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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Monday, October 14, 2013

News for Week Ending 10/14/2013

More commentary appears on UTO controversy

On October 11, 2013, The Lead published talking points about the ongoing United Thank Offering (UTO) dispute prepared by the Church Center staff for Episcopal bishops. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The post, by Jim Naughton, takes no position on the controversy, but Naughton offers this commentary: “We’d note, though, that logic alone does not prevent one from believing that the business practices of the UTO could stand improvement and that the Church Center team overreached in attempting to provide it.”

The four resigned UTO board members continue to post on their new blog, E-Women[:] 125 Years of UTO. The blog now offers a response to the talking points given the bishops; a petition asking for “the UTO Board to remain the leaders, decision-makers and managers of our Thank Offering;” and additional material. The Episcopal Women’s Caucus has issued a statement pleading for reconciliation in the UTO dispute.

The Executive Council is meeting in Chicago this week (October 15–17) and will take up the issue of the UTO bylaws. Mark Harris, a former member of the Executive Council, has written a thoughtful essay on how that body might deal with the UTO issue and what implications resolution might have for the wider church as it considers changes to its structure.

S.C. judge denies notion to lift injunction

The Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina, reported October 11, 2013, that Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein has refused to lift her injunction preventing South Carolina Episcopalians from using the name and seal of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. What is having to be called the Episcopal Church in South Carolina recently asked the judge to set the injunction aside. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The judge has not yet issued a written rejection of the Episcopalians’ request. The suit instigated by former Bishop of South Carolina Mark Lawrence is expected to go to trial next year.

Final judgment entered in Quincy case

Judge Thomas J.Ortbal of the Eighth Circuit Court of Illinois entered final judgment October 9, 2013, in the dispute between the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy (now a part of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago) and the breakaway Diocese of Quincy that is now part of the Anglican Church in North America. The judge awarded diocesan property to the Anglican diocese, on the theory that the diocese itself is the highest authority in The Episcopal Church. That order and judgment is here. A.S. Haley, who is involved in the case, described the legal development on his blog. He argues, credibly, that The Episcopal Church must appeal this ruling.

Time to prepare for Annual Convention

The Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh will be held at Trinity Cathedral November 1 and 2, 2013. The diocesan Web site has links to registration forms—registration is due by October 18—and to parts of the pre-convention journal. To date, not all sections of the journal are available. That information can be found here.

Pre-convention information sessions are being held Tuesday, October 15, Thursday, October 17, and Sunday, October 20. Details are here.