[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Episcopal Church Task Force on the Study of Marriage has released Dearly Beloved, resources for conversation and discussion.
The following is a report From the Task Force on the Study of Marriage.
We are pleased to offer to The Episcopal Church a resource for study and discussion about marriage. This topic is of historic and timeless significance for the church; practices of marriage are undergoing social change in our own day; and our church, acting through resolution A050 at General Convention in 2012, asked that we develop tools for discussion on this subject.
We enter this conversation – as we always do when discerning our way forward – by considering those three sources of Anglican authority on the subject: scripture, tradition (including theology, liturgy, canon law, and history), and reason (including our human experience).
We are 12 appointees: bishops, theologians, educators, and pastors. As the Task Force that was charged with providing resources for this reflection, we have deeply explored marriage through the lenses of scripture, tradition, and reason. We continue to study and we continue to consult as Resolution 2012-A050 directs.
While we will not complete this work until we make our Blue Book report to General Convention 2015, we are able, at this time, to share with the church a bit of our efforts to date. And more importantly, we are eager to invite the church into discussion at the local level.
Our hope is that many will take advantage of this moment in our history to be a part of discerning our way forward. In our day, what is God calling us to understand, to say, and perhaps to do in regards to marriage?
We can only answer this question if far more than 12 people get involved. Broad discussion will assist those deputies and bishops – representatives of us all – at General Convention 2015, when they receive our report and consider possible responses to our church’s call to deepen this conversation.
The resource may be used in a variety of settings, and it consists of three different formats, which may be used independently of each other: a 90-minute event (which can be divided into three 35-minute sessions); a variety of 45-minute forums; and a lengthy article for a study group. All three formats cover theology, history, scripture, current trends, and more, with guidelines for presentation and questions for group discussion.
The Tool-Kit “Dearly Beloved” here
The PowerPoint for the “Carry-On Conversations” resource here
Access the complete public website for General Convention’s A050 Task Force on Marriage here.
Task Force Facebook page here
The Episcopal Church’s Task Force on the Study of Marriage is enabled by Resolution A050 at the 2012 General Convention.
Resolution A050 is available in full here.