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Church urged to welcome all, or lose many

Sat 3 May 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News

A petition has been created urging the Anglican Church to take steps towards welcoming everyone, including faithful lgbt Anglicans and their friends and families. Its governing body will discuss options on the issue of blessing and ordaining people in same-sex relationships when it meets for its General Synod from 10-16 May. The options in a specially-prepared report range from sticking with the traditional view that only a man and a woman should be in a sexual relationship, to adopting a new understanding that God's love extends to everyone, straight or gay, or adding a new rite of blessing for people in gay relationships. The most dramatic suggestion is an agreement that the different views within the church are irreconcilable, which the report says "would mean the end of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia as it is presently known." There is also the option of leaving a final decision for two more years so all the ideas can be discussed. Vicar of St Luke's Anglican Church Mt Albert, Reverend Clare Barrie, has started a petition urging the Church to take an option which "welcomes all and expresses the love of Christ for all, including faithful lgbt Anglicans and their friends and families". She says the report should be a springboard for action. "We recognise that as a Church we are not of one mind on these matters. But we believe that our Scriptures, our living tradition, our reason and our experience are all calling us as a Church to find a way to honour the lives and faith of lgbt Anglicans in our midst," the petition reads. "We still have much to learn together and we must remain committed to continued prayer and study on matters of marriage and sexuality. However, it has long been the Anglican way to learn by doing, through praxis and reflection. "If we continue to stand still as a Church, we will gain nothing and we will begin to lose many more lgbt Anglicans with their friends and families, and many, many others who already feel deeply alienated and grieved by our present exclusionary stance. We understand that some would experience any change as alienating and threatening, and that every care must be taken to minimize further damage – but our status quo is already causing threat, alienation and deep hurt to many of us." You can sign the petition here    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Saturday, 3rd May 2014 - 1:10pm

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