was accredited by the CSWE and he did not answer. I believe the comment was appropriate. If you did not like it, that’s fine. I believe it indicated the caliber of right-wing leaders are, uh, at the point of diminishing returns. I have to admit I stole the idea (although I had heard the quote from Clemanceau previously) from Frederic C.… Read more »
George Nixon Shuler
Guest

If that analysis were correct it certainly seems appropriate.

George N. Shuler
Guest
You might want to try another browser. I haven’t lived in Cali since 2007. I’m sure there’s a lot more about me on the ‘net than that. If you try me on Facebook I’m sure you’ll see most of my “likes” are things you don’t like. That’s OK. We’ve got all kinds. I haven’t seen any UMC preachers praise legalism before, but rumor was one PK at church camp in Summer 1969 had a father who was pastor of a conservative church and wouldn’t allow her to date until she was 18. It was no “call out.” I was just… Read more »
Cully
Guest

This is a very sad and troubled time for the UMC. Most probably not one person is surprised at the lack of action taken by the Council of Bishop, who, after all, are responsible for the ever increasing speed at which the UMC is declining. The comments that appear in regard to this news just boldly state the very tumultuous time the general church and perhaps the country are going to endure. Come, Lord Jesus, come.

George Nixon Shuler
Guest

How do you define “declining”? the Mainline Churches are doing fine, thank you very much. To paraphrase George Washington Plunkitt, “The megachurches arise like mornin’ glories, beautiful in morning dew but they wither in the noonday sun; while the old Mainlines go on flourishin’ like fine old oaks.”

Elaine T.
Guest
In this article they try to bring the 60’s in to this discussion with the comment about the Alabama bishops of that era. We learned a lot during that era and have change in society and in the church. Praise God for that Many people on the same-sex marriage bandwagon like to make comparisons to those times. They compare their disobedience to the marches and sit-ins of the Martin Luther King. There is one big difference! With our sexuality (No matter which orientation we have) we have a choice to act on it or not. With the discrimination based on… Read more »
George Nixon Shuler
Guest
Actually, for many, that was certainly not true…an entire subculture existed of persons “passing” – meaning “passing for white.” That is, they were African-American but somewhat light skinned (sometimes called in the venacular “yellow” or “red” and simply acted as if they were white, i.e., violating segregation, and mostly didn’t get caught. You also err when you assume “sexuality” must of necessity be “acted upon.” The most important sex organ there is is the brain. A lot of sex-negative people assume LGBTs boink every day but I assure you such is not the case for most. As for marriage, how… Read more »
George Nixon Shuler
Guest

” The crisis will come when a significant percentage of churches/conferences and even jurisdictions decide to withhold apportionments until this issue is resolved.”

Won’t happen.

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