Birthday of J the B

Midsummer Day, and the day that we keep as the Birthday of John the Baptist. John’s feast is moved to tomorrow because today is Sunday, but we are anticipating it with a special Evensong tonight.

We celebrate only three birthdays in the Calendar of the church. (Well, four if you include my own). Jesus, Mary and John the Baptist are remembered and their births celebrated. Other saints’ days mark deaths.

Our celebrations began with a suitably baptised barbeque. Surely the wettest BBQ that could possibly have been organised.

Whilst we are remembering the prophet, some Anglicans are waiting for a significant and possibly prophetic vote in Canada on whether the Anglican Church over there believes that the blessing of same-sex couples is contrary to the doctrine of the church. The position here that I work with is that I can bless a gay couple, but do not myself yet have the blessing of the wider church to do so. Such blessings have the same status as blessing diamond wedding couples renewing their vows, for example. There is no liturgy for it, the church has not debated it. Nothing is legally binding by such a service.

We have to respond, as so often, in a way that is pastorally appropriate to the situation.

UPDATE – Webcast available here. NB also how well it is being chaired and how people are being called in the debate.

FURTHER UPDATE – Members of the Anglican Church of Canada’s General Synod in Winnipeg agreed Sunday that the blessing of same-sex unions is not in conflict with the church’s core doctrine, in the sense of being credal. [We were praying for them in St Mary’s as these issues were being debated in Canada].