Task force on the Study of Marriage appointed

Posted Feb 14, 2013

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings have announced the 12 members of the church’s new Task Force on the Study of Marriage.

Approved at the 77th General Convention in July 2012, Resolution A050 called for the creation of a task force of “theologians, liturgists, pastors, and educators to identify and explore biblical, theological, historical, liturgical, and canonical dimensions of marriage.”

The group is expected to consult broadly across the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, develop tools for theological reflection and discussion, and make a report to the 78th General Convention in 2015.

“The theology of marriage has evolved over time, with biblical examples including polygamy, concubinage, and other forms of relationship no longer sanctioned in The Episcopal Church,” noted Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori. “We no longer expect that one partner promise to obey the other, that parents give away their children to be married, or that childbearing is the chief purpose of marriage. This task force is charged not only to take the pulse of our current theological understanding of the meaning of marriage, but to assist the faithful in conversation and discernment about marriage, in particular what the Church might hold up as “holy example” of the love between Christ and his Church.”

“The Episcopal Church’s theology and practice of marriage has changed significantly over the centuries, and we need to understand more clearly what we as a church mean when we use that word,” President Jennings said. “I am grateful to the twelve leaders who have offered their time and expertise to help the church have a wide-ranging discussion about marriage and respond to the issues raised by the marriage debate in civil society.”

The members of the Task Force on the Study of Marriage are:

  • The Rev. Brian C. Taylor, chair, Diocese of the Rio Grande
  • Carolyn M. Chilton, Diocese of Virginia
  • The Rt. Rev. Thomas C. Ely, Diocese of Vermont
  • Joan Geiszler-Ludlum, Diocese of East Carolina
  • The Rev. Gail Greenwell, Diocese of Kansas
  • The Rev. Tobias S. Haller, Diocese of New York
  • The Rev. Canon W. (Will) H. Mebane, Jr., Diocese of Ohio
  • The Rev. J. David Knight, Diocese of Mississippi
  • The Rev. Dr. Cameron E. Partridge, Diocese of Massachusetts
  • The Rev. Susan Russell, Diocese of Los Angeles
  • The Very Rev. Dr. Sylvia A. Sweeney, Diocese of Los Angeles
  • The Rt. Rev. W. Andrew Waldo, Diocese of Upper South Carolina