The Bond of Love

June 26th will be a day forever remembered for the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage as a basic ‘human right’.  I join in this celebration as a Christian, a Presbyterian Pastor, and as an advocate for those who are truly in love wishing to be married.

I also need to step back from celebration to remember the pain and grief of those good and faithful women and men who disagree with this Supreme Court decision.  I need to remember that four Supreme Court justices were quite animate in their dissent of this decision.  In my quarter century of ministry, the Presbyterian church has also been painfully divided on the issue of same-sex marriage.  Every vote taken by the General assembly on issues related to sexuality seem to come down to roughly a 40/60 split.   We are not of one voice on this issue of gay marriage!

I continue to believe that love will always surpass understanding.  The love of God for all of us, regardless how we feel about this issue of gay marriage, will continue to bind us together as members of the one holy and united Body of Christ.

Let’s celebrate.  Let’s also remember some in our churches are grieving when it comes to this Supreme Court decision on the issue of same-sex marriage.  Let’s agree to disagree knowing God’s love will always create bonds that surpass any disagreement.

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.