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         

Monday, February 10, 2020

Week Ending 2/10/20

Pennsylvania Bishops Urge Legislature to Pass LGBTQA+ Rights Bill

Bishop Dorsey McConnell has joined with the other  four diocesan Episcopal Bishops in Pennsylvania to urge the legislature consider passage of a law that will protect the LGBTQA+ community from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.  The letter notes that they also are signers along with many other Episcopal leaders of an amica brief submitted the the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving LGBTQA+ rights.  Their root their support for the legislation in the belief that all people are created in the image of God and should be treated with dignity and respect.

Diocese of Pennsylvania Creates Legal Aid Services Unit

The Diocese of Pennsylvania chancellor, Steve Chawaga, has taken on a new role as the sole staff person of Episcopal Legal Aid, a new ministry supported by the diocese.  He has no office, but instead goes from parish to parish, working with people on a number of issues where the person needed legal advice, but could not get it or afford it.  His services are free. He has been present once a month at the Cathedral's food pantry to provide legal guidance, and has made trips to other parishes in the diocese.   

Hong Kong and Macao Anglicans Respond to Epidemic

The bishops of the Hong Kong province have issued a pastoral letter asking their members to pray for all affected by the coronavirus and urging members to use caution and practice careful hygiene to prevent spreading the disease.  In a related statement, the bishops declared that the Anglican churches in Macao would not hold any services for the next two Sundays, but will provide an on-line version for worship on Sundays. 

Scottish Bishops Respond to Brexit

The College of Bishops of the Episcopal Church of Scotland has issued a letter raising its concerns as to ways the departure of the United Kingdom might impact the poor and those from other countries living in Scotland.  The letter called its members to remember that the church's mission remains the same: to care for those who are poor or needy and show God's love.  The whole letter is here. 

Acts 29 Leader Removed

Steve Timmis, the CEO of Acts 29  a network of evangelical church planting groups that includes mega churches in numerous countries, has been forced to resign after charges of spiritual abuse arose in the way he administered The Crowded House, his church community in Sheffield, England.  A number of evangelical Anglicans have spent time at The Crowded House or have been influenced by Timmis.  The things Timmis was doing to those affiliated with The Crowded House bordered on the creation of a closed cult.  Over the years since its founding in Texas in 1998, the Acts 29 network has had to remove several leaders and Board members.   

Updates on Previous Stories

Jacksonville Parish Announces It Will Offer Same Sex Marriages

St. John's Parish in Tallahassee, FL has gone through a discernment period and announced that it is ready to perform marriages for same sex couples.  What makes this newsworthy is that St. John's is in the Diocese of Florida where conservative John Howard is the bishop.  Following General Convention 2018's resolution requiring every diocese to create a way that same sex couples could have a church wedding in their home area, Bishop Howard announced a process that required a face-to-face meeting with the priest and parish leaders before granting permission.  It was largely interpreted as a last chance for the bishop to convince the parish not to go forward. The decision by St. John's is also noteworthy because this parish lost many of its members who left with the previous rector to found a new ACNA parish.  Those that left were opposed to same sex marriage and ordination.  The ACNA parish recently had to suspend its rector and after an investigation remove him for a variety of issues including improper advances to men.  Pittsburgh's former bishop, Robert Duncan served as the interim during the investigation.