Integrity Calls SCLM Work "Milestone" On Our Journey
Integrity commends the work of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) and welcomes the publication today of excerpts from the work on blessing of same-gender unions that the SCLM has undertaken in the last three years. (The complete report will be published in April in the so-called Blue Book). The Commission was authorized by the 2009 General Convention to collect and develop theological resources and liturgies for blessing same-gender relationships and report to this summer’s General Convention. They undertook a project of mammoth proportions to collect the work that has been going on for the last fifty years in parishes, Integrity chapters and dioceses across the country.
Today’s excerpts total eighty-four pages so it will take a while for us to digest their contents and evaluate the results of three years work from many of our brightest theologians, liturgists and church leaders. The results are sure to provoke diverse opinions, but there is no question that this is a work of the whole church, not the machinations of a special interest group working in secret to impose its will upon the rest of us. The SCLM solicited, received and read material from across the country, involved deputies and bishops in conversation and study and even took the proposed liturgy to the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation.
“This is a milestone on our journey to open the Episcopal Church to all people,” said Caroline Hall, President of Integrity. “the Commission’s work not only stands as an example of exceptional collaborative church-wide study but brings us an important step closer to full equality. Their remit was to look at blessings for same-gender couples and they have done this with aplomb, offering not just a rite of blessing but a theological statement which will challenge us all to reconsider the theology of committed relationships, including traditional heterosexual marriage.”
For the Episcopal Church to undertake such an extensive project on blessings for same-gender unions indicates the seriousness with which the needs, pastoral concerns and rights of LGBT people are now taken within the church. Integrity extends its thanks and gratitude to the SCLM for their leadership and vision in making this possible.
At General Convention, Integrity will wholeheartedly support the passage of the resolution proposed by the SCLM to authorize this rite for trial use. We stand ready to claim the promise made to us 35 years ago that we are entitled to "full and equal claim of the love, acceptance and pastoral concern and care of the Church (AO76). " We know there will be dioceses where, even if passed, the resolution may not and cannot be used. Integrity will continue to work for the full inclusion of all the baptized. We will not rest until all really means ALL, until our relationships receive the full blessing of the Church equal in every way equal to heterosexual relationships, including the same rites available in all dioceses.
Director of Communications