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Pittsburgh Update

Pittsburgh Update publishes weekly summaries of recent developments in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, The Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Communion that affect or could affect Pittsburgh Episcopalians. Emphasis is on reporting, not interpretation. This is a service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh. This site is in no way affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh or the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh.


A Pittsburgh Episcopal Voice          

A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Week Ending 11/23/20

One-Fifth of Members Are Skipping Church 

A Survey done by the Barna group has found that about one-fifth of those who had been attending church before the pandemic have stopped going  entirely.  The decision to skip church was most evident among those who attended about once a month before the pandemic.  Christianity Today has more on the survey here.

Archbishop of Canterbury Taking Sabbatical

Archbishop Welby has announced that beginning immediately he will be on sabbatical for several months.  He will use the time to refresh himself spiritually and to study, most likely at Cambridge and in the U.S.  The Christian Post has a story on his sabbatical here.

Continuing Stories

Fort Worth Episcopalians Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court

The Episcopal Church and the Diocese in Fort Worth quietly filed an appeal of the Texas Supreme Court opinion which gave all diocesan and parish property to the group that left the Episcopal Church.  The Texas Court had used  so-called neutral principles to rule that the Dennis Canon of the Episcopal Church which put a trust claim on all property could not be enforced in Texas, and to rule that the schismatic group was the successor to the Episcopal Diocese.  The Filing asks the court to overturn the use of neutral principles and recognize that freedom of religion requires that courts recognize the governing documents of churches.  The schismatic diocese has filed for and received an extension until December 23 to file a reply.  Anglican.ink, which has sided with the schismatics in the legal cases has a story that includes the full filing by the Episcopal Church. 

Churches Struggle With Response to Surge in Covid-19 Cases

The surge in cases of covid-19 has led Episcopal Churches to urge caution.  Bishop McConnell of Pittsburgh has urged churches to err on the side of caution in holding services.  Bishop Scanlon of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania has issued a directive that parishes in her diocese are to suspend all in-person services inside until 2021.  Carefully distanced outdoor services may continue.  The Episcopal Church has decided to delay General Convention until 2022 in order to err on the side of safety.  Normally this would be a time of increased activity and meetings in preparation for the triennial convention. This will require the extension of terms of office for a number of  elected positions on commissions, committees, and church officers.  The National Cathedral used its annual Ignatius Forum to focus on the pandemic with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Directior of the  National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins and Dr. Luciana Borio, a member of Biden’s new coronavirus task force serving as a panel offering advice and perspectives.  More than 7000 people attended the forum virtually.  The Update has been regularly including notices of how the Episcopal Church is responding to the pandemic.  The most recent previous post is here.

Another Story of Feeding the Hungry

Trinity Church in Iredell County, North Carolina supported the local cooperative ministry food shelf by collecting more that 1500 pounds of foodstuffs. Iredell Christian Ministries food shelf serves around 800 families every month.  The local newspaper thought the food drive by the church was extraordinary during the economic hard times of the pandemic.  Update has regularly published stories of parishes continuing or starting outreach ministries to help their communities. 

New Charges Filed Against Oxford Dean

The Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, the Rev. Martyn Percy has voluntarily stepped aside from duties while a complaint filed under the Clergy Discipline Measure is investigated.  The complaint is a rehash of his handling of sexual misconduct issues brought to his attention as Dean.  Percy has been under fire for several years by a group of Christ Church faculty who have done everything in their power to have him removed.  Update has followed the twists and turns of this ongoing battle between Dean and faculty.  The most recent previous post is here.

Responses to the Australian Tribunal Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

Last week Update carried notice of the decision of the Australian Church's tribunal concerning the efforts of two dioceses to move forward with blessing same sex civil marriages.  The tribunal found nothing forbidding the actions in canon law, and left any theological discussions to the church's synod.
Since then the Primate for the Anglican Church of Australia and the House of Bishops have both issued statements.  Basically they both stressed that the theological position of the church remained that marriage was to be between one man and one woman, but they also realized that the two dioceses might go ahead with plans for blessings, and that other parishes or diocese might follow.  The Steering Committee of GAFCON which has been adamantly opposed to changes in marriage offered support to those clergy and parishes that might feel isolated by a movement towards allowing blessings of same sex couples.  GAFCON, which claims to be part of the Anglican Communion, but continues to recognize and create units functioning as alternatives to the actual dioceses of  Churches in the Anglican Communion. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Week Ending 11/16/20

British Study Shows Social Action Can Grow Churches

Christian Today a media service based in London, but with secondary offices in New York, has published an article on a three year study in England that did over 350 interviews in 60 Church of England Parishes.   The study found an increase in social action, even as membership numbers declined in the church as a whole.  The findings indicated that churches that were visible in their community and whose social action was connected to and recognized in the community did show growth. 

