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, February 16, 2015

News for Week Ending 2/16/2015

Barbara Darling, Anglican pioneer, dies unexpectedly in Australia

The Rt. Rev. Barbara Darling, 67, died February 15, 2015, in Australia after suffering a stroke. She had been a pioneer in the campaign for a larger role for women in the Anglican Church of Australia. She began service in the church as a layperson, and, as opportunities opened up to her, she became a deacon, then a priest, and then a bishop. She became the Bishop of the Eastern Region of the Melbourne Diocese only days after the first woman bishop was consecrated in the Australian church. Details of her life in the church can be read in this appreciation from The Sydney Morning Herald.

New book of prayer available

A new book of prayer, Daily Prayer for All Seasons, is now available. It contains short prayer services suitable for personal or group use and is designed with modern, busy lives in mind. The book is described in a press release and can be downloaded here.

Navajo woman is latest priest in Navajoland

Episcopal News Service reported February 9, 2015, that the Rev. Canon Cornelia Eaton was ordained a priest February 7 by Navajoland Bishop David Bailey. The ceremony included both English and Navajo elements. Eaton, a Navajo, or Diné, is only the fourth Navajo to become a priest.

Presiding Bishop issues Lenten message

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has released her 2015 Lenten message to the church. It is available here in both text and video. Other Lenten resources are listed here. Episcopal Relief and Development offers a booklet of Lenten meditations available as a PDF file here.

Bishop Cook’s ministry restricted by PB

As a result of the Title IV charges brought against Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook—see Pittsburgh Update story here—Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has restricted Cook’s ministry, saying, in part
You shall not exercise or engage in the ordained ministry of this Church in any respect, shall not participate in any functions of the House of Bishops, and shall not hold yourself out as an ordained person of this Church in good standing, until such time as all matters relating to you that are pending before a panel of the Disciplinary Board of Bishops shall have been finally resolved.
As noted in a story from Episcopal Café, the formal restriction appears to add a new charge against Cook, namely, having misrepresented her relationship with alcohol.

S.C. Episcopalians ask for reconsideration of decision

The Episcopal Church and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (ECSC) have petitioned Judge Diane S. Goodstein to reconsider her decision awarding real and intellectual property to the breakaway group headed by former Episcopal bishop Mark Lawrence. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) According to the press release from ECSC, a motion for reconsideration “must be filed within 10 days of the order, and the judge must respond to it, before an appeal can be filed.” Judge Goodstein’s final order was issued February 3, 2015, and the 182-page motion for reconsideration was entered February 13.

South Carolina Episcopalians, writing on February 13, described the motion for reconsideration as a “blistering attack on [the] Goodstein ruling,” which alleges many factual and legal errors. Goodstein is not expected to rule favorably on the motion. 

New Haven church worships on Facebook due to winter weather

Episcopal Café pointed out that the Church of St. Paul and St. James in New Haven, Connecticut, decided to offer the February 15, 2015, service on Facebook. New Haven had implemented a travel ban because of the severe winter weather. Even the collection was held on-line. The New Haven Register also wrote about this unusual response to inclement weather.

Southwestern Pennsylvania has had severe winter weather, of course, but not nearly as severe as weather elsewhere. St. John’s Episcopal Church of Hingham, Massachusetts, has nearly been buried in snow. (See picture here.) Episcopal News Service surveyed the responses to winter weather by northeastern churches February 16.

Diocese of Atlanta joins with others to protest Georgia administration of death penalty

In an earlier story, we noted that Bishop of Atlanta Rob Wright lobbied against the execution of Warren Lee Hill, who reputedly had an IQ of 70. Unfortunately, Hill was executed anyway. On February 11, 2015, Georgians, including representatives of the Diocese of Atlanta, called for ending executions of the intellectually disabled. Whereas the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to execute the intellectually disabled, the state of Georgia makes it particularly difficult to establish such a disability. Details can be found on the Diocese of Atlanta Web site.

Pittsburgh diocese much in the news

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and its bishop Dorsey McConnell, have been much in the news of late. On February 11, 2015, the five bishops of Episcopal dioceses in Pennsylvania called on the state legislature to pass legislation to prohibit discrimination against LGBT persons in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Episcopal News Service, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and The Living Church picked up the story.

Episcopal News Service also ran a story February 10 about the Rev. Ann Staples and Coal Country Hangout in Northern Cambria. The story includes a brief video of Staples.

Details of East End Lenten Preaching Series announced

For the 14th year, East End Episcopal churches will be offering dinner and Eucharist on five weekday evenings during Lent. Priests from various churches preach at other East End churches. The schedule is published on the diocesan Web site.