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Bishop Melvin Talbert

Bishop Melvin Talbert has announced his willingness to participate in same-sex ceremonies. (Photo credit: United Methodist General Conference)

By Bart Gingerich

At a recent conference, retired United Methodist Bishop Melvin Talbert expressed his willingness to participate in same-sex weddings.

The event was the Lake Junaluska Multicultural Conference 2012: Creating a Church for All People. Directed by the Kaleidoscope Institute, the meeting was November 29 – December 1 at the retreat center of United Methodism’s Southeast Jurisdiction, which was listed as a host. The Multicultural Conference opened with a Native American smudging ceremony that called for a cleansing from the “Great Spirit.”

Two United Methodist bishops spoke. Retired Bishop Linda Lee shared first. While she had been embroiled in the Amy DeLong same sex union trial as Wisconsin’s bishop, she will become Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary’s bishop-in-residence this coming March. To the Lake Junaluska audience, she enthused, “For you to meet together is to raise up humankind to a higher level.” She set out to combat institutional racism, which she described as “one of the most devastating and all-pervading problems of our time.” “Unhealthy and unholy relationships between people groups and cultures bring injustice throughout the world,” she instructed. Lee exposited on how Christ’s teachings profoundly disagree with any kind of racism. She concluded, “God loves you just the way you are…before you were born and loves you because He did not make any mistakes.”

Read the full story here.