I’ve been asked about my thoughts about recent events with Bishop Talbert’s willful disobedience to church law when he blatantly and defiantly performed a same sex marriage against the wishes of the Council of Bishops and in direct violation of the Discipline of the United Methodist Church. I have urged my congregation to express their disdain for this act to our Bishop (Bishop Dorff) so he can represent the Rio Texas Conference when the Council of Bishop meets this month. If you write Bishop Dorff I encourage you to write with courtesy and respect avoiding ugly and inflammatory language. You can use my letter below as a guideline.
Here is a good video put out by Rev. Rob Renfroe from the Good News Movement within the United Methodist Church. Here is the LINK directly linking to the Good News Page with guidelines to writing to the Bishop. Bottom line, your voice needs to be heard.
Below you will find a letter I wrote to Bishop Dorff. I have a lot of respect for Bishop Dorff and I know he will represent us well, but he needs to hear from you! (Remember write with courtesy and respect!)
October 31, 2013
16400 Huebner Road
San Antonio, TX 78248-1694
Dear Bishop Dorff,
I write to you with a heavy heart over what has happened recently in Alabama with Bishop Talbert performing a same sex marriage in open defiance and rebellion both to our covenant connection and our Book of Discipline
I certainly don’t envy your position as the chief overseer in the Rio Texas Conference. I know we have people on both sides of the issue of same sex marriage and you have to balance all parties involved with the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
I simply want to offer my prayers and encouragement to you and the Council of Bishops as you handle the repercussions of Bishop Talbert’s rebellion. My congregation is constantly asking what is being done about this whole situation. If ever we need decisive leadership it’s NOW. I encourage you to be one of the decisive voices in the Council that speaks clearly about the need to uphold the Discipline of the United Methodist Church.
There is already talk about a group of clergy who plan in November to follow Bishop Talbert’s example. If something isn’t done immediately I fear all chaos will break lose and we will have a mass exodus in the United Methodist Church.
I encourage you to ask the Council of Bishops to file formal charges against Bishop Talbert for (1) violating our Discipline in preceding over a same sex marriage and (2) Undermining the ministry of another United Methodist Bishop (Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett).
Rev. William (Bill) Stegemueller
Medina United Methodist Church