by Lorenzo Cromwell
The Synod of the Diocese of Niagara has declared its full support of equal marriage. This expression of unity, gives acknowledgement to the fact that we are standing with our brothers and sisters of the LGBTQ2S+ community.
For me, this was one of the highlights of Synod 2019. After 32 years of ministering with a denomination that oppressed and devalued my worth, and that of all LBGTQ2S people, it is wonderful to be embraced and allowed to be our authentic self in a Christian church.
I am sure many (like myself) have watched with anticipation for greater inclusiveness within the Anglican Communion. We were devastated by the vote of a few at General Synod, when the amendment to the marriage canon did not pass. Then, like candles being lit across Canada, diocese after diocese have since voted to allow same sex marriages. Many who were or are not Anglican, are looking for an accepting Christian family and have been watching and waiting.
Following the vote at the Niagara Synod, I have come to know of many that have decided to make the Anglican church their spiritual home. There are couples making plans for weddings during this year and next, which will give local parishes an opportunity to demonstrate in a tangible way, the welcome and love and openness which the gospel provides.
May this be a year of Jubilee, a year of forgiveness and charity toward one another. No matter what your understanding and teaching may be, if we can stand together with mutual respect and presume good faith our future for all in 2020 and beyond will be illuminated by our love for one another.
This can be a time of reconciliation. Bishop Susan has encouraged us by saying “We in Niagara are in an exciting place…we are being buffeted by waves of the storm as also seeing the green shoots of new growth.”
Let us truly affirm our missional direction Called to Life – Compelled to Love.
The Reverend Deacon Lorenzo Cromwell is Deacon at St. James & St. Brendan (Port Colbourne). He also has a ministry to the LQBTQ2S community in the Diocese of Niagara.