March 29, 2017

July 17, 2010

Arcus Foundation donates $400k for Same-Sex Liturgies

The Arcus Foundation, a well-funded pro-gay lobby group which we wrote about last October is still splashing its money around...

(RNS) A Michigan-based gay rights foundation has given more than $400,000 to a California seminary to help craft formal liturgies for the Episcopal Church to bless gay and lesbian relationships.

The Episcopal Church still officially considers marriage between a man and a woman, reflected in the marriage rite of its Book of Common Prayer. Many dioceses, however, unofficially allow priests to bless same-sex relationships and even marriages.

Actually, that’s not quite true - some dioceses do it quite openly and officially. Anyway, I digress…

Because the church puts a high value on scripted liturgies, many same-sex couples want their own marriage/blessing rite since many bishops are reluctant to use the traditional husband-wife marriage liturgy for same-sex unions.

The church’s 2009 General Convention gave the green light to collecting “theological and liturgical resources” that would form the basis of an official same-sex rite that could be added to the list of approved ceremonies.

Many observers expect the church, when it gathers again in 2012, to approve rites for same-sex unions, or at least give official approval to start the process, which can take several years.

The $404,000 grant from the Arcus Foundation to the Church Divinity School of the Pacific will help facilitate the process; the church’s official Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music has only $25,000 designated for the project.

A major part of the grant will go to funding a conference next March where two representatives from each of the church’s 110 dioceses will be able to offer suggestions and share work that’s already been done.

You know what I thought when I read this? No surprise that this stuff is going on but, rather, - FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND TO WRITE SOME LITURGY???!!!!

Seriously? Apparently there’ll be a conference and stuff. But still. 400k? Just wow.

Surely you can do it for cheaper than that? I’d do it for only a quarter of the sum. Should be easy. First you take the 1662 BCP wedding service, right? Then you just make all the terms non-gender specific. Simple cut and paste job there.

Next, lob in a few references to Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan, some Centurion and his boy-lover - you know the sort of thing.

Hang on, though. You still have to deal with stuff like this…

...this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church…


First, It was ordained for the procreation of children….

this could be tricky….

Saint Paul, in his Epistle to the Ephesians, the fifth Chapter, doth give this commandment to all married men; Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church,

In fact, come to think of it, I don’t think even $400k is enough to find enough wiggle room to escape from all that lot. But I’m sure it will be a help.

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Budget for developing a Same-Sex Liturgy:

Server, PCs, Printer, and SW:    $25,000
Document Editing             $5,000
10 cases Cabernet           $12,000
10 cases Merlot             $12,000
10 cases Riesling           $12,000
10 cases Scotch             $24,000
20 pounds Roquefort           $2,000
20 pounds Camembert           $2,000
20 pounds Cheddar             $2,000
20 pounds Colby             $2,000
20 pounds Gouda             $2,000
Country Club Rental           $25,000
Orchestra                 $10,000
Liturgy Modeling and Simulation   $35,000
Limousine                 $5,000
ShamWow Guy Retainer         $25,000          
Fact-finding trip to Bahamas     $50,000
Shipping and Handling         $50,000
Diocesan Administration       $100,000


[1] Posted by carl on 7-17-2010 at 11:55 PM · [top]

A major part of the grant will go to funding a conference next March where two representatives from each of the church’s 110 dioceses will be able to offer suggestions and share work that’s already been done.

So, who will Quincy, South Carolina, Albany etc send or do the other dioceses get to pick up their two instead?

[2] Posted by martin5 on 7-18-2010 at 12:04 AM · [top]

Probably just a lame attempt to make the process appear “conciliar.” 

Really, they’ve been doing this sort of thing already.  And others are already building upon the foundations laid in sand

Disagree that they’d address the theological spaying of the marriage covenant, though.  Watch for language like, “I think that ..”  or the really big guns, “I really think that..”

[3] Posted by Elder Oyster on 7-18-2010 at 03:21 AM · [top]


Budget for developing a Same-Sex Liturgy:

OK, Mr. Arithmetic.  But a hundred bucks for a pound of cheese?

What is that, a special mark-up for Episcopalians only?

Or are you just trying to make the CDSP look bad?

Uh . . . wait.  You don’t have to answer that one.

And I had to look up “Sham Wow.”  Thanks for broadening my horizons.

But now that I know who Vince Offer is, I sure wouldn’t want anybody else in charge of making the infomercial this latest development is going to need.

A mere 25 grand for his retainer may not be enough.

Let’s scale back on the cheese (we’re too snotty to eat cheddar anyway) and pay the man what he’s worth! cool smirk

[4] Posted by episcopalienated on 7-18-2010 at 06:16 AM · [top]

I’m reminded of the Claim the Blessing campaign, which raised, if my memory serves, over $200K for a General Convention lobbying effort. 
If I were a GLBT activist serving on the SCLM, I would ask if we could give the money back.  Seriously.  The idea reeks of buy-your-own-conciliarity, buy-your-own unity, buy-your-own-blessing and undermines the legitimacy of the work of the SCLM.  Moreover, it sets the committee at odds with several bishops because it appears that the committee is doing an end-run around their episcopal authority. 
Lastly, it gives ground for opponents to make a charge of simony (Acts 8).  I’ve never quite understood what simony encompasses, but they sure have set the stage for that epithet to be hurled.

[5] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 7-18-2010 at 07:55 AM · [top]

[4] episcopalienated

But a hundred bucks for a pound of cheese?

It’s high-quality cheese from the Gourmet Region of Southern France.  They only use specialized happy cows deliberately bred for cheese-making.  The Gouda breed is especially prized for its high-quality output.  These cows are allowed to free graze in non-genetically modified idyllic pastures.  They are hand-milked using environmentally safe buckets.  The cheese is heated with solar energy, hand separated, hand pressed, and sealed in bio-degradable wax.  Wind-powered shipments arrive daily in the US to insure freshness. 

