[Ed. note: Originally posted February 10, 2015. Reposted August 9, 2015, to clarify and restate the Advent’s biblical position, and to avoid confusion as much as possible. Dean Pearson will be addressing and further clarifying several aspects of this subject in the Dean’s Classes after Rally Day.]
At the Diocesan Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama (Feb. 7, 2015), Bishop Kee Sloan announced that the guidelines he has approved for the blessing of same-sex relationships can now be used.
There is a process that a parish must enter into in order to receive the permission of the Bishop to perform these blessings. (You can find a copy of these guidelines at www.dioala.org.) No vote was taken at the diocesan convention, but the bishop, exercising his prerogative as chief liturgical officer for the diocese, has authorized this rite.
Bishop Sloan assured the convention that no church or minister in the Diocese of Alabama would be forced to take part in these services. The Cathedral Church of the Advent will not be offering this rite and continues to uphold the biblical position of marriage between one man and one woman.
The Advent is not an issue-oriented church. We are a large and diverse congregation that is focused on the person and work of Jesus Christ; it is in him that we find our unity.
Practically speaking, nothing will change at the Advent. All will experience the same welcome and offer of God’s gratuitous grace for sinners, of whom I am the chief.
February 10, 2015