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Rector's Message

Rev. Beth FrankThe Rev. Beth Frank is a recent graduate of Bexley Hall Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.  She was ordained a (transitional) deacon in June, 2013, and was ordained to the sacred order of priests on December 6, 2013 - St. Nicholas Day.  She has been appointed by the bishop to serve New Life as Priest-in-Charge.

The Supreme Court ruled last week that marriage is a fundamental right for all Americans. In response to that decision, Bishop Hollingsworth issued the message below. A few days later, General Convention passed two resolutions which make marriage available for all Episcopalians: A054 authorizing new marriage liturgies for trial use and A036 removing references to marriage as being between a man and a woman in the church's canons.

These developments are welcome news for New Life, a fully inclusive, affirming and welcoming faith community. The Vestry and I will be discussing the third point of Bishop Mark's message. We would like to receive your input and thoughts on how to faithfully implement Bishop Mark's guidelines and provide pastoral care to all.

Message Regarding the Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

The decision of the Supreme Court to reverse the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in the Obergefell case makes legal the marriage of same-sex couples in the State of Ohio and across the country. As we move into this new reality, I offer the following guidelines to clergy and congregational leadership:

1) Priests of the Diocese of Ohio are permitted to officiate at same-sex weddings having provided a couple with premarital counseling and in accordance with Canons I.18 and I.19 of the Constitutions and Canons of The Episcopal Church.

2) Liturgies authorized by the Book of Common Prayer and the General Convention of The Episcopal Church may be used in such services, with appropriate adaptation for gender specificity.

3) No priest is required to officiate at such services, nor is a congregation obligated to provide them. I encourage all clergy and vestries to work together in discerning how their congregation will move forward with this new possibility and in providing pastoral care to all.

I am profoundly grateful for the Supreme Court's decision, in its implications for all LGBT children of God, its direct response to my own beloved friends, colleagues, and family members, and through a personal connection I have to the Obergefell case. At the same time, I recognize that some in our church are equally disappointed by it. I hold those whose lives and love are affirmed by this action and those whose hearts are grieved by it in my prayers, and I am confident that you will do the same.

The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr.
Bishop of Ohio