Thursday, March 8, 2012

Committee Offers Preview of Report on Same-Gender Unions

The Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music of the Episcopal Church today published excerpts from a report on the blessing of same-gender unions that it will present at this summer's General Convention in Indianapolis.

The Commission was directed by the 2009 General Convention to collect and develop theological resources and liturgies for blessing same-gender relationships and report to this summer’s General Convention. They undertook a project of mammoth proportions to collect the work that has been going on for the last fifty years in parishes, Integrity chapters and dioceses across the country.

“This is a milestone on our journey to open the Episcopal Church to all people,” said The Rev. Dr. Caroline Hall, President of Integrity. “the Commission’s work not only stands as an example of exceptional collaborative church-wide study but brings us an important step closer to full equality. Their remit was to look at blessings for same-gender couples and they have done this with aplomb, offering not just a rite of blessing but a theological statement which will challenge us all to reconsider the theology of committed relationships, including traditional heterosexual marriage.”

In 2007, a Civil Union Task Force of clergy and laity commissioned by The Right Rev. Mark Beckwith, Bishop of Newark, undertook to understand how the availability of civil unions for same-sex couples in New Jersey impacted those in the Diocese. It reported on its findings in December of that year. The Task Force also produced suggested rites for the blessing of such services in both English and Spanish, which are included in the report. These were among the materials submitted to the SCLM for its work.

Integrity Director of  Communications Louise Brooks contributed to this article

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