Black Clergy Conference Gives Boost to Virtual Attendees

The Episcopal Church's Office of Black Ministries organized an international virtual meeting for black clergy that was attended by bishops and clergy from all over the Anglican Communion.  Some of the presentations and greetings were recorded ahead of the meeting.   The Office of Black Ministries has bee engaged in a re-imagining of its approach to be more inclusive of the full African diaspora, including immigrant communities with The Episcopal Church.   The conference was an extension of that approach.  Major speakers included Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, the first black woman bishop in the Church of England, and  the head of the Union of Black Episcopalians.  All of the presentations will soon be available for viewing on the web site of the Office of Black Ministries.

Primates Meeting Finds Large Areas of Common Interest

Given the current pandemic, the meeting of the heads of each of the independent churches that are part of the Anglican Communion met virtually.  The meeting attracted 27 of the 41 leaders, with much of the meeting focused on problems they all shared: the pandemic and addressing and preventing sexual abuse within the churches of the communion.  They also received several reports, including one on the major study documents prepared for use in the Church of England on human sexuality.  The primates also welcomed the leader of the 41st province  in the Communion, Egypt and the Middle East.  Their actions were summarized in a Communique made available by the Anglican Communion News Service. 

Continuing Stories

South Carolinians Take Case Back to State Supreme Court

This last week the Episcopal Diocese of  South Carolina filed an appeal with the state supreme court asking the court to affirm its findings and decision by overturning the decision of District Judge Dickson to award all property to the schismatic group.  Dickson had been handed the task of administering the decision the state court had reached granting all diocesan property and most parish property to those who stayed in the Episcopal Church.  Instead he turned the property over to the schismatic group.   As usual, the blog, scepiscopalians.com has in its November 12 posting, good background and context on the 8 year struggle of Episcopalians to recover property taken by the schismatics.  The full initial brief is here.

Controversial Dean at General Theological Seminary Resigns

Dean Kurt Dunkle whose heavy-handed reform of General Theological Seminary  (GTS) led to a major controversy in which seven of eight full-time faculty were either fired or resigned, has now announced his own resignation after seven years as its head.  Dunkle himself, briefly faced disciplinary charges during the controversy.   General Convention 2015  in response, formed  a committee to explore the relationship of GTS to the Episcopal Church.  GTS, the oldest Episcopal Seminary,  is the only one created by General Convention, with Trustees elected by the Convention.  Dunkle led a complete revision of the curriculum, managed to weather a major drop in enrollment following the controversy, and a financial crisis that led the seminary to sell some of its property.  His resignation may help dissipate any residual tension and ill feelings by alumni and friends of the seminary.

Australian Church Court Rules Diocesan Blessing of Same Sex Marriages Legal 

Australia made civil marriage for same sex couples legal several years ago, but the Anglican Church of Australia has been greatly divided by how it should respond to couples.  The Diocese of Sydney, which participates in GAFCON  has been the source of much opposition to church blessing of unions, or conducting same sex marriages.  However, The dioceses that make up the Province of New South Wales (which includes Sydney) withing the Australian Church are not all agreed, and there are dioceses that would like to offer Church blessings to same sex couple. Newcastle went ahead and authorized a blessing ceremony.  They were soon joined by another, Wangaratta, in Victoria Province.  Both dioceses put their measures on hold until reviewed by the Church's highest legal court.  That court has now issued its opinion.  The opinion carefully deals only with canon law, not theology, but came to the conclusion that there was nothing in the church canons forbidding the actions.  Inevitably, this will now be a topic for the next synod of the Australian church.  

Archbishop of Canterbury Responds to Criticism 

The Church of England has been engaged in a several year investigation, law suits and policy reform in the area of safeguarding members of the church, especially young people, from sexual abuse.  The  Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby,  has come in for his share of criticism for being too soft on one of the clergy involved in numerous cases.  Welby has issued a statement defending his actions, but mostly pledging he will continue to work to change the culture in the Church of England so that it will be a safe place for all.  The full statement is here.  

