Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Letter from our Bishops

To the clergy and people of the Diocese of Huron,

Yesterday the General Synod was surprised to discover that, due to a human error, the calculation of votes on the resolution regarding the Marriage Canon on Monday evening had been inaccurate. A clergy vote had been incorrectly assigned as a lay vote. When recalculated, this changed the final result so that the resolution achieved the two-thirds majority necessary in all three orders. After a long and very challenging synod, this was a reversal that has left a different group of members in deep pain while others are pleased that the discernment is continuing.

In our letter of July 11, 2016 we noted that a diocesan bishop may exercise episcopal authority in authorizing liturgies to respond to pastoral needs within their dioceses, in the absence of any actions by the General Synod. We then indicated that we would authorize liturgies for same-sex marriage after considering suitable guidelines. With the passing of the amendment to the Marriage Canon, we, with the Church nationally, are committed to ongoing consultation as required by this resolution. We will consult across the diocese as we seek to be faithful to our commitment to all voices and consistent with our initial statement.

Please pray for all members of our Anglican family – those who now rejoice in the approval of this resolution and those who do not. In a world that desperately needs to find ways to live together in the midst of differences we need to model grace, respect and a willingness to continue in the process of deep listening that will lead us together in peace with one another.

With deep thankfulness for your prayers for the Huron General Synod members who have faithfully participated in this challenging synod with its emotional peaks and valleys. Our time at synod finished with a eucharist in which our Primate spoke passionately from his heart about our calling as brothers and sisters in Christ. We come to that table, often in imperfect communion with one another, to hear God through the Word, to pray for one another, to offer our confession, to hear God’s forgiveness proclaimed and to be fed with the body and blood of Christ, strengthened and made one for the journey ahead. Please pray for all our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church of Canada as we continue that journey.

Yours in Christ, 

The Right Reverend Robert Bennett
The Right Reverend Linda Nicholls 

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