Yesterday evening I watched with amazement as our General Synod debated a proposal to that would have allowed our Church to change the definition of marriage from "between a man and a woman" to "between two people." I was amazed because generally the debate was civil and informed. But I was greatly amazed when the proposed change failed to gain assent by the required two thirds majority in each House by one vote!
In the spring the bishops had warned the Canadian church that there wasn't a sufficient majority in the House of Bishops to pass the resolution so I was fully prepared for a "no" result. What I didn't expect is that the Bishops in fact voted in the affirmative (68%)! The House of Laity also voted in support (72%) but the House of clergy said "no" because only 66.2% voted "yes!" Apparently only one more priest or deacon voting "yes" would have meant a change to the canon!
Then just as I was writing this blog this piece of extraordinary news came in changing everything else I was about to say!! http://bit.ly/2a7gOjd The vote is now deemed to have passed in all houses!!
It may be difficult to know what to make of all of this but here's what I want to say: The Holy Spirit is working in the Anglican Church of Canada to bring people together not to tear them apart! The Holy Spirit is and will yet make us a prophetic voice for a New Commons in our society.
I am delighted for my sisters and brothers who are part of the LGBTQ community. I am very proud that in our Church we can make decisions about issues that matter and that we can process those decisions in the way we do. I don't believe in "winners" and "losers" when it comes to the Church; we are all in this together seeking God's truth in God's way for the benefit of all. Sometimes the process of discernment is arduous and difficult; indeed, on most important issues it is and, in fact, should be.
For those of us who don't think the Anglican Church of Canada has made the right decision let's first of all pray and seek to understand those who differ from us; there is always a way forward for us to live together in the Peace of Christ! For any parishioners who have questions and/or concerns please know that my time and space is available for conversation.