Statement on the vote count on Marriage Canon Resolution (A-051-R2)
BY MICHAEL THOMPSON ON JULY 13, 2016
The events leading to the passage, at first reading, of a motion to amend the Canon on Marriage so as to provide for the solemnization in the church of same-sex marriages are complex. On July 11, the motion was declared defeated in the order of clergy, where it appeared not to have achieved the necessary two-thirds majority in that order. The actual numbers recorded electronically were 51 in favour and 26 opposed. The motion did achieve that majority among the bishops and among the laity.
Please note the following correction from General Synod 2016 received just minutes ago:
A voting error reveals that a clergy vote was recorded as a lay vote. There was, in fact, a 2/3 clergy majority.
Three years ago, General Synod established a Commission to bring a resolution to change Canon XXI on marriage to allow the marriage of same-sex couples in the same way as opposite-sex couples.
After much consultation across the country engaging with those against and those in favour, same gender couples and heterosexual couples, youth and elderly, indigenous elders to name a few, the commission's report on the marriage canon, "This Holy Estate" provided us with a compelling mandate to move forward with an understanding of the sacrament of marriage that is inclusive for all people.
Your delegates along with the other members of General Synod have spent a good deal of time, in mixed discussion groups, debating the possible change. Although we have been asked to listen to each other with generous and open hearts some conversations have been difficult and painful and others in respectful dialogue.
Yesterday evening, Monday July 11th, General Synod voted. The motion had to pass by two thirds in each order to move to a second reading. In the order of bishop's and lay it passed but it was defeated by one vote in the order of clergy. When I return to Saskatoon I will discuss with our diocesan leadership what this means for us and the needs of the LGBTQ2 community in our diocese. The current marriage canon does not contain a definition of marriage or prohibit the solemnizing of same-sex marriage, according to the chancellor of General Synod, and diocesan bishops may exercise moral authority by authorizing liturgies to respond to pastoral needs within their diocese.
While I believe many will think, not changing the marriage canon, is good news there are others that will be greatly saddened that we could not walk together on this issue. Please remember In the life of the church there are no winners or losers. I pray that in the midst of the differences that exist God's grace will inspire us to continue to break bread together and walk humbly with our God.
I want to thank our delegates Mr. Chris Wood, Ms. Meghan Lofgren, Archdeacon Ken Watts and Rev. Alex Parsons who represented our diocese ably and well throughout this debate.
In God's peace,
Daily Report from the 41st General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada
BY GENERAL SYNOD COMMUNICATIONS ON JULY 7, 2016
The first day of General Synod commenced on July 7, 2016 at the Sheraton Parkway North Toronto Hotel and Suites in Richmond Hill, Ontario. General Synod members, guests, partners, staff and observers registered throughout the day.
Daily Report from the 41st General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada: Friday, July 8, 2016
Daily Report from the 41st General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada: Saturday, July 9, 2016
Daily Report from the 41st General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada: Sunday, July 10, 2016
Daily Report from the 41st General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada: Monday, July 11, 2016
BY GENERAL SYNOD COMMUNICATIONS ON JULY 11, 2016
Daily Report from the 41st General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada: Tuesday, July 12, 2016
BY GENERAL SYNOD COMMUNICATIONS ON JULY 12, 2016
A statement from The Ven. Dr. Michael Thompson, General Secretary
BY REV. JESSE DYMOND ON JULY 12, 2016
Archbishop Fred Hiltz: Sermon from the Opening Eucharist of the 41st Session of The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada
BY FRED HILTZ, ARCHBISHOP AND PRIMATE ON JULY 7, 2016
Imagine with me for just a few minutes that tiny little community that was the infant Church—Peter and John and James and Andrew and Philip and Thomas and Bartholomew and Matthew and James son of Alphaeus and Simon the zealot, and Judas son of James together with certain women including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers gathered in an upper room in Jerusalem.
They had just returned from the mount called Olivet where the risen Lord had commissioned them saying
“You shall receive power when the Holy, Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
When he had said these things, he was lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight.
And now they are back in the city. One wonders how they spoke with one another about all they had heard and seen, how they understood Jesus’ commission and how would they go about the work given them? What did they make of Jesus’ reference to the Holy Spirit? How would the Spirit come upon them? Where might it take them? Would they plant new communities of faith? How would they nurture them? What trials might they face? How might they suffer for the sake of the Gospel? How might their witness be remembered in time?
While we might wonder about all these things, we know this one thing, that according to Luke “they were constantly devoting themselves to prayer”. (Acts 1:14) Prayer one supposes that they be ready to receive the Holy Spirit whenever and however it would come. They simply trusted in Jesus’ word that they would be empowered, graced and guided for the work entrusted to them. They prayed expectantly.