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, August 30, 2017

Week Ending 8/28/17

Episcopalians Ready Help to Victims of Hurricane Harvey

As Hurricane Harvey pounded coastal towns in Texas and then stalled inland where it is continuing to cause massive flooding in Houston and surrounding areas,  Episcopal Relief and Development began providing aid to the devastated areas and the thousands who had to leave their homes.  Presiding Bishop Curry has issued a statement and video urging Episcopalians to pray and support relief efforts, especially through ERD.  The dioceses of Texas and West Texas had disaster plans in place which they are beginning to implement and are providing on-site assessment and coordination of the church's relief efforts.  The Episcopal Church plans to be there for the storm victims for the long haul as rebuilding begins.  Those interested in helping can donate and sign up with ERD.

Clergy March for Social Justice

In the wake of the violence, protests and counter-protests that gained national attention in Charlottesville, VA, clergy have been demonstrating their support for social and racial justice.  This last week in August marks anniversaries of the March on Washington, the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (granting women the vote), and the lynching of Emmet Till.  A march by over 1000 clergy in Washington D.C. for social justice was in part a marking of these past events and also a protest against the recent statements by the president, his executive order banning transgendered people from the military, and his pardon of the notorious Phoenix area former Sheriff Arpaio.  Here in Pittsburgh, the Christian Associates of Southwestern Pennsylvania worked with Pittsburgh Jewish leaders to organize a gathering and march for justice and against hate. A number of Episcopalians took part.

Date Set for Arguments in Federal Court for South Carolina Trademark Case

Progress has finally been made in the trademark case filed in South Carolina by the Episcopal bishop in 2013 against the break-away group.  He claimed damages because the break-away faction under Mark Lawrence continued to claim that it was the "real" Episcopal Diocese, and use its seal and other insignia.  The judge now assigned to the case set arguments for March 2018 and admitted the Episcopal Church as a party to the suit along with the Bishop Adams of South Carolina. The judge brushed aside arguments from the break-away group claiming that adding the Episcopal Church to the suit would cause a harmful delay in the case.  The judge noted that the defendants had been quite happy to delay the case for four years until the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled against their property suits. The federal judge originally assigned to the case had sided with the break-away group requests that trial be delayed until the property law suit had been settled. He had twice defied orders from the federal appeals court to go forward with trial  Steve Skaradon has a number of entries on these matters at scepiscopalians.com.  You can read the TEC filings in the case here.

Australia Has First Female Archbishop

Bishop Kay Goldsworthy has broken another glass ceiling barrier for Australian Anglicans by being chosen Archbishop of Perth. The previous Archbishop stepped down in December after admitting he had not properly handled cases involving clergy sexual abuse of children.  Goldsworthy was among the first women ordained as a priest in Australia, and was the first elected to be a bishop.  She is currently Bishop of Gippsland in Victoria.  She is familiar to those in Perth because she formerly served as Assistant Bishop of Perth and as chaplain at a Perth College. 

Bells Will Ring Out Again in York

After the sudden dismissal of the entire bell-ringing crew for York Minster last October, the bells have been silent except for one special occasion.  The cathedral's bells were even silent on Christmas Day,  the first time in 600 years because ringers refused to fill in for the dismissed group.  Now new ringers have been recruited, a new head bellringer is in place and York will have its chimes back next month. 

Sauls Case Thrown Out of Court

The lawsuit filed in Alabama by Bishop Stacy Sauls against the Presiding Bishop and a number of staff from the Church headquarters has been thrown out of court by the judge. The judge had ordered parties into mediation, before he would hear arguments, but when the parties came before him he declared he did not have jurisdiction and dismissed the suit.