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(5,829 posts)
Tue Jun 30, 2015, 05:51 PM Jun 2015

These Religious Leaders Are Celebrating Marriage Equality | ThinkProgress


. ...

Yet even as Huckabee and others invoked God in their opposition to the court’s decision, the move to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide was actually lauded by a multitude spiritual leaders and religious communities across the country. In fact, despite conservative claims to the contrary, people of faith are deeply supportive of LGBT rights in the United States, as recent polls show majorities of nearly every major American Christian group now back marriage equality.

Several Christian organizations, for example, issued statements celebrating the change, including the Presbyterian Church (USA), which voted earlier this year to endorse marriage equality as a denomination.

. ...

Over in Portland, Oregon, pastors and delegates attending the annual conference of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) — which has a long history of supporting LGBT rights — responded to the news with prayerful glee. Rev. Nathan Ryan, a minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, told ThinkProgress that he heard people shouting as information about the case began to trickle in, with many LGBT Unitarian Universalists excitedly texting friends during worship soon thereafter.

. ...

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, Ohio, the annual assembly of the United Church of Christ (UCC) reportedly burst into cheers upon hearing the news, with many rushing down the block to join a rally and pray to “thank God for bestowing equality on all couples, and for an end for other discrimination and violence against God’s children.” UCC pastors then erected a tent to recruit ministers to wed same-sex couples, and many began blessing unions in front of city hall.

The news triggered a similar response in Salt Lake City, Utah, where members of the Episcopal Church — which, like the UCC, ordains openly LGBT people and technically already allows many priests to officiate same-sex marriages — were debating whether or not to approve a full, formal embrace of marriage equality. According to the Episcopal News Service, people began applauding in various committee meetings throughout the convention center as they learned of the decision, and several longtime supporters of LGBT rights within the church expressed joy at the new law.


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(135,425 posts)
2. The Episcopalians aren't stupid--it's a moneymaker for them.
Fri Jul 3, 2015, 03:22 PM
Jul 2015

They've seen the wave of the future, grabbed their surfboard, and hopped aboard.

Liturgical marriages are not cheap these days, and many eschew them for that reason--pure costs-- but those who want one will find an Episcopalian church right up their alley.

Someone spending some money on a nice one can not only help to fill the church coffers to ensure the 'building and repair fund' always has enough scratch in it, but it also cuts down on altar decoration costs, as most couples will just leave the flowers behind!

Add to that, if a couple is welcome to be married in their church, odds are good the couple will come back on Sundays, and down the years, bring the kids. They'll be donating to the establishment, too. It's a win-win.

The Catholics have some evolving to do on this score, but I suspect that this new Pope, despite his odd admonitions mixed up with his 'Who am I to judge?' rhetoric, is playing a 'Transition Man' role. He's getting the next generation of his church ready for change, by changing the focus of the church back away from doctrinal matters over, once again, to social justice issues. Quite a few old farts have to die, and quite a few haters need to get correct, too. The Catholic church used to be the church of the Democrats, with nuns helping poor people all over hell....then it became -- almost overnight -- the party of hateful Republicans, screaming all sorts of Thou Shalt Nots and sending their kids to Catholic colleges and universitites.

The day we see a woman pope will be monumental, I don't know if I'll live to see it but it would be cool to see a lady in the Popemobile.

Then, perhaps, Islam can start to evolve...! Female imams! Now that would freak a lot of the old school farts out. Women helping to secure the Holy Places--we're talking earth shattering change. I'll bet it will happen one day, I won't live to see it, but I'll bet it will happen in time.


(11,573 posts)
3. Episcopal churches do not marry "church shoppers,"
Fri Jul 3, 2015, 08:50 PM
Jul 2015

nor do they charge a fee for a wedding. Sunday flowers are generally provided by the membership "in memory of X" or "thanksgiving for Y."


(135,425 posts)
4. Yes, they do. I will provide you with proof because it would be rude not
Fri Jul 3, 2015, 09:34 PM
Jul 2015

to so do!


May we get married at St. Stephen’s even if we’re not members?

Yes, you can. One member of the couple needs to be a baptized Christian, but neither needs to be an Episcopalian.

How early do we have to reserve the church?

We don’t have a set policy on this, but as Cohasset is an idyllic spot to get married, you may want to lock in a date on the early side. A year before your proposed date is a good rule of thumb.

How do we reserve our date?

Call the church office during business hours (M-F, 9-3:30). We’ll check the schedule, then pencil you in. Our number is (781) 383-1083. After reserving your date, please send your paperwork to our office during the next 10 business days. The paperwork can be found at the back of the wedding booklet, which you can download below.

Is pre-marital counseling mandatory?

Yes, it is. Our clergy will schedule three to five counseling sessions with you in the months leading up to your wedding date. If you live far away, you can arrange (with our approval) to have a priest closer to where you live lead your sessions.

How many people does your church hold?

St. Stephen’s comfortably holds 200 people.

How much does it cost to get married at St. Stephen’s?

The current fee structure is part of the wedding booklet, which you can download below.

From the downloaded booklet:

Use of the church $2,000 (for non members -- No fee for members)
Flowers $150 $150
Organist $300 $250
(check made out to Dr. John Whiteside)
Clergy with pre-marital counseling* $350 Donation
Clergy without pre-marital counseling* $150 Donation
Sexton $100 $100
(check made out to William Kannaly)
Carillon (optional) $250 $250)
* checks made out to the Rev. Margot Critchfield

Here's another Episcopal Church where you do not have to be a member, but the price is doubled if you aren't: http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/694037/10119750/1435266584457/Wedding+Guidelines.pdf?token=3ujmL5RsShHw1yWMZe9dLgFXsyA%3D

In fact, most Episcopal church sites I have looked at have these rules:
As part of the Episcopal Church, St. Matthew's is part of a national Church and therefore bound by National Church Laws (canons). Regarding Weddings, these are:
At least one of the couple must be a baptized Christian and there must be at least two witnesses at the ceremony. (In theory, you can have a small wedding, with only 5 people present. This rarely happens.)
There must be at least 30 days notice given to the Church prior to the wedding.
There must be pre-marital counseling and instruction.

