The LGBT Ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark

Our focuses are:

Advocacy on behalf of the LGBT population to the church and to the world
Education about “our” issues and concerns, both for our constituency and on their behalf
Social occasions, including relevant cultural experiences
Worship opportunities in keeping with our community’s needs
WELCOMING CONGREGATIONS MOVEMENT

Part of our work is to connect LGBT people with congregations where they will feel safe and included. We have tools available to help congregations be more aware of LGBT people’s special concerns. We are one of the Episcopal sponsors of Believe Out Loud, a movement within 14 Christian denominations to identify, equip and promote congregations that are intentionally welcoming of the LGBT population. We are asking these congregations to identify themselves as Believe Out Loud Episcopal Congregations.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY MOVEMENT

We believe in marriage equality as a means of upholding and honoring stable, healthy relationships and families. We have advocated for marriage equality both in the church and secular society. In New Jersey, marriage equality remains a goal, with civil unions being offered since 2006. Our Bishop, who has also been a strong voice for marriage equality, commissioned a study of how the diocese should respond to the implementation of civil unions. The task force produced a report about the current state of civil unions within the diocese, as well as suggested formats for liturgy to bless such unions in both English and Spanish. Currently there are numerous congregations and clergy within the Diocese where such blessings can be held.