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, March 14, 2018

Week Ending 3/12/18

St. James Moves Step Closer to Return to Building

The congregation of St. James Newport Beach which has been worshiping outdoors and then in rented space since the former Bishop of Los Angeles decided to sell their building to developers in 2015, has moved another step closer to returning to their beloved building.  The sale fell through, the congregation successfully brought charges against Bishop Bruno, but the new Bishop and Standing Committee of the diocese did not immediately allow the congregation to return to the building.  Bruno had also officially closed the parish during the controversy. This last week there was a hearing about whether the congregation should be reinstated in the diocese.  Other Episcopal Churches in the area testified that they supported the return of the building to the congregation, noting that the congregation had managed to maintain itself and sustain important community outreach in the intervening years.  The Orange County Register carried the story.  The Update has followed every twist in the three year controversy. The most recent post is here.

General Convention to Address Sexual Harassment

The recent focus on sexual harassment, rape, and gender discrimination has led to a new awareness of problems for women within the church.  Presiding Bishop Curry and Gay Jennings, President of the House of Deputies issued a statement earlier this year.  Jennings followed  by appointing a large committee to explore the subject and report to General Convention.  The House of Bishops at their meeting last week issued their own statement and have cleared a two hour block of time to listen to women's stories at General Convention.  There has been some discussion about the time chosen (the evening break for dinner) and that the time overlaps with the 50th anniversary celebration of the Union of Black Episcopalians.

Women's Meeting at UN Again Has Church Presence

The annual meeting the United Nations Commission of the Status of Women began March 12.  Attending are delegates from 45 member nations and a number of non-governmental organizations.   Among the largest and most consistent NGOs present are representatives sent by Provinces of the Anglican Communion, including the Episcopal Church.  The focus is on rural women, and Presiding Bishop Curry submitted a statement to the Commission expressing the Church's concern and presenting a four step action plan for the Episcopal Church which has congregations in rural areas in every diocese.  The Anglican Communion provinces include women concerned about violence against women, women's literacy and empowerment in rural areas around the world.  Articles by the News Services of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion provide more details on hopes and concerns of those attending. 

Episcopal Women's Caucus Saying Good-Bye

The Episcopal Women's Caucus, formed in 1971 to press for women's ordination and to improve women's status within the Episcopal Church announced on International Women's Day, that the organization was closing down because its primary objectives had been met and they wished to step aside to let new organizations come forward to advance women in other arenas.  The EWC will celebrate its accomplishments with a farewell at General Convention, and has opened its Facebook page to postings about the ways EWC impacted individual women's lives.  A new page for women clergy has already appeared. 

Around the Anglican Communion

There's a new Archbishop for the Maori wing of the Anglican Province of New Zealand, Bishop Don Tamihere.  New Zealand has three archbishops, one for each ethnic strand in the province.  The Anglican News Service has a profile of the new archbishop.

The Archbishop of Canterbury met with the Saudi Crown Prince, Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz who is visiting England. Archbishop Welby raised concerns about Christians in that country, and also discussed the situation in Yemen.

Desmond Tutu, the retired archbishop and the current archbishop in Southern Africa both issued apologies for not paying enough attention to a complaint of sexual misconduct that occurred when Tutu was in office.

The Anglican Province of Canada is still receiving push-back for its removal of  the Rev. Jacob Worley, whose election as bishop was rejected and license to preach was removed based on his previous participation in a schismatic group in the U.S.  Now a clergy person has written a public letter of protest and is urging others to do the same, to sign a petition, and demand that Worley and his family receive compensation.

The Religion News Service carried a good background story on the controversy over taxing Churches in Jerusalem.  The Update covered the initial controversy in past weeks.

Laywoman Honored for Work with Immigrants

The Update has been posting stories about the advocacy work done by various Episcopal dioceses, parishes, and organizations in support immigration reform, undocumented immigrants, and DACA.  The latest news is the Church honoring an Aurora, Illinois laywoman who over 30 years has helped more than 1000 immigrants become citizens and has turned her Episcopal parish into a leading resource for immigrants and immigration law.  You can read more about Linda Barber and her role as Jubilee Minister at Trinity Episcopal Church here.

Diocese of Olympia Recording Stories of WWII Internment

The Diocese of Olympia is recording the stories of Japanese-American Episcopalians who were sent to internment camps during the Second World War. The interviews of seventeen survivors have been edited into a series of five videos each 10 to fifteen minutes long.  The first  was released on February 22.  The Episcopal News Service article on the videos mentions the west coast congregations of Japanese American from Washington state and California who were sent to internment camps in 1942, and the Episcopal priests (also Japanese-American) who accompanied them.  For some reason the article does not mention Deaconess Margaret Peppers who also ministered in the camps.