Monday, September 5, 2011

Good News from New Zealand

A Prayer for Labor Day:
Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
On this Labor Day Integrity celebrates all those who labor for the full inclusion of all the baptized in all the sacraments -- especially for those whose lives are linked with ours in the Anglican Church in New Zealand and for the good news of the fruits of their labor.

From a report received via email this morning: This weekend both Auckland and Waiapu (East Coast Noth island) diocesan synods passed similar motions:

  • declining to support Clause 4 of the Covenant
  • declaring that they saw no impediment to the ordination of someone in a commited same-sex relationship.
The two motions were passed by two thirds majorities in Auckland, and by 90% plus in Waiapu.

Here's the text of the Auckland resolution:
"That this Synod

[1] Holds that sexual orientation should not be an impediment to the discernment, ordination, and licensing of gay and lesbian members to any lay and ordained offices of the Church; and further

[2] persons in committed same-sex relationships likewise should not be excluded from being considered for discernment, ordination, and licensing to any lay and ordained offices of the Church.

[3] commits to an intentional process of listening to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people, organized by the Archdeacons in consultation with the gay and lesbian community.

[4] commits to an ongoing discussion with the ministry units, asks the Archdeacons to facilitate this, and invites responses to those discussions to be submitted to Diocesan Council by 31st March 2012; and

[5] commits to support the process and work of the Commission to be appointed by General Synod Standing Committee, as resolved at its meeting in July 2011."
Thanks to the Rev. Glynn Cardy for the text of the motion and for this note: "This motion was put in parts, and members voted via a paper ballot. The most contentious clause, [2], passed by nearly a two-thirds majority."

As we pause today from our labors and celebrate this Labor Day holiday let us ask the One who inspires us to work for justice to also equip us to continue in that work -- to be steadfast in that struggle -- until the full inclusion of LGBT people in the work and witness of the worldwide Communion is not just a resolution we pass but a reality we celebrate.

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