Equal Marriage and St John’s

St John's, by the grace of the Spirit,
seeks to be an open community,
walking in the way of Jesus, 
engaging with an ever-changing world and 
living a faith that is timeless yet contemporary, 
thoughtful and compassionate.

 

Over the past few decades, both secular society and the church have been considering the place of LGBTQ+ relationships within our communities. This has not been an easy conversation and, at times, turning into hurtful controversy.

We apologise for the deep pain afflicted by members of the church on LGBTQ+ folk and their families. We deeply regret the homophobia originating from within the church. We are sorry for the sacrifice as much as for the patience often demanded from members of the LGBTQ+ community. And we asked for forgiveness for our resistance to proclaiming the love of God more courageously. We have failed.

We also have failed in loving more generously and embracing more compassionately those who disagree with recent developments in church and state. For this we are sorry, too.

We acknowledge that there are different opinions in the church. We are not of one mind. Faithful Christians can be found on both sides of the equal marriage debate. Only when God will be all in all will we fully understand God’s plan for creation and we trust that we will all be surprised then.

After a Spirit-filled process within our church, the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church voted this June to amend Canon 31 (Marriage Canon) to reflect the above expressed differences of opinion. This allows for clergy – with the consent of respective vestries (congregational boards) and their bishops – to opt into the secular Scottish equal marriage legislation.

St John’s has been a member of Changing Attitude Scotland for some time, working with other congregations for the full inclusion of LGBTQ+ people and their relationships in the life of the church. Not surprisingly, therefore, vestry voted unanimously in late June to opt in:

Starting 20 July 2017, St John’s will offer the sacramental rite of marriage to all couples, regardless of sexual orientation.

We will continue to welcome those, who cannot agree with these decisions and affirm their place at St John’s. We look forward to bless and celebrate the marriages of gay and lesbian couples as much as those of opposite-gendered couples and we will continue to pray for the guidance of God the Holy Spirit for our life in community and for all those walking through our doors.

For more information, please contact the office via http://www.stjohns-edinburgh.org.uk/contact-us.html and please check http://www.stjohns-edinburgh.org.uk/contact-us/getting-married-at-st-john-s.html