Presidential Inaugural Concerns
While Episcopalians debated whether
churches should pray for the incoming president by name or by title, and others were upset that Washington National Cathedral was hosting the post inauguration prayer service and sending its men's and boy's choir to sing as a prelude to the actual inauguration, the Archbishop of Canada asked members
of his church to pray for people in the U.S. The discussion over how to pray
for the incoming president led Presiding Bishop Curry to issue a formal statement
. Most prayers in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer for the country and its leaders are by generic title. Only two have an option of adding a name. Those upset with the National Cathedral service raised issues about whether that was a form of endorsement of him, were concerned that the inaugural committee was planning the service, (not the cathedral dean or bishop), that there was to be no sermon, and that it was a ticketed event. The performance by the cathedral music groups at the prelude to the inauguration was opposed
as being inappropriate given Episcopal values. Statements by the cathedral dean
and Bishop Mariann Budde
did not end the criticism.
Pauli Murray Home Named a National Landmark
The childhood home of the Rev. Pauli Murray, poet, activist, lawyer, feminist, and the first African American woman ordained to the Episcopal priesthood has been declared
a national historic landmark. The group restoring the house is working on opening the site by 2020. You can read more about Murray here
. Murray has a Pittsburgh connection, having spent the last year of her life in our diocese as a member of Holy Cross parish.
Reformed Church Ordains First Openly Gay Minister
Chad Tanaka Pack was ordained
this last week in the Reformed Church in a ceremony at Middle Collegiate Church in New York. He is on the staff of the Marble Collegiate Church also in New York City. It makes for some interesting commuting because Pack is the spouse of the Rev. Michael Foley, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh, PA. Pack is the first openly gay individual to enter the ordination process of the Reformed Church as an "out" gay.
Scots Criticized for Epiphany Service with Muslims
St. Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow planned its Epiphany Service with input from the local Muslim community which was invited to attend. One of the readings for that service was from the Koran. The Cathedral was surprised by the large number of protests they received. Some of those upset threatened the church. The Primus of the Episcopal Church of Scotland has issued a statement
saying the Church is sorry that the service caused so much offense and is also sorry for the abuse that the cathedral and staff have received. They will be looking for other ways to continue the interfaith dialog.
ACNA Bishops Approve Trial texts for New Prayer Book
The 1979 Book of Common Prayer is on its way out in ACNA congregations. The bishops of the break-away denomination have approved texts
for all of the remaining parts of their new Book of Common Prayer and put them on line for people to make comments and to use. They are on track to publish the new book in 2020. Approval came at the recent ACNA House of Bishops meeting.