Equal Marriage and St John’s
St John’s, by the grace of the Spirit,
seeks to be an open community,
walking in the way of Jesus,
engaging with an ever-changing world and
living a faith that is timeless yet contemporary,
thoughtful and compassionate.
St John’s offers the sacramental rite of marriage to all couples, regardless of sexual orientation.
After a Spirit-filled process within our church, the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church voted to allows for clergy, with the consent of their vestries and their bishops, to opt in to the Scottish equal marriage legislation.
St John’s has, for many years, worked and prayed with other congregations for the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people and their relationships in the life of the church. Not surprisingly, therefore, our vestry voted unanimously to opt in.
We apologise for the deep pain afflicted by members of the church on LGBTQIA+ folk and their families. We deeply regret the homophobia originating from within the church. We are sorry for the sacrifice, as much as for the patience, often demanded from members of the LGBTQIA+ community. We asked for forgiveness for our resistance to proclaiming the love of God more courageously.
We also have failed in loving more generously and embracing more compassionately those who disagree with recent developments in church and state. For this we are sorry, too.
We acknowledge that there are different opinions in the church. We are not of one mind. Faithful Christians can be found on both sides of the equal marriage debate. Only when God will be all in all will we fully understand God’s plan for creation and we trust that we will all be surprised then.
We will continue to welcome those who cannot agree with these decisions, and affirm their place at St John’s. We look forward to blessing and celebrating the marriages of gay and lesbian couples as much as those of opposite-gendered couples and we will continue to pray for the guidance of God the Holy Spirit for our life in community and for all those walking through our doors.