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 St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

115 West Seventh Street – Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
(704) 332-7746 – www.st-peters.org

October 28, 2014 – Update to message on October 21, 2014 (below)

A Message from The Rector, The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher

 

From Diocesan House in Raleigh (October 23, 2014)
Bishop Curry Issues New Guidelines on Same-Sex Marriage

“Therefore, effective November 1, 2014, being the Feast Day of All Saints, clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina will be permitted to bless the marriages of same-sex couples in accordance with the provisions provided by the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church (2012) in the ‘provisional rite’ for ‘The Blessing of Same-Sex Unions’ (Resolution 2012-A049), and the November 1, 2014, revised ‘Liturgical and Pastoral Policies and Guidelines’ of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina to be distributed prior to that date.” New guidelines were issued today for the The Solemnization and Blessing of the Marriage of Same-Sex Couples. Answers to frequently asked questions are available online at http://www.dionc.org/Forms%20&%20Resources/faq—same-sex-marriage-blessings.html.

From The Rector

The clergy of St. Peter’s, according to the November 1, 2014 liturgical and pastoral guidelines from the Diocese and Parish policies being updated for all ceremonies, will officiate the liturgical blessing of same-sex couples upon consultation between the couple (member or non-member), Rector, and Wedding Coordinator (Mary Virginia Woodall). As is the case for all weddings at St. Peter’s, a couple shall not obtain a marriage license or announce a ceremony until after an initial meeting with the Rector and approval of a date for a member of the clergy of the Parish to officiate vows at St. Peter’s. A marriage license issued by the state of North Carolina may be signed by the officiating clergy on the premises of St. Peter’s Church. Any questions concerning marriage laws and weddings at St. Peter’s should be directed to the Rector.

 

A Message from The Rector
The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher

October 21, 2014

 

RE: Change in State Marriage Law and Policy for Same-Sex Ceremonies at St. Peter’s

In light of the recent change in the marriage law for our state and to share information about the policy for same-sex ceremonies at our parish church, I offer the following for your attention and any questions.

From Diocesan House in Raleigh (October 13, 2014)
Bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina Respond to Change in NC Marriage Law
On October 10, 2014, a federal court judge in Asheville, North Carolina, overturned Amendment One, a constitutional amendment that recognized marriage as only between one man and one woman. With the ruling, same-sex couples are now legally allowed to marry in the state of North Carolina. The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, issued a statement in response to the ruling. “In 2004 I made provision and provided guidelines for the blessing of same-sex unions by clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. This provision did not then include the blessing of a marriage, as that was not yet legally possible in North Carolina. Since that time, the Rt. Rev. Anne E. Hodges-Copple, Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, and I have, following our understanding of the teachings and the Spirit of Jesus of Nazareth, been on public record in support of marriage equality and in opposition to the limitations on the civil rights of same-sex couples and others imposed by Amendment One. The legal situation has now changed, and it is now possible for same-sex couples to be married in the state of North Carolina. Therefore, effective November 1, 2014, being the Feast Day of All Saints, clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina will be permitted to bless the marriages of same-sex couples in accordance with the provisions provided by the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church (2012) in the ‘provisional rite’ for ‘The Blessing of Same-Sex Unions’ (Resolution 2012-A049), and the November 1, 2014, revised ‘Liturgical and Pastoral Policies and Guidelines’ of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina to be distributed prior to that date.”

From The Rector
At the January 2014 meeting of the Vestry, I received unanimous support from the Vestry for the clergy of St. Peter’s to officiate the liturgical blessing of same-sex couples in keeping with liturgical and pastoral guidelines received from the Bishop of North Carolina. This support continues, especially as a few same-sex blessings now are scheduled, while other couples and I are in conversation about their ceremonies. Whether couples receive their marriage licenses in our state or elsewhere, the current provisional liturgy approved by the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church titled “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” is the only approved liturgy for the blessing of same-sex couples in and by clergy of the Diocese of North Carolina. Effective November 1, 2014, we will be able to bless marriages according to a revised ‘Liturgical and Pastoral Policies and Guidelines’ of the Diocese. I expect further clarification of these policies and guidelines in the near future and will update our parish family accordingly.