Last week, the national House of Bishops gathered to discuss a proposed motion to change the Canon on Marriage to allow marriage in the Anglican Church of Canada to be equally available to all, regardless of sexual orientation. Such a motion is to come before General Synod 2016, as the result of a motion passed at the 2013 General Synod. It is a motion that I support.
A statement by the House of Bishops was released yesterday which says, “it became clear to us that the draft resolution to change the Marriage Canon to accommodate the marriage of same-sex partners is not likely to pass in the Order of Bishops by the canonical requirement of a 2/3rds majority in each Order.” I am dismayed and grieved that valued members of the Body of Christ, LGBTQ2 children of God, are again being deeply hurt by the church. It is my profound hope that there will come a day when the church, led by the working of the Holy Spirit, fully embraces the gift that is our LGBTQ2 brothers and sisters. Anglicans believe that when we gather together in our Synods – diocesan, provincial, national, annual, special or electoral – the Holy Spirit is present with us. We believe that it is through listening to the voices of one another that we may also hear the voice of the Spirit. We believe that we can be changed by the Spirit working in and through the legislative mechanics of our church. It is important that we come to General Synod informed: it is important that we do our homework. It is also important that we come with open hearts to hear the leading of the Spirit.
I ask your prayers for those who have been wounded anew by this statement. I ask your prayers for those who will organize and for those who will attend General Synod, that all will leave room for the working of the Holy Spirit. And I ask your prayers for our diocese and our church, that God will give us the grace and the courage to truly live out our baptismal promise to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.”
In Christian faith and hope,
Bishop of Huron