Local Episcopal Churches Bless Same-Sex Unions

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The Episcopal Church made a dramatic step at their general convention on Tuesday, approving a new rite of blessing over same-sex unions. They're now the largest U.S. denomination to do so.

But what does that mean for churches here in the Basin? Local rectors said they're not surprised by the ruling.

"I wasn't surprised by it," Father John Wedgwood-Greenhow of the Midland Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity said. "The church has been heading in that direction for 20 years now. It just seemed, logically, the next step the church was going to take."

Father Wedgwood-Greenhow said while this is not a marriage, it is a ceremony that coincides with his church's broad and welcoming beliefs.

He also said the church is progressing along with our culture and society.

The church's decision drew mixed reactions from you, the viewers.

Deborah Donaldson Moore wrote on our NewsWest 9 Facebook page that civil rights are civil rights regardless of age, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

Meanwhile, local Episcopalian, Christopher Morris, said his church is divided on the subject and he believes many Episcopalians here see this decision as an abomination.

Father Wedgwood-Greenhow welcomes his congregation's concerns.

"If people in my congregation are upset by that, I'd invite them to come and talk to me," he said. "Some may be upset by this, some welcome it. The gospel's all about welcoming people into the kingdom, not about excluding people from the kingdom."

Starting in December, same-sex couples can ask at these churches for the blessing, which will have to be approved by the bishop of the Diocese of Northwest Texas.

Meanwhile, Father Wedgwood-Greenhow urges people not to be frightened.