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Later today on February 14th, Valentine's Day, I am speaking bout the ministry of presence, baptismal promises, and the vocation of marriage when I advocate for marriage equality in the Commonwealth at the noonday People of Faith for Equality in Virginia event at the Alexandria City Courthouse. here's the text of my statement:

         Good afternoon. My name is David Crosby. I’m a local Episcopal priest for whom a large part of my ministry involves showing up and being present.

         So I am happy to be here today with city officials and other fellow clergy to offer my support to those in my own parish family and other same-sex couples who are in committed, monogamous, lifelong, loving relationships. They seek the very same civic right I was extended when the Heart Of My Heart and I married 33 years ago here in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

         Two promises we make in the Episcopal Church when we are baptized or reaffirm our vows of Holy Baptism are worldly in scope.

         One promise is to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves. As a child of God, I am called to acknowledge how grateful I am for God’s unconditional love, which has made a new way of life possible for me and all of us. So I promise to help those who reject or distort the truth about themselves to see that there is an alternative way to live by loving them, and allowing them to love themselves and another of their choosing, as God has loved all of us.

         Another promise is to strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being. I believe it right to acknowledge that God’s reign of justice and peace, that is, of reconciliation, is a reality. Therefore, I have promised to demonstrate in ways both great and small what it means to live together as a people restored to unity with God and one another in Christ Jesus. I am committed to honoring and respecting the uniqueness and value of all people.

         In the Church, we believe that the sacramental nature of the vocation or calling from God that marriage is, means two people living together in love: uniquely, totally, and irrevocably. We believe that this relationship is a sign of God’s love in this world and that we are called to be loving and life-giving to our partners, and to others.

  I have come to realize that the real goal of marriage is UNITY, not happiness. Unity is the idea that we are living God’s will for US, and that whatever comes, we have the strength and support in our faith and love to guide us through. Unity is not looking for what will make us happy, but how we can be strong by living for each other and by dying for each other in the spirit of compromise. Unity is about growing old together, taking time to nurture our love through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, till death do us part.       

         Christian loving is not just a cozy relationship with my God. I believe that a solid relationship with my Creator is only possible when I love and respect each human being, or when I love all whom God loves. A love that draws boundaries between individuals, classes, races, nations and religions is not of God.

         I believe that my baptismal promises and my own vocation of marriage require that I stand here today with my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to support their right to be married also.     

         May the gracious and amazing God who loves us bless us all.

         Thank you.