Episcopal Church Approves Same-Sex Blessing Rite

Episcopal Church Approves Same-Sex Blessing RiteEpiscopal priests will be allowed to conduct services blessing same-sex relationships under a policy approved Tuesday at the church’s national convention in Indianapolis.

‘Not considered a marriage ceremony’

The convention’s House of Bishops approved the provisional policy 111-41 with three abstentions Monday, clearing it for consideration by the House of Deputies, which approved it Tuesday evening. The policy was approved in the House of Deputies, following more than an hour of debate, by 78% of the voting lay members and by 76% of clergy.

The service is not considered a marriage ceremony, media affairs representative Nancy Davidge said: ”We have authorized a blessing, and a blessing is different than a marriage,” she said. “A blessing is a theological response to a monogamous, committed relationship.”


‘Three-year trial run’

Marriage requires the additional involvement of civil authorities, and many states do not allow gays to marry. The Episcopal policy calls for a three-year trial run of the blessing service, which is called “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant.” It will be accompanied by a review process leading up to the church’s next annual convention in Salt Lake City. It’s then that church leaders would decide whether to make the policy permanent, church media affairs representative Neva Rae Fox said.

The policy, which has been in development since 2009, allows local bishops to decide whether to allow the service. It also includes a provision stating that clergy members who object to same-sex unions cannot be coerced to perform the blessing, or be disciplined for refusing.

Are you in favor of this same-sex blessing service? What is your view regarding same-sex unions? Feel free to share your thoughts with us!

Source: CNN

Image: Death and Taxes

Cost Of Raising A Child Continues To Rise

The cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 has surged 25 percent over the last 10 years, due largely to the rising cost of groceries and medical care, according to the Department of Agriculture, which tracks annual expenditures on children by families.

The government’s most recent annual reveals a middle-income family with a child born in 2010 can expect to spend roughly $227,000 for food, shelter and other expenses necessary to raise that child – $287,000 when you factor in projected inflation. And, no, the bill does not include the cost of college or anything related to the pregnancy and delivery.

For most prospective parents, kids are the central priority around which all other lifestyle decisions get made – career moves, housing choices, where to live. Because of its financial impact, however, it’s wise to begin planning for parenthood as early as possible, says Matthew Saneholtz, a certified financial adviser with Tobias Financial Advisors in Plantation, Fla.


If one of you plans to quit work to care for the child, your new spending plan should reflect the projected loss of income. If you both plan to continue working, and you don’t have family willing to provide free labor, you’ll have to factor child care costs into your budget. There’s no rule that says you have to help your child with college expenses, of course, but if you plan to do so, you’d better start budgeting for that as well.

Finally, remember that it’s ultimately you who decides how much you’re willing to spend on your kids.  Children may be a blessing, but they don’t come cheap. Families that plan ahead not only have better control over their budgets, but are often able to do more with less. They’re also better positioned to ensure their own financial goals don’t get derailed along the way.

How do you budget your family’s finances with regards to child care? Share your ideas with us!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Care For Kids