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The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music briefed nearly 200 invited General Convention deputies in Atlanta March 18 and 19 on how it is preparing a proposed rite for blessing same-sex couples. The SCLM invited two deputies, one lay and one clergy, from each of the Episcopal Church’s dioceses to attend the consultation.Read the rest here ...
“We are making history on a couple of levels,” said Bonnie Anderson, president of the House of Deputies, because deputies are “meeting together outside of General Convention for the first time and discussing a topic outside of General Convention.”
Anderson reminded deputies of the limitations on General Convention’s authority, in that it “cannot change the core doctrine of the church,” but said that “the topic [rites for blessing same-sex couples] itself is history-making.”
While hosted and organized by the SCLM, the meeting was funded largely from outside of the Episcopal Church. The Arcus Foundation, which describes its mission as achieving “social justice that is inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity and race, and to ensure conservation and respect of the great apes,” provided a $404,000 grant to the Church Divinity School of the Pacific that helped pay for the SCLM gathering.
The meeting’s four plenary sessions followed the themes of “Inform, Engage, and Equip.” The Rev. Ruth Meyers, chair of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, described the trajectory of General Convention resolutions relating to homosexuality beginning in 1976 and culminating in Resolution C056, which authorized gathering theological and pastoral resources and developing rites for blessing same-sex unions.
“Our purpose is not to debate whether to develop these resources,” Meyers told the deputies. “We had that debate in 2009.”