A series of essays towards General Convention in 2003 and beyond
I urge adoption of C051 without amendment.
In August 2000, my partner (who stands next to me as a deputy of this house) and I had our then ten-year relationship blessed in the church and legalised by the state of Vermont in a civil union.
The service we wrote placed our covenant and blessing in the context of the Eucharist. In it, we asked for, and received, the support of our families and faith community for our commitment to a faithful and lifelong relationship.
Afterwards, several heterosexual couples tearfully told us that hearing our vows made them reconsider their own and strengthened their understanding of them.
An 86 year-old exited, brandishing her bulletin, saying, "I'm going to take this home and show it to my husband! He never promised these things to me!'
Faith communities such as the one in which my partner and I were blessed are already experiencing the power of witnessing and supporting gay and lesbian couples. These communities are strengthened, not weakened, by these services and the power [of receiving this public support for couples such as us, is immeasurable].
(the Rev'd) Lee Alison Crawford, C3
Saint Mary's Parish Northfield, Vermont
'A mouse can do little but a nest of mice can work great havoc.' George MacLeod (founder of the Iona Community)
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