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Switch to Forum Live View Episcopalians Vote to Celebrate Gay Marriage in Churches
2 years ago  ::  Jul 01, 2015 - 11:58PM #1
Merope
Posts: 14,591

Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly today to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples, solidifying the church’s embrace of gay rights that began more than a decade ago with the election of the first openly gay bishop.  www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/01/episco...


The vote came at the Episcopal Church’s General Convention, just days after SCOTUS legalized gay marriage nationwide.  The measure passed in the House of Deputies, the voting body of clergy and lay participants at the meeting.  The House of Bishops had approved the resolution Tuesday by 129-26 with 5 abstaining.


The Rev. Brian Baker of Sacramento said the church rule change was the result of a nearly 40-year conversation that has been difficult and painful for many.  Baker, chair of the committee that crafted the changes, said church members have not always been kind to one another but that the dynamic has changed in recent decades.  Baker said the House of Bishops prayed and debated the issue for 5 hours earlier this week before passing it on to the House of Deputies.


The vote eliminates gender-specific language from church liturgy on marriage so that same-sex couples can have religious weddings.  Instead of “husband” and “wife”, for example, the new liturgy will refer to “the couple”.  Under the new rules, clergy can decline to perform the ceremonies.  


The changes were approved 173-27.  The deputies also approved a gender-neutral prayer service for marriage on a 184-23 vote.


The measures will take effect the first Sunday of Advent, November 29, 2015.


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2 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2015 - 12:02AM #2
Merope
Posts: 14,591

Many dioceses in the Episcopal Church have allowed their priests to perform civil same-sex weddings, using a trial prayer service to bless the couple.  Still, the church hadn't changed its own canons on marriage until today.  The Episcopal Church comprises nearly 1.9 million members.


The Episcopal Church joins two other mainline Protestant groups that performs gay marriages in all their congregations:  the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church (USA). The 3.8-million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) lets its congregations decide for themselves, and many of them host gay weddings.


The United Methodist Church—by far the largest mainline Protestant church with 12.8 million members—bars gay marriage, although many of its clergy have been officiating at same-sex weddings recently in protest.


www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/01/episco...

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2015 - 12:09AM #3
Merope
Posts: 14,591

During debate on the measure, the Rev. José Luis Mendoza-Barahona of Honduras gave an impassioned speech, saying the measure goes against the Bible and would create a chasm in the church.


"The fight has not ended, it's starting," he said.  "Those of us in the church who are loyal followers of Christ are going to remain firm in not recognizing what happened today."


The Episcopal Church is the US wing of the Anglican Communion, an 80 million-member global fellowship of churches.  Ties among Anglicans have been strained since Episcopalians in 2003 elected Bishop Gene Robinson, who lived openly with his male partner, to lead the Diocese of New Hampshire.  Many theologically conservative Episcopalians either split off or distanced themselves from the national US church after Bishop Robinson's election.


On the eve of Wednesday's vote, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, issued a statement expressing deep concern about the move to change the definition of marriage.


www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/01/episco...

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2015 - 8:03AM #4
Midutch
Posts: 5,975

Yes, but they're not really Christians.


At least not in the eyes of the "True™" xristians. You know, those ones who have "god" talking into their ears every day telling them who the REAL Christians are.

"creationism" ... 2000+ years worth of ABYSMAL FAILURE ... and proud of it.
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2015 - 11:49AM #5
Do_unto_others
Posts: 11,942

Congratulations to the Episcopal Church.



Gene Robinson is vindicated.

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2015 - 9:46PM #6
SeraphimR
Posts: 12,687

Jul 2, 2015 -- 11:49AM, Do_unto_others wrote:


Congratulations to the Episcopal Church.



Gene Robinson is vindicated.




The Episcopal Church?  Are they still around?


“So long as there is squalor in the world, those obsessed with social justice feel obliged not only to live in it themselves but also to spread it evenly.”

http://takimag.com/article/the_ugly_truth_theodore_dalrymple
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2015 - 10:15PM #7
Do_unto_others
Posts: 11,942

Jul 2, 2015 -- 9:46PM, SeraphimR wrote:


Jul 2, 2015 -- 11:49AM, Do_unto_others wrote:


Congratulations to the Episcopal Church.



Gene Robinson is vindicated.




