Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Speaking of Claiming the Blessing.........San Diego & Maryland Move Ahead

A note from Robert Heylmun - Integrity Diocesean Organizer, San Diego.....

Bishop Jim Mathes Authorizes Sam Gender Blessings in Diocese of San Diego

I have the great pleasure to tell you wonderful news. Several weeks ago, Bishop Mathes sent a letter to the clergy of the Diocese of San Diego authorizing same gender blessings.

It is a great step forward for all of us in God’s church, and indeed a moment to celebrate. For those who may not have been engaged in the struggle for inclusion as long as others of us have, let me tell you again, there were times when many of us never thought we’d see this day – at least not in San Diego. Do we still have work to do? Sure. But I wanted to share this news with you that an important barrier to full inclusion in our church has finally fallen. Hallelujah!

For those of you who may wish to take advantage of this wonderful news, I would invite you to contact The Rev. Canon Allisyn Thomas. It was important to the Bishop (and to everyone involved in this process) that blessings for same-gender couples would by and large mirror those for straight couples (that is, use the same pre-marital counseling process, obtain the necessary permission, and so on). You can reach Allisyn through the Cathedral office at 619-298-7261 or via e-mail at thomasa@stpaulcathedral.org.

Finally, if you are so moved, I would invite you to send a letter or email to Bishop Mathes thanking him for his decision and courage. This old Navy town is second only to Orange County as a conservative voting block in most elections and needless to say, the Diocese of San Diego is not of one mind on this issue. I am grateful that Bishop Mathes wants to watch over us as we take this momentous step forward. I for one commend him for taking this stand, and for wishing to be our pastor, and I hope you would join me in saying thank you.

Bishop James Mathes        bishopmathes@edsd.org
Diocese of San Diego
2728 6th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103

The decision by the Rt. Rev. James Robert Mathes, Bishop of San Diego, reflects the recommendations of the diocese’s Holiness in Relationships Task Force Report [PDF].

And this from Former Inetgrity VP, The Rev. Caroline Hall.......
Generosity Expands to Maryland and San Diego

I hear it was a great Pride weekend in San Diego. Two of my good friends, Brian and Dennis marched in the parade with the contingent from St Paul’s cathedral. Then on Sunday, during her sermon, the Rev. Allisyn Thomas said that with the approval of Bishop James Mathes , St Paul’s will now be able to bless the unions of same-gender couples! Her announcement was met with great joy by many in the cathedral which has a broad and inclusive congregation.

The Bishop of San Diego is requiring parishes who wish to offer blessings to have studied the diocesan report, Holiness in Relationships, and their clergy have to get permission from the bishop. Since St Paul’s has already studied the report, they’re ready to go!

And now the Diocese of Maryland has also declared a generous response, with the Bishop’s Guidelines Regarding the Blessing of Same-Gender Unions posted on the Maryland diocesan website. Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton is taking a slightly different tack from his colleague in San Diego by giving the discretion entirely to the clergy rather than involving the parish.

To all of you in Maryland and San Diego who are now planning the big day, felicitations and please send photos.

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