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, January 17, 2018

Week Ending 1/15/18

A Primer on the Undocumented

Trinity Church, Wall Street, announces that it has prepared a resource about undocumented immigrants available on-line.  It was developed following the October teach-in event it sponsored, Undocumented: What Do Faith Communities Need to Know?  The six major presentations from the teach-in are all available as video streams from the web page.

No Breakthroughs in SC Mediation Talks

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina posted a brief update on its web site concerning the court-ordered mediation scheduled for January 11-12, 2018.  Apparently they made no progress except to agree to continue to meet.  Blogger Steve Skaradon has an interesting reaction to the announcement in his January 17 post.

A New Book of Common Prayer for ACNA in 2019

At the ACNA House of Bishops meeting in Florida, the bishops approved specific texts for Holy Communion, the Daily Office, the lectionary, collects, and supplementary Canticles to be included in the 2019 edition of their Book of Common Prayer.  The publication date has been moved up a year from the group's original announcement in 2008 when the ACNA bishops approved trial texts that were available on-line.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Week Ending 01/08/18

Scottish Church Faces Push Back On Appointment of Bishop

In November the Bishops of the Episcopal Church of Scotland announced they had selected Canon Anne Dyer as the new Bishop of Aberdeen. She will be the first woman to serve as a Bishop in the Scottish Church, however, the appointment has hit a snag because conservatives in the diocese are objecting  to the process of her selection, although it followed church canons. The opponents chose to use a public letter to voice their concerns and ask for her to stand down. An account on Anglican.ink has more background in a cover letter email sent to the Primus of the Church with the public letter. Scottish bishops, including the Primus have responded.  The British site ThinkingAnglicans has good links to much of this conflict.

The Price Parishes Paid for Dealing with Confederate Symbols

Religion News has a thoughtful piece on the prices paid by parishes who had in the past honored Robert E. Lee with plaques or naming.  Both went through a multi-year discernment process, both tried hard to listen to their members, and both ended up losing their rectors.  Update covered the original decisions, but this essay provides much greater detail on how Episcopalians tried to find a middle way, but simply could not avoid conflict.

Episcopal Church Serves as Mudslide Shelter Until Ordered to Evacuate

The recent fires near Montecito and Santa Barbara, California left the ground bare and vulnerable to mudslides.  Recent rains triggered major slides with the result that much of the town of Monecito has been affected.  Just as Episcopal churches reached out to refugees from the fires ( see Update stories here and here), the local Episcopal Parish, All Saints-by-the-Sea,  served as a shelter for those who had to flee their homes, but the slides cut water and electricity to much of the community, forcing the Church to end its shelter activities and evacuate those there. 

Presiding Bishop Curry Visits Area Recovering from Hurricanes

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has been visiting the hurricane devastated areas of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  He viewed relief projects sponsored by the local Episcopal Churches and ERD, preached, and encouraged those who had lost so much. Update has been following relief efforts.  The most recent story  is here.

People in the News

The Anglican Mission in America announced the death of Bishop Charles Murphy, who was ordained  bishop with John Rogers in an irregular service held in Asia in 2000.  Murphy was the founder of the AMiA, the first schismatic group formed in the renewed controversy.

Pittsburgers may remember the Rev. Don Green, the Lutheran minister who retired a few years ago as Executive Director of Christian Associates of Southwestern Pennsylvania.  He was featured in a story on Religion News as a cruise ship chaplain, something he has done periodically for a number of years.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Week Ending 1/1/18

Happy 2018 to All!!!

Things were relatively quiet on the Church policy and news front because people were busy going to church, visiting family, etc.  Nonetheless, there were a few grinches around trying to spoil the holidays.

Terrorism Puts Damper on Holidays in Kenya, Pakistan, Egypt, and New South Wales (Australia)

Terrorist attacks or the threat of them spoiled holiday celebrations in several spots around the world.  The attack December 29, 2017  on  worshipers at a Coptic Church in Egypt resulted in 11 dead.  In Pakistan, 9 more were killed in an attack on a Christmas Pageant  (or pageant rehearsal depending on the news source) December 17 at a Methodist Church in Quetta, attended by the whole Christian community in the city. In Kenya, a police raid recovered a stash of weapon that terrorists planned on using to attack a church on Christmas.  Among the weapons was a gun taken from one of two policemen killed in September while on duty outside St Paul’s Anglican Church in Ukunda, Kenya.  No one was killed in New South Wales, but an Anglican parish that had sponsored a major New Year's Eve celebration for the town for a number of years had to cancel this year's celebration because they could not afford the $10,000 that it would cost to properly protect attendees given a heightened security risk.  The event drew more than 4000 people last year.

Telling Statistics of America's 100 largest Churches

 Church Clarity has released the first of its findings on a study of more than 600 evangelical congregations.  The first data released covered the status of America's 100 largest "mega" churches.  None are Episcopalian.  Seventy-nine of the congregations were non-denominational, Southern Baptist, or Independent Christian.  Among the 100, only 7 had non-white head pastors. Only one had a woman as lead pastor and she was listed as co-pastor with her husband.  Fifty-four per cent of the largest churches hid their positions on LGBTQ people.  Of the 35% that had clear policies, none had a policy affirming of the LGBTQ community.