Martyn Minns Appointed as Interim Bishop in Pittsburgh ACNA Diocese

Martyn Minns, the former rector of Truro Parish in Virginia and consecrated bishop by the Nigerian sponsored CANA group is coming to Pittsburgh as the pastoral interim bishop in Pittsburgh following the resignation of Bishop James Hobby.  Minns is familiar to many in Pittsburgh because as a young priest before the schism he served at several Pittsburgh Episcopal Parishes.  The Standing Committee is retaining ecclesiastical authority, but Minns will handle those pastoral duties that only a bishop can do. 



Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Week Ending 11/09/20

Exit Polls Show Little Change in Religion as a Factor in Voting

Religion News had a story on exit polling done on voters in the recent election.  The polls showed that of those voting on election day, Roman Catholics had split right down the middle with half voting for Trump and half for Biden.  White evangelical support remained in the 75-80% range for white evangelicals.  Those declaring no religion voted about 65% of the time for Biden.  The article gave no results from the poll on mainline Christians.  The editor of Update would note, however, that exit polling this year had a  biased sample. Those voting in person were much more likely to vote for Republicans and somewhere over 70% of those voting early (and thus excluded from the exit polls) voted for Democrats. 

Continuing Stories

Border Summit Moves On-line

Updated has noted each year the  annual Border Summits called by the dioceses in the South West who are responding to immigration issues along the Mexican-U.S. Border.  The third annual summit is scheduled for this month with a theme of Christian peacemaking.  It will be held virtually November 20-21, and registration is still open.  There are panels on a variety of topics including legal impacts of recent border policies, changing needs along the border and more.  Ironically responding to the pandemic by meeting virtually may actually increase attendance because cost is no longer a factor for those interested.  A longer article with links to registration is available at the Episcopal News Service website.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Week Ending 11/02/20

ACNA Pittsburgh Bishop Resigns

After an investigation concluded that Bishop James Hobby had improperly handled a case involving clergy misconduct, by showing more concern for the priest than for the adults he abused, the bishop was asked to resign.  He did so on October 30.  The resignation caught most of the diocese and the larger community by surprise. The Standing Committee will assume diocesan leadership until another bishop is chosen. The committee is now scrambling to make last minute changes to the agenda for the diocesan convention set to convene this coming weekend.  Hobby was chosen in 2016 as Bishop Robert Duncan's successor for the ACNA diocese formed in 2008 when Duncan and his supporters left the Episcopal Church.  The Post Gazette has a full story.  Anglican.ink includes the official letters and announcements as part of their story.
 

Episcopalians and the Election 

A number of Episcopal Church leaders have been pointing people towards prayer for our country and the election process.  The Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry preached at a special interfaith service on November 1 at the National Cathedral; Bishop McConnell of Pittsburgh issued a special pastoral letter with prayer resources;  and the Episcopal Church has trained a number of people to be polling place chaplains.  The chaplains are trained both to support people whose right to vote is being challenged and to encourage peace and calm and defuse situations of voter intimidation.  The Episcopal News Service has an article on the chaplain initiative. On another note, An Episcopal priest, the Rev. Kim Jackson, who runs an innovative ministry to the homeless in Atlanta is favored to win election to the Georgia state senate.  She will be the state senate's first out lesbian member if elected.  She intends to continue her ministry while serving in the senate.
 

Continuing Stories

Federal Judge Responds to South Carolina Filing

In September the Diocese of South Carolina filed a second complaint with  federal court judge,  Richard Gergel listing 27 ways the schismatic group which joined ACNA had continued to make claims that they were  Episcopalians, or the continuation of the Episcopal Diocese.  The diocese wanted him to issue a second  order forbidding them from continuing  those practices.  The ACNA groups managed to clean up and remove 25 of the places before Judge Gergel ruled.  The judge's order came out October 27 and ruled that the 25 corrected places were moot, that the ACNA group had wrongfully claimed to be Episcopal when filing for a federal Small Business loan, but allowed the group to claim that Lawrence had been elected and consecrated as an Anglican bishop in 2008 and 2009.  The Diocese of South Carolina posted a notice of the ruling with links to the opinion here.  Steve Skardon, had comments in his October 27 blog entry that provide more background and what the issues were.  

