Fr. Ross’s comments

March 6, 2016

Those of you who follow the decision-making processes and conversations at the national church level will know that the members of General Synod, which meets in Toronto this July, will be considering a proposal to change the marriage canon of the Anglican Church in Canada to include same-sex couples.

For this be approved requires a 2/3 majority of synod delegates to vote yes in each of three ‘houses’ – lay, clergy and episcopal (bishops). The Bishops met last week and after much discussion announced that they did not feel that there would be that 2/3 majority from their group.

This was disheartening for those who have worked towards this goal, especially since the official debate has not yet happened. For others, there may have been a sigh of relief.

If this is of interest to you, please read the communique from the House of Bishops as well as our own Bishop John’s response to it. Links to both documents are on our website.

I will be discussing this further with Parish Council when it meets this month since it is of great concern to me. I would ask you to remember all members of General Synod in prayer as we and they continue to discern God’s leading in this complex issue.

This is certainly not the only important matter that the church is, or should be, dealing with these days, but it is one of those matters that is taking up a huge amount of energy. I, for one, had hoped we were ready to move on after a debate that has lasted for more than a generation.

In this regard, words attributed to the late Archbishop Oscar Romero have helped give perspective. He worked through his position to address social justice issues in his time and his country. This what I read:

“We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development….
[What we do] may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.”

There is more work to be done; let us pray earnestly for each other.

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