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 17, 2018

Week Ending 10/15/17

The editor apologizes for the delay in publishing, but international travel and a power outage delayed preparation of the Update.

Matthew Shepherd Ashes Find Home at National Cathedral

The family of Matthew Shepherd, who was beaten and left for dead in Wyoming in a vicious hate crime against gays in 1998, has decided to bury their son's ashes at the National Cathedral.  There will be a public service of remembrance at the cathedral on October 26 followed by a private committal service. The family had hesitated to bury the ashes before for fear that the burial site would attract  vandals and protests. Shepherd was an Episcopalian.

Hurricane Michael Does Major Damage to Churches

The Dioceses of the Central Gulf Coast and Georgia are still assessing damages and gathering information so they can begin relief and rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. Of the 11 directly affected churches in the Central Gulf Coast, 10 managed to hold Sunday services, although the services were held out doors.  All are dealing with damage, not only to their buildings, but to those of parishioners and the community.  The bishops of both dioceses have toured the affected areas, and Bishop Kendrick of the Central Coast made a second trip with others to distribute generators and supplies. Michael also created new damage in the diocese of East Tennessee, already reeling from the damage caused by Hurricane Florence.  That diocese has issued an appeal for support. 

Anglicans Present for Canonization of Archbishop Romero

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams headed a deputation of 10 Anglican bishops to the ceremony of canonization conducted by Pope Francis for Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador who was assassinated in his cathedral in 1980.  Pope Francis  noted the presence of the deputation in his address following the ceremony. The  Anglican Bishop of El Salvador also issued a statement saying how important Romero was as a symbol to Anglicans in El Salvador.

Tennessee Episcopalians Witness Against Death Penalty

Tennessee Episcopalians not only provide witness against death penalty execution in their state, but they participate in a special death row ministry. With an execution scheduled for October  11 (but delayed at the last minute for further legal pleas by the sentenced man's lawyers)  Episcopalians participated in a vigil at the prison.  The Episcopal News Service has a full story on this ministry here.

Anglican School Opens in Baghdad

An ecumenical group gathered to celebrate the opening of The Anglican School of the Redeemer – al-Fadi in Baghdad. It is a project of  St. George's Anglican Church, the only Anglican parish in Iraq.  The parish already has a kindergarten.  The school will extend educational opportunities through the elementary grades.  Around 90% of those who attend come from Islamic families.  The church hopes that the school will help Christians and Muslims live together in peace.

English Evangelical Bishops Publish Warning on Same-Sex Marriage

Eleven evangelical bishops of the Church of England have issued a letter warning against taking any action to recognize or bless same-sex marriages.  It was sent to the Church of England planning group for the next Church of England Synod.  The group refers to both the efforts to accommodate conservative bishops at the 2018 General Convention and the New Zealand attempts to find a  compromise as examples of what could go wrong should the church make any moves to change its current position.  The Christian Today broke the story.

Updates on Continuing Stories

South Carolina Holds On-Line Conversation

The Update reported that the South Carolina Diocese was continuing its outreach to members of congregations who are participating in the schismatic group with an on-line "Conversation" held through Facebook on October 11. This was a follow-up to three on-site meetings held in July. The Diocese has now posted a full video of the on-line event, both on Facebook and You-Tube. There is also a link on the diocesan web page.  The video has been watched over 5000 times.  Blogger Steve Skaradon provides more details here.

South Carolina Schismatics File More Documents

In another set of filings with the state District Court charged with implementing the South Carolina Supreme Court opinion awarding almost all property to the Episcopalians,  the schismatic group in South Carolina has launched a full attack on the state supreme court opinion and is trying to prevent an audit of the diocesan finances. Blogger Steve Skaradon has more here. The actual documents have not yet been posted.

Another Oregon Episcopal Church Wants to Put In Tiny Homes for Homeless

The Episcopal Church in Silverton, Oregon is starting the process to add 4 basic "tiny homes" for homeless women on the back of their church parking lot.  The women will use the church bathrooms and kitchen.  They are following in the footsteps of a successful  effort by an Episcopal parish in Eugene.  Several parishes in other states also have tiny home projects.  The local Fox News station aired a story giving an update on the Eugene project and the Silverton plans.

Diocese of New York Opens Conversation on Abuse 

Following up on the liturgy and other events at General Convention which allowed those working within the church to air stories of sexual harassment and abuse, the Diocese of New York has opened a conversation. The Bishop has posted a letter to his parishes acknowledging that his predecessor Bishop Paul Moore had abused a number of clergy, postluants, and candidates for orders, and inviting others in the diocese to come forward if they have suffered abuse.