Pandemic Resurgence Bring Challenges to Churches

This fall as covid-19 cases began rising rapidly around the world, bringing the feared 2nd or 3rd wave,  bishops in the Northeast U.S. issued a statement about the emotional and physical fatigue that was also on the rise thanks to the pandemic.  The bishops were especially concerned about clergy fatigue and first responder fatigue.  In England the resurgence has led the British government to order another 4 week shut down.  The Archbishop of Canterbury and London bishops, however, have noted that churches are not being shuttered entirely as they were during the last lock down.  The buildings will be available for individual prayer and can be used as the site for services being broadcast to members. Finally, here in the U.S., the St. Thomas Boys Choir school which draws a residential student body from a number of states, found a way to jump start their school year together.  The school moved teachers and boys from their base in New York City to a three season retreat center in Connecticut for six weeks of study and singing together.  They went through an isolation period, and then having built a bubble community, took off the masks.  That period is over and now the boys will head home to finish the semester remotely.  Update has been following the twists and turns of worship and study at church schools during the pandemic.  The most recent previous post is here
 

Western Louisiana Starts Homeless Shelter

The Pittsburgh Update has also been noting many of the programs of outreach begun or continued throughout the pandemic.  This week there were stories about the Diocese of Western Louisiana has partnered with a community to open a homeless shelter where there was no other option.  Currently a day shelter with plans for adding overnight capabilities, the shelter serves Bastrop, an area hard hit by factory closures.  The majority of the population is African American, with an average family income of just over $20,000 and an unemployment rate of 9.6%.  The shelter is officially a mission of the diocese with one paid staff person, the Rev. Christie Fleming.  The Living Church has more on this effort.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Week Ending 10/26/20

Anglican Priest Elected President of Seychelles

The Rev. Wavel Ramkalaran has been elected president of the Seychelles.  Ramkalaran helped found and has led the National Party since 1994.  That party has been the major opposition party until the most recent election.  Originally motivated to oppose the party in power because he had members who had been arrested and tortured by the party in power, Ramkalaran has built a political movement while continuing to serve as a minister. The Living Church has a story on his election and his background.

Church of England to Release Study Materials on Homosexuality

The response of the Church of England to the LGBTQ community has been a contested area within the church.  The C of E synod has discussed it numerous times.  A goup of 40 individuals has been working on a whole package of study materials to begin a major conversation within the church, including parish study groups.  The church announced that the materials would become available on November 9.
Its contents are not yet clear.   

Roman Catholics Shaken by Pope Francis's Statements on Civil Marriage

A statement by Pope Francis that he understands and approves of civil marriage for same sex couples as a means of ensuring basic legal rights and the right of gays and lesbians to have a family has shaken many Catholic leaders who saw this as undermining the Roman Catholic Church's teachings on marriage.  The pope framed his statements as pastoral, not doctrinal, however.

Continuing Stories

 Albany Bishop Chooses to Resign

Two weeks ago  the Hearing Panel published findings that Bishop William Love had violated canons and his ordination vows by refusing to implement the 2018 General Convention Resolution B012.  The panel was to reconvene this week to determine sentence, but Bishop Love signed an agreement with Presiding Bishop Curry that eliminates the need for further action by the panel.  Love has agreed to a month's leave in January 2021 with his resignation to take effect February 1, 2021.  Love made the announcement in a letter and at the Albany diocese's annual conventionReaction was swift from Claim the Blessing (one of the groups advocating for full inclusion of the LGBTQ community within the Episcopal Church).   The Episcopal New Service article opens discussion of the loose ends that leaves behind in the Diocese of Albany and the church at large.

Vicar of Baghdad Censored After Investigation

The Rev. Andrew White gained fame for his work  at St. George's in Baghdad, and actions throughout the Middle East.  However those actions have led to several controversies.  He was cleared early in 2018 of criminal action, but censured recently for his actions in trying to ransom young women from ISIS sex slavery.  Now he has run afoul of the National Charities Commission for sloppy record keeping, conflicts of interest and misuse of funds of a charity organization he heads.  He has been barred for 10 years from holding any senior post or serving as a trustee on any charity board after an investigation by England's National Charity Board.  The Anglican.ink story focuses on the details of the misuse.  The article in Christian Today focused more on the penalty.

