SCLM is including other provinces in the Anglican Communion by asking bishops to get input from overseas colleagues, and they are on the agenda for the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation being held in Canterbury in August.
So here are the highlights of the theological principles as they were presented today by Jay Johnson:
Reflecting theologically on same-gender unions should be grounded in baptism and how we live out our baptismal covenant which suggests three key theological touchstones;
1) The loving faithfulness of faithful relationships exhibits the character of a sacrament;
2) Christian life generally, but in particular committed relationships, shares in God’s Trinitarian life characterized by inclusive, dynamic and mutual giving
3) Committed relationships can renew our hope – the gospel promise of union with God
Reflecting further on covenants:
1 Everyone is called to live out the baptismal covenant, but not everyone is called to do so in the same way… it is helpful to think of entering a couple commitment as a vocation;
2 Entering into covenant with another person can enrich our experience of covenant with Christ;
3 Covenantal relationships create households which require intention and discipline enriched by divine grace – thriving households don’t just happen on their own but come from intentional spiritual practice;
4 Faithfulness and love enable us to give to the wider community – to nurture our baptismal calling in the world. Within a covenanted relationship we can discover and nurture gifts for baptismal ministry. Covenantal relationships are blessed and can become a blessing to the faith community.
The group working on liturgical principles has sifted through a huge quantity of material, which they hope to make available digitally in cooperation with the Church Archives. Patrick Malloy explained that they have created an outline liturgy which follows the lines of most of our other rites, placing the covenanting between the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the table. They have also selected “liturgical units” such as collects or litanies which they particularly liked which might be put into the framework.
As the plenary session closed this evening (Friday) deputies are being asked to consider some of these liturgical units to see what works and what doesn’t work for them – and to explain why.
I wonder how long it would have taken Cranmer to compile and write the original Book of Common Prayer if he had tried to consult with the House of Bishops, the House of Deputies, and interested people across The Episcopal Church and beyond?
You too can take part in this historical consultation by contributing to the debate on the SCLM blog or watch it live streaming here. See you there!
The Rev Dr. Caroline Hall is the rector of St. Benedict's Episcopal Church in Los Osos, California. She is the former Vice President of International Affairs for Integrity USA. She is a frequent contributor to Walking With Integrity and is the author of the recent Anglican Covenant Series.
 Luke 4:21