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Troy Conference UM Bishop Lobbies UM Clergy To Support Homosexualization Of Vermont Marriage Law


From: Holly Nye
To: z nye
Sent: Friday, January 21, 2000 4:05 PM
Subject: Statement from Bishop Morrison

TO THE PEOPLE OF TROY CONFERENCE:

IF YOU ARE AWARE OF NEIGHBORING CHURCHES/PASTORS WITHOUT E-MAIL CONNECTION, IT MAY BE HELPFUL FOR YOU TO PASS THIS ALONG TO THEM BEFORE SUNDAY MORNING.

What follows is a message from Bishop Susan M. Morrison concerning a statement signed by an interfaith group of Vermont clergy. The statement, which is also included below, was drafted on January 18 by a group of 14 religious leaders representing 7 faith traditions from across the state. Bishop Morrison and the Episcopal bishop added their names on January 19; the statement is still circulating and picking up signatures. It was written to be read at a state House Judiciary public hearing on January 25. The statement has, however, found its way into the press. Realizing that there may be questions, rumors, or even misinformation, Bishop Morrison has asked that the January 18 statement, and her reflections on it, be distributed to as many Troy Conference churches as possible, as quickly as possible.

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BISHOP MORRISON'S MESSAGE:

"We are learners, we are teachers,
we are pilgrims on the way.
We are seekers, we are givers,
we are vessels made of clay.
By our gentle, loving actions
we would show that Christ is light,
in the humble, listening spirit,
we would live to God's delight."

I was contacted regarding a statement in support of legislation being proposed to acknowledge long-term covenantal relationships between people of same gender.

The statement is consistent with my position throughout my ministry as being one of mercy and justice for all of God's children.

I would point out that several years ago, Troy Annual Conference sent a resolution to General Conference to change the Church's stand on union services.

I signed this statement not as in "in your face" argument toward those who disagree with my position, but as a supportive pastoral affirmation for those who feel marginalized.

Let us approach one another, remembering that we are one in Christ's redeeming love; that God's table is open to all, even in our disagreements; and that in all things, nothing separates us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Bishop Susan M. Morrison
January 21, 2000

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The interfaith group's statement:

January 18, 2000

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.
[Song of Songs 8:7]

As religious leaders from a wide range of faith traditions, we believe that marriage can only be strengthened by extending our understanding of marriage to include the faithful committed relationships of same gender couples. Since marriage involves taking on responsibilities as well as receiving privileges, we support same gender couples who choose to enter into such a commitment.

We believe that human beings are called to live in right relationship with each other and with God. Therefore legalizing marriage for same gender couples will build community, support the well-being of children and families, and promote the common good.

We agree that when two women or two men make a loving commitment to one another and wish to assume the responsibilities of marriage, they exemplify a moral good which cannot be represented by so-called registered partnership. We support the Vermont legislature's passage of a bill that legalizes same gender marriage.

Signed by
Rev. Marjorie Rebmann
Rev. V. Mitchell Hay
Rev. Martha Dyson
Rev. Catherine Cadieux
Rev. Brendan Hadash
Rev. Jane Dwinell
Rev. Christine Leslie
Rev. Carol Karlson
Rabbi Joshua Chasan
Rev. Johanna Nichols
Rev. Dr. Patricia Gruber Stoddard
Rev. Richard H. Hibbert
Rev. Richard Forcier
Rev. Thomas Mousin
[Susan Morrison added later]

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