GENERAL CONVENTION 2003


 

 

Blessing of Same-Sex Relationships

FINAL VERSION of CO51, AS APPROVED

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, that the 74th General Convention affirms the following:

1.That our life together as a community of faith is grounded in the saving work of Jesus Christ and
expressed in the principles of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral: Holy Scripture, the historic Creeds of
the Church, the two dominical sacraments, and the historic episcopate.

2.That we reaffirm Resolution A069 of the 65th General Convention (1976) that "homosexual persons are
children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and
pastoral concern and care of the Church".

3.That, in our understanding of homosexual persons, differences exist among us about how best to care
pastorally for those who intend to live in monogamous, non-celibate unions; and what is, or should be,
required, permitted, or prohibited by the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church
concerning the blessing of the same.

4.That we reaffirm Resolution D039 of the 73rd General Convention (2000), that "We expect such
relationships will be characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest
communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the
image of God", and that such relationships exist throughout the church.

5.That, we recognize that local faith communities are operating within the bounds of our common life as
they explore and experience liturgies celebrating and blessing same-sex unions.

6.That we commit ourselves, and call our church, in the spirit of Resolution A104 of the 70th General
Convention (1991), to continued prayer, study, and discernment on the pastoral care for gay and lesbian
persons, to include the compilation and development by a special commission organized and appointed
by the Presiding Bishop of resources to facilitate as wide a conversation of discernment as possible
throughout the church.

7.That our baptism into Jesus Christ is inseparable from our communion with one another, and we commit
ourselves to that communion despite our diversity of opinion and, among dioceses, a diversity of pastoral
practice with the gay men and lesbians among us.

8.That it is a matter of faith that our Lord longs for our unity as his disciples, and for us this entails living
within the boundaries of the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church. We believe this discipline
expresses faithfulness to our polity and that it will facilitate the conversation we seek not only in The
Episcopal Church, but also in the wider Anglican Communion and beyond.

 

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