When the Supreme Court issued its decision last week concerning same gender marriage, that decision was not unanimous. Five of the justices agreed that same gender couples in this country should have the same access to marriage as mixed gender couples. Four of the justices disagreed. All nine based their conclusions on their understanding of the Constitution. I expect we have the same mix of reactions to the court decision in the Church and probably in our parish, based on our varied interpretations of Scripture. It is this tension that is the reality of life in the Church. I invite you to read the attached letter from the presiding bishop of the ELCA, Elizabeth Eaton. Bishop Eaton explains the decision of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly that allows congregations and pastors to engage in prayer, conversation and discernment when deciding whether to host same gender weddings. I ask our congregations to commit to that model if/when we are asked to be a place of marriage for a same gender couple. As Christ’s body, when we proceed with genuine respect and love for one another and for those asking, God will light the way and will hold us together in his abiding love.
Billy and I invite you to our home for a fireworks watching party this Saturday, July 4, beginning at 6:30 pm. We’ll provide hot dogs, hamburgers, tea and lemonade. You bring a side or dessert, drink of choice and a lawn chair. If it rains, we’ll move the party indoors and look for some fireworks on TV!
We pray for all those traveling this holiday weekend, for joyful reunions with loved ones and safe homecomings.
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3
Yours in Christ,