Monday, September 22, 2014
There were 2 reports yesterday, one of which was on the process to elect the next Presiding Bishop. Actually, most of it was centered on how to fill out a nomination form. Most notably, names of candidates will be received from October 1 until October 31.
The second report was on the Study of Marriage where we discussed the current reality of marriage. There are changing norms of marriage of which we need to be aware of and deal with those changes. This will also be discussed at the next General Convention. You may agree or disagree but these are actual facts of marriage today in our society. Here are some of the points discussed.
- Marriage as a precursor to childbirth is seen as a relic of the past by many young adults.
- In previous generations, marriage was seen as a cornerstone of launching into adulthood. Today, young adults are delaying marriage due to financial insecurity, fear of divorce, and a desire for career stability.
- 90% of young adults feel they must be completely financially independent before they marry.
- The cohabitation rate of unmarried senior citizens is rising: up 50% since 2000.
- 65% of all couples who eventually marry lived together before marriage.
- The vast majority of adults in their 20’s (80%) see marriage as an “important part of their life plan.”
- The “ideal” for marriage has shifted from providing economic security to finding a “soul mate.”
- In the past 7 years, 35-40% of all marriages began with online dating.
- 2/3 of all adults see living together as a necessary step to marriage. Cohabitation has become a routine substitute for marriage.
- In 1960, 2/3 of all adults in their twenties were married. By 2008 that number was only 26%.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Today’s meeting started with a very emotional Eucharist celebrated by Bishop David Lai and a special collection was raised for the work of the Diocese of Taiwan.
After the eucharist the workday started with a town hall meeting where different bishops shared various issues of interest ranging from gun control to racism issues.
Business meetings were next on the agenda and we ended with a meeting with the Bishops who are going to visit other dioceses. Tonight we will end the meeting with a banquet in honor of the resigned bishops.
Tomorrow we leave at 5 a.m. for our flight to Seoul where we will meet with the Primate and other leaders of the Diocese of Korea. Please keep praying for us.