In 2013, the Florida-Bahamas Synod became a Reconciling in Christ Synod. Just last week, Florida became the latest state where same-gender marriage is legal. Yet those of us who follow ELCA politics know that we do not have a definitive policy on same-gender issues. As a church, we respect the "conscience-bound beliefs" of us all. Thus we have agreed to disagree. It's a policy that I hated at first, but have come to respect.
Now churches all across my state will be discussing what to do when a same-sex couple wants to have a wedding in the church. Or will we?
I imagine that many have already made up their minds. Many have already put into practice what the official policy will be, even before it will be official. I know that Florida is very diverse, so I would be surprised if we didn't have a wide spectrum of official policies.
I know that many churches will stay silent on this issue--why upset the mostly older congregation when the question isn't likely to come up?
Here's what I yearn to see: same-sex couples treated the same as mixed-gender couples. My church does a reaffirmation of wedding vows, which is like a miniature wedding, right there in the middle of the worship service.
When a same-sex couple stands before us all to reaffirm their wedding vows, I will see that as a sign that we have accomplished our mission of being a welcoming church. It's one thing to have same-sex couples in our midst, to have them feel welcome enough on their first visit that they come back. It's another to truly celebrate their commitment.
feeling the feelings…
6 months ago