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, March 9, 2015

News for Week Ending 3/9/2015

‘Traveling pastor’ to U2 dies

The Rev. Jack Heaslip, an Anglican priest and “traveling pastor” to Bono and U2 on the band’s tours, died in his home in Dublin on the weekend of February 21, 2015, a victim of motor neuron disease according to ChurchLeaders.comHerald.ie reported that his funeral in Howth, a suburb of Dublin, was attended by U2.

Gay Jennings among submitters of gay marriage briefs

USA Today reported March 6, 2015, on the flood of amicus briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in opposition to state bans on same-sex marriage. (Such briefs were due by March 6. Amicus briefs in support of state bans are due by April 3.) The Rev. Gay Jennings, president of the House of Deputies of The Episcopal Church, asserted in a brief that no religion should restrict people’s rights and that the issue at hand is about civil, not religious marriage. USA Today also reported that one brief supporting same-sex marriage was “signed by 303 Republican, conservative, libertarian and center-right political officials, past and present”:
Those signing included Republican industrialist and activist David Koch, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, former deputy Defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz, U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, U.S. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mark Kirk of Illinois, former Utah governor and presidential candidate Jon Huntsman and others.

Rachel Held Evans defends move to Episcopal Church

Rachel Held Evans, who is perhaps best known for her book A Year of Biblical Womanhood, is the subject of a March 9, 2015, interview published by Religion News Service. In the interview, Evans defends her leaving Evangelicalism for The Episcopal Church. She asserts that millennials are not leaving the church because they are not being sufficiently entertained. Instead, the church needs to do “the stuff the church has been doing for the last 2,000 years.” Evans also defends the orthodoxy of The Episcopal Church in the interview.

New survey results concerning Episcopal congregations available

Episcopal Café reported on the availability of a new report from the church titled “New Facts on Episcopal Church Growth and Decline.” The report is based on 2013 parochial reports and a 2014 survey. It is an update of the 2005 “Facts on Episcopal Church Growth.” The Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release about the new report is here.

New Blue Book reports available

As noted in a previous story, background material for the 2015 General Convention, which is collectively known as the Blue Book, is being accumulated piecemeal. Two new reports are now available, one from Executive Council and one from the Committee on the State of the Church. The reports are described in a story from Episcopal Café, which contains links to the new material.

Rio Grande a changed diocese

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori  visited the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande this past weekend and preached at St. John’s Cathedral, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. According to the Albuquerque Journal, the diocese and The Episcopal Church as a whole are much less contentious as a result of Jefferts Schori’s tenure. Read details in the Albuquerque Journal story.

Episcopalians lose a round in Fort Worth

Episcopal Café reported that the Episcopal parties to the Fort Worth property dispute were handed a setback March 2, 2015, when John P. Chupp of the 141st District Court, Tarrant County, Texas, granted partial summary judgment to the breakaway group led by Jack Leo Iker. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) It is expected that the Episcopal plaintiffs will appeal. Statements were forthcoming from the leaders of the Episcopal and breakaway dioceses.

Calvary Church to host data security and recycling event

Calvary Episcopal Church, 315 Shady Avenue in Pittsburgh, will host a data security and electronics recycling event Saturday, March 14, 2015, from 9 AM to 1 PM. Electronic devices can be dropped off for recycling, and, for a fee, hard drives can be destroyed. Details are given in a Calvary press release.