From my neck of the woods.
JACKSONVILLE — North Florida’s new Episcopal bishop told church members Friday he will never ordain unmarried sexually active heterosexuals or sexually active gays and that he will never bless same-sex unions.
Bishop John Howard spoke to delegates at the 161st annual convention of the Diocese of Florida, which covers the state from Gainesville north to the Georgia and Alabama lines.
The convention voted Friday not to consider a measure that could have seen the diocese join a group that’s opposed to the national Episcopal church sanctioning the ordination of a gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson, last fall.
“As bishop of this diocese, I will support and lift up the institution of marriage,” Howard told the 500 delegates and clergy representing the 35,000 member diocese, the nation’s fastest growing. “And as long as I am bishop of this diocese, no one in an active homosexual relationship — or any other sexual relationship outside marriage — will be ordained or admitted into the process of ordination. Nor will I approve of any rite for the blessing of same-sex unions.