Oklahoma City Episcopal Diocese Bishop http://www.epiok.org/bishop/index.html approves (same sex ritual of blessings) St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral to perform what the church terms "Same Gender Covenant Relationship Blessings". Oklahoma is a state by history with great conservatism, and has historically been known to be the "Bible Belt" where literal translations of Biblical scriptures determine laws, social norms and customs. Oklahoma is a Red state. This is a new, but not solo venture towards GLBT union recognition and there has been an arduous process to present this news.
These same sex rituals have to be considered first by the individual church members under the direction of a chosen committee, the Vestry ( group of elected church leaders) the Senior Warden ( head of the Vestry), Robert Dennis, and the leader of the church (Rector or Dean) Dean Lindstrom of that particular congregation to the Bishop over the particular Diocese.
There are typically multiple meetings of discussion to consider, petition to the leader of the individual church and then the question is turned by the leader to the regional head of the church.
The Very Reverend Justin Lindstrom firstname.lastname@example.org sent out this announcement to the parish late Friday.
Following this announcement, first, persons wishing to be considered for such a blessing are to contact the church to obtain a "Blessing Customary", this includes the guidelines, fees and what a Blessing would look like if performed at St. Paul's.
Second, the persons must schedule a meeting with the Dean.
Third, the Dean will in writing notify the Bishop of the request, who must issue final approval for things to progress.
All these processes must take place 60 days prior to the intended ceremony.
The "Blessing Customary" is expected to begin to be available the week of October 14, 2013, and may be viewed by any interested party.
Lindstrom's letter notes "This is exciting news for us." "Our community has been very supportive of doing this, yet I realize that the reality of this approval may be difficult for some. So I ask that we all continue to pray as we move forward".
St. Paul's Episcopal is one of the oldest houses of worship in Oklahoma City stpaulsokc.org . It is one of the sponsors of Bright Music http://brightmusic.org and The Guild of St. George http://stpaulsokc.org/guild-of-st-george.