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         

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Week Ending 6/7/16

Nigerian Backlash to Virginian Appointed As Liverpool Assisting Bishop

Several weeks ago the Pittsburgh Update covered the announcement by the Dioceses of Virginia and Liverpool that they would be sharing the time of Suffragan Bishop Susan Goff.  Liverpool  had "link" arrangements with both the Diocese of Virginia and the Diocese of Akure in Nigeria.  The Bishop of Akure has announced that he has ended the diocesan link to Liverpool because of Goff's appointment.  He objects to any relationship with the TEC, especially Virginia because of the lawsuit (won by the Diocese of Virginia) against the breakaway congregations in Virginia which had affiliated with the Nigerian-sponsored CANA. That statement was then reinforced by a pastoral letter of the new GAFCON Chairman, Archbishop Okoh who is also primate of Nigeria. Okoh suggests that GAFCON now should consider action targeting the Church of England for crossing the line by allowing Goff to serve.  The Bishop of Liverpool has responded that he has not yet received a formal notification of the severing of the link with Akure, but that he is exploring a new link with a diocese in Ghana.

Diocese of Rochester Announces Intent to Sell Its Diocesan Headquarters

Bishop Singh of Rochester has issued a letter informing his diocese that after months of discussion and consultation, it has been decided to sell the Diocesan House and seek smaller quarters.  The current staff does not use much of the space, and the expense of the building was hard to justify given the current finances of the diocese.  The first draft of the 2017 budget for the diocese has an $84,000 deficit. 

Churches in Europe Seeing Increase in Conversions from Islam

The Manchester Guardian carried a story showing a huge upswing in Muslim refugees converting to Christianity throughout Europe.  The Cathedral in Liverpool offers a serive each week in Farsi attended by 100-200 people. Churches say that the conversions are real.  That those converting do so from a variety of reasons, including the way they were welcomed in the countries that admitted them.  The BBC has noted that officials in England, however, are more skeptical since being a Christian may help applicants get a grant of asylum. Review committees have been asking questions about the Bible to decide if the converts really are Christian and turning down those they deem to have failed the questions. The problem is that the questions are things that can be memorized but do not prove faith.  This controversy is likely to grow as countries try to deal with the refugee crisis.