Equal Marriage – discussion service

Report on Equal Marriage Evening Discussion Service

Worship and Education Group

The latest in our series of successful evening discussion services was held on 31 October 2021.  Despite it being All Hallows Eve, we did not scare away our worship leader and speaker – Rev Dr Carla Grosch-Miller, even though she was not feeling very well.  Carla is a greatly respected theologian, educator and writer in the URC and beyond and we were very honoured to have her speak to us. 

The service was held on our Zoom channel and there were 27 people taking part.  The whole congregation is really encouraged to join these services which are hosted by the Worship and Education Group on hot topics which are aimed at developing our knowledge and understanding of God’s intention for us and the world. 

Carla led an act of worship with hymns and readings, and an address introducing this potentially controversial theme, yet encouraging us to listen to each other’s views without judgement and with Christian understanding.  She presented her deep research and lengthy experience on this topic and gave us insight into the four poles of our knowledge of God – Scripture; Tradition; Reason; Experience – identifying that many of us value some or all of those in differing degrees. 

The full transcript of the service (setting aside some of Carla’s asides!) is available to anyone who is interested.  Please email markgoodwillhodgson@gmail.com if you would like a copy. 

Worship was followed by a series of seven questions from a wide variety of people holding a wide variety of views, all of which helped the discussion move positively.  Carla’s responses have not been recorded, though the questions are.  She maintained her thoughtful and caring approach and answered all the questions with rigour and respect. 

At the following Worship and Education Group meeting, the service was logged as being very worthwhile and we noted our gratitude to Carla.  We acknowledged that a return to a Church Meeting discussion on our Church’s response to this issue was very much overdue.  The matter would be raised at the next Elder’s Council meeting, recognising that the Church already has a very full agenda at this time.