Prepara El Camino – Spanish Prepare Ye the Way

Prepara El Camino

En el transcurso del trabajo de la SCLM para responder a la Resolución C-056 de la Convención General 2009 y la bendición de las relaciones del mismo género, hemos decidido que la iglesia se podría beneficiar de algunos recursos para preparar a las parejas del mismo género. El informe ofrece algunas reflexiones sobre las diferencias en la preparación de parejas del mismo género en comparación con la preparación de parejas de géneros opuestos. De todas maneras, el informe declara:

Los recursos pastorales en este ensayo son provistos para asistir al clero y a los laicos profesionales que preparan a las parejas del mismo género para la bendición de su relación, utilizando la liturgia. La expectativa de dicha preparación es equivalente al requerimiento canónico que parejas que se preparan para casarse reciben instrucción ” sobre la naturaleza, significado y propósito del Santo Matrimonio” ( Canon I.18.2 [e]).

La preparación es similar para todas las parejas, ya sean del mismo género o de géneros opuestos. La mayoría de los clérigos y laicos profesionales que actualmente ofrecen preparación prematrimonial a parejas de géneros opuestos están mas que capacitados para trabajar con parejas del mismo género.

En esta estación de Adviento cuando nos preparamos para recibir la llegada de Cristo, les invitamos a reflexionar sobre su propia experiencia de ” estar preparados”. ¿ Como fue usted preparado para el matrimonio o para la bendición del mismo? ¿Qué preparación o consejería usted recibió? ¿ Que usted recuerda, ya sea hace un mes o 25 años atrás- que se quedo impregnado en usted? O si usted es una persona que prepara a las parejas, ¿Que es lo más importante para usted? ¿Que funciona y que no?

Luego en la primavera un informe completo de la SCLM será publicado más adelante para la Convención General y los recursos recomendados serán parte de este informe. De todas maneras, les invitamos a involucrarse ahora con sus propias experiencias en la preparación de relaciones para toda la vida, ya sean del mismo género- o de géneros opuestos-

Prepare Ye the Way Dec. 13 English

Prepare Ye the Way

In the course of the SCLM’s work to respond to the 2009 General Convention Resolution C-056 and the blessings of same-gender relationships we decided that the church might benefit from some resources for preparing same-gender couples. The report goes on to offer some insights into some of the differences of preparing same-gender couples from preparing different-gender couples. However, the reports also states:

The pastoral resources in this essay are provided to assist clergy and lay professionals who are preparing same-gender couples for a blessing of their relationship, using the liturgy. The expectation of such preparation is equivalent to the canonical requirement that couples preparing for marriage receive instruction “as to the nature, meaning, and purpose of Holy Matrimony” (Canon I.18.2[e]).

Preparation is similar for all couples, whether same-gender or different-gender. Most clergy and lay professionals who currently offer premarital preparation to different-gender couples are more than capable of working with same-gender couples.

In this season of Advent when we are to be preparing for Christ’s coming, we invite you to reflect upon your own experience of “being prepared.” How were you prepared for a marriage or for a blessing? What preparation or counseling did you receive? What do you remember, whether it was 1 month ago or 25 years ago – what sticks with you? Or if you are someone who prepares couples, what is most important to you? What works or does not work, so to speak?

Later this spring the full SCLM report will be published for General Convention and the recommended resources will be part of that report. However, we invite you to engage now with your own experiences preparing for either same- or different-gender life-long relationships.

Theological Reflection and Liturgical Principles

In January 2011 we posted here the guiding summary documents developed for the theological and liturgical work of the Commission on blessing same-gender relationships. As the work proceeded, those two documents were refined. You can find the final versions at the following links:

En español:

Please offer your thoughts and observations.

Keri Aubert
Blessings Project Manager

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We invite your participation in this dialogue. 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.

Episcopal News Service: “Standing Commission agrees to ask convention for trial use of same-gender blessing rite”

On Monday, October 17, 2011, the Episcopal News Service published a comprehensive article about the work of the Standing Commission on Liturgy on same-gender blessings. The article, which includes both a history of this work and an update on recent actions by the Commission, is available here.  

Keri Aubert
Blessings Project Manager

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We invite your participation in this dialogue. 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.

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.

Stories from New England

The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music met this week in Concord, New Hampshire, where we held a hearing with 33 representatives of the dioceses of Province I (which comprises all of New England). The commission was eager to learn from the experiences of those dioceses. The changing status of civil unions and same-gender marriage in those states has meant that many of the dioceses have been addressing questions of blessing same-gender relationships for many years. The province is the only province of the Episcopal Church to develop a resource for clergy ministering to same-gender couples, and most of the dioceses have provided guidelines for blessing same-gender relationships.

In the early afternoon of October 19, in the parish hall at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Concord, people came forward, diocese by diocese, to tell their stories. Two church musicians used the vows and prayers from the Book of Common Prayer; they had seen many weddings from the vantage point of the organ bench, and they did not want to be forced to do something different. Another couple pondered what to call their rite and finally settled on “covenant.” Two men who have been in a committed relationship for 27 years moved to Vermont 3 years ago and found themselves warmly embraced by a congregation; in this place, they had nothing to hide any more, and were able to receive the church’s blessing and celebrate eucharist as part of that liturgy.

Again and again we heard about the cost of secrecy in times when relationships had to be hidden and blessings could not be openly celebrated. Couples and clergy spoke powerfully of the joy that came when relationships could be openly acknowledged. Many told us that congregations were transformed when they joined in the celebration of a blessing; for one congregation, the blessing of a civil union as part of the regular Sunday liturgy was especially powerful. Clergy and couples alike were surprised at how jubilant congregations were.

In two dioceses, Rhode Island and Western Massachusetts, the bishop has not allowed clergy to officiate at blessings of civil unions or same-gender marriage. Laity and clergy spoke of their yearning to have blessings celebrated in churches in these dioceses. One man who was married in Massachusetts after 10 years in a committed relationship explained he and his husband knew they could do this on their own because they had learned from the catechism that the couple are the ministers of the rite.

There was a lot to take in! I will be pondering these stories for quite some time. These stories have helped me – and the entire commission – understand more deeply the variety of experiences and the ways God is at work as the church begins to welcome and bless the relationships of same-gender couples.

Episcopal Life Online covered the event in text and video.

Ruth Meyers

Chair, Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music