A gay affirming Edinburgh church is calling for a day of prayer in support of civil partnerships as the Church of Scotland General Assembly debates the issue this week.

Civil Partnerships were introduced into law in December 2005 and allow for the relationships of same-sex couples to be recognised in law, conferring many of the same rights and responsibilities as marriage.

The General Assembly will be asked to decide whether Church of Scotland Ministers will be permitted to offer blessings to couples on the occasion of their Civil Partnership and whether ministers themselves will be able to enter into a Civil Partnership with a

same-sex partner.

The Metropolitan Community Church, which was founded by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Christians, has been offering blessings to same-sex couples in

Edinburgh for the past ten years. Reverend Kerri Mesner, Pastor of the Edinburgh congregation, will be holding the Church of Scotland in prayer during Tuesday, “This is a challenging time for our national Church. The different sides in the debate are all seeking to do what they consider to be God’s will.

“Naturally, I hope that the Church will support the place of Civil Partnerships within the life of the Church, as I believe this is the call of Christ’s inclusive love that we celebrate, but I invite people to pray with me that all involved in Tuesday’s debate will remember

that God’s love transcends human disagreements and that we are all called to live together in Community even when we see things differently.”

Ms Mesner and her congregation have dedicated Tuesday as a day of prayer for everyone in Church of Scotland.