Its been 5 days since that night, and with most things the shock has subsided, and a bigger picture has emerged. When all the smoke cleared, what came out of that painful moment was something that I believe is new and favourable for all. The big picture is this.
- 76% of delegates, laity, clergy and bishops, voted in favour of the motion to allow same sex marriage.
-the document A Word to the Church (https://www.anglican.ca/news/a-word-to-the-church-considering-the-proposed-amendment-ofmarriage-canon-xxi/30023889/)was accepted by 80% of the church. This document allows for a local option so that Diocesan bishops that want to have something available for equal marriage can do so. Clergy will have the option to officiate or not.
-Bishops from across the Canadian church have now put out statements to allow same sex marriage in their dioceses.
In the Diocese of Huron, we are awaiting word from our Bishop. Due to the fact that Bishop Linda was elected to become Primate in the Anglican Church of Canada means we may have to wait a bit longer. I am confident it will be done, and equal marriage will be a part of our life here in Huron. Some have asked my feeling toward that as a priest. I am in favour and if the option was made available, I would officiate at a same sex marriage and give the same thought and discernment as I do with any couple that come to me to receive the sacrament of marriage. To those in the LBGTQ+2 community who have been harmed this past week, you are loved. You are as much a part of this community as anyone else. You will be affirmed by this priest in the community I serve. I call upon all of us to reach out to those who feel the church has hurt them or abandoned them or not been conscious of their pain and affirm your love for them. Surely, we can join hands and walk forward together despite our differences! “They will know your are my disciples by your love.” Jesus said that. I think He meant it. I am convinced it is the only way we can walk forward.
Finally, let’s not forget the new life that came out of this General Synod.
We have set up an autonomous indigenous church as an act of reconciliation and support for the spiritual journey of our indigenous brothers and sisters.
The Anglican Church has passed resolutions to powerfully build a more positive relationship with our Muslim and our Jewish brothers and sisters.
To top it all off we can celebrate the first female Primate (Head) of the Anglican Church of Canada with the election of our own Bishop Linda Nicholls!
What I in my frailty and often blindness came to see over the course of the last week (Thanks be to God) is that Holy Spirit was a work all the time renewing, bringing life and healing our church so that we can come back to the table together and become the people God has called us to become. There is much to celebrate in the church and we all have more work to do. Let’s not forget that we are loved, worthy and invited by God to bring about the kingdom Jesus made known to us. The world may need us now more than ever.