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         

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Week Ending 10/2

Church Responds to Las Vegas Shootings

The response to the death of more than 58 people in Los Vegas and the injuring of more than 500 more has provoked responses from around the world, including the Anglican Communion. Not only did the Anglican primates meeting in Canterbury stop for prayers and issue a statement.  Meanwhile the Diocese of Nevada has been offering counseling in several of the medical facilities and to first responders, and planned a prayer service open to all this evening.  The liturgy they will use is here.  Episcopal Churches around the country were participating in commemorating the dead by ringing their bells at noon EDT on October 2.  The Bishops Against Gun Violence have also issued a statement

Third Missionary Bishop Consecrated for English "Traditionalists"

A third breakaway group has now consecrated a missionary bishop to serve "traditionalists" in the Church of England. The Christian Episcopal Church, founded in 1992 from a remnant group objecting to liturgical changes and the ordination of women, is a small group with parishes in the Pacific Northwest, Canada and the Cayman Islands.  They consecrated Gavin Ashenden, one of five Church of England members to sign a letter  calling on people to come together to form a "faithful" alternative option to the Church of England.  The other eighteen who signed the letter represented other separatist "traditional" organizations.  Ashenden is a former chaplain to the Queen.  Some expect him to work closely with Bishop Andrew Lines, consecrated by ACNA bishops for GAFCON in late June. GAFCON issued a supportive statement on the Ashenden consecration.  The first group to consecrate someone to border cross in England was the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa.  They consecrated Jonathan Pryke in May. Interestingly, comments critical of the latest consecration from a conservative perspective has appeared in a Hong Kong on-line paper.

Primates Begin Meeting in Canterbury

The meeting of 33 of the 39 Primates of Member Churches of the Anglican Communion has begun.  One of the group's first acts was to respond with prayers for the shooting in Nevada.  While conservatives are hoping to have the primates demand "consequences" for the Scottish Episcopal Church and Canadian Anglican Church opening their doors to same-sex couples wishing to marry, There are a number of other pressing social and economic issues of interest to all attending.  Calling attention to the sexuality issue, is the announcement of the second marriage of a same-sex couple in Scotland presided over by a priest and using church liturgies has occurred, this time in a church building. The same priest presided at the first such wedding on August 1, 2017, but that was in a hotel chapel.  This time, one of the bridal couple is a prominent member of the Anglican Consultative Council. The primates meeting includes 16 primates not in office when the group issued its 2015 demand for "consequences" against the Episcopal Church for the vote of the General Convention allowing same-sex marriage.  In 2016 Ireland began allowing pastoral blessings of same-sex civil unions, and the primate of Southern Africa is trying to find a path for South Africa to bless unions.   Three of the primates most adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage are not in attendance, thus the context is quite different from 2015. The Pittsburgh Update began covering the meeting in the last update and next week will have its outcome.

London Bishop Responds to Ending Outside Group Usage of "National Musicians' Church

The ongoing controversy caused by the decision of the evangelicals now running St. Sepulchres Church in London to end use of the church by outside groups, most of which were musical, has hit an impasse. The rector of the parish has issued a statement clearing limiting musical activity to those tied to church activities and worship.  After the Bishop of London failed to change the rector's mind, the bishop announced that the diocese in November will launch a new web page listing and allowing easy booking of all the possible venues for music in the diocese, thus providing the groups with a number of other options.

Updates on South Carolina Legal Issues and Puerto Rico Relief

For all of you following the litigation on church property and identity in South Carolina, the Charleston Post and Courrier has published a convenient summary of the whole controversy here.  The most recent Update to the federal and state cases is here.  The Puerto Rico hurricane relief story has been all over the papers, but they are not covering what Episcopal Relief and Development is doing there and in the Virgin Islands.  Pittsburgh Update has been trying to fill that gap.  This Episcopal News Service story from September 27 provides some update.  The supplies mentioned were finally released on September 29.  ERD's own detailed press releases are here.

ACNA Bishop from San Joaquin Objects to Nashotah House Award for Presiding Bishop Curry.

Bishop Menees, the ACNA bishop of the diocese of San Joaquin has written a letter to Bishop Dan Martins, who serves as Chair of the Board of Directors at Nashotah House Seminary in Wisconsin objecting to the choice of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry as recipient of the Archbishop Ramsey award for excellence in the areas of Ecclesiology, Ecumenism and Liturgy.  Menees objected basically because Curry has not repudiated the actions of the last several General Conventions to be more inclusive of LGBTQ people and has continued the litigation to recover church property.  Martins was not happy that the letter had been leaked to the internet and has said he will answer privately.