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         

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Week Ending 11/14/16

Church Responds to the Election

Many leaders in the Episcopal Church have issued statements following the Presidential election and reports of acts of intolerance.  Most have urged Episcopalians to remember the vows made at baptism about respecting every human being. The presiding bishop issued a statement on the eve of the election (video version here), and then a new one on November 14, stressing that the Episcopal Church welcomes everyone. Gay Jennings, president of the House of Deputies of the General Convention stressed that reconciliation should not come at the expense of following the gospel and standing with those facing discrimination.  A number of bishops have weighed in including Pittsburgh's Dorsey McConnell, all four bishops of New York,  and Bishop Sean Rowe who serves two dioceses in Pennsylvania.  Almost all of the clergy in Minnesota signed a statement at a meeting held the day after the convention.

Hate Messages Deface Two Episcopal Churches

When parishioners arrived at the Church of Our Saviour in Maryland (Diocese of Washington) and at St. David's in Bean Blossom, Indiana they were greeted with hate graffitti.  In both cases the graffitti included statements in favor of Trump.  Our Saviour, in a multicultural suburb of Washington D.C., sponsors a Spanish Language service.  The sign was cut and its back used for a "Whites Only" message.  A wall in the church's memorial garden was similarly defaced.  At St. David's, the message was anti-LGBT.  People thronged to the church in Maryland, including Bishop Mariann Budde.  Messages of love were chalked after a packed service.  On Monday the parish found a new banner had  replaced the old.  It read "Silver Spring loves and welcomes immigrants."  St. David's is in a small town (population about 3000) in the Diocese of Indianapolis.  The police are investigating; many members of the community have expressed support for the congregation; and some have offered to clean up the damage.  St. David's intends to leave the message up for a while saying it shows "they are doing the right thing." 

More Leadership Changes

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has announced three staff members each of whom have served for more than decade in their current posts.  The Rev. Angela Ifill is retiring after 16 years at the Office of Black Ministries.  C. Kirk Hadaway will leave his post as Officer for Congregational Research on November 30 after 14 years of service. Canon Peter C. Ng has served for 11 years as Partnership Officer for Asia and the Pacific.  In a relatively unusual move, Kansas Bishop Dean Wolfe announced that he was resigning after 13 years as bishop to become rector of St. Bartholomew's Church in New York City in February.   Wolfe's letter cited a number of accomplishments for the diocese during his years, but noted that he really missed parish work and wanted to return to it.

GAFCON Goes on Offensive

GAFCON leadership has issued a new report on what they are calling "violations" of  resolutions approved at the 1998 Lambeth Conference. Resolutions passed at Lambeth Conferences are not binding on any Churches, but for the last decade those opposed to LGBT inclusion have been trying to treat them as law.  The report and a special web site listing individual gay clergy in the Church of England is the opening of a new campaign to try to convince the Anglican Communion to roll back steps already taken in ordination of LGBT individuals and on the blessing of same sex unions and marriages in Canada, Scotland, and the U.S.   Thinking Anglicans has a good set of links to the reactions to publication of the detailed list.   The return of Gregory Venables to the position of Primate of the Province of South America will put another strong GAFCON voice at meetings of the primates.

Churches Urged to Join Sanctuary Movement

A call for churches of all denominations to sign a pledge committing to become safe places for immigrants and others facing discrimination has been circulated through the Groundswell Movement web site sponsored by Auburn Seminary in New York.  The call is one of many responses to the election of Donald Trump. As a sanctuary site, churches would pledge "to educate and activate our congregations, to amplify and respond to the voices of immigrant leaders, and to speak out against the discrimination of any and all marginalized people."  The seminary set up the site as a way to encourage a multi-faith movement to "Heal and Repair the World." It provides a quick and easy way to circulate petitions and calls for action.

Former Tanzanian Primate Faces Corruption Charges

Bishops in the Anglican Province of Tanzania will begin a corruption hearing on November 21 for Rt. Rev. Valentino Mokiwa -- Bishop of Dar es Salaam.  He is accused of pocketing millions of dollars from the lease or  sale of church property while serving as Provincial Primate.