Church-Wide Consultation to be Webcast

The Episcopal Church’s Office of Communications will live webcast the plenary sessions of next week’s Church-Wide Consultation on General Convention Resolution C056, Liturgies for Blessing. The event is taking place in Atlanta on March 18 and 19. Click here for the press release with details of the url and times for this webcast. 

After viewing the webcast, please submit your comments either here on this blog or via email to sclm@episcopalchurch.org.

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We invite your participation in this dialogue about blessing same-gender relationships. Your responses and observations here will help inform the work of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music in our work of developing theological and liturgical resources for such blessings. We hope that this conversation will also be a way to renew and enliven a shared vision of the church’s mission in the world.

To post a comment, your first and last name and email address are required. Your name will be published; your email address will not. The first time you post, a moderator will need to approve your submission; after that, your comments will appear instantly.

Our rules for posting are fairly simple. Express yourself with courtesy, civility, and respect for others, whether or not you agree with them.

Fruitfulness and Mutual Blessing

The 2009 General Convention of the Episcopal Church directed the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to collect and develop theological and liturgical resources for blessing same-gender relationships (Resolution C056). The Commission is eager to engage the wider church in theological conversation as one among many sources that will inform our work.

The reflection below was submitted by the Rev. Jay Emerson Johnson, Ph.D., chair of the task group preparing theological resources.

Read more about this project.

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As the theological resources task group continues to hone and refine the theological principles in our work, it would be helpful to hear more specifically about the principles themselves. To begin that conversation, I invite some reflection on two of those principles that are particularly intertwined with each other – the “fruitfulness” of committed relationships and the character of “mutual blessing.” In brief, what we are trying to articulate here is how living in a committed, covenantal relationship enables us to engage in our vocations as Christians in ways that we couldn’t apart from the relationship. Thus, the love shared in such a relationship “spills” over into lives of hospitality and generous service. This in turn makes all such committed relationships a blessing to the wider community. We would appreciate hearing how you might have experienced this in your own faith communities. How have committed relationships been a blessing to you? Where you have seen the “fruits of the Spirit” in such a relationship? Specific examples of these principles will help us refine our work – thank you in advance!

# # #

We invite your participation in this dialogue about blessing same-gender relationships. Your responses and observations here will help inform the work of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music in our work of developing theological and liturgical resources for such blessings. We hope that this conversation will also be a way to renew and enliven a shared vision of the church’s mission in the world.

To post a comment, your first and last name and email address are required. Your name will be published; your email address will not. The first time you post, a moderator will need to approve your submission; after that, your comments will appear instantly.

Our rules for posting are fairly simple. Express yourself with courtesy, civility, and respect for others, whether or not you agree with them.

Theological Principles and Liturgical Principles

  

The 2009 General Convention of The Episcopal Church acknowledged the changing circumstances in the United States and in other nations, as legislation authorizing or forbidding marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian persons is passed in various civil jurisdictions that call forth a renewed pastoral response from this Church. In light of these circumstances, the General Convention directed the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to collect and develop theological and liturgical resources for blessing same-gender relationships. At the same time, we were asked to invite theological reflection from throughout the Anglican communion. The Commission has begun its work by articulating Theological Principles and Liturgical Principles to guide the development of resources.

 # # #

We invite your participation in this dialogue about blessing same-gender relationships. Your responses and observations here will help inform the work of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music in our work of developing theological and liturgical resources for such blessings. We hope that this conversation will also be a way to renew and enliven a shared vision of the church’s mission in the world.

To post a comment, your first and last name and email address are required. Your name will be published; your email address will not. The first time you post, a moderator will need to approve your submission; after that, your comments will appear instantly.

Our rules for posting are fairly simple. Express yourself with courtesy, civility, and respect for others, whether or not you agree with them.

Grupo de Trabajo en Consejería Pastoral y Recursos Didácticos

INTRODUCCION

Estamos invitando a los miembros de la Iglesia Episcopal y de la Comunión Anglicana a ayudarnos a conocer cuales recursos están o han sido utilizados en el proceso de discernimiento congregacional para promulgar bendiciones del mismo género y para la preparación de parejas para una vida cristiana juntos y la ceremonia de bendición. De igual manera, necesitamos su ayuda para conocer cuales materiales podrían ser útiles a las congregaciones y clérigos para que puedan iniciar un proceso de discernimiento y considerar la aceptación de la bendición sobre relaciones del mismo género y la preparacion de dichas parejas. Por favor ayúdenos llenando esta encuesta- el enlace está indicado debajo.

