Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Ms. Conroy gets 1.5 seconds of her 15 minutes of fame
For those of you who may not know, Ms. Conroy has been my life partner for the past 30+ years. Together with the Rev'd Phillip Wilson, rector of Redeemer, Morristown, she is co-chair of the Diocesan Task Force on Civil Unions.
The Living Church
Newark Diocese Addresses Executive Council, Moves Forward on Same-Sex Blessings
The Executive Council agenda for the June 11-14 meeting in Parsippany, N.J., includes a response to the primates’ pastoral scheme. But members of a task force in the Diocese of Newark, where the council is meeting, are firm that a moratorium on same-sex blessings--something also proposed in the primates’ Feb. 19 communiqué--is not a consideration for them.
The state of New Jersey recently legalized civil unions for same-gender couples and a diocesan task force is preparing recommended liturgies for consideration later this year at the diocese's annual convention. At last year’s annual convention, deputies called for the creation of the task force. The Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith, who was consecrated Bishop of Newark on Jan. 27, previously made appointments to the task force and released guidelines for any liturgical services conducted in the diocese during the interim period.
Members of the diocesan deputation to General Convention made a presentation to council members during a private dinner for council and staff on June 12. Members of the diocesan task force on civil unions, consisting of five clergy, five lay members and Bishop Beckwith, have invited clergy to share questions and concerns. A June 20 meeting at St. Peter’s, Essex Fells, will be the fourth time the task force will have met.
“Bishop Beckwith has already made up his mind that civil unions would be performed,” said task force member Barbara Conroy in an interview with The Living Church. “He just wanted more input as to how the policy would be implemented.
“The diocese is of course very concerned about what happens in the Church as a whole, but it functions according to the will of convention,” Ms. Conroy said. “I think Bishop Beckwith is being very responsible. This is not a unilateral decision by him.”
In its presentation following dinner with council members Episcopal News Service reported that the diocese is proud to be one of the most diverse in The Episcopal Church.