(Update to the original post found here)
Dear friends in Christ,
This afternoon, an anomaly was discovered in the counting of the votes for the motion to permit same sex marriages. As I reported earlier today, the vote had been defeated by a single vote in the House of Clergy. An audit of the votes revealed that one clergy member had been recorded in the House of Laity. When the votes had been recounted, the motion actually had the required 2/3 majority in all three houses. The Motion to Amend the Marriage Canon to permit same sex marriages has passed first reading at General Synod. You can view the statement here. It will need to pass by 2/3 majority in all three houses at General Synod in 2019 in order to come into effect.
While this vote makes a significant historical difference, and a huge difference in the lives of GLBTQ Anglicans, many facts remain unchanged: the result is still heart breaking to a lot of Anglicans – only now it’s a different group of Anglicans. I affirm my statement of earlier today: we are called to grow in discipleship by learning to love across all the boundaries that divide us one from another, including the division between those who are celebrating and those who are mourning. We remain brothers and sisters in Christ just as we were when the earlier result was announced; just as we were before the votes were cast; just as we will remain, whatever comes, because we have been baptized into Christ’s Body. In this call and this challenge, nothing has changed.
Now, perhaps more than ever before, facing an unprecedented historical situation with this dramatic reversal, we need to pray for one another and for the Church, and remain united in compassion towards those who feel this result so deeply. If there is any good that can be identified so early in this moment, it is that by this reversal, those who are divided from one another by their position on this issue have all shared the fullness of profound relief and profound distress today. May this unexpected shared experience of these very human emotions help us to see one another as fellow human beings, regardless of our position or opinions.
We are still waiting for a statement from Bishop Greg, and doubtless more news will follow. I will keep you informed as the news comes in. I have cancelled my rural visit this weekend, and will be preaching at St. George’s on Sunday about the events of this week.
May God bless us to grow in faith, whatever comes, and to grow in love towards God, and towards our neighbour, as ourselves.
Your sister in Christ,