For Immediate Release
TORONTO-June 17, 2007 – On the eve of a national meeting of the Anglican Church of Canada (General Synod) in which the blessing of same-sex unions is to be debated, the Church of the Holy Trinity, an Anglican Church in downtown Toronto, pledges to bless same-sex unions regardless of the outcome.
In a special meeting of the congregation, members declared this issue to be a matter of love, justice and ultimately conscience. “Providing an equal pastoral response to same-sex couples who present themselves for blessing or marriage as to couples of the opposite sex is a matter of conscience and integrity for the clergy and people of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto”, the statement says.
In taking this step, the congregation affirmed their intention of remaining in the Anglican Church of Canada and the worldwide Anglican communion. “We are sincerely hoping that General Synod will recognize the sanctity and equality of same-sex relationships. But if they do not, we must do what we are called in conscience to do. It is not our intention to leave, but to stay in our Church and have our act of conscience respected”, says Jim Love, Warden at Holy Trinity.
The Church of the Holy Trinity has long been a leader on social justice issues, including solidarity with gay and lesbian people. In
addition to this public statement, the church has sent an open letter to the Canadian House of Bishops, and a message to all General Synod delegates asking them to move forward in justice. “We simply can’t wait any longer, and continue to call ourselves a people serving a God of justice and love”, says The Reverend Sara Boyles, Incumbent at the Church of the Holy Trinity.
General Synod 2007 of the Anglican Church of Canada begins June 19th in Winnipeg .
pdf version of release
Whereas God finds a resting place in love genuinely expressed between two people;
Whereas Jesus’ ministry embraced an inclusive solidarity with those who were alienated and excluded by the dominant culture of his day;
Whereas the Gospel value of loving one’s neighbour involves acting with, not simply standing beside, those seeking justice;
Whereas providing an equal pastoral response to same-sex couples who present themselves for blessing or marriage as to couples of the opposite sex is a matter of conscience and integrity for the clergy and people of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto;
Whereas in 1976, through the conscience clause passed by General Synod regarding the ordination of women (permitting persons to continue to act out of their conscience in ways no longer consistent with the General Synod), the Anglican Church of Canada recognized “the tolerability of living with an anomaly”;
Whereas General Synod 2007 is poised to make a decision as to the acceptability of the blessing of same-sex unions in the Anglican Church of Canada;
Be it resolved that the Church of the Holy Trinity will, with the intention of remaining in the Anglican Church of Canada and the communion, continue to exercise its conscience and bless same-sex unions and marry same-sex couples.