Same-Gender Marriage Announcement

Early last year, St. John’s formed the Same-Gender Marriage Consultation, a committee that led our church in a discernment process to decide if St. John’s will offer marriage for same-gender couples.

In December 2019, the Consultation completed its mission of study and prayer and shared its reports and individual recommendations with the Vestry for review and consideration. Last night, based on those recommendations, our Vestry decided by majority vote that St. John’s will now be offering same-gender marriage to parish members.

Special thanks to our Consultation members for listening so carefully to parishioners this past year and for keeping open hearts and open minds. A list of frequently asked questions and the Consultation’s full report to the Vestry are below.



Q: Will St. John’s offer same-gender marriage?
A: By majority vote, the St. John’s Vestry decided that St. John’s Episcopal Church will now offer marriage for same-gender couples. This vote was held, as scheduled, at a special meeting of the St. John’s Vestry on January 28, 2020. The decision has been shared with St. John’s parishioners.

Q: How did St. John’s arrive at this decision?
A: This decision is based on the recommendations of St. John’s Same-Gender Marriage Consultation, a diverse committee of nine faithful St. John’s parishioners, who led the church in a discernment process to decide if St. John’s would offer same-gender marriage.

Q: What was the Same-Gender Marriage Consultation’s role?
A: The Consultation’s recommendations and report were completed through prayer, study and reflection, following the example set by an Episcopal diocese that underwent a similar discernment process. Throughout the nine-month process, St. John’s has maintained an open dialogue with the parish and with our diocesan Bishop – the Right Rev. Samuel Johnson Howard. Three discussion forums were held in 2019, to allow the Consultation to listen to parishioner concerns and foster a parish-wide dialogue.

Q: What was in the Consultation’s report to the Vestry?
A: In December 2019, the Consultation completed its mission of study and prayer and shared its reports and individual recommendations with the Vestry for review and consideration.

Q: How will this decision affect St. John’s relationship with the Episcopal Diocese of Florida?
A: Our clergy has been in touch with Bishop Howard to share the St. John’s Vestry’s decision. Bishop Howard has pledged to continue to wholeheartedly support the missions and ministries of this church.

Q: What is the process if a same-gender couple wishes to be married at St. John’s?
A:
Our marriage policy at St. John’s will now be equally applied to all couples regardless of gender. This allows a couple to be married at St. John’s if one person is a baptized member of the parish. Like anyone who is married at St. John’s, the couple must also meet with clergy for pre-marriage preparation.

Q: Will this decision be voted on again at St. John’s?
A:
This decision was voted on by the St. John’s Vestry and is final. St. John’s Episcopal Church will now offer marriage for same-gender couples.

Sign Up for E-Chimes