The Largest Protestant Christian Denomination Supports Same-sex Marriage....
My brothers and sisters,
This happened in 2005- when only ON was on the same-sex marriage track, before many others in the next year, and the rest of the nation on one night a year ago -
UCC Praises Praises Canadian Same-sex Marriage Legislation
From Worldwide Faith News <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date Tue, 01 Feb 2005 12:40:45 -0800
For Immediate Release Tuesday,
February 1, 2005
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LEGISLATION OFFERS A WIN-WIN SOLUTION,
SAYS THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA
Toronto: The United Church of Canada congratulated the Canadian
government today on introducing legislation that offers a win-win
solution in the same-sex marriage debate.
"Marriage will be enhanced, not diminished, religious freedom will be
protected, not threatened, and Canadian society will be strengthened,
not weakened, as a result of this legislation," says the Rev. Dr. Jim
Sinclair, General Secretary of the General Council.
Canada's largest Protestant denomination, The United Church of Canada,
has long supported the civil recognition of same-sex partnerships. In
August 2000, the 37th General Council affirmed that human sexual
orientations, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are a gift from God
and part of the marvellous diversity of creation. The Council further
resolved to advocate for the civil recognition of same-sex partnerships.
In August 2003, the 38th General Council decided "to call upon the
Government of Canada to recognize same-sex marriages in marriage
Choice Okoro's work with the United Church focuses on human rights
issues. She explains that while the United Church unequivocally supports
the right of same-sex couples to have access to civil marriage, it also
unequivocally supports the right of religious communities to refuse to
perform such marriages.
"The United Church has long argued that equality and religious freedom
can live side by side, supporting each other and building a stronger
society," says Okoro.
She says the United Church maintains that the religious freedom of faith
communities who object to same-sex marriage will not be infringed by the
proposed legislation because they cannot be compelled to offer marriages
which violate their religious beliefs.
"Religious freedom is far more threatened by a vote against the
legislation than by a vote in favour," says Okoro. She explains that
voting against same-sex marriage will inevitably limit the religious
freedom of those who support and celebrate the sanctity of same-sex
marriage as a religious rite.
Jackie Harper serves as the United Church's program staff for Family
Ministries. "A significant, unique contribution that the United Church
brings to this debate is the denomination's own experience of making
same-sex marriage ceremonies available to its members and, at the same
time, respecting the right of those within the denomination who are
opposed to such services," says Harper.
She explains that the United Church draws a distinction between
religious and civil marriage. "Even within the United Church, where
same-sex marriages are regularly sanctified, no congregation or minister
can be forced to officiate at a same-sex marriage unwillingly."
She adds, "Religious marriage is not, and cannot be, affected by the
proposed legislation. All faith communities in Canada, whatever their
views on same-sex marriage, have the absolute right to determine for
themselves who will be eligible for religious marriage within their
communities. This includes the right to determine whether the community
will offer religious marriages to interfaith couples, to divorced
couples, or to couples who are not members of the community."
Harper comments that the United Church's understanding of marriage is
grounded in love- "God's love for humanity, love between life partners
who seek to live in relationships based on trust, mutuality, and
commitment. It is also about the love of caring communities-families,
friends, and churches-that acknowledge, support, nurture, challenge, and
honour such relationships."
Harper adds that the civil recognition of same-sex marriages affirms the
love that is expressed in these committed relationships. "It is also
about justice, according same-sex couples the same rights,
responsibilities, privileges, and protections as any other couple in our
society. It is about ensuring that all people are treated with fairness,
dignity, and respect. No one is beyond the love of God; no one is
disenfranchised because of their choice of partner."
For further information, please contact:
The United Church of Canada
416-231-7680 ext. 2016 (office)
- 30 -
NOW - the ONLY MATCH is that the UFMCC in either the United States of America or Canada support us - in fact they are the Christian denomination who have made it possible.
NOW - the Southern Baptist Convention - hijacked by the Dominionists several decades ago and who purged true evangelicals from their ranks of power - has the collateral position of the UCC of Canada in the USA , i.e., the "largest Protestant Christian denomination in the USA.
NOW - You choose the rhetoric, or the spokesperson, from the SBC and their official pronouncements.
NOW - WWJD????????
THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA -
[ An Order of Service for Same-Gender Covenants ]
From "Together in Faith", page 50
Sample Order of Service for covenanting
Greeting or Call to Worship
Statement of Purpose
Readings, both biblical and contemporary
Sermon, or reflection on the Word
Statements of intent: couple, family, friends
Exchange of symbols
Declaration of the Covenant
(Eucharist or symbol of communication)
Prayers (thanksgiving and intercession)
Tender God, you have bestowed all things on us for salvation,
Teaching us to love one another,
and to bear with another's weaknesses.
Lover of humankind,
to these your servants who love each other in the power of the spirit,
and have come here together to be blessed,
grant unashamed devotion and constancy of love.
And as you gave to your holy disciples your peace,
grant also to these all things needed for eternal life;
this we pray, God, to you who embrace all that is good;
and we render glory to you, our Creator and Redeemer and Sustainer.
Eternal One, our God, ruler of all,
you make heaven, the earth, and the sea
and human beings in your image and likeness;
all creation glorifies you.
We pray for these servants of God
who have come to be blessed.
We pray for the love which they share and show to the world.
Bless these faithful people,
joined by means of love
and by the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit,
that they may live in devotion and honest love,
and that their union may remain without ill-will or discord.
Grant to these two and to all gathered here
the peace you willed for your disciples,
and all which is needed for salvation and eternal life. Amen.
Last edited by Liberal Crozier; 07-05-2006 at 08:56 AM.
Thank You For Your Offline Commentaries
+LC and I have just returned from the oncologist. X-ray and CBC later, he has mild pneumonia. He is now resting. He always is concerned about his family above himself. It is such a deeply committing and loving marriage of thirty plus years.
We adore you guys. I'm praying for his renewed health.
Thank you for being so wonderful to him... and for sharing your love with us.