We would like to keep in our thoughts and prayers our family in Christ who meet this week in Edinburgh to discuss the business of our church. Many of our congregation are also playing a leading role at this years Synod as voting reps, helping administer the event, as keynote speakers or just attending and commenting online from the public gallery. We would like to especially think of our young adults who are not only representing our congregation but the youth voice from across our province.
Representatives from dioceses across Scotland gather in Edinburgh for the annual meeting of the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which takes place on 8-10 June at St Paul’s and St George’s Church, York Place, Edinburgh.
The first key item of business on this year’s agenda was the second – and final – reading of a proposed alteration to the Church’s Canon on Marriage. This proposal removed the doctrinal clause which states that marriage is between a man and a woman. The voting process on the canonical change required a two thirds majority in each ‘house’ of Bishops, Clergy and Laity.
The vote in favour of altering the church’s Canon on Marriage removed the definition that marriage is between a man and a woman and added a new section that acknowledges that there are different understandings of marriage which now allows clergy to solemnise marriage between same sex couples as well as couples of the opposite sex. The revised canon also stipulates that no member of clergy will be required to solemnise a marriage against their conscience. – See more at: this link.
Outgoing Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church the Most Rev David Chillingworth, who is also Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane said:
“In the life of the church, end points are often also starting points. This is a momentous step. By removing gender from our marriage canon, our church now affirms that a same sex couple are not just married but are married in the sight of God. They can ‘leave and cleave’. They can express in marriage a commitment to lifelong faithfulness to one another and to the belief that a calling to marriage is for them too a calling to love, forgiveness, sacrifice, truth. A new chapter opens up – inclusion has taken a particular form.
But this same decision is difficult and hurtful for others whose integrity in faith tells them that this decision is unscriptural and profoundly wrong. For them this new chapter will feel like an exclusion – as if their church has moved away from them. So the journey which we now begin must also be a journey of reconciliation.”
The following two days of General Synod will see a range of topics and issues debated, including a report on Climate Change Action and Fossil Fuel Investments by the Church in Society committee; and a look at how the Church can move forward in its Mission. Please pray for all those involved in the full range of topics and discussions that they may all walk hand in hand with Christ and each other on what can be a difficult road.