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, January 28, 2020

Week Ending 01/27/20

Vandalism Hits Churches on MLK Day

Three Churches in the Diocese of Olympia were hit by taggers marking the buildings with anti-LGBTQ, anti immigrant, or alt-right symbols on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.   The churches responded with statements of support for those singled out in the tags.  The full statements and pictures of the damage are here.

Updates on Continuing Stories

Date Set for Albany Bishop's Hearing

Bishop William Love of Albany sent a letter to parishes to announce that an April 21,2020 date has been set for his public hearing by a panel formed in compliance with The Episcopal Church canons.  He has been charged with violating his ordination vows by refusing to implement a resolution passed by General Convention 2018 which requires all dioceses to have a process by which same sex couples can seek a blessing of their union or a marriage within their community.   The full letter is here.

More Medical Debt Extinguished

St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Mamaroneck, NY has joined the Episcopal parishes who have partnered with the non-profit RIP Medical Debt to buy and forgive medical debt owed to hospitals.  The church, like others Update recently covered, had been inspired by the actions of the Illinois parish (Emmanuel Memorial) that did this in 2018. St. Thomas had hoped to retire debt in their home county of Westchester, but the non-profit did not find hospitals willing to sell.  They had sent their debt to collection agencies, so the parish agreed to use the nearly $10,000 they raised at their annual Christmas Fair to clear the debts of more than 10,000 families in Oneida County in Central New York.

Alabama Joins Trend for Women Bishops

This last week the Dioceses of Minnesota and Alabama held bishop elections.  Minnesota chose the Very Reverend Craig Loya, Dean of the cathedral in Omaha.  Alabama elected the Rev. Glenda Curry to be the Bishop Coadjutor of their diocese. She had a distinguished secular career, including serving as president of Troy State University before entering ordained ministry. Curry will be the first woman to serve as a bishop in the diocese. Over the last two years a number of dioceses have elected women to the episcopacy.  Update has been following these elections.  Some perspective on the trend-setting elections is found here.  Other elections this last year are here and here.

Church of England Controversy Over Civil Partnerships

When the British Parliament extended the option of civil partnerships to opposite sex couples, the Church of England bishops decided they needed to issue a new directive explaining the church's position on civil partnerships.  In the process they reiterated statements that limited clergy to celibate partnerships.  This statement has been criticized both for undermining work then underway by a church commission on how to be more welcoming to LGBTQA+ people, and now by several bishops who were not happy about how the statement was approved by the House of Bishops.  Among those speaking out was the newest woman chosen as a bishop.  Update has covered issues around the civil partnership law in previous posts here, here, and here.

Kenya Opens Loophole to Allow Some Bishops to Attend Lambeth

The Archbishop of Kenya has announced that if a bishop in Kenya wants to attend Lambeth 2020, he may do so, but will need to bring with him the statement opposing the ordination of LGBTQA people or blessings of same sex unions. The change was announced after Archbishop of Canterbury Welby met with the Bishops in Kenya.  The Kenyan Archbishop also made it clear he would not be going.  Several of the hard-line anti-LGBTQA  African provinces had earlier announced their bishops would boycott the Lambeth gathering entirely.