Marriage: A Sacred Vocation

Marriage:  “A Sacred Vocation”


I found myself re-reading the Andy Hoag article in the Saginaw News (3/16/14) that quotes Bishop Todd Ousley of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan on the issue of “same sex marriage”.  As a proponent of same sex marriage, I thought it was worth pulling a few of Bishop Ousley’s quotes that speak for themselves:  


Bishop Ousley[1]:


“My own experiences with same-sex couples and the experiences in communities and congregations across our dioceses have shown that there is holy goodness in the lives and love of gay and lesbian couples and their families.”


“Surely, extending justice and equality to all of God’s children will not only serve the common good but also further the advance of God’s reign marked by respect for the justice and dignity for every person.”


Marriage is a “sacred vocation” that should not be “limited to persons of opposite sex” and “encompasses all of God’s creation.”


Therefore, I believe that the faithful, loving and life-long union of two persons—regardless of gender identity –is capable of signifying the never failing and gracious love of God in Christ for the church and the world.”


“In the Dioceses of Eastern Michigan, priests and congregations are currently authorized and encouraged to exerciser their own sense of Christian vocation and to utilize the Churcher4’s published resources to offer a generous pastoral response to those persons of the same sex who desire the Church’s blessing of their covenanted and faithful lives.”


“I look forward with hopeful anticipation to the day when the great state of Michigan offers all couples equality.”


In my mind, it is not a question of whether same sex unions will be recognized but rather, when.   I wish for the day that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will open mind and heart to what Ousley calls the “sacred vocation” of marriage. 



Clinton Marsh Benediction



Clinton Marsh was known for ending his worship services with different variations of this benediction.   Presbyterian Pastor, former General Assembly Moderator of the Presbyterian Church US; brother of former mayor of the city of Saginaw, Henry Marsh.   


“And now, I am supposed to say to you, “Go in peace.”  But how can I say, “Go in peace,” when you are going out into a world where you are insecure, whether at home or in your neighborhood street?


–Out into a world where race is set against race and ethnic cleansing is a name for genocide?


–Out into a world where people are hungry and homeless, while their governments squander billions of dollars on instruments of destruction that they dare not use?


–Out into a world were every night millions of mothers watch their children sink into a hungry slumber, only to awaken (if they awaken) to another hungry tomorrow?


With a world like that out there, how can I say to you, “Go in peace?”


But I dare say, “go in Peace”, because Jesus says, “I give you my peace.”


But – remember – he who says, “I give you my peace” also says, “If you would be my disciple and (thereby) I have my peace, take up your cross and follow me!”


So I dare to say, “go in peace!”  If you dare!