The Episcopal Church?  Are they still around?





Apparently so.



Do you have a problem with the fact that they exist? Or, are you just here to snipe?

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 06, 2015 - 1:14PM #8
Merope
Posts: 14,591

Here's what Gene Robinson told the Daily Beast:

It’s hard to remember how difficult life in the Episcopal Church was for me a mere 12 years ago. In June of 2003, I had become the first openly gay priest to be elected a Bishop in historic Christianity. Not the first gay bishop, mind you, but the first one to openly say so.  Today, it is difficult to believe how panicked everyone was.


The death threats against my partner and me commenced immediately. Many within The Episcopal Church thought that our beloved Church had come loose from its biblical and theological moorings. (It hadn’t.) This controversy was going to kill us. (It didn’t.)  The Archbishop of Kenya said that when I was consecrated, the Devil entered the Church. (Hardly!)  This would cause division and strife in the Episcopal Church. (True. And sadly, some 100,000 members—out of roughly 2 million—left over this and other changes in the Church.) The Church, some said, had gone too far in its efforts to be inclusive. (In fact, we hadn’t gone far enough.)


Fast-forward only 12 years to today, when the just-concluded General Convention of the Episcopal Church opened the sacrament of marriage to gay and lesbian couples, just days after the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land. And the Church’s vote by bishops, clergy, and laity wasn’t even close. By a stunning majority, and with little rancor, the Church elected to open all the sacraments to all the baptized. We’d gone from panic over a gay bishop to affirming gay and lesbian relationships in marriage in only 12 years.


A similar rate of progress was happening in the society as well. Sodomy between consenting adults was illegal in many states until struck down as unconstitutional in 2003 (Laurence v. Texas). And a mere 12 years later, the Supreme Court would rule that bans on marriage for its gay/lesbian citizens were unconstitutional. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, offered an elegant, and sometimes poetic, vision of marriage to which every citizen would have access.


How did we make such progress in 12 years—in the Church and in American society? Surely the major reason is that so many of us have come out, openly telling the truth of our lives. Whereas only a decade or two ago, most Americans would have told you they didn’t know anyone gay, now there is hardly an American left that doesn’t know some family member, co-worker or former classmate to be gay or lesbian, bisexual or transgender. And as Harvey Milk, the slain gay rights advocate, predicted in the ’70s, coming out makes all the difference. When they know us, he argued, they will no longer fear and hate us. Indeed, they will want us treated fairly.


Many gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people are also people of faith, and we have been working in our faiths and denominations to change the traditional judgments against us. I am reminded that slave owners in the Old South gave Bibles to their slaves in order to keep them quiet, compliant, and resigned to their lot in life. The problem was, those slaves actually read the Bible, with its talk of God’s loving all of God’s children, and St. Paul’s assertion that in Christ, there is neither slave nor free. They learned from the Bible that in God’s eyes, they had a full and equal claim on God’s love, and deserved not only freedom but dignity.


We gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Christians have been reading our Bibles too, and finding therein the seeds of our own liberation at the hands of a loving God. We learned to read the scriptures used to condemn us in the context of the cultures within which they were written—and found them not to be saying what tradition told us they meant. More and more of us came out so that people in our churches and synagogues began to know that we were sitting in the pews next to them. We raised our children in the traditions of our faith and proved that we could be good parents. We contributed to the life and mission of our congregations. And finally, over time, it became unconscionable to treat us as anything less than full members of our faiths.


Some church people say to me that in offering the sacrament of marriage to gay couples, the Church is “giving in” to the culture, and not in a good way. But I would argue that God is going to do God’s justice work with or without the Church. For years, the Church resisted changing its mind about gay people and our relationships, so God looked for justice workers outside the Church. I believe that the changing attitudes of American culture toward LGBT people is the work of a loving God. By welcoming LGBT people into our faiths, we are only joining God’s efforts in the world.


Despite all of this progress, there is still much to do. The number of faiths and denominations that unreservedly welcome LGBT people as full and equal members is small compared to those who do not. But the naysayers’ days are numbered, and the arc of history continues to bend toward justice. The Episcopal Church’s full embrace of us will take a while longer to become a full reality, but we have declared ourselves, once and for all, to be an open and welcoming Church.


There’s no going back. And for that, I am truly grateful.



www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/0...

