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, October 25, 2017

Week Ending 10/23/17

Hereford Vote Forces Church of England Synod to Consider Blessing of Same-Sex Civil Unions

The Bishop of Hereford  supports a resolution  passed 41-18 with 4 abstentions by his diocese requesting a liturgy for blessing same-sex civil unions or marriages. Thus the motion is automatically put on the next Synod meeting for the whole Church of England, and will remain there until it is discussed by a synod meeting.  Clergy in the diocese were asking for guidance because many are using ad hoc forms to bless unions.  This action does not change the official canons of the church on marriage.  The web site, Thinking Anglicans, has links to a number of  pieces on this development.

Plans Continue for Episcopal and Methodist Full Communion

The Committee from the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church that is working on proposals for full communion between the churches has concluded its most recent meeting.  They heard preliminary responses from both churches on its report outlining an agreement for full communion between the two.  The group is now planning to hold regional discussions in preparation for meetings of the governing bodies of both denominations.  While the official release from the Episcopal News Service does not provide details of the agreement, the Episcopal Cafe article includes a summary and links to the full document.

Changes at Nashotah House

October brought two major changes to Nashotah House, the Anglo-Catholic seminary that has been walking a fine line between ACNA and TEC.  The Episcopalian contingent on the faculty has been reduced by the death of Professor Daniel Westberg in a boating accident.  Westberg has taught ethics and moral philosphy at the seminary since 2000.  Bishop Daniel Martins was surprised to find himself not re-elected to the Board of Directors at Nashotah House.  Martins had been the Chair of Trustees.  In his place the Nashotah Corporation chose the Rev. Canon Edmund Monk, a priest from Dallas.  Martins remains on the Corporation, which is almost evenly split between ACNA and Episcopal Church members.  The Corporation chooses Directors from among their own members.  Monk graduated from Nashotah in 1999 and was ordained by the former Bishop of Quincy, Keith Ackerman who now is assisting bishop in ACNA's Diocese of Fort Worth.  Why Martins was not re-elected is not clear, but some conservatives were unhappy with the way Martins has handled the balance between ACNA and TEC.

Nigerian Primate Unhappy About Primates Meeting He Boycotted

The Nigerian Primate, who has already published his displeasure with the outcomes of the meeting of Primates from the Anglican Communion, issued another statement.  This one complaining about the managing of the news from the meeting, attacking the Archbishop of Canterbury, and demanding that ACNA be recognized as a province of the the Communion. The final Communique from the meeting explicitly denied that ACNA was part of the Communion.  He and two other African primates boycotted the meeting, attended by 32 of the primates. It is clear that he is unhappy that most of the primates found common ground on issues other than sexuality and are continuing to work within the Communion.

Executive Council Forgives San Joaquin Debt

The recently concluded Executive Council meeting dealt with a number of issues, including budget, and social justice issues among others.  However, despite tight finances, the Executive Council voted to forgive  all but $1 million of the $6,175,000 debt and the interest that the Diocese of San Joaquin had borrowed while barred for almost a decade by litigation from accessing the assets of  the diocese. The money largely supported the ordinary costs of running the diocese.  The current year's budget, for example included a line of credit from TEC for $285,000.  Those who opposed the legal action, such as the counsel for the losing side in the litigation, have tried to cast this as part of astronomical costs brought on by the Episcopal Church's decision to enforce its canons and legal rights to retain church property when groups leave the church.  The proposed 2018 budget draws $353,000 from reserves to show a balanced budget without any line of credit.

ERD Reports on Puerto Rico

Episcopal Relief and Development reported on its efforts to aid rebuilding in Puerto Rico.  The Diocese of Puerto Rico is trying to resume activities with some churches holding services.  ERD is supplying water to distant corners of the diocese and working with groups on rebuilding.  They report that the Cathedral school has reopened in San Juan even though students have to bring their own water and batteries because the school still has neither electricity or water.  Update will continue to post reports on the rebuilding efforts from the various parts of the Episcopal Church where fires and storms have wreaked heavy damage.