I did not draft the following letter, but I support what it says, and I am honoured to been asked to append my name to it.
March 30, 2016
To Members of the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada
On February 29, 2016 you released a statement indicating that it was unlikely there would be the required 2/3 approval in the House of Bishops to pass the proposed change to the Marriage Canon at the upcoming General Synod.
We thought you should be aware that, in response to your statement, a Facebook Group has been formed called Advocates for Changing the Marriage Canon. To date there are over 500 members of our church, clergy and lay, from Newfoundland to British Columbia, who have joined this group and a very vigorous conversation is occurring on social media.
There has been much anger expressed. People question the theological and doctrinal reasons that are offered to prohibit full inclusion of LGBTQ persons accessing the full sacramental rites of the church. Some are concerned about the exercise of episcopal authority. We understand that there are those whose conscience may well exclude them from participating in the solemnization of matrimony between Christians of the same gender, but there is confusion as to why this must prevent those are called to offer sacramental marriage to same gender couples from moving forward.
Members of the group want General Synod 2016 to pass the proposed change to the Canon so as to allow this conversation to continue for the next 3 years in dioceses across the country. We appreciate the work represented by the excellent report This Holy Estate. We are moved by the theme of the upcoming General Synod You are My Witnesses—and want the Bishops of our church to know that we have heard—and will not ignore—a call from God to witness to a church that can celebrate and solemnize the marriages of all duly qualified Canadians.
Yours in Christ,
The Reverend Bruce Bryant-Scott, Diocese of British Columbia
The Very Reverend Peter Elliott, Diocese of New Westminster
Ms. Marion Jenkins, Diocese of Brandon
The Reverend Canon Mark Kinghan, Diocese of Toronto
The Reverend Dawn Leger, Diocese of Toronto
The Reverend Jon Martin, Diocese of Ottawa
The Reverend Brian Pearson, Diocese of Calgary
The Venerable Geoff Woodcroft, Diocese of Rupert’s Land
Administrators of the “Advocates for Changing the Marriage Canon” Facebook group
On behalf of the 500 members of the “Advocates for Changing the Marriage Canon” Facebook group