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, April 19, 2017

Week Ending 04/17/17

Arrest Made in Arson at Huntington Episcopal Church

On Monday evening after Easter, the altar at St. John's Episcopal Church in Huntington, West Virginia was set on fire.  The church lost  prayer books and hymnals, has a smoke-damaged sanctuary and lost altar cloths, a rug and possible the altar itself from fire.  While insurance will cover the damage, the parish had to reschedule activities.  Local papers reported that within twenty-four hours, the police had arrested a twelve-year-old girl for setting the fire.  The church is asking for prayers for the young girl.

Los Angeles Diocese Continues to Speak Out For Immigrants

At least four prominent Episcopal clergy were among the 35 protesters arrested on Maundy Thursday for blocking the entrance at a Los Angeles area ICE detention center.  Around 300 protesters participated in the interfaith day of action.  Clergy arrested included The Rev. Mike Kinman of All Saints Episcopal, Pasadena; Rev. Joanne Leslie, diocesan archdeacon; the Rev. Francisco Garcia, rector of Holy Faith Episcopal in Inglewood; and the Rev. Canon Jaime-Edwards Acton, rector of St. Stephen’s Church in Hollywood.  Garcia and Acton are the co-facilitators of Episcopal Sacred Resistance which is the diocesan sanctuary task force.  That task force was a co-sponsor of the march.  The diocese, which voted at its last convention to become a sanctuary diocese,  is providing churches with information and mobilizing them for sanctuary action. For example, the Rev. Greg Kimura, of St. Andrew's Episcopal in Ojai regularly visits day-labor sites passing out cards with information on immigrant's rights and his phone number so immigrants can call if immigration authorities come to their homes or work places.  He will send a support team to help them assert their rights.

Church of Scotland Report on Same Sex Marriage Leaked

While not happy that the findings of the latest Theological Forum on human sexuality were leaked before publication of all documents being prepared for the General Assembly in June, church officials decided to release the whole report rather than have rumors circulating.  The report suggests that the church is trying to find a way to allow theological diversity.  It also recommends a report to be prepared for the 2018 General Assembly on the legal implications of clergy performing. same-sex marriages.  The whole report is here and the official press release for the Scottish Church is here.  Pittsburgh Update reported last year on the vote take at the Assembly which supported moving forward with same sex marriage.

Arkansas Diocese Announces Prayer Vigil for Inmates Scheduled to Die

Although the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn Arkansas State Supreme Court stays of execution on three of the 8 prisoners Arkansas planned on executing in a 10 day period, the state is going forward with plans to execute the other five, with two scheduled for Thursday, April 20.  The Episcopal Diocese has announced a prayer vigil on the 20th whether the executions go forward or not.  After the service, some of those attending will go to the Governor's Mansion to keep a candlelight vigil there.  Services are also planned for April 24 and 27, when the rest of the executions are scheduled.

Los Angeles Paper Comments on Bishop Bruno Hearing

The Pilot, a Los Angeles Times paper has published a reflective piece on the recent three-day church court hearing held on the complaint filed by members of St. James the Great in Newport Beach against Bishop Bruno for the manner in which he dispossessed the parish in order to sell their property.  The story reflects on the manner in which the hearing panel conducted the proceedings.

Uganda Refugee Camp Now the Home for South Sudan Diocese

Five days after Emmanuel Murye Modi was consecrated and installed as the Bishop of Kajo-Keji in the South Sudan, the whole region became refugees from the civil war raging in that country.  Within 10 days 98% of the population had fled. The diocese now is a diocese in exile functioning in a refugee camp in Uganda.  Over 290,000 Sudanese refugees are in Uganda camps, and tents and food are in very short supply.  The new bishop is mobilizing church resources to help with humanitarian aid, schools, and clinics,  and to start worshiping groups in the camps.  Right now they lack basic church supplies and are holding services under the trees.