Friday, January 21, 2011

BREAKING NEWS from the Diocese of Virginia


With thanks to Episcopal Cafe for the link to the Bishop of Viriginia's 2011 Pastoral Address -- which included the call for the election of a Bishop Suffragan (in April 2012) and this statement on the blessing of same-gender unions:

You may remember that I have always affirmed that committed, monogamous same-gender relationships can indeed be faithful in the Christian life. Therefore, I plan also to begin working immediately with those congregations that want to establish the parameters for the “generous pastoral response” that the 2009 General Convention called for with respect to same-gender couples in Episcopal churches.

Personally, it is my hope that the 2012 General Convention will authorize the formal blessing of same-gender unions for those clergy in places that want to celebrate them. Until then, we might not be able to do all that we would want to do but, in my judgment, it is right to do something and it is time to do what we can.

Bravo, Bishop Johnston! Bravo!

[If you'd like to join me in sending him a note of thanks for his powerful prophetic and pastoral words, then click here.]

20 comments:

SCG said...

Woot!!! May this be the beckoning of spring coming to other parts south of the Mason-Dixon line!

Martin T. said...

Sounds like they need to hold an election for a bishop diocesan that will uphold biblical standards and not the standards of the politically correct.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Sounds like somebody thinks they get to decide what "biblical standards" are. Not!

Martin T. said...

You are so right about that Susan, that has been the whole argument all along. Only God has that right, but some special interests groups feel that His Word was tinkered with in some way, so they want to change it to fix their own agendas. Finally we agree on something. :-)

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Bless your heart.

Martin T. said...

Thank you, bless yours also, and all members of Integrity.

it's margaret said...

We are all still looking at each other --saying, well, we didn't expect THAT!!! It is spring here already indeed SCG!

Thank you for sharing our joy, Susan. And the only reason I'm not signing your note is cuz I'm sending one of my own!

Jim Trigg said...

On top of that, yesterday the Diocesan Council adopted Resolution R-2a, "Blessings of Same-Gender Unions", 'urging the Bishop to “provide a generous pastoral
response" by moving forward with guidelines with regard to public blessings of same gender unions.'

Martin T. said...

Yes, and that's going to make people flood into the Church right Jim?

IT said...

Actually, Martin T, yes they are flooding in. Our parish is filling with young families who want to raise their children in an inclusive and healthy environment that expects LGBT people to live the same lives of faithful commitment as straight couples and wants their children to be around us. And who have been driven out of communities of intolerance and rejection... like that you espouse when you're here.

Our parish is growing, Martin. Expanding. Increasing ASA and income, to do good things. That would be the home of Susan's friend Dean Scott Richardson, at St Paul's Cathedral, San Diego.

Martin T. said...

Every Christian should be intolerant of sin. As far as rejection goes, there is no real rejection. People just want to play by their own rules, IT. And when the rules don't suit them anymore, they form committees and lobby for "yes men/women" to pretend to be shepherds and pastors in the Church. At least the MCC had enough integrity to start their own community instead of infiltrating His Church to seem relevant.

Martin T. said...

BTW, the majority of our parishes in the USA isn't having as much success as baby blue California. Are all the dioceses located in the state of CA going to have enough funds to keep the rest of the parishes in the country open?? I'm sorry, but if it was up to many in TEC like me, and I know quite of few feel what I'm saying (but they aren't going to say it out loud), if it came between LGBTs groups rewriting all what the Church stands for and the unity of the Anglican Communion, I'd tell them that the MCC has plenty of room.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Martin T ... some of us are multi-generational cradle Episcopalians who actually know our history. We know that the same arguments you are making here have been made through the generations (and, just FYI, in some cases frankly better argued) over "revionisists" who dared to apply both our tradition (of ongoing revelation) AND our reason (that tells us that sexism and racism are not of God) to intergrate the church, speak out for civil rights, ordain women and take stands for womens rights in the public sector.

It's what we call the "cost of discipleship" and it is a cost this church has bravely born and will continue so to do ... in spite of those who would prefer we were a less inclusive, more literalist kind of church.

We're not. We haven't been. Get over it.

Martin T. said...

"Inclusive" as in "let people do what they want, anything goes with playdough", no consequences here type deal, got ya Susan. Did you think the "cost of discipleship" would be the destruction of the Church? These must be the end times indeed.

MarkBrunson said...

Susan,

You can bless it, by I'm not sure they have hearts!

tuxandtales said...

When Canada was struggling with the same sex marriage issue, I was called in by the local acting bishop who wanted to consult. I think he expected me to argue about changing social values, or the question of whether or not Scripture should be seen as literal and unchangeable (in which case we must immediately abandon the translations, don't you think?). It came as a surprise to him when I said this:

To whom does the blessing conferred in this sacrament belong? If the blessing comes from God, and Scripture shows God's blessing is given even to people we would consider immoral, then only God gets to choose who receives it - and the church has to get out of the way. But if the blessing belongs to the church, then we have to rethink exactly what the sacraments are and do. If the blessing belongs to the church, then the church gets to say who receives it - but what value is it? If the blessing does not come from God, why would anyone want it?

Martin T. said...

I have a heart just like you,Mark. My heart just doesn't turn a blind eye to sin or tries to rationalize it.

IT said...

Why does Martin T come here to go round and round and round about how awful all the liberals are? Same thing for LGMarshall. They aren't going to change minds. They aren't going to be changed. They come here simply to annoy, to complain, and to insert themselves as judge and jury, with one note over and over again. It's a hard, cruel, bitter little exclusive Christianity they seem to espouse. I'd feel sorry for them if they weren't so annoying.

Martin T. said...

The truth isn't always a glamorous thing,IT. I don't want to change anyone's mind, that's up to you. Why does everyone have to fall in line with this nonsense that is happening to the Church?

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

I think we're going to call this one a day and end comments ... since there's been nothing germane to the actual post in awhile now and we probably all have better things to do than run the same old arguments round-and-round until we're where Benjamin Franklin warned we'd be if we tried to teach a pig to sing: wasting our time and annoying the pig.

Here endeth the commentary on "Breaking News from the Diocese of Virginia."