Motion 30

A wedding at the end of the Earth. Nosa Senora da Barca (Our lady of the boat. nb. The name is Galician, not Spanish.), Muxia, Comunidade Autonoma de Galicia, Spain.

At the General Synod which met in Waitangi in 2014 a great deal of prayer, care and time was put into the debate around matters of sexuality. We recognised that, as a church, we  had people who held views that were theologically based and honestly held, but which were mutually incompatible and that the church would not be able to resolve the differences between them. Energy was directed, therefore at investigating ways in which we could, with integrity, continue to hold our diverse views but still remain in one church.  After days of some of the most honest, considered and mutually respectful discussion I have ever been privileged to be part of, a statement was crafted and a commission was formed and charged with bringing to the next synod (ie the one that will happen in Napier in May) a plan for continuing to live with the tension of diversity.

The report of that commission has been completed and published. The full text is available here, and a very good summary is found here.

The report is long, and takes some reading. I will reserve my comments on it for General Synod, but in general I believe the report is a very good one and gives us a workable way ahead.  We will make opportunities for people in the Diocese of Dunedin to discuss it before General Synod. We will hold seminars different parts of the diocese. As well, I recognise that, if the recommendations of the report are adopted by General Synod, there will be significant connotations for the lives of some of some of our people. I will be available to meet with individuals or concerned groups by appointment either before or immediately following General Synod.

Comments

Wynston said…
Having now had a chance to read the report it seems that that the Way Forward Group has tried too hard in attempting to find a way to hold two diametrically opposed groups within the church. The result is a compromised solution based upon a series of compromised foundations which will not only compromise the integrity of priests and bishops, but the integrity of the church itself!

If this approach is adopted it will mean that an Anglican priest cannot marry a same sex couple but, if a marriage celebrant has married a same sex couple then it will be fine for an Anglican priest to then bless the union. Thus, a priest will be able to bless in one service what the Church’s marriage canon says is “unblessable” in another!

Is it possible, let alone desirable, for the Church to hold two diametrically opposed views? If so, can we expect God to be happy with such an approach and bless both "views"?

I think that considerably more thought and prayer is required on the matter.

Wynston Cooper