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, October 19, 2021

Week Ending 10/18/21

Los Angeles Parish Builds Sister Relationship with Latino Parish

Two parishes, one in affluent, mostly Anglo Newport Beach, and St. Michael's, in working class, majority Hispanic Anaheim have become sister parishes.   The ties began during the pandemic when St. James's minister Cindy Voorhees, learned that a parish in Anaheim had been hard hit economically because many of its members worked in service industries that were shut down.  Initially, St. James was able to help with some of the financial strains, but the two parishes are now planning pulpit exchanges, joint worship services and other collaborations.  The Episcopal News Service Article has all the details.  What it does not mention is that St. James is the congregation that grew out of a faithful remnant and then after beginning again faced a legal struggle over property that eventually led to the disciplining of then-bishop Jon Bruno.  Bruno had blind-sided the parish with an attempt to sell the property.  Update carried all the twists and turns of that struggle.  It is nice to see the new St. James in its old property and making news in such a positive way.

GAFCON Stalwart Bishop Joins Rome

Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, and one of the most active GAFCON bishops in the Church of England and the Middle East has left the Anglican Communion for the Roman Catholic Church.  He has joined the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, a body set up by the Roman Catholic Church to provide a home for former Anglicans. You can find more information about this Pakistan-born bishop here.  As such it competes for members with the GAFCON-sponsored parishes operating in England, but outside the Church of England.  GAFCON's current chair, Foley Beach, the Archbishop of ACNA, issued a statement that suggests GAFCON will try to still find a role for Bishop Nazir-Ali, but isn't quite sure how to do this.   

Continuing Stories 

Alabama Parish joins Solar Movement

Bishop Glenda Curry used a cherry-picker crane to soar high enough to bless the newly installed solar panels providing electricity for St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Birmingham.   Curry joined a select group of Bishops who have climbed to new heights to bless solar installations, including Bishops McConnell in Pittsburgh, and Rice in San Joaquin.  The San Joaquin blessing was one of several Bishop Rice is doing as the diocese implements a plan to go nearly completely solar with arrays at most of their parishes.  Two other dioceses, Vermont and Maine have implemented collective plans with solar farms, which Update reported on earlier.  Update has also noted this year the efforts of a Massachusetts parish to go solar. 

South Carolina ACNA Chooses Its New Bishop

The schismatic diocese in South Carolina led by Bishop Mark Lawrence has now elected its Bishop Coadjutor, who will become sole diocesan when Lawrence retires in 2022.  The convention elected the Rev. Chip Edgar who is currently the dean of the ACNA Diocese of the Carolinas headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina.  There is some speculation that this may lead to an eventual merging of the Charleston based Diocese with the one in Columbia.  ACNA allows overlapping boundaries between dioceses.  The election process put pressure on the laity by having the clergy vote first and that outcome was announced before the laity voted.  The election was closer than expected and took 3 ballots.  This choice has to be approved by the ACNA House of Bishops before it is official. Edgar is an evangelical who earlier was part of the Anglican Mission in America.  The blog scepiscopalians.com has a good summary of the election in its October 16 post. 

Wyoming Parish Seeks to Resettle Afghan Refugees 

Despite the state of Wyoming expressing no interest in refugees, an Episcopal parish in Casper has voted unanimously to begin exploring the steps necessary to act as host for an afghan refugee family.  Because there is no refugee resettlement infrastructure in Wyoming, St. Mark's Parish will have a number of preliminary steps to go through, and is also looking for partners in its efforts.  So far, the parish has been heartened by the generally positive reaction of their community.   Update has noted numerous actions of the Episcopal Church in support of refugees, the most recent here

 Assessing Resolution B012 Granting Access to Marriage for Same Sex Couples

The Living Church has an article this week looking at how the compromise resolution B012 has fared in providing access to church marriage for same sex couples in all dioceses.  The General Convention Resoluiton required all dioceses to set up a means by which parishes that wished to open their doors to same sex couples seeking marriage could do so.  It provided a way for bishops who could not agree, to appoint another bishop to provide oversight to such parishes.  The implementation has been less than uniform.  In Albany, it resulted in church disciplinary action against Bishop Love who eventually resigned rather than accept the discipline.  Love then joined ACNA.  In one Florida diocese, the process has resulted in no parishes providing access, but in others, the compromise has taken effect.  Update covered the Love hearing, and the passage of B012

Panel Expresses pain of the Indigenous Peoples at Boarding Schools

The Episcopal Church sponsored panel discussion of the role churches played in the cultural genocide associated with boarding schools for indigenous people  resulted in many expressions of pain and sorrow.  It is not clear how many schools the Episcopal Church was involved with because the records for the schools are local, but there are at least 8 such schools.  The discussion is fully covered here.  Update carried an advance notice of the event.