Por favor comparte con nosotros su perspectiva, modelos, recursos, pensamientos, etc.  Aquí están las instrucciones: visite la página  

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SCLMBendiciondelMismoGeneroRecursosEncuesta

Por qué estamos hacienda esto…

La Convención General en el 2009 solicitó que se realizara trabajo con relación a la bendición de parejas del mismo género y pidió que la “Comisión Permanente de Liturgia y Música, en consulta con la Cámara de Obispos, colectara y desarrollara recursos teológicos y litúrgicos, y…creara un proceso abierto para llevar a cabo estos trabajos, invitando la participación de las provincias, diócesis, congregaciones e individuos que están involucrados en tal trabajo teológico”. Nuestro Grupo de Trabajo, en respuesta a esta asignación, está solicitando información por parte de la iglesia entera acerca de lo que las personas están haciendo para preparar parejas (del mismo o diferente género). También queremos saber que materiales/recursos han sido o podrían ser de ayuda en una congregación en el proceso de discernimiento sobre la aceptación de la bendición de parejas del mismo género como parte de su vida y culto cristiano.

Por qué queremos su opinión…

¡No queremos reinventar la rueda! Y queremos saber que usted necesita para realizar este ministerio. 

Por favor comparta con nosotros su perspectiva, modelos, recursos, pensamientos, etc.  Aquí están las instrucciones: visite la página 

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SCLMBendiciondelMismoGeneroRecursosEncuesta

Para recibir copias físicas contacte sclm@episcopalchurch.org

NOTA: La Resolución de la Convención General nos solicito buscar material para la bendición de parejas del mismo género.  Por lo tanto, este será el lenguaje de todos los materiales que utilizaremos.   También reconocemos que hay lugares en los cuales las parejas del mismo género pueden casarse o tener una unión civil; y que hay gran preocupación a través de la iglesia acerca de la bendición de parejas del mismo género. 

Les AGRADECEMOS por su ayuda, comprensión y apoyo en el proceso de colectar esta información.

Favor de responder lo más tarde el 18 de NOVIEMBRE- Hilda, Abadesa de Whitby.

Survey of Pastoral and Teaching Resources

A message from the Task Group on Pastoral and Teaching Resources . . .

We are inviting members of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion to help us know what resources are or have already been used in a congregational discernment process to welcome same-gender blessings and to prepare couples for a Christian life together and for a blessing ceremony.  As well, we need your help to know what materials might be helpful to congregations and clergy who might start a discernment process and consider welcoming the blessing of same-gender relationships and preparing those couples.  Please help us by taking the survey – the link is below.

Please share your approach, models, resources, thoughts etc. with us.  Here is what to do: Go to

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SCLMSameGenderBlessingsResourcesSurvey

For a hard copy contact sclm@episcopalchurch.org

Why we are doing this…

The General Convention in 2009 asked that work be done regarding blessings for same-gender couples and asked that  “the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, in consultation with the House of Bishops, collect and develop theological and liturgical resources, and…  devise an open process for the conduct of its work inviting participation from provinces, dioceses, congregations, and individuals who are engaged in such theological work.  Our Task Group, in responding to this charge, is seeking information from the wider church about what people already are doing to prepare couples (same or different gender couples).  We also want to know what materials/resources have been or might be helpful to a discernment process in a congregation about welcoming the blessings of same-gender couples as part of their Christian life and worship.

Why we want your input…

We do not want to re-invent the wheel!  And we want to know what you need in order to do this ministry.

NOTE:  The GC resolution asks us to look at material for the blessing of same-gender couples.  Thus, that is the language all of our materials will use.  We also recognize that there are places where same-gender couples can be married or have a civil-union;  and that there are broad concerns throughout the church about blessings same-gender couples.  We thank you for your help, understanding and support as we gather this information.          

Please try to respond with your information no later than NOVEMBER 18 – Hilda, Abbess of Whitby.

Theological Principles for C056 Work

The 2009 General Convention of the Episcopal Church directed the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to collect and develop theological and liturgical resources for blessing same-sex relationships (Resolution C056). The Commission is eager to engage the wider church in theological conversation as one among many sources that will inform our work.

The reflection below was submitted by the Rev. Jay Emerson Johnson, Ph.D., chair of the task group preparing theological resources.

Read more about this project.

