A TV reporter recently interviewed me about the General Convention's approval of a liturgy for the blessing of a life-long, same-gender covenant. It is a covenant, a sacred agreement and relationship, and not Christian marriage.
A clergy colleague characterized my position as "fence-sitting." I suppose it was.
But when it comes to compassion, I am not sitting on any fence. I want to be on the side of the compassionate Christ.
A couple of Sundays ago, I preached about the compassion of Jesus and how his compassion, in my view, related directly to the issue of life-long, same-gender covenants.
I said in my sermon that I saw the Episcopal Church responding to reality--that some people are oriented toward people of the same gender--and that this covenant, while not the marriage rite that many people in the church seek, is a compassionate response of the church to the needs of others.
I also said I thought that if Christians err, and that includes the church as an institution, we should always err on the side of compassion. I see Jesus doing that all the time in the gospels, always putting the needs of people before the insitution and the law.
I am proud to be a member of a church that seeks to show Christ's compassion to all people. Regardless. Any other church would be too small for me and a lot of other people.
You can find my sermon, both in manuscript and audio forms, at the church web site, http://www.christepiscopalchurch.com/.