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 06, 2015 - 2:17PM #9
Merope
Posts: 14,591

For the record, 20 bishops at the Episcopal Church's General Convention have written and signed a minority report on marriage.  The report is appended to one of the marriage resolutions and will thus become a part of this Convention's record.


The report can be found at episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2015/07/...


It's reproduced below.





The 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, in passing Resolutions A036 and A054, has made a significant change in the Church’s understanding of Christian marriage. As bishops of the Church, we must dissent from these actions.


We affirm Minority Report #1, which was appended to the text of Resolution A036:


The nature, purpose, and meaning of marriage, as traditionally understood by Christians, are summed up in the words of the Book of Common Prayer:


“The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by his presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church, and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored by all people.


The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord” (BCP, p. 423)
The nature, purpose, and meaning of marriage are linked to the relationship of man and woman. The promises and vows of marriage presuppose husband and wife as the partners who are made one flesh in marriage. This understanding is a reasonable one, as well as in accord with Holy Scripture and Christian tradition in their teaching about marriage.


When we were ordained as bishops in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, we vowed to “guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church of God” (BCP, p. 518). We renew that promise; and in light of the actions of General Convention, and of our own deep pastoral and theological convictions, we pledge ourselves to “Maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). The bonds created in baptism are indissoluble, and we share one bread and one cup in the Eucharist. We are committed to the Church and its people, even in the midst of painful disagreement.


“Speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). When we disagree with the Church’s actions, we will do so openly and transparently and – with the Spirit’s help – charitably. We are grateful that Resolution A054 includes provision for bishops and priests to exercise their conscience; but we realize at the same time that we have entered a season in which the tensions over these difficult matters may grow. We pray for the grace to be clear about our convictions and, at the same time, to love brothers and sisters with whom we disagree.


“Welcome one another . . . just as Christ has welcomed [us]” (Rom. 15:7). Our commitment to the Church includes a commitment to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. We will walk with them, pray with and for them, and seek ways to engage in pastoral conversation. We rejoice that Jesus’ embrace includes all of us.


We are mindful that the decisions of the 78th General Convention do not take place in isolation. The Episcopal Church is part of a larger whole, the Anglican Communion. We remain committed to that Communion and to the historic See of Canterbury, and we will continue to honor the three moratoria requested in the Windsor Report and affirmed by the Instruments of Communion.


We invite bishops and any Episcopalians who share these commitments to join us in this statement, and to affirm with us our love for our Lord Jesus Christ, our commitment to The Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Communion, and our dissent from these actions.


Communion Partner signatories:
The Rt. Rev’d John C. Bauerschmidt, Bishop of Tennessee
The Rt. Rev’d Gregory O. Brewer, Bishop of Central Florida
The Rt. Rev’d Daniel W. Herzog, Bishop of Albany, resigned
The Rt. Rev’d Paul E. Lambert, Bishop Pro Tem of Dallas
The Rt. Rev’d Edward S. Little II, Bishop of Northern Indiana
The Rt. Rev’d William H. Love, Bishop of Albany
The Rt. Rev. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana, resigned
The Rt. Rev’d Daniel H. Martins, Bishop of Springfield
The Rt. Rev’d Edward L. Salmon, Bishop of South Carolina, resigned
The Rt. Rev’d William J. Skilton, Assistant Bishop of Dominican Republic, resigned
The Rt. Rev’d Michael G. Smith, Bishop of North Dakota
The Rt. Rev’d Don A. Wimberly, Bishop of Texas, resigned


Other signatories:
The Rt. Rev. Lloyd Allen, Bishop of Honduras
The Rt. Rev. Jean Zache Duracin, Bishop of Haiti
The Rt. Rev. Francisco José Duque Gómez, Bishop of Colombia
The Rt. Rev. Orlando Guerrero, Venezuela
The Rt. Rev. E. Ambrose Gumbs, Bishop of Virgin Islands
The Rt. Rev. Samuel Johnson Howard, Bishop of Florida
The Rt. Rev. Julio Holguin, Bishop of Dominican Republic

The Rt. Rev. Alfredo Morante, Bishop of Ecuador Litoral



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2 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2015 - 11:33PM #10
Merope
Posts: 14,591

This thread was moved from the Hot Topics Zone.

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