General Info - Same Sex Rites
Over the summer of 2012, the Episcopal Church USA approved an official liturgy for blessing same sex unions, enabling priests who have the approval of their bishops to bestow the church’s blessing on same sex couples. The Bishop of the Diocese of Texas granted St. Stephen’s the opportunity to offer this ceremony to its community.
Congregations have three options:
Noting the predominant traditional stance in the Diocese of Texas, the Bishop voted against the resolution to approve rites for blessing a same-sex partnership and that he will abstain from voting on the election of bishops living in a same-sex partnership. Additionally he stated that he personally will not bless any same-sex covenant.
In a 120-page document, Unity in Mission, with a foreword by Secretary Baker, the Bishop provides his in-depth perspective on the unity of the church, his leadership, foundations in traditional marriage and a discussion of opposing views as well as what he believes is a proper response. A detailed description of his plan to provide different responses while maintaining the unity of the Church provides several options. Also included in the paper is a letter of support from a broad and diverse group of clergy and lay leaders. They note that the real cost of the conflict over the last several decades has been “the mission of the gospel” and state their support of the bishop and acknowledge his plan as a way forward. Supporters say the plan is “an earnest offering to live into our Lord’s Prayer that ‘we all may be one’” while they acknowledge that not everyone will be happy with it.
“I hold our work for the Lord Jesus Christ to be paramount in who we are and in everything we do. Our mission and ministry have been dogged by our disagreements and conflict over the blessing of same-sex couples for too long at the expense of the mission of the gospel. I pray that this plan will help to guide us beyond conflict and give us the ability to refocus our attention on the hurting world around us. I am hopeful that we will learn from one another and deepen our respect and love for one another throughout this process,” Bishop Doyle said.
A copy of the full plan may be found at: www.epicenter.org/unity.
Modified from http://www.epicenter.org/.
Marriage & Rite Preparation Retreat
If you are a member of St. Stephen's and are interested in The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant, or in the traditional Marriage rite, you are encouraged to join us for the next retreat will be Friday & Saturday, August 2-3. For details or to register, email Sylvia Swain You can pay online and register here.
Interested in a Same Sex Rite at St. Stephen's?
What To Do