Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Virginia Episcopal Churches Oppose Marriage Amendment - make materials available in the churches to actively oppose Virginia Marriage Amendment

General Convention Resolution used to advocate defeat of Virginia's Marriage Amendment.

Interesting item in the Grace Episcopal Church (Alexandria, VA) bulletin last week. Here it is (or click on the headline above):

Information on Virginia'’s proposed Marriage amendment

The Vestries and clergy of St. Mark'’s, St. Philip'’s and Holy Comforter (all in Richmond) wrote a letter to the Richmond regions of the Diocese to focus attention on the language of Virginia as proposed “marriage amendment.” They have given the go ahead for churches throughout the Diocese to provide the text of the letter to their congregations. Copies of the letter and the text of both the proposed amendment and General Convention Resolution A059 are available on the credenza outside the parish office."

(BB Note: I think that's a typo in the Grace bulletin - they probably meant A095, not A059 - which interestingly enough was adding CS Lewis to the church year calendar).

A095 is described this way by the Diocese of Rhode Island's newspaper:
"Resolution A095 reiterates Episcopal Church support of gay and lesbian people as 'children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church.' The resolution opposes state or federal constitutional amendments that prohibit same- gender civil marriage or civil unions and calls on government at all levels to give same-gender couples the same rights as non-gay married couples." (Diocese of Rhode Island's newspaper, Risen (Sumer 2006, Vol 53:3)

Here is the full text of A095 as passed by General Convention 2006 in Columbus:

Here is the text of A095:

Resolved, That the 75th General Convention reaffirm The Episcopal Church’s historical support of gay and lesbian persons as children of God and entitled to full civil rights; and be it further

Resolved, That the 75th General Convention reaffirm the 71st General Convention’s action calling upon “municipal council, state legislatures and the United States Congress to approve measures giving gay and lesbian couples protection[s] such as: bereavement and family leave policies; health benefits; pension benefits; real-estate transfer tax benefits; and commitments to mutual support enjoyed by non-gay married couples”; and be it further

Resolved, That the 75th General Convention oppose any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex civil marriage or civil unions.


This resolution is now being used to defeat Virginia's Marriage Amendment.

Now we can see how the actions of General Convention bring not only separation in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, but are now being used to actively support political actions opposing traditional marriage in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We get it.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see you're reading Grace's weekly notes. I guess you must be a closet Anglo Catholic, eh BabyBlue?

Unknown said...

A friend who was at Grace that morning showed it to me. Thought it was interesting - that there are ramfications to the decisions of General Convention on the moral issues now on the ballot in the Commonwealth. The impact of General Convention now goes beyond just The Episcopal Church and is spreading into the wider-American political culture. This political advocacy, in the name of Episcopal Church General Convention resolutions, illustrates that we continue to divide between the traditional Christian understanding of marriage and the new progressive view that marriage is no longer between a husband and wife. And we know where the Episcopal Church stands on this issue - that's why Grace is so kind as to put the General Convention resolution out so that all the Episcopalians in the diocese can be clear on why they should oppose the Marriage Amendment on the ballot. That's worth noting - not only here in Virginia, but to our friends across the pond.


rustybud said...

Should I take Grace's distribution of the letter as agreement by the clergy and vestry there with the Richmond parishes' opposition to the amendment? It matters to my wife and me because we are looking for a good Episcopal school to send our daughters to in the coming years. We've seen mention of "social justice" in the Grace school's brochure; if opposing the amendment is part of the parish's idea of "social justice" we'll be very careful about considering the school further, and won't even think about transferring into the parish to get the discount they offer.

One other thing -- why does a parish that calls itself Anglo-Catholic have a female clergyman, and on top of that call her "Mother"? Doesn't seem so Anglo-Catholic to me at all.

Anonymous said...

Rustybud -- I do understand what you mean when you see "social justice" in the printed materials!

I do think us Bible believing, creed adhering, true traditionalist, who do do believe the Spirit is active today in accords to how He always has through history (did I miss anyone?) need to not forget our call to work for social justice. I do fear we will abandon our call to Common Grace in our defense for proclamation of Special Grace.

The two often work together through history. We can become irrelevant to the culture when we do not fulfill our Common Grace missions, often in our service Special Grace message is heard (bought the right to be heard).

My soap box spiel is not only have many new ideas come out of TEC, the replacement of the social gospel for the True Gospel even perverts the social justice concept. We need to do the hard path and do both.

This is odd for Civil rights can be argued to come from Christian concept of all created equal and the nature of our God to be so kind as to bring the rain to the righteous and unrighteous -- good thing for except by His grace & His transforming power, I'm prettyunrighteous.

(My verboseness has nothing to do with politics of the orginial post, personally I think their stance might help wake the sleeping in their own congragation -- In VA elections few seem to fully understand or care about the admendemnts or bond issues - sad, but the culture is different than CA about those).

Anonymous said...

Before I start a firestorm - I should write I have many friends who work for International Justice Mission, so I'm more willing to fight for definition of the words "social justice."

Many serve Jesus by proclaiming Him in a soap kitchen could probably surrender those words to TEC without much care and continue to do their work.

Anonymous said...

My dyslexia agian -- "soup kitchen"

rustybud said...

Kevin --

You're right. My fear, when I hear "social justice," as I hear it in every DioWash meeting, is nothing more than the substitution of the social gospel for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I'm extremely wary of those who spout that because from watching them I've seen that it is actually easier to believe in and do the work of the social gospel than it is to believe in and do the work of the real Gospel.

It's the shining example of the difference between "salvation by works" and "faith without works is dead."

Anonymous said...

Rustybud -- Amen!

Out of what Jesus has already given me, I will "strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being."

Anonymous said...

I used to attend Grace Alexandria (I now attend St Paul's, K St in Washington, DC). It is not an Anglo-Catholic parish.