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During the recent House of Bishops meeting in Phoenix, the C056 Task Group chairs had the opportunity to present our work and to solicit feedback from the bishops. As part of that presentation, I had the privilege of presenting our work-in-process concerning the theological principles that have been guiding our work so far. I’m eager to hear from others—both clergy and lay—about these principles and how they resonate with your own pastoral and liturgical ministries!

From the beginning, the Commission has understood the blessing of committed relationships in faith communities as a blessing not only for the couple but also for the wider community. The Commission then reflected on how the work of collecting and developing resources for such blessings offers an opportunity to retrieve key Christian insights concerning these relationships and to renew the church’s theological reflection on them.

More specifically, this project presents an opportunity to retrieve at least two key touchstones in historical Christian approaches to committed relationships, which helps to frame why such relationships deserve a liturgical blessing in Christian faith communities. Those touchstones are: the sacramental character of covenantal relationships (committed relationships make God’s presence and divine grace visible); and the eschatological vision inspired and evoked by covenantal relationship (the desire that leads us to commit ourselves to another person reflects the human desire and hope for union with God-in-Christ).

Even more particularly, as the Commission reflected on these two touchstones, several theological principles emerged that seemed fruitful for guiding the work moving forward. We’re eager to learn how these principles are already at work in our congregations and how they might enliven our shared reflection on committed relationships.

Those principles are, in brief:

  • Vocation: While people may “fall” in love, people are by contrast called into long-term committed relationships, as a vocation;
  • Spiritual Discipline: The vocational aspect of committed relationship requires ongoing spiritual discipline, sustained in part by regular participation in a faith community;
  • Covenant: Rather than “contracts,” biblical traditions turn often to the spiritual significance of “covenants” for committed relationships, which reflects God’s own covenantal relationship with God’s creation;
  • Household: Biblical traditions likewise emphasize households (often multi-generational) that are established by covenantal commitment and are rooted in a larger community;
  • Fruitfulness: Faithful love in relationship overflows into countless gifts offered well beyond the couple, including lives of service, compassion, generosity, and hospitality.

I have already written briefly about some of these principles in previous blog posts, which could be summarized in the following way. Much like ordination and other forms of ministry, human beings are called into covenantal relationships as a divine vocation. These covenants are sustained by spiritual disciplines, not contracts, and the divine grace in these relationships is discerned by the fruits of fidelity it yields (not least among them are households marked by compassion, generosity, and hospitality). For that reason, covenantal relationships rightly belong to the mission of the Church in its ongoing witness to the good news of the Gospel; these relationships thus point beyond themselves to the Christian hope of union with God.

Where and how do these principles resonate with your own life and ministry and what kind of questions do they raise for you? Let us know!

# # #

We invite your participation in this dialogue about blessing same-sex relationships. Your responses and observations here will help inform the work of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music in our work of developing theological and liturgical resources for such blessings. We hope that this conversation will also be a way to renew and enliven a shared vision of the church’s mission in the world.

To post a comment, your first and last name and email address are required. Your name will be published; your email address will not. The first time you post, a moderator will need to approve your submission; after that, your comments will appear instantly.

Our rules for posting are fairly simple. Express yourself with courtesy, civility, and respect for others, whether or not you agree with them.

SCLM-C056 Flyer

The 2009 General Convention of the Episcopal Church directed the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to collect and develop theological and liturgical resources for blessing same-sex relationships (Resolution C056). The Commission is eager to engage the wider church in theological conversation as one among many sources that will inform our work.

The following was posted by the Rev. Keri Aubert, project manager.

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For a quick overview of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music’s work on 2009 General Convention Resolution C056, see our new informational flyer at the links below. The four versions offer two print/view formats in both English and Spanish.

SCLM-C056 Flyer – Sept 2010 – Booklet View – English

SCLM-C056 Flyer – Sept 2010 – Booklet View- Spanish

SCLM-C056 Flyer – Sept 2010 – Electronic View – English

 SCLM-C056 Flyer – Sept 2010 – Electronic View – Spanish

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We invite your participation in this dialogue about blessing same-sex relationships. Your responses and observations here will help inform the work of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music in our work of developing theological and liturgical resources for such blessings. We hope that this conversation will also be a way to renew and enliven a shared vision of the church’s mission in the world.

To post a comment, your first and last name and email address are required. Your name will be published; your email address will not. The first time you post, a moderator will need to approve your submission; after that, your comments will appear instantly.

Our rules for posting are fairly simple. Express yourself with courtesy, civility, and respect for others, whether or not you agree with them.