Bishops Close Churches in Wales To Fight Pandemic Surge

The second wave surge of the pandemic has led the  Bishops of the Church in Wales to issue a statement closing the churches there for two weeks as a form of "fire break" to slow the spread.  They are allowing small gathers at outdoor services for Remembrance Day (Veteran's Day), and making an exception for essential services such as food banks and day care run by churches, but churches are urged to consider carefully if these really are essential.  The British Isles have been struggling to find the right mix between opening churches and stopping covid-19 spread.

Outreach to Navajo Families Grows

Covid-19 has hit the Navajo much harder than the rest of the U.S.  The small Episcopal missions in Navajoland have been expanding their outreach to Navajo families sheltering in place but in need of food and supplies.  Update noted the beginnings of this ministry hereThe Living Church has published the first of a two-part series on the Episcopal Church's efforts in Navajoland.  The first part looks at the expanded food and supplies ministry being run by the church.  You can read the full article here.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Week Endig 10/19/20

Homeless Jesus Upsets Neighborhood

It took only 20 minutes  after installation of a sculpture of a homeless Jesus sleeping on a park bench at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Bay Village Ohio, before the police had a call from a resident requesting the police remove the sleeping man.  The parish had been pleased to host the traveling sculpture for  a seven week stint, hoping that it would spark dialog about the treatment and needs of the homeless.  Other churches that have hosted the sculpture have had similar experiences, including Episcopal Churches in North Carolina and New York.  The parish is using the sculpture to touch off a campaign to raise money for a community foundation and another Episcopal Church who have a ministry to homeless and street people.

St. Augustine University President Dies from Covid-19

Irving Pressley McPhail, the president of St. Augustine's University, a small historically black school founded by the Episcopal Church has died of covid-19.  The college has recently benefited from an fund raising drive with strong support from Presiding Bishop Curry.  Appointed to the presidency in July, McPhail, a distinguished black educator, barely had time to learn his way around campus before  becoming ill in September. The Vice President, Maria Lumpkin has stepped in as interim president.  The campus web site currently lists multiple memorial activities for McPhail.

British Isles Church Leaders Take Stand Against Economic Bill

The Archbishops of the Churches of the Anglican Communion within Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England have all signed a memorial urging Parliament to not pass a the proposed internal market bill that is pasrt of the fall out from leaving the EU without a full agreement.  The bill threatens the accords in effect in Northern Ireland, and authorizes a government minister to break international law.  The full statement is here

Electioneering and Church-Going

With the U.S. elections only two weeks off, the news this week included stories of both presidential candidates attending church.  Joe Biden attended Catholic mass in Delaware, as he has done regularly.  After the service The Bidens stopped in the churchyard where their son Beau is buried.  The Bidens had the press traveling with them stay on the bus and not enter the church. The Trumps attended a service at a non-denominational Church whose pastor has visited the Trump White House on several occasions.  The sermon praised Trump, the minister announced that God had revealed to her in a dream that Trump would win a second term, and Trump was given a megaphone so he could speak to the congregation.  At one point during the service dancers twirling U.S. flags.  Mixing politics and religion is not only an issue in the U.S. The losing candidate for Prime Minister in New Zealand, Judith Collins,was offered a chance to slip into an Anglican Church and pray (she is a confirmed member of the Anglican Church of New Zealand).  A Collins aide then allowed the press to slip in and take pictures of her praying. The fact that this became a photo opportunity was the subject of a great deal of criticism.  

Continuing Stories

More Ministry During the Pandemic

Continuing Update's focus on outreach ministry during the pandemic,  we have 5 examples to offer this week.  The Diocese of Wyoming, which had committed $1 million to outreach during the pandemic, much of it dispersed by parishes, has made a direct grant of $13,000 to  YWCA program supporting those escaping domestic violence.  In the diocese of Virginia the retreat center is closed, but has opened its kitchen to an organization that cooks gourmet meals to fund a program that feeds thousands of hungry people in the Richmond area.  St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in the Diocese of El Camino Real has found ways to continue to support a ministry to those in prisons and transitioning back into the community despite the restrictions of social distancing.  Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, Virginia has opened its building to a program supporting children who had fallen behind in reading and math when schools switched to on-line instruction. In Germantown, Pennsylvania, St. Martin's-in-the-Field church has rallied to provide support to a beloved deacon who just celebrated her 100th birthday. The parish not only throws her a birthday part each year, but have helped her compiling a memoir (her second book), and with the need to stay home during the pandemic, has been providing her with meals. Other stories of parishes feeding the hungry include this one.  The announcement of the Wyoming grant program was noted here, and an example of a parish award is here.
 

