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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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I realize that there are presently clergy and congregations who have addressed these questions of blessing, community, society and Scripture in ways that could be deemed thorough and conclusive. Furthermore, you may remember that I have always affirmed that committed, monogamous same-gender relationships can indeed be faithful in the Christian life. Therefore, I plan also to begin working immediately with those congregations that want to establish the parameters for the “generous pastoral response” that the 2009 General Convention called for with respect to same-gender couples in Episcopal churches. Personally, it is my hope that the 2012 General Convention will authorize the formal blessing of same-gender unions for those clergy in places that want to celebrate them. Until then, we might not be able to do all that we would want to do but, in my judgment, it is right to do something and it is time to do what we can....
We all know that the litigation has been expensive, but I will remind you that these costs are being covered by a line of credit secured by unconsecrated, non-strategic real estate. No pledge dollars given to the diocese’s annual budget are being used to fund this legal battle. And this reminds me . . .
I remain shocked and grievously troubled by the lack of adequate funding for our diocese. Make no mistake: this is not about sexuality or any other controversy. Virginia has been dead last in the Episcopal Church in its percentage funding for the diocesan budget for decades. Our congregations’ average giving to the Diocese is a less-than-modest 6.5 percent of plate-and-pledge, and only 5.4 percent of all unrestricted operating revenues. Only 18 of our 183 congregations give at least 10 percent of their revenues to the Diocese.
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