Letters are subject to editing.
‘One church, two services’ for marriage?
The change in the marriage canon, which will be-come church law if passed again in Vancouver next year, changes the heterosexual union of marriage to a gender-neutral union, but there is not instruction to change the 400-year-old marriage ceremony.
It seems to me for the change in the marriage canon to be legal and complete, an amendment must be added, such as, “and an alternate service be composed and added to the prayer book, to accom-modate this change in eligibility.”
The amended resolution would allow a choice between the traditional service, which we have had for four centuries, and a service of recognizing the legal, civil, secular equality of same-sex unions.
When Jesus was asked if it were lawful to render tribute to Caesar, he said, “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to God that which is God’s.” Let us do the same and exit New Westminster next July united. One church, two services, not two churches, each with its own marriage ceremony. With more time and less emotion, our church will solve the problem.
Church needs to lead on assisted dying
The recent articles on assisted death have raised important questions (“Assisted dying: One Anglican family’s story”; “Study guide encourages Anglicans to grapple with realities of physician-assisted dying law in Canada,” pp. 6 and 1, June 2018).
I have always placed the emphasis in my ministry on leading with love and empathy rather than regulations and law. The problem that assisted dying presents is that our society is sending contradictory messages. If suicide is wrong, how can it sometimes be acceptable? As followers of Christ, our lives are not our own: we belong to Christ. Thou shalt not kill—we need to value life and protect life as a precious gift of God. Is the way of love to stand by while people take their life, or to encourage them to choose life and to support them until natural death?
Our church has a long history of seeking to serve and to speak for the vulnerable. The church now must speak for the suffering, the dying and their families. We need to lead the conversation about how to provide them with the best medical care and social and financial support, rather than the assisted suicide that our wider society is offering.
Canon Stewart Murray