You don't have to be a church MEMBER, but you pay more if you are not. Some churches will provide the facility for free if you are a member, and for others, the price is half off or more.

But it looks like they DO "rent out" the church, so long as one of the members is a Christian of some flavor.

I've looked at eight or nine websites so far, and I've yet to find an Episcopal church that turns a couple with one Christian in it away. Sounds like a pretty inclusive bunch, if you ask me.....and smart, too. They have nice facilities too; may as well make some money off of 'em.


(135,425 posts)
6. I think it has been this way for quite a while. I attended a wedding of
Fri Jul 3, 2015, 09:48 PM
Jul 2015

a Roman Catholic and some other person of an undetermined religious provenance at a very beautiful Episcopal church at least a decade ago--it was around the time that the RC chuch was getting all "rules and regs" about stuff, and they, apparently, weren't happy with the specifics of the union, so the bride hauled the whole endeavor over to the Episcopal venue, which was actually a prettier church with a more positive service, better music and more parking.

Neither were Episcopalian, and the officiant didn't care--he was a very agreeable fellow, too; great conversationalist!


(135,425 posts)
8. Looks like your parish is the exception rather than the rule.
Fri Jul 3, 2015, 11:09 PM
Jul 2015

I went a - hunting, and every link I clicked on had that bit I clipped upthread, or similar verbiage. They want one Christian with a baptismal certificate in the union, but otherwise, they're flexible. If you're not a member of the home team, of course, you're opening your wallet. That's only fair, I should think.

The nicer churches will charge a sweet bundle for using the venue, but people who want a pretty church and who are rich will shell out the dough. Some of those churches are very beautiful, especially the seaside ones.

I think this policy is a) Very nice for people of "lapsed" faith, b) Very sensible, and c) Very inclusive of the Episcopalians, actually. They welcome people, they recognize that their churches are beautiful buildings and religious venues that can "handle" people of different views, without the church itself having a fit and feeling aggrieved.

I tip my hat to them, and think that if they're that cool, they might draw people to join them just because they're so nice to people who need/want a nice marriage experience and have no home church at present.


(135,425 posts)
10. If they mandate that, it could cut down on the numbers, but I don't think
Fri Jul 3, 2015, 11:26 PM
Jul 2015

all of them ask for that much of a commitment. Three hours on the low end, to ten on the high end, and you're good!


Premarital Counseling at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church normally consists of three to five meetings with the Officiant or another member of the clergy. The sessions normally last one to two hours each. All couples must, in consultation with the counselor, draft written statements to the bishop explaining what the service means and how marriage will change their lives.

During the first session, the Counselor (normally the Officiant) gathers basic information from the Couple about the anticipated Marriage and reviews with the Couple the process of preparing for Marriage. The Counselor administers a standardized Inventory developed by Life Innovations, Inc. The Inventory takes about 30 minutes to complete, and a follow-up session is scheduled.

Subsequent sessions focus on the results of the Inventory. The Inventory data is confidential. The Inventory is not a test to determine suitability for Marriage, but rather is a diagnostic tool designed to help the Counselor focus objectively on critical relationship issues. Later sessions focus on ceremonial planning.

Couples are required to sign a Declaration of Intention at least 30 days prior to the Marriage as part of the Premarital Counseling process.

Premarital Counseling can be conducted by a trained counselor outside St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church at the discretion of the Officiant. Normally, such counseling is conducted by an Episcopal priest.....


(135,425 posts)
12. I don't. I think it's a welcoming gesture.
Fri Jul 3, 2015, 11:50 PM
Jul 2015

You rent it out to day trippers, and maybe they'll like the place and want to hang around.

It's just a building, at the end of the day. I have a neighbor who lives in an old church. It's a nice building.

The sense of community and warmth doesn't come from the brick and mortar, it comes from the assembled people.

And, nowadays, religious institutions are struggling to stay afloat. If day trippers rent out the church and throw down a couple of grand to have their event, then that's money that can be used to fix the roof, repoint the masonry, repair the glass, paint and polish, that doesn't have to come out of other donations that might be used to help the needy.

I think it is a win-win!


(135,425 posts)
14. I think it depends on the couple. Are we talking two nineteen year olds, or
Sat Jul 4, 2015, 12:06 AM
Jul 2015

two sixty five year olds who have been living together for thirty years, but weren't able to marry until the Supreme Court ruled?

The latter couple needs a half hour, at most--if anything. There comes a point when adults know their own minds!



(71,265 posts)
15. In my parish every couple goes through it but you make a good point.
Sat Jul 4, 2015, 12:10 AM
Jul 2015

There are instances that they don't need the council thing.


(11,573 posts)
16. In my diocese,
Sat Jul 4, 2015, 12:15 AM
Jul 2015

at least one of the couple had to be Episcopalian.

The Anglican/ Episcopal Church considers itself one of three Catholic Churches, the other two being the Roman Catholic and Orthodox. It's quite possible that the bride whose wedding you attended was allowed to marry in an Episcopal Church where a Baptist might not have been, precisely because RCC sacraments are fully recognized by Piskies.


(135,425 posts)
17. The rules say "baptized" Christian. It looks like those are national rules, so
Sat Jul 4, 2015, 12:17 AM
Jul 2015

churches that subscribe to the national rules are down with that.

I think it's a wonderful gesture. It will probably earn them more members over the long haul.

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