At least that’s what the marketing brochure said. 


[6] Posted by carl on 7-18-2010 at 08:03 AM · [top]

If a same sex liturgy gets added to the BCP, couldn’t it call into question the credibility of rest of the BCP? This amount [400k]is about double the line item totals for yearly evangelism and church planting (#324) for 2010-2012. TEC has cast aside its mooring lines in Scripture, tradition and now the BCP. It is adrift in the sea of contemporary cultural relativism.

[7] Posted by Fr. Dale on 7-18-2010 at 08:11 AM · [top]

Arcus describes itself as

“...a leading global philanthropic funder advancing pressing social justice and conservation issues.  Specifically, Arcus works to advance LGBT rights, as well as to conserve and protect the great apes.”

Not this Neanderthal.

[8] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 7-18-2010 at 08:23 AM · [top]

Probably about $150K for some giant papier-mache puppets.  You know how lefties love giant papier-mache puppets.

[9] Posted by Bill2 on 7-18-2010 at 09:00 AM · [top]

Bill2 - So that’s where Schori and Beers came from!!!!

[10] Posted by RalphM on 7-18-2010 at 12:51 PM · [top]

No line items for chicken dinners for the orthodox Piskies?  Please apply for a supplemental grant.

[11] Posted by Intercessor on 7-18-2010 at 12:57 PM · [top]

Arcus money comes from mostly (or perhaps only) a single source Jon Stryker, heir to the Stryker fortune.  Medical equipment I believe.  If you have the stomach for it go to the Arcus Foundation website and read the link on religion and values.  They are upfront about the goal to destroy (change) the Catholic church from within.  And you can bet they view any opposition to gay marriage/rights and elective abortion as a Catholic element in orthodox Protestant churches that must be stamped out.

Anyone who thinks the GLBT/abortion supporters are weak Davids battling the evil church Goliaths is laboring under a very false pretense.

[12] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 7-18-2010 at 01:35 PM · [top]

Perhaps the struggling dioceses of TEc can apply for a retroactive grant if they can prove they have been doing that in the diocese for a long time already.  Bet Johnny Chane signs up in flashy-poo alongside Mr. Shoes!

[13] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 7-18-2010 at 02:03 PM · [top]

I bet EDS and General are way miffed CDSP got the grant and not them.  Ah well pays to have KJS as an alum.

Haven’t given CDSP a penny since 1997, nor ever will do again.

Money talks, merit walks… literally.

[14] Posted by Alasdair+ on 7-18-2010 at 02:23 PM · [top]

I guess this comes under the primary mission of fulfilling the MDGs?

[15] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 7-18-2010 at 02:34 PM · [top]

Serious money, 19.5 MILLION to the LGBT IN 2009. Including a $70K GRANT to the Velvet Foundation
Washington DC for the strategic planning phase of a Comprehensive Museum Master Plan to establish a National Museum of Lesbian, Gay, Biseual and Transgender History and Culture.

[16] Posted by bradhutt on 7-18-2010 at 02:40 PM · [top]

They should put that museum at ground zero.

[17] Posted by paradoxymoron on 7-18-2010 at 07:46 PM · [top]

“Arcus works to advance LGBT rights, as well as to conserve and protect the great apes.”

Obviously this grant was a shoe-in: promotes LGBT marriages, and protects a certain Primate now under seige.

[18] Posted by Michael D on 7-19-2010 at 07:07 AM · [top]

I agree with Fr. Dale and Jill Woodliffe.  This is akin to state funding of churches in Europe: the church, once dependent on Arcus funding, becomes an instrument and agent of Arcus.  I was tempted to add “rather than the bride of Christ and agent of the Holy Spirit,” but such words would imply that this is an abrupt break from faithfulness rather than one more step in a long walk.

The GLBT lobby just bought themselves a church - now we get to sit back and watch what they do with it.

[19] Posted by Michael D on 7-19-2010 at 07:18 AM · [top]

Given the Foundation’s stated mission, how long before they start pushing for the full inclusion of great apes and other primates in the Episcopal Church?


[20] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 7-19-2010 at 09:09 AM · [top]

They are wasting their money. TEC will do it anyhow.

[21] Posted by Pb on 7-19-2010 at 09:37 AM · [top]

Why let Arcus have all the fun? I think the folks here at Stand Firm could get the ball rolling.
Take the opening paragraph of the marriage rite for example. It could be amended to say:
“We have come together in the presence of TEC to winess and bless the covenant ceremony of this woman to this woman (or this man and this man). The bond of this covenant is nowhere to be found in scripture, the sacramental tradition or in the created order. No matter; it signifies to us the union of the Church with the Church (or, in the case of two men, the union between Christ with Christ), and some sacred texts by Bishop Spong who says this whole thing is long overdue.”

Other suggestions? If we’re good enough, maybe Arcus will be impressed and we can split the 400K.

[22] Posted by Filmore Strunk+ on 7-20-2010 at 08:35 PM · [top]

#22 Filmore Strunk+,

Of course Arcus’ dollars are not needed, but by accepting the money, T.E.C. puts itself in the position of being a pawn to Queen Arcus.

Who knows, we could pull it off ourselves on the cheap and then T.E.C. would be our pawn. How about throwing in a snippet of Psalm 45 for the “liturgy.”

2 You are the most handsome of men;
  grace is poured upon your lips;
  therefore God has blessed you for ever.
3 Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
  in your glory and majesty.

All copyrights on any liturgy published that include this snippet are hereby declared the property of SF!

[23] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 7-20-2010 at 08:44 PM · [top]

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