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 6, 2009

News for Week Ending 4/6/2009

Duncan to attend GAFCON meeting

The Living Church reported April 1, 2009, that deposed Pittsburgh bishop Robert Duncan has been invited to attend the GAFCON Primates’ Council meeting as a guest. The Council will meet in London April 13–18.

AAC COO says ACNA recognition unlikely

In another story in The Living Church, the Rev. J. Philip Ashey, chief operating officer and chaplain of the American Anglican Council (AAC), is quoted as saying that he does not expect Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to recognize the Anglican Church in North America, the new church being organized under Bishop Robert Duncan. Few people were likely surprised by this observation. Less expected was Ashey’s characterization of the AAC: “Like Special Forces, we go behind the scenes and we blow up things.”

ANCA publishes constitution and canons

The Anglican Church in North America published its proposed constitution and canons on April 6, 2009. A letter from Bishop Robert Duncan introducing the new documents can be read here, where the documents themselves are available as PDF files. The letter solicits comments before the Provincial Council meeting scheduled for April 24–25, 2009.

ACC to meet in May

Episcopal News Service has published a story on the upcoming meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), which is to take place in Kingston, Jamacia, May 1—13, 2009. The ACC is the most representative of the four so-called “instruments of communion” of Anglicanism, including, as it does, ordinary clergy and laypeople of the Communion churches, in addition to bishops. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will attend the meeting as a member of the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and ACC.

The ACC is expected to consider the latest draft of an Anglican covenant and whether it should be commended to the member churches of the Communion for their approval. According to ENS, the Covenant Design Group, which met in Cambridge, England, March 30–April 3, is expected to issue a revised covenant draft sometime this week. The Presiding Bishop suggested in October that, should the ACC put forward a new draft for adoption, the 2009 General Convention should not act on the matter, as there will be insufficient time to consider the draft covenant before the church’s governing body meets. (See ENS story here.) She has received some criticism from advocates of a covenant for this statement.

The ACC will also be reviewing the final report of the Windsor Continuation Group, which was presented to the primates in February.

The Falls Church appeals for funds

The Falls Church, one of a group of breakaway churches aligned with the Church of Nigeria (Anglican) and engaged in a long-running battle for parish property with the Diocese of Virginia, has written to parishioners asking for additional funds for legal expenses. (See Pittsburgh Update story here on Virginia litigation.) The letter to contributors of an earlier capital campaign has been posted by The Lead here. Interesting background on that capital campaign has been provided by the Falls Church News-Press.

Episcopalians return to Colorado church for Palm Sunday celebration

After a Colorado judge ordered the dissident congregation occupying the property of Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church to return the property to displaced Episcopal parishioners, an orderly transfer of control led to a Palm Sunday return of the Episcopal congregation. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) According to Episcopal News Service, more than 540 people attended the service.

Corrected Pittsburgh constitution and canons published

The Committee on Canons of the Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Pittsburgh has published a corrected version of the diocese’s Constitution, Canons, Rules of Order, and Financial Regulations. The new file can be found here. The new version of these documents was necessitated by the decision of the diocese at its December 13, 2008, special convention to declare that certain changes to the constitution and canons were improper, and therefore void. (Resolution IV can be found here on the diocesan Web site.) The file from the Committee on Canons, which had to be reconstructed from older PDF files because the source was not available has bookmarks for the individual documents and a table of contents with links to document content.

The diocese’s story on the new file can be found here. Also on the diocesan Web site is a letter from the Committee requesting suggested changes to the constitution and canons by May 31, 2009. On the same page, the Committee has posted previous versions of the governing documents of the diocese and convention journals from the past several years.

Quincy diocese reorganizes

The Diocese of Quincy, whose synod (convention), like that of San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, and Fort Worth, voted to leave The Episcopal Church, held a reorganizing convention April 4, 2009. As reported by Episcopal News Service, the synod elected the Rt. Rev. John Clark Buchanan, retired bishop of the Diocese of West Missouri, as its new provisional bishop. Buchanan will spend approximately 10 days each month in the Diocese of Quincy. As was done in Pittsburgh, the synod rolled back changes reputedly made to the diocesan constitution and canons by earlier synods. The presence of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was of special significance for the Diocese of Quincy, which has never ordained or welcomed the ministry of women.