NEW JERSEY

Sex and Single Parishioners

Episcopal Church parishes in northern New Jersey have been asked to study a report that advocates church approval of sexual relationships among unmarried people, including homosexuals.

The 600-member convention of the Newark (N.J.) Episcopal Diocese voted to receive a 15-page report titled “Changing Patterns of Sexuality and Family Life.” The report will be the focus of a year-long study by parishes and other groups in the diocese.

“It is our conclusion that by suppressing our sexuality and by condemning all sex which occurs outside of traditional marriage, the church has thereby obstructed a vitally important means for persons to know and celebrate their relatedness to God,” the report states. Newark Bishop John S. Spong has urged an end to the church’s opposition to sex outside of marriage, and some Episcopalians welcomed the study as a long-overdue recognition of social reality. But others said church approval of sex outside of marriage goes against divine law and threatens to worsen the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Episcopal Church presiding bishop Edmond Lee Browning praised the Newark Diocese for being “at the cutting edge” of church issues. But he stopped short of endorsing the report.

EDUCATION

Supplemental Textbooks

The first in a series of textbooks designed to raise issues of concern to Christian college students is due off the press in September.

The Christian College Coalition is developing the series of textbooks in various fields of study. The first book in the series, to be published by Harper & Row, explores issues in psychology. Others will examine biology, literature, history, sociology, and business. ...

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