Episcopal Church marches forward on developing rites for same gender marriages

Former Integrity president Susan Russell makes presentation.

The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music gathered about 200 deputies in Atlanta to prepare the way forward for The Episcopal Church to formally approve rites for same gender marriages, as outline in CO56 at the Anaheim General Convention in 2009. That resolution reads:

Liturgies for Blessings

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 76th General Convention acknowledge the changing circumstances in the United States and in other nations, as legislation authorizing or forbidding marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian persons is passed in various civil jurisdictions that call forth a renewed pastoral response from this Church, and for an open process for the consideration of theological and liturgical resources for the blessing of same gender relationships; and be it further

Resolved, That the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, in consultation with the House of Bishops, collect and develop theological and liturgical resources, and report to the 77th General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, in consultation with the House of Bishops, devise an open process for the conduct of its work inviting participation from provinces, dioceses, congregations, and individuals who are engaged in such theological work, and inviting theological reflection from throughout the Anglican Communion; and be it further

Resolved, That bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church; and be it further

Resolved, That this Convention honor the theological diversity of this Church in regard to matters of human sexuality; and be it further

Resolved, That the members of this Church be encouraged to engage in this effort.

You can see the web broadcasts of the plenaries here of the campaign to formally authorize same gender marriages (the word “blessing” is just a euphemism – these are not pet blessing we’re talking about, it’s marriage, make no mistake about it). Of note is the the third plenary which is worth taking the time to watch – Anglicans and Episcopalians.  If you want to see how to conduct a political campaign, this is how it’s done.  The campaign is quite brilliant and puts those who may want to uphold the biblical view of marriage on the defensive.  There is a lot to learn in how this presentation is being done – it’s jubilant, it’s positive, it appears to be collaborative, it appears transparent – and, friends, make no mistake about it –  it is assumed it is all a done deal.  A very sobering event to watch, indeed. 

Here it is:


See it all here.