Historic rites consultation held (for blessing of gay and lesbian couples)

From Episcopal Cafe

ABC News reports that over half of all Americans now support marriage equality. General Convention 2009 C056 (see below for full text) called on the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to “collect and develop theological and liturgical resources” for liturgies of blessing for gay and lesbian couples and to devise an open process for its work with participation by provinces, dioceses, congregations and individuals.
Thanks to a grant from the Arcus Foundation Deputies from The Episcopal Church were able to attend a consultation held this Friday and Saturday in Atlanta. Plenary sessions can be viewed here.

The Rev. Dr. Caroline Hall reports on Day 1 of the Consultation:

…here are the highlights of the theological principles as they were presented today by Jay Johnson: Reflecting theologically on same-gender unions should be grounded in baptism and how we live out our baptismal covenant which suggests three key theological touchstones;

1) The loving faithfulness of faithful relationships exhibits the character of a sacrament

2) Christian life generally, but in particular committed relationships, shares in God’s Trinitarian life characterized by inclusive, dynamic and mutual giving
3) Committed relationships can renew our hope – the gospel promise of union with God
…….

From the Press Conference:

Q Will this be a liturgy that can be used by all couples.
A No – the SCLM is interpreting the Resolution in the most narrow sense and only developing rites for same sex couples.Q. How will you interact with the rest of the Communion?
A. 1. Will be attending the Inter Anglican Liturgy Conference in Canterbury this summer. Have a half day on the Agenda and will engage with others for feedback and theological reflection. 2. House of Bishops charged with interacting and reflection with diocesan partners and with their Indaba group members. Materials will be provided for this. 3. HoB meets next week and will hear the report from the Deputies meeting and discuss next steps. 4. Committee members met with Phil Groves of the Anglican Communion Office who is charged with the continuing Indaba process.

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