The Church of the past and the Church of the future

The voice of reaction from the secretive special convention held today by the Diocese of South Carolina, courtesy of ENS:

A majority of delegates attending a special convention of the Charleston-based Diocese of South Carolina voted October 24 to distance themselves from the Episcopal Church and to seek “missional relationships with orthodox congregations isolated across North America.”

And the voice of progress from the Diocese of Ottawa:

In his charge to the 2009 Synod, Bp John Chapman announced that he was proceeding with blessings at St John the Evangelist Church. He said, in part:

I did refer the matter to the Doctrine and Worship Panel [Following the Diocese of Ottawa’s 2008 Synod] requesting that the Panel consider for you and for me, the theological dimensions of blessing the civil marriages of same-gendered couples. As well, I asked the Panel to

provide appropriate protocols for how such a blessing would be conducted. The Panel has provided me with a written report. Following careful study of their recommendations, much prayer, ongoing input from the international and national Church and mindful of the 2007

Diocese of Ottawa Synod motion, I have decided to proceed in the following manner.

Mindful of my understanding that: Same-sex couples who are civilly married and seek the Church’s blessing of their marriage must be welcomed with the same care and

solicitude that the church would extend to any other of its members; and, that when the church blesses the marriage of anyone civilly married it does so recognizing that the couple is already married and that the blessing celebrates and deepens a reality that already exists;

I give my permission to the Church of St John the Evangelist, Ottawa to begin offering a rite of blessing to those same-sex couples civilly married where at least one party is baptized, utilizing the rite of blessing for civil marriages found in the Book of Occasional Celebrations, published by the Anglican Church of Canada.

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