We have received an outpouring of messages and calls of gratitude over the past several days over the involvement of at approximately 25 Orthodox clergy, 1 monastic, and many lay people totaling around 100 persons at the March for Marriage this past Saturday. Some of our clergy received sponsoring for travel as they came from as far as California, Washington, Oregon, and Florida to make the event. Many thanks to those who made it possible for them to represent us.
As a result of our formal engagement and preparation efforts, in addition to the boldness of our marchers, the Orthodox Church received multiple honors of recognition from organizers of the March for Marriage and other religious leaders during the March Rally. According to one of the organizers of the March, the Orthodox Church's participation in the national conversation is very significant. The Orthodox Church carries a decided "moral authority" that is clearly felt among other faith confessions.
It is time we lead.
As you know, Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America offered a beautiful word and clarity on the Orthodox concern over confusion on the topic of marriage and sexuality in our nation. He brought national attention to our current crisis by addressing our clergy and laity in his resounding letter.
Last week, Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, and Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America, both signed a statement entitled, "THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE AND THE RIGHT OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: REAFFIRMING A SHARED WITNESS: An Open Letter from Religious Leaders to All in Positions of Public Service." An additional post addressing the topic can be found here.
As organizers of the effort, we are encouraged by our bishops and clergy as they address matters of marriage and proclaim the truth in love to our faithful; stand with other faith confessions; address our neighbors about intrinsic truths regarding sexuality; and directly engage our civil authorities in these United States of America.
A special note of brotherly love and gratitude to our Fr. Hans Jacobse from St. Peter Bonita Springs, FL, who was emboldened to take the national stage and proclaim Orthodox Christian Truth regarding marriage, sexuality, and the Church's witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the public square.