I am heartbroken. The vast majority of the Anglican Church of Canada (75%) has voted in favour of the Marriage Canon amendment to allow equal Marriage, yet it has fallen. The House of Bishops has prevented this important move forward in the life of our Church. To be blunt, certain Bishops have manipulated the Synodical process and disregarded the overwhelming voice of the Church in order to serve their own agenda. As one Bishop said to me, it’s time to name what happened and to express the pain and anger that this has created.
To our LGBTQ2SIA+ members at St John's and the wider community, I am sorry. I am sorry that once again the message from the church is that you are unworthy of being fully welcomed, affirmed, and equal. This is not true, you are loved , wonderful, fabulous, and who you are is exactly who God made you to be. Your part in our community is invaluable, your gifts enable us to function and flourish, I am so grateful for all you do and all you are. Personally, I wouldn’t be who I am, or be able to do what I do without your support, love, and wisdom – even more, you have helped me to become who I am – you have expanded my heart, mind, and spirit through what you have graciously shared with me.
So, what are we to do? Synod is not over yet, and a number of us, including our Bishop, Logan, are seeking alternatives before this session ends. The Bishop will not issue a formal statement until that process is finished.
Meanwhile, please continue to ensure St John’s is a safe and open space. Care for one another, reach out to those who are hurt, be the loving community that you are.
To those of us who are allies as well as to the queer community I would say this is by no means over; not just at Synod but in the wider life of the church we will continue to advocate, to name and challenge prejudice, bigotry, and injustice. We will continue to love, affirm, and welcome. With the support of our Bishop we will continue to offer marriage to all. We will be bold in our stand, we will not tire in doing what is right.
Please continue to pray, and to prepare for the next part of our journey together. Thank you for being the community and the people you are, it is a privilege to serve you, and minister with you.
As always, with thanks for our partnership in the Gospel
Yours in faith, hope, and love,
The Ven Alastair McCollum
Archdeacon, Diocese of Islands and Inlets
Incumbent, The Anglican Church of St John the Divine