A Word about ministry following the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage
Much has been and will continue to be said among faithful Disciples regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality on Friday, June 26. For some, it is a cause for joy and relief. Others consider it a blow to their understanding of biblical faith. Given the church we are, both opinions are going to continue to live side by side for a while.
Regardless of one’s reaction, there seems to be some confusion on what the ruling means for clergy. The Supreme Court’s decision relates to the legal contract of marriage, which differs from a religious understanding of marriage, and should be read alongside the First Amendment. The ruling did not change the religious freedom guaranteed under that Amendment. Clergy will continue to have the right – as they always have – to perform marriages according to their own good consciences. Counties will issue marriage licenses to couples regardless of gender; ministers will decide which ceremonies to perform.
Through it all, we continue to lift prayers of gratitude to God, who calls us to love each other and to be a community of faith that seeks to welcome all to the Table of God’s Grace.
Sharon E. Watkins, General Minister and President
Ronald Degges, DHM President
Paxton Jones, GCOM Chair