On May 5, 2019, the vestry of the Church of the Holy Trinity voted unanimously to approve a formal Marriage Policy, in keeping with the canons of the Episcopal Church regarding marriage and the policy of our local diocese that such policies be adopted through a prayerful process of consensus building. That policy outlines the conditions under which any couple may be married in our parish church. Those conditions include important items such as mutual consent, legal eligibility and timely notice so as to allow time for premarital counseling. They do not include limitations regarding the genders or orientations of those seeking the sacrament of marriage.
In the event, little consensus-building was necessary, because the process was simply making explicit what has long been the will of the congregation. Lacking a particular occasion for enacting a policy, we had been attending to other issues in our parish life. When a diocesan survey raised the question of our standing on marriage equality, however, it was time to put the matter to a vote. We circulated a draft policy among vestry members, and held our meeting as a part of coffee hour so that other members of our worshipping community might voice their opinions as well. As one of those present remarked, “I have to ask myself what Jesus would do, and I think He would have chosen to honor the love of two people for each other.”