Though it might be better to keep one's eyes closed, there are so many sad, awful, and bizarre things going on. The story of the Canadian oil train exploding after running away seems to be an example of everything that could possibly go wrong going wrong with tragic results. Close to hand as a story of one wrong action leading to multiplying tragedy is the plane crashing at San Francisco, seemingly at the hands of a trainee pilot. (I am quietly disposing of my lifelong theory that it is better to sit at the back of a plane). Definitely in the bizarre category is politics in New Zealand. Recently we had the spectacle of a person wanted for extradition in the USA lecturing our Prime Minister. Now we have rumours that our Opposition Leader [Labour Party] is about to be toppled in a coup. Perhaps some kind of socialist bacteria jumped across the Tasman!
Stuff is happening in Anglicanland. The C of E General Synod is slowly making its way towards having women bishops. In Canada they are making their way towards changing their marriage canon to include same sex marriage. The motion they have just passed is a prelude to the change envisaged when their GS next meets.
My own efforts in this area are not attuned to such development. This is a motion I am proposing for our Synod in September:
"That this Synod:
( (1) Notes a resolution from General Synod 2012, “THAT this General Synod/ te Hinota Whanui resolves:
That given the long‐held mission of our Church to challenge and support couples publicly to commit themselves to each other,
Asks Episcopal Units to hold conversations in our Church and with the wider community about the nature of marriage,
And to explore how the Church might theologically and liturgically respond to gay and lesbian Anglican couples who request this rite,
Further, it asks General Synod Standing Committee to support and resource the Episcopal Units in this endeavour;
And for Episcopal Units to demonstrate progress to the General Synod Standing Committee and where appropriate, to Ma Whea? Mei Fe Ki Fe? Where to? Commission, in advance of the next General Synod/te Hīnota Whānui in 2014.”
(2) Notes the existence and work of the Ma Whea Commission, as well as other work of a theological and doctrinal nature instituted by General Synod Standing Committee, with a view to the deliberations of these bodies informing further discussion of likely motions (at least two of which lie on the table from General Synod 2012) concerning ordination of partnered gay and lesbian persons, marriage, same sex marriage and liturgies for relationships at General Synod 2014;
(3) Requests the Bishop and the diocesan representatives to General Synod 2014 to prayerfully discern the mind of this Diocese on these and any related matters which come before General Synod 2014.
(4) Affirms the doctrine of marriage of this church, as explained in Clause 1.3 of Title G Canon III Of Marriage.
Appendix to Motion: Clause 1.3 of Title G Canon III reads as follows:
“The minister shall provide education to the parties seeking marriage on the Christian understanding of marriage, or see that such education is provided by some other competent person, in accordance with any Guidelines that General Synod may from time to time issue.
In particular the minister shall ascertain that the parties understand that Christian marriage is a physical and spiritual union of a man and a woman, entered into in the community of faith, by mutual consent of heart, mind and will, and with the intent that it be lifelong.
The Church's teaching on Christian marriage is enshrined in the Formularies of the Church and is expressed in all the marriage services in the Formularies and in the introduction for the congregation to Christian marriage in A New Zealand Prayer Book - He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa, (See Schedule II of this Canon).”Explanation: ‘Formularies’ here means the Book of Common Prayer and A New Zealand Prayer Book – He Karakia o Aotearoa. Schedule II of the Canon collects together teaching on marriage enshrined in our prayer books."
POSTSCRIPT For a good argument for society investing in marriage, read here.