Church Membership Declines 

Update earlier carried a story about the drop in membership in the Anglican Church of Canada.  Now the data for 2019 for The Episcopal Church has been made public and once again there was a drop in membership and attendance.  Most of the interpretation of the statistics has been grim, predicting the church would disappear by 2050, however there are spots of growth.  One of them was Pittsburgh where membership reported by the diocese increased by more than 400.  Church attendance figures were down slightly.  In 2019 about one-quarter of its members were in church on any given Sunday.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Week Ending 10/12/20

Chicago Diocese Bishop Nominations Break New Ground

The Diocese of Chicago is on track to have a different look after its election of a new bishop.  The nominating committee has put forward four candidates.  All four are people of color,  two are women, and one of those is is from the LGBTQ community.  The names of the four nominees and their statements are 
available here. 

Updates on Continuing Stories

Reaction to Title IV Panel Panel's Decision on Bishop Love

Last week, Update carried the news that the Title IV Hearing Panel had decided that Bishop William Love had violated his vows by refusing to abide by Resolution B012 of General Convention 2018.  The resultion required every diocese to have a means by which same sex couples could make use of the authorized trial liturgies for marriage.  Responses to that decision have now started to come in.  The Alabany Standing Committee has issued a statement that while offering support to Bishop Love also is clear that the diocese should look to the things that unite its members across differences.  Bishop Love was a member of the conservative group of bishops know as the Communion Partners. The group opposes same sex marriage.  Eight bishops from seven dioceses signed the statement.  Two of the bishops serve dioceses outside the U.S. (Honduras the the Dominican Republic), Both the diocesan and assistant bishops of Dallas signed.   Another signer, Bishop Martins of Springfield is on leave with a retirement beginning in a few months.   Their call focused on moving forward to a more secure process for allowing those who do not accept same sex marriage to continue to flourish within the church.   The Living Church summarizes their statement here, and the full statement is here.
 

Church Reveals Racist Origins of Grant

For over a century a trust has been offering scholarship grants to those nominated by the bishops of dioceses in seven southeastern states.  The trust provided the money to the Treasurer of the Episcopal Church who then informed the bishops and dispersed the funds.  The trust was created in 1919 by the will of the wife of a descendant of the Corbin family, once among Virginia's wealthiest and most powerful colonial families.  The grant was restricted to those men or women who were white and preferably Episcopalian.  By the 1990s some bishops were refusing to nominate anyone because of the race requirement.  In 2004 the objections of Bishop Michael Curry of North Carolina found sympathetic support from the new Treasurer of the Episcopal Church, and the Treasurer got a legal opinion saying that the trust's racist requirement was invalid.  The Church is revealing the history of the trust as part of its work on racial reconciliation. Update has been following such disclosures by parishes, schools, dioceses and the Episcopal Church.  The most recent post is here

Church of England Struggles With Past Failures to Create a Safe Church

The Church of England has been struggling with its past history of being more intent on maintaining its reputation than in providing discipline for clergy who sexually preyed on youth and members of their congregation.  The process by which such claims will be handled has been revised, and a task force was appointed to look at past actions and recommend changes in policies and procedures.  The task force's report was issued last week and its findings were not pretty.  As might be expected, the responses to that report have been numerous. Archbishop Welby has issued a personal statement.  The web site for Thinking Anglicans has a good compilation both on the report itself and the responses.  Update has published previous notices of parts of this ongoing controversy.  


 Seniors Are All Home Again in Florida Church Apartments

In August, Update published several stories about senior citizens who had been displaced for several months from a church owned apartment building in the Diocese of Southeastern Florida.  Some were able to return to their homes at the end of August, and the last returned home last week, although there is still some minor work being done.  Originally the group was frustrated because the building had been poorly run before an electrical fire made the building uninhabitable.  The apartments sat on prime realestate and the seniors were worried that the diocese might decide to redevelop or sell the site to cash in on its value.  The diocese was paying for alternate housing in hotels for most of the residents.