The House of Bishops voted overwhelmingly in favor of the proposed liturgies for same sex blessings (an amendment had earlier changed the language from gender to blessing) this afternoon. The vote was approximately 111-41. The wide margin is a testimony both to where the church is today as well as who the church is today.
I watched some of the debate online and was moved by the tone of the conversation. There were deep disagreements but the bishops treated each other with respect. In many ways, their debate serves a model for conversation in the church. They demonstrate to all of us a way of discussing important issues in a civil manner, listening carefully, and honoring each others’ dignity.
The resolution now moves to the House of Deputies, where it will also likely be passed.
As a church, we will need to work hard, and seek God’s grace, to embrace this momentous change, and to reach out and continue to embrace those who struggle with it. At the very end of the debate today, Bishop Gray (Mississippi) spoke eloquently about the importance of humility for those of us on both sides of the debate, for recognizing that we all “see through a glass darkly,” and that we might be “wrong.” Wise counsel indeed.