Hero of the Week Award: July 13, the Episcopal Church

13 Jul

Hero of the Week

Thank you to my friend David Jones for inspiring me to write this story. Continuing its tradition of being one of the most supportive mainline Christian denominations, the Episcopal Church took two significant actions this week. The church is holding its 77th General Convention in Indianapolis and addressed both same-sex unions and transgender rights.

As with the President and the nation, the church is still evolving on marriage equality. This week’s action stops short of blessing marriage for same-sex couples. It does, however, create a liturgy for blessing monogamous unions between two people of the same sex, something they have never done before. This is an important step toward embracing full equality in the church. Significantly, over 70% of the Bishops and members of the House of Deputies voted in favor of the measure.

The Convention also overwhelmingly approved two changes to its Nondiscrimination Canons. These add “gender identity  and expression” to the Canons. The action effectively makes it illegal within the church to bar from the priesthood people who were born into one gender and live as another or who do not identify themselves as male or female. The Episcopal Church is now one of a handful the expressly support the ordination of transgender priests.

Whatever one’s individual faith  or lack thereof, the LGBT community needs support from all quarters. Allies of faith are one important community in the larger conversation. Congratulations to the Episcopal Church for this week’s loud shout of support.

10 Responses to “Hero of the Week Award: July 13, the Episcopal Church”

  1. Christine Noble July 13, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    Let’s here a “Hoo! Rah!” For the Episcopalian Church! Way to go guys! You do “ally” right!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt July 13, 2012 at 8:02 am #

      I, too, was exceedingly pleased with the Episcopal Church! Nice modeling for other religious folk.

  2. Jay July 13, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    I’d also like to see the Episcopalians step up their presence in the media.

    Too often, anti-gay bigots from organizations like NOM like to imply that they represent the “Christian” or “people of faith” position.

    All of those Christians (and other people of faith), like the Episcopalians, who protest “We’re not all like that!” when they’re lumped in with religious bigots, need to clearly make that point in the media.

    Faith Communities that truly are LGBTQ friends and allies should be demanding equal time with the likes of Maggie Gallagher on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. As it is, too often Maggie and Company are allowed to get away with implying that their position is the default position for good Christians. The TRULY good Christians, like the Episcopalians, need to LOUDLY and REPEATEDLY disabuse the public of that false implication.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt July 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

      I could not agree more and could not have said it any better than you did here. Let us hope they step up to the plate.

  3. nevercontrary July 14, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    You cannot imagine the loving environment the episcopal church provides. There schools are amazing.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt July 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

      This is great to know!

      • nevercontrary July 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

        FYI the original I believe episcopal school is in portland. If you were ever looking for a good place to work. 🙂

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt July 14, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

        While I’m very happy about the Episcopal Church, I don’t see myself working in an organized religious place.

  4. Josue Nevak January 6, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

    “Our God will perfect the good work He has started in our lives, He is preparing us, shaping us and strengthening us to fight the good battle until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, for He has found us, saved us, restored us, transformed us, and called us to bless us and use us for His glory and honor according to His will”.

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