Same-Gender Marriage Decision

St. John’s members and friends: grace and peace be with you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Last night, St. John’s Vestry met to decide if our church will offer marriage for same-gender couples. Early last year, we formed our consultation – a committee of nine parishioners from varying backgrounds – to lead our church in this discernment process. There was monthly prayer, study and reflection. Last night – based on the Consultation’s recommendations – our Vestry decided by majority vote that St. John’s will now be offering same-gender marriage to parish members. The marriage policy at St. John’s will be equally applied to all. The couple must be members of St. John’s, and per the Episcopal Church’s rules on marriage, at least one member of the couple must be baptized; and the couple will meet with a clergyperson for pre-marital preparation. I spoke with Bishop John Howard last night, and I want to assure you that he will continue to support our parish as he always has. He loves and values St. John’s. I want to thank our consultation members for listening so carefully to parishioners this past year and keeping open hearts and open minds. We are a strong congregation with so many diverse views and gifts. But our unity is founded in our love for Jesus. I know that we will remain united as we love God and serve our neighbors. What I want you to know more than anything else, is that each and every one of you is valued, respected and deeply loved. If you’d like to talk, our clergy team is making special time this week to support you. Just give us a call. I look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday at the annual meeting. There will be one service only in the morning at 10 o’clock followed by lunch and our annual meeting. God bless you. And in this season of Epiphany may you be filled with the light and the love of God.

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