This Week at St. Stephen’s–November 23, 2014

IT’S TIME TO TAKE A STAND

Nov 23This week we at St. Stephen’s are engaging in a process of discernment to decide if we wish to offer a Service of Blessing to same-sex couples who seek it.
Across the country and in some parts of the church, this would seem to be a foregone conclusion—that the church would offer to bless adult Christians in their relationships.Some might even ask, “Do we not already do that?” But the answer, in this diocese, is, “No, we don’t.” Furthermore, it is nowhere on the agenda, nor even on the horizon. It is an issue whose time has come (… and gone, some would argue) and that demands a response from a parish church known for its intentional inclusivity.
For us, there are two issues before us. The first: do we wish to extend to same-sex couples who call St. Stephen’s home the same privilege we do to heterosexual couples, namely, a blessing upon their relationship in the name of God? The second: are we willing to prod the diocese into taking a public stand on this issue by pushing out the boundaries of what is currently permissible?
This issue has been divisive throughout the church worldwide. It forces us to confront the fear and homophobia inherent in our Christian tradition, indeed, going right back to our very scriptures. It also makes us take seriously what God is already doing in our world to break down walls of prejudice and hate. Inescapably, it calls us to take a stand.

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