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, May 1, 2018

Week Ending 4/30/18

Religious Support of Same Sex marriage in the News

Religion News carried a story on a survey of over 40,000 Americans done by Public Religion Research Institute on attitudes of Americans towards same sex marriage.  It shows major gains in support across all American religious groups, including black churches.  The article provides a summary of the findings.  The full report is here.

 Meanwhile the letter  Church of England official, William Nye, sent in response to a query for comment by the group working on the General Convention task force on revision of the marriage liturgies continued to set off waves.  Numerous groups protested that the Church of England has never been surveyed on the question and thus his characterization of C of E feelings was not based on fact.  However, it has now been reported that contrary to first reports, that the letter was drafted after some staff consultation, and thus was mostly Nye's own opinion, those staff consultations included the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. 

Consecration of First Woman Bishop in Brazil

The Update reported in January that Brazil had elected Canon Marinez Santos Bassotto as bishop of the Amazon.  She is the first woman elected bishop in that Province.  Now the consecration has been celebrated.  Two women bishops, Linda Nichols from Huron in Canada and Griselda Delgado del Carpio, the Bishop of Cuba, were present.  Nichols preached the sermon.  The Primate of Brazil,  Bishop Francisco de Assis da Silva, presided.  The Anglican Communion News Service posted this account.  Episcopal Cafe published pictures that Bishop Nichols had posted on the web. 

Army Chaplains Accused of Discrimination Against Jews

Two army chaplains are under investigation after they harassed, and then fired without cause, the lay staff who had been providing Shabbat services for the Jewish soldiers stationed at Fort Campbell for 34 years. This left the 80+ Jewish soldiers at the base without any religious services. The chaplains also told the Jewish leaders that they would have to celebrate Passover on a different date because the services on that Friday would interfere with Good Friday services. Furthermore, the worship leaders were told that if they decided to hold services on Passover there would be no advertising or support for the service. The nearest synagogue is over 50 miles away in Nashville.

Beyonce' Mass in San Francisco Gets Wide Response

The announcement that the afternoon contemporary worship service at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco would feature music by Beyonce' touched off a major reaction before it occurred.  The service was a cooperative effort between the Cathedral and a class at San Francisco Theological Seminary called "Beyonce' and the Hebrew Bible."  The afternoon services by The Vine usually attract 40-50 people.  Nine hundred attended the Beyonce' mass.  The clergy person from the cathedral staff responsible for "Innovative Worship" including The Vine has defended the service here.  The Episcopal Cafe covered several of the positive news stories following the service.  Conservative critics had another view.  Anglican.ink posted this description by Jeff Walton (who is Communication Director for the ultra-conservative Institute on Religion and Democracy),  gave a less positive description.

Scholarships for Bishops Attending Lambeth 2020

The Compass Rose Society has announced a million dollar scholarship program to help bishops from impoverished areas attend the 2020 Lambeth Conference. The Archbishop of Canterbury delayed the Lambeth Conference for two years and has had a special committee working on how to frame the activities at the meeting in a way that will avoid conflict while dealing with sensitive subjects.  Bishop Doyle of Texas is the current head of the 400 member Compass Rose Society,  most of whom are in the U.S., Canada, or Hong Kong. The scholarships will offer a way for bishops to come without any ideological strings attached.

Give Feedback on Proposal for TEC Anti-Racism Curriculum 

Among the many General Convention reports is one that looks at the required anti-racism training provided by the Episcopal Church and suggests a number of reorganizing steps intended to get wider participation in the training.  The committee is soliciting comments on the proposal with a deadline for comment of May 10.  The Living Church article has embedded the entire report.