Episcopal churches in West Texas will soon be looking to their Lubbock-based Bishop for a decision on possibly going forward with same sex unions.
This comes after the Episcopal Church's general convention, meeting in Indianapolis, passed a resolution this week authorizing the blessing of same sex unions.
"To be clear, this rite is not understood to be marriage," says J. Scott Mayer, Bishop for the Diocese of Northwest Texas. Instead of gay marriage, Mayer says it is "a generous pastoral response to those living in a lifelong monogamous relationship."
Instead of gay marriage, it has been called same-sex "blessing."
But the resolution does not cover all churches. Instead, individual bishops will be authorized to permit the rite in their respective dioceses, considering factors such as the legality of same-sex marriage in their respective states.
"I support this resolution," Bishop Mayer says in a written statement. "Having said that, permission for clergy to use this provisional rite in the Diocese of Northwest Texas will not be granted until we have completed a lengthy period of prayerful discernment."
Mayer also says, "Undoubtedly, the action of this General Convention pleases some and disappoints others."
An assistant pastor at Abilene's Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest was quoted on Wednesday saying the rite was not likely to be adopted soon in the Northwest Texas Diocese.
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