April 27, 2015

St. Paul’s to Allow Same-Sex Blessings

Today, I received a form letter from the Rev. Lou Hays, rector of my church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. The letter, dated April 24, 2015, explains that Lou will allow “the blessing of a lifelong covenant between people of the same sex” at St. Paul’s. In particular, he explains that
I have determined that we are willing to use this liturgy [authorized by the 2012 General Convention and allowed at the rector’s discretion by Bishop Dorsey McConnell] at St. Paul’s when appropriate circumstances warrant as outlined in the Bishop’s letter, with the additional requirement that at least one of the two be a parishioner of St. Paul’s. As instruments of Gods love, I believe this is the right thing for us to do. This decision follows a period of discernment, including work that [the Rev.] Michelle [Boomgaard] and the Vestry did on this subject last summer during my sabbatical.
I was delighted to receive this news of which I had no advance warning. I was not totally surprised, however. Shortly after coming to St. Paul’s presented a series of presentations on homosexuality that changed minds in the parish. (You can read Lou’s letter here.)

It would be interesting to know how many parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh have approved same-sex blessings in principle and how many have actually performed them. (Since same-sex marriage is legal in Pennsylvania, churches can, as I understand it, do more than simply bless a same-sex couple.) I do know that Calvary has actually performed ceremonies. Do readers know what other churches have done?

1 comment:

  1. "We ain't what we oughta be,
    We ain't what we gonna be,
    We ain't what we was."

    [MLKJr, but he didn't originate this saying from the Black Church]


Anonymous comments are not allowed. All comments are moderated by the author. Gratuitous profanity, libelous statements, and commercial messages will be not be posted.