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Adapted from Gavin Drake’s report for ACNS

The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia has postponed a decision on whether to permit blessings of same-sex marriage until 2018,  “with a firm expectation that a decision to move forward will be made.”

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Synod’s motion also “establishes and commits to pray for a working group to be appointed by the primates [of the province] to consider possible structural arrangements … to safeguard both theological convictions concerning the blessing of same-gender relationships.”

The three primates of the Province, Archbishops Brown Turei, Philip Richardson, and Winston Halapua, said in a statement to Anglican Taonga: “We are aware of the considerable pain that this decision will cause to those most affected, but we are confident that our determination to work together across our differences will bring us to a place of dignity and justice for everyone.”

“We called this motion ‘A Way Forward,’ but I have come to think of it as something more like the ‘Land of Promise,’” said the Rev. Richard Bonifant of Auckland. “Once more, we find we cannot go into that land. This time in the wilderness comes at great cost to us.”

“For conservatives the ‘A Way Forward’ report left us feeling unprotected in our theological position,” said the Rev. Tim Mora, Archdeacon of Nelson. “The new working group needs to constantly come back to the conservatives, to be sure that the recommendations are acceptable to them, before they bring it back to the next General Synod.”

He said that there was “a definite will from the conservatives to look for a way that will protect our integrity and allow us to stay together.”

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