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, August 7, 2018

Week Ending 8/6/18

Virginia Bishop Announces Retirement

Recently Bishop Shannon Johnston cancelled a search for a suffragan bishop because he was rethinking his own status with the diocese of Virginia.  He has now made his decision.  Johnston will retire as of November 3, 2018 but will act as a consultant for a transition up to July 1, 2019.  In the last several months Johnston has acknowledged that there are serious questions about leadership  and the "culture" among the senior staff.  Johnston has served as Bishop of Virginia for nearly 12 years. During his time as bishop the diocese has successfully concluded the legal actions needed to return church property to the Episcopal Church, moved to welcome LGBT clergy and same-sex marriage, and become vocal on a number of social justice issues.

Latest Developments in South Carolina

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the schismatic group headed by Mark Lawrence continue to be at odds.  The two sides were unable to agree on a list of the matters the state judge must decide as part of implementation of the South Carolina Supreme Court decision of a year ago.  Both sides submitted separate lists.  South Carolina Episcopalians submitted a list that asks the judge to take steps implementing the decision, to appoint a special master, and to order forensic audits of the parishes covered by the lawsuit and of the diocesan funds and assets that have been managed by the Mark Lawrence group since 2008.  Lawrence's group continued to try to get the substance of the case reopened, and pushed for a hearing on the "Betterments" suit they have filed.  Meanwhile, reports have come in from the first two of the five "Mission" meetings Lawrence is holding.  The approximately 200 in attendance heard a long harangue from Lawrence reprising his complaints against the Episcopal Church, insisting that the law suit is not settled and that he needs more money to pursue it, and painting himself as a victim.  The blog scepiscopalians.com has links to summaries of the meeting by Ronald Caldwell and the issues raised.  There is a commentary on the "Betterments" suit here, and on Lawrence's claims of victimization here

Churches Face Fire Threats in California

As California faces a large outbreak of fires, including the Mendicino Complex Fire and the Carr Fire which have displaced thousands of people and are still largely uncontained, the Episcopal Churches in the area are serving as disaster relief shelters and centers.  The parish most directly affected was
All Saints Episcopal Church in Redding.  The fire came within 4 blocks of the church.  As the larges facility close to the fire, the church is now serving as a disaster center.  Episcopal Churches near the Mendicino Fires are also serving as centers.  The Episcopal News Service has a good overview, including an interactive map that shows the location of all the fires burning in California.