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         

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week Ending 02/08/16

Presiding Bishop Speaks at the National Press Club

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry spoke for more than 20 minutes on evangelism and racial reconciliation at the National Press Club on Monday, February 8 and then fielded questions on those topics as well as the recent meeting in Canterbury and the issue of past sexual abuse at St. George's School in Rhode Island (for more on St. George's see the story below.  Episcopal News Service has provided both a summary of his talk and a full video of the presentation and Q & A period.  The Living Church also carried a story focused on the main points of Curry's talk.  Religion News Service carried an account that dealt only with the Questions and Answers on Canterbury and St. George's School. Jeff Walton, who writes for the ultra conservative Institute for Religion and Democracy  focused almost exclusively on the less that five minutes Curry used to answer a question on the status of the Episcopal Church in the Anglican Communion following the primates meeting.

Ecclesiastical Proceedings Started Against Clergy Involved in St. George's School Abuse Scandal

Rhode Island Bishop Nicholas Knisley has called for disciplinary actions against 3 men who have been accused of sexually abusing children at St. George's Episcopal School.  One of the three, Frank Coleman,  is a lay person and not subject to church discipline.  The other two, the former chaplain at the school, Howard White, and the school's headmaster, George Andrews II (who dismissed Coleman when accusations of abuse originally surfaced, but failed to report the accusations to civil authorities) are now under ecclesiastical review.  White is also being investigated by the Diocese of Western North Carolina following a charge of abuse while he served a parish there.  Pittsburgh Update carried a story in January when the story first broke.

Episcopal School Cancels Class To Feed the Poor

On a more positive note that the previous story, Holy Innocents School in Atlanta cancelled the physical education classes for their third graders and one class of eighth graders so that they could pack 10,000 plastic bags of protein, rice and dried vegetables for the "Stop Hunger Now" program which will distribute them to needy families in some of the poorest nations of the world.   Each bag held six meals.  As the children packed the food, they learned more about world hunger from Stop Hunger Now's program manager.  Holy Innocents, with 1360 students in age 3 to grade 12, is among the largest Episcopal day schools in the country.  The school chaplains said the event was a way of putting faith into action.

Church of England Again in the News

Christiantoday.com an on-line evangelical newspaper based in London had two stories of possible interest to Update readers.  The first reported on a survey showing that  six out of ten adults in England actually visited a church or chapel in the past year.  Four out of five of those visiting went to a religious service as opposed to a cultural event such as a concert.  Comfortable pews and access to wi-fi were high on the list of things that those surveyed said would encourage them to return for another visit.    The second story is about the formation of a new, broadly based pressure group focused on full inclusion of LGBTI people in the Church of England.  This latter group intends to see that the church follows up on the Archbishop of Canterbury's apology to LGBTI people with actual action.

Ethiopian Anglicans Acting as Peacemakers

Tribal conflicts have led to increased violence in Ethiopia, and the church there has asked for prayers for an end to violence.  The church has tried to be a witness for reconciliation, even having some of its members act as a human shield to escort students through hostile tribal areas to their homes.

Sydney Breaks New Ground With Installation of Cathedral Dean

The installation of Kanishka Raffel as dean of the cathedral in Sydney, Australia marked the first time that a person other than someone from European ancestry has held that role.  The dean was raised a Buddhist by his Sri-Lankan immigrant parents.  He converted to Christianity while in college in Sydney. He is hopeful that his election will serve as a symbol of inclusion and welcome to Asians and South Asia in Sydney where 56 percent of the people were born outside of the country.