In 2004 a man serving on our vestry decided to leave his wife after only two years of marriage. There was no adultery, no abandonment, nothing. He’d just grown tired of her and wanted to find someone new. He and I were close. I trusted him. He’d been instrumental in saving my job. When liberal members of Good Shepherd, upset over the stance I had taken with regard to Gene Robinson, called a parish meeting at another local Episcopal Church trying to gather support to have me ousted, this man rallied my supporters and showed up at the meeting with the majority of the congregation behind him.
So when he came seeking my blessing for his divorce he may have expected me, for the sake of our friendship and his past loyalty, to give it. Instead I told him that he needed to step off of the vestry. I told him that in order to remain a member in good standing he’d need to halt his divorce proceedings, go to a Christian marriage counselor, and commit to reconciliation.