Good News issues statement on UM Council of Bishops request
November 15, 2013 ByGood News, the independent group of United Methodists committed to promoting “orthodox Wesleyan Christianity,” has issued the following statement in response to the United Methodist Council of Bishops statement earlier today requesting the filing of a complaint against the actions of Bishop Melvin G. Talbert:
Good News, a renewal and reform ministry working within The United Methodist Church, applauds the statement issued today in response to the same-sex union service performed by Bishop Melvin Talbert October 26 in Birmingham, Alabama. We view the statement as an implied rebuke of Bishop Talbert’s actions.
The fact that the Council requested that complaints be filed against Bishop Talbert for both “conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions” and “behavior that undermines the ministry of another pastor” is very significant. It is virtually unprecedented for a bishop to file a complaint against another bishop. (The Council as a whole is unable to file complaints, according to the Discipline.) We hope that Bishop Wenner and Bishop Wallace-Padgett will follow through prayerfully and promptly with the Council’s request to file complaints and initiate the judicial process.
The church is watching to see if it can hold its leaders accountable to the promises they made to the church at their ordination and consecration. All eyes will be on Bishop Elaine Stanovski (Mountain Sky Area), who is the president of the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops, to ensure that any complaints are processed according to the Discipline. The judicial process will take time, and there is no guarantee of the final outcome, but this is the process we have of holding persons accountable when they are accused of violating the sacred trust of their ordination.
While we wish the statement would have called for Bishop Talbert’s resignation, we are pleased that the Council united to hold him accountable by criticizing his actions and initiating judicial processes against him. We affirm comments made by Bishop Rosemarie Wenner at a press conference following the meeting, where she said, “The bishops have to play a role in the [judicial] process … bishops have to follow through due to the charge we are given.”
We call upon other parts of the church to now fulfill their responsibilities of accountability. We further call upon all United Methodists to stand down from schismatic actions and honor the process of holy conferencing. Continued violation of ordination vows will only serve to deepen the division in Christ’s body and hasten a separation of the body that would harm the mission of the church.