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         

Monday, January 12, 2015

News for Week Ending 1/12/2015

Religious leaders respond to Charlie Hebdo attack

Prominent Anglicans responded to the fatal attack on the Charlie Hebdo staff. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby commented, as did Bishop Pierre Whalon of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. (Whalon is headquartered in Paris.) Episcopal News Service ran a story on commentary by religious leaders, including Muslim leaders, here. Episcopal Café also published commentary on the terrorist attack.

Church releases “Report to the Church 2015”

On January 9, 2015, the church issued a 200-page Adobe Flash document titled “Report to the Church 2015.” Details about the document and a link to it can be found here. “Report” emphasizes the work done by the churchwide staff, consistently referred to as “the Missionary Society.” A new Web site also appeared this week, with the rather cumbersome name of “Mission Centered Episcopalians Networking for Mission.” This site, too, is attributed to “The Missionary Society of The Episcopal Church.” Details about the new site can be found here.

Executive Council meets in Maryland

The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council met in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, January 9, 10, and 11, 2015. Opening remarks by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori can be read here, and opening remarks by House of Deputies President Gay Jennings are found here. Carole Pryor, of the Diocese of West Missouri, has replaced the resigned Vycke McEwen as Province VII representative on Executive Council. (See story here.) Episcopal News Service summarized the work of Executive Council here. Council also announced Constable Fund Grants. Perhaps of greatest interest to the church at large is the fact that Council approved a draft triennial budget that reduces the asking of dioceses in each on the next three years. Details can be found here.

Curry named board chair of Episcopal Relief & Development; lenten booklets available

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has named Bishop of North Carolina Michael Curry Chair of the Board of Directors of Episcopal Relief & Development. Curry succeeds Bishop Robert J. O’Neill, who has served since 2009. Details are found in this press release.

Episcopal Relief & Development has also announced that its 2015 Lenten Meditations are now available in English and Spanish. The annual booklets should be ordered by February 4 for delivery for Ash Wednesday. The booklet is also available on-line and in the form of daily e-mail messages. Details can be found in the Episcopal News Service story here.

Bishop Cook jailed

Maryland’s Suffragan Bishop Heather Elizabeth Cook has been jailed on a long list of charges related to the December 27, 2014, accident in which the car she was driving hit and killed a bicyclist. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) It appears that Cook was driving while drunk and texting, causing her car to veer into the bicycle lane and strike 41-year-old Thomas Palermo. Cook is being held on $2.5 million bail. The latest details can be found in this story from The Baltimore Sun. Even before Cook was charged and arrested, disciplinary proceedings were begun against her. (See story here.)

Diocese of Maryland clergy met privately January 6, 2015, to discuss Bishop Cook’s situation. The diocese issued a statement after the meeting. Details were reported by Episcopal Café. The diocese also issued a statement after Bishop Cook was charged.

Churches claim JPMorgan mishandled trust funds

A January 8, 2015, Bloomberg story reports that two church organizations have sued JPMorgan Chase & Co. in separate suits claiming that the bank put its own financial interests above those of its clients by investing trust funds in financial instruments offered by the bank itself. Christ Church Cathedral of Indianapolis and the Sandscrest Foundation, which benefits the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia, have each accused JPMorgan Chase of conflict of interest.

Registration deadline nears for “Creating Common Good”

This year’s conference sponsored by Trinity, Wall Street, will be held January 22–24, 2015. The theme this year is “Creating Common Good: A Practical Conference for Economic Equality.” St. Paul’s, Mt. Lebanon, will be acting as a satellite location for the conference, which will be delivered over the Internet. Registration for the full conference costs $50, but single-day registrations and scholarships are also available. The registration deadline is January 15. Details can be found on the diocesan Web site.