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, June 28, 2017

Week Ending 06/26/17

Woman New Head of Unitarian-Universalists

The Unitarian-Universalist Association General Assembly elected the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray from Arizona as its President.  The UUA thus joins the ranks of American churches that have been led by women. The Assembly was filling a vacancy created when the previous President resigned early.  Three people, including a woman served as co-presidents during the interim.  Frederick-Grayled led UUA opposition in 2010 to proposed Arizona immigration restrictions.  Religion News has more on her election.

Protests in West Virginia Against Senate Health Care Bill Lead to Arrests

The West Virginia Citizen's Action Group helped organize a demonstration at the Charleston WV office of U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito to urge her to vote against the Republican-drafted health care bill.  While 75 rallied outside, six protesters entered Capito's office and announced they were prepared to stay until she until she voted against the bill.  When they did not leave at office closing time, the Six were arrested.  Episcopal priest, Jim Lewis was one of the six and photos of the event show him dressed in clergy garb being led from the office in handcuffs.  They were charged with trespassing and released later that night with a trial date set for August 9.

Episcopal Migration Ministries Issues Statement Following Supreme Court Opinion

Episcopal Migration Ministries has responded to the U.S. Supreme Court's partial lifting of legal stays on the Trump executive order putting a hold on all refugees from six countries.  The ministry notes that refugees with ties in the U.S. will still be able to come, and that represents the majority of those seeking entry.  It is asking for renewed financial and volunteer support for the Episcopal Migration Ministries over the next several months. 

Katharine Jefferts Schori to Serve as Assisting Bishop in San Diego

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of San Diego has announced that the former Presiding Bishop has agreed to serve three quarters time as Assisting Bishop. San Diego is currently beginning a search for a Bishop following the resignation of Bishop Mathes. 

Bruno Confirms New Sales Agreement on Church Property

Last week Update reported that the Hearing Panel had acted on information that Bishop Bruno may have signed a new sales contract for the St. James Newport property by  issuing a sanction ordering him to take no action on any such sale.  At that time Bruno's response did not address the concerns.  He now has confirmed that he has signed contracts on April 19 and May 20 to sell not only the church building, but the rectory and another unrelated property to NPB Property.  His earlier vague answers were a result of confidentiality agreements that have now been waived. Bruno's attorneys have now also filed an appeal with the Hearing Panel  asking for a stay on the sanction imposed by the panel so he can complete the sale next week or he will be in default on the contract.  

EDS Trustees Issue Statement on Property Sale

Responding to Boston media stories about "snags" in the sale of the Episcopal Divinity School, EDS trustee chair issued a statement saying that they were well aware of the condominium agreement with Leslie University and that some properties on the seminary campus were wholly owned by Leslie.  The trustees had previously announced their intent to sell their property in order to fund endowment for the continuation of EDS as part of Union Seminary in New York City.  The condominium ownership of some buildings, and sole ownership by Leslie University of three buildings on the campus will certainly complicate the process of finding a buyer for the Seminary portions of the campus.

Bishops in Trouble in England and Zimbabwe

Fomer Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord George Carey, has resigned as an Assistant Bishop of Oxford following publication of a report on the Church of England's handling of sex abuse charges against former Bishop Peter Ball.  The report outlined the ways that Carey had protected Bishop Ball and ignored complaints filed by victims. The report also criticized Carey's immediate successor, Archbishop Rowan Williams for not acting more rapidly to report the abuse to authorities.

In Zimbabwe, the deposed Bishop Kunonga, who tried to set up his own Anglican Church of Zimbabwe, is now seeing some of his property sold at auction to begin the process of recovering the half million dollars courts have ruled he illegally converted from church assets to private use.  The auction of several pieces of farm machinery is the first step in liquidating Kunonga property.  Update has followed the Kunonga story for a number of years. 

Church of England and United Methodists Issue Proposal for Union

The Episcopal Church and United Methodists have a proposal for full communion that they will vote on at upcoming meetings of their respective governing bodies.  Now the Church of England and the Methodists have issued a proposal for a similar full recognition.  However, the proposal has been sent out for study and discussion by the two churches.  Although press releases by both churches suggest it will be a topic of discussion at upcoming meetings of both, it is not on the published agenda for the next meeting of either body.