My Big Fat Ecumenical Lesbian Wedding
A lot has happened since I last wrote for Common Threads in May. The Anglican Church of Canada’s General Synod did not pass the second needed vote to affirm same-sex marriage across the church. This was a heartbreaking loss for all queer Christians in Canada, as we were again reminded how many people view us as not REAL Christians.
Oh, and our minister – the one who was going to marry us regardless of how the vote went – left our church with no warning or explanation.
My partner, Katy, and I were left wondering who was going to marry us in February. We are getting married in an Anglican church so the logical response would be an Anglican priest, right? But I’m not Anglican – I grew up Roman Catholic, moved to the United Church of Canada more than a decade ago, and have been attending my partner’s Anglican church with her for the last three years. I have several friends who are United Church ministers, plus a few close Quaker friends.
Katy and I were both stressed about this – did we want a stranger to marry us? Was it important to us to have a woman marry us, given my Catholic background? Now that I didn’t know the Anglican minister who would be marrying us, did I want to ask a friend from another denomination to co-marry us along with whoever was moved to our church?
In the end, we got the news that an Evangelical Lutheran minister had been appointed as the interim priest for our church. (For those who don’t know, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada (ELC) and the Anglican Church of Canada are in full communion.) Now, even with my fairly broad understanding of ecumenism in Canada, I wasn’t sure what the Evangelical Lutherans stood for. Did the ELC think same-sex marriage was sinful? Would this new minister agree to marry us? What if she didn’t even want a same-sex wedding to take place in the church? Were we going to have to find a new place to get married along with a new minister?
Being the millennial I am, I turned to Google and mistakenly just typed in “Lutheran Church Canada” and found myself on a denomination’s website that REALLY doesn’t like gay people – or at least doesn’t want us to be full members of the church community. Luckily, I quickly learned that the ELC is a completely different denomination and is very progressive and welcoming.
Katy and I decided to proceed with this new pastor – to meet her, see what she had to say, and go from there. Long story short: we absolutely love her and cannot wait to have her marry us!
It has been an amazing journey for the three of us – me, my partner, and our new pastor – to flesh out the perfect marriage ceremony that feels like us. We’re borrowing from a host of denominations – Anglican, United, Evangelical Lutheran, Unitarian. In the end, we will have crafted a ceremony that is wholly and uniquely us – in all it’s ecumenical wonder.
On February 29, 2020, my formerly Catholic then United self will marry her amazing Anglican fiancée, in the Anglican church where she grew up, supported by an Evangelical Lutheran pastor and a host of family and friends from several different denominations, or no religious affiliation.
And I wouldn’t want it any other way!
Kaitlin Bardswich is a member of the CCS Communications Committee.