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.

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A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Monday, April 21, 2008

News for Week Ending 4/21/2008

Archbishop Venables told he is violating Windsor Report

Anglican Church of Canada’s archbishop and primate Fred Hiltz has written to Archbishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone, requesting that he not attend a meeting of the Anglican Network in Vancouver and reminding Venables of statements in the Windsor Report and by the primates against border crossing. The story is reported here by the National Post. Archbishop Hiltz’s quoted the Archbishop of Canterbury as writing: “I am quite content to repeat that I do not endorse any cross-provincial transfers of allegiance, and that this office and that of the Anglican Communion recognize one ecclesial body in Canada as a constitutive member of the Communion, the Anglican Church of Canada.” The letter is available here. Venables has replied saying he intends to attend the meeting anyway.

Many views aired at Covenant Conference

A variety of views on the proposed Anglican Covenant were aired during the conference “An Anglican Covenant: Divisive or Reconciling” held April 10–12 at the Desmond Tutu Center in New York City. The conference was sponsored by The General Theological Seminary and other seminaries of The Episcopal Church and by the Anglican Church of Canada. An Episcopal News Service story summarizing the event, plus audio files and transcripts of presentations can be reached from here.

Priest-in-charge appointed to Groton parish

The evolving story of the “Connecticut Six” continued this week, as the suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Connecticut announced the appointment of the Rev. David Cannon as priest-in-charge of Bishop Seabury Church, Groton. The Bishop Seabury congregation voted in November 2007 to leave The Episcopal Church and to join the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). They have remained in control of the parish property, which Bishop Andrew Smith insisted they vacate last January. The Rev. Ronald Gauss has continued to lead the breakaway congregation. The appointment of the Rev. David Cannon was reported April 14 by Episcopal News Service (ENS). An April 15 story in The Hartford Courant can be read here.

Central N.Y. congregation sued by diocese in property dispute

The Diocese of Central New York has filed suit in a state court seeking “a full accounting and delivery of real and personal property … to the diocese” from Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, N.Y., according to a story from Episcopal News Service. The vestry, wardens, and rector of Good Shepherd, which, according to its Web site, is a member of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, voted to leave The Episcopal Church and to apply to affiliate with the Anglican Church of Kenya. Good Shepherd leaders rejected an offer by Bishop Gladstone (Skip) Adams to remain in its building while it sought alternative accommodations.

Houston area parish splinters

The rector, staff, and an unknown number of parishioners of the 1000-member Church of the Good Shepherd in Tomball, Texas, northwest of Houston, have left The Episcopal Church, probably to affiliate with the Anglican Mission in the Americas. A final service presided over by the Rev. Stan Gerber, rector, was held Sunday, April 13. The Houston Chronicle reported April 18 that Gerber and an expected majority of Good Shepherd members will reorganize as St. Timothy’s Anglican Church and hold services in rented space at a junior high school. At least two vestry members will remain with the Episcopal parish. Services will be led by the Rev. Canon C. Andrew Doyle until a suitable interim rector is named.

Protests over depositions continue

The bishop and standing committee of the Diocese of Western Louisiana adopted a resolution rejecting the March depositions of Bishops William Cox and John-David Schofield. A similar protest was made earlier by leaders of the Diocese of South Carolina, charging a quorum was not present when the House of Bishops voted on the action. The Presiding Bishop’s chancellor, David Booth Beers, has rejected suggestions that the depositions were in any way improper.

No special House of Bishops meeting in May

The Rev. Canon Charles Robertson, canon to the Presiding Bishop, wrote to bishops April 16 to inform them that a poll of the bishops had resulted in a decision not to convene a special meeting of the House of Bishops in May. This makes it likely that bishops will not vote on the deposition of Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan before the September meeting of the House. Details are available here.