This Week at St. Stephen’s–January 18, 2015

SEEKING A WAY FORWARD

This past week, our bishop, Greg Kerr-Wilson, met with our Parish Council to discuss same-sex blessings. In a respectful exchange of views, it became clear that we are at an impasse.

The members of Parish Council spoke clearly and passionately about the reasons they were in favour of same-sex blessings. Some spoke from a concern about a younger generation for whom this is no longer an issue. Some spoke from a concern for basic justice and equality. Some referenced the core values of the Christian tradition. All told personal stories that made their concerns personal.1233

The bishop shared some of his own personal stories and then spoke of a complex of philosophical and theological insights that underpinned his beliefs, insights he was reluctant to unpack in detail due to the limited format of our conversation. But he offered that, while he was opposed to same-sex blessings, he was actively pursuing pastoral rites and prayers that could be used in support of same-sex relationships, prayers that would stop short of actually blessing such relationships.

The bishop also made clear his disappointment in the haphazard way the wider church has approached this issue. He hoped we would honour the episcopal nature of the Anglican Church and not proceed on our own, the strong vote at our general meeting not being reflective of Anglican views across the diocese or across the country.

Clearly, we at St. Stephen’s disagree. Along with two other congregations in the diocese we continue to seek a way forward.

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