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, May 18, 2015

News for Week Ending 5/18/2015

Archbishop Isingoma deplores Florida consecrations

Archbishop of the Congo Henri Isingoma has repudiated the consecrations of two bishops in Florida as “Bishop Emissaries” to dioceses in Congo and Tanzania. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) According to a May 12, 2015, story at Anglican Ink, the consecrations were carried out by “the Most Rev. Emmanuel Kolini, the former primate of Rwanda, and the Most Rev. Yong Ping Chung, the former primate of South East Asia, the Rt. Rev. Charles Murphy, the former leader of the AMiA [Anglican Mission in the Americas] assisted by three Congolese bishops, a Tanzanian bishop and a Ghanaian bishop.” Isingoma sees the consecrations as an interference in his own church.

Bishop of Maidstone: 10% of CoE members oppose female bishops

The newly appointed Bishop of Maidstone, the Rev. Prebendary Rod Thomas, has estimated that 10% of Church of England members oppose female bishops. He has suggested that there are 300 individual parishes that cannot accept the authority of a woman bishop. Thomas was selected for his opposition to female ordination and his ability to minister to those who hold similar views. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Premier reported this story May 11, 2015.

Independent group writes memorial and offers alternative resolutions to General Convention

On May 14, 2015, Ascension Day, a group of seven Episcopalians unveiled a new Web site carrying the title “Episcopal Resurrection: Calling the 78th General Convention to Proclaim Resurrection.” Anyone who follows Episcopal discussion on the Web will recognize the names of at least some of the authors: Susan Brown Snook, Tom Ferguson, Scott Gunn, Frank Logue, Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale, Steve Pankey, and Adam Trambley. The site contains a memorial addressed to the General Convention and a collection of proposed resolutions. The memorial is not very different in spirit from the the introductory material in the report from the Task Force for Reimagining The Episcopal Church, but the resolutions offer a different view of how the church can be revitalized.

The Web site includes a brief description of how it came to be, and at least two of the authors have blogged about the development (here and here).

Episcopalians are invited to endorse the memorial, though not the resolutions. To date, endorsers include 25 bishops, including Bishop Dorsey McConnell. Of the Presiding Bishop candidates, only Ian Douglas has signed on. Deputy and alternate deputy endorsers include Bruce Robison and Lou Hays from Pittsburgh. People can sign on as endorsers by sending their name and status (bishop, deputy, alternate deputy, or other) to endorse@episcopalresurrection.org.

Pew Research Center paints dim picture of Christianity in America

On May 12, 2015, Pew Research Center released a report titled “America’s Changing Religious Landscape.” As might be expected, the message from Pew is not encouraging for mainline churches. Fewer Americans are calling themselves Christian. Non-Christian faiths are growing, as are the ranks of the unaffiliated. The Pew report has lots of tables and graphs.

Number of PB candidates fixed at four

The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) announced May 13, 2015, that no additional candidates have been submitted to stand for the election as the next Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. Therefore, the next leader of the church will be selected from among
  • Bishop Thomas E. Breidenthal of Southern Ohio
  • Bishop Michael B. Curry of North Carolina
  • Bishop Ian T. Douglas of Connecticut
  • Bishop Dabney T. Smith of Southwest Florida
The election will take place on June 27 at the General Convention in Salt Lake City.

Dean reports on state of GTS

Dean and President of the General Theological Seminary Kurt H. Dunkle has written to the seminary community offering a rosy view of the state of the institution that began the academic year with something of a faculty strike. Students and alumni are inclined to believe that the state of the seminary is not so good. No one is saying how many students GTS will have in the fall. Episcopal Café published Dunkle’s letter.

Fort Worth elects new provisional bishop; Dallas elects new bishop

As expected —see Pittsburgh Update story here—the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth elected its latest provisional bishop, the Rt. Rev. J. Scott Mayer, on May 16, 2015. The Living Church reported this story. Episcopal News Service reported that, on the same day, the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas elected a successor to Bishop James Stanton. The Rev. Canon George Sumner, principal of Wycliffe College in Toronto, was elected on the fourth ballot.

Maryland chooses replacement for disgraced Bishop Cook

The Baltimore Sun reported May 11, 2015, that the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland has chosen Bishop Chilton R. Knudsen, retired Bishop of Maine, as assistant bishop, replacing the disgraced and deposed Heather Cook. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Knudsen is herself a recovering alcoholic and expert in addiction recovery. Episcopal News Service reported on Knudsen, pointing out that much of her education was obtained in Pittsburgh.

S.C. Episcopalians make submission to S.C. Supreme Court

On May 18, 2015, the Episcopal Church in South Carolina announced that it had submitted a 51-page brief to the South Carolina Supreme in support of its appeal of the trial court decision that put deposed bishop Mark Lawrence in control of most of the assets of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The brief itself can be found here.