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, November 30, 2021

Week Ending 11/29/21

Church Leaders React to Guilty Verdicts in Georgia Trial

The jury of mostly whites who convicted three white men of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, who made the mistake of running through a white neighborhood provided a stark contrast to the jury last week that acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse.  Episcopal leaders offered responses to the guilty verdict, noting that it was a small step in the right direction to create a more racially just society.  The bishops of the two Episcopal Dioceses in Georgia and the Evangelical Lutheran bishop for the area issued a joint statement.  Presiding Bishop Michael Curry also issued a statement here.

General Seminary to Start Hybrid Program in Fall 2022

The Board of General Seminary, the oldest of the seminaries serving the Episcopal Church and the only one with a board elected by General Convention, has issued a directive to the seminary to study and develop a hybrid track doe the M.Div., the degree leading to ordination.  A hybrid track includes courses on-line, and in other distributive models as well as some time on campus.  The goal is to reach potential students whose lives would make it unlikely that they could uproot from work and family to study for three years in a traditional seminary program.  The seminary has never fully recovered from a controversy that saw almost its whole faculty be fired or leave. The dean that was the center of the controversy retired last year.  Although the Anglican.ink story treats possibility of a hybrid track as path-breaking, Bexley-Seabury Seminary already has such a program.

Primates' Meeting Puts Climate Issues at Forefront

The Primates (leaders) of the various Anglican Communion provinces met virtually for several days last week.  While for a number of years, issues around  the efforts of various provinces, including The Episcopal Church, to be more inclusive of the LGBTQA population were the focus of these meetings, this meeting raised concerns that affected all of the provinces, especially global warming and the ongoing pandemic.  The Primates issued a communique for which a link was included in  The Living Church story on the meeting.  Climate issues have become a main focus of the Anglican Communion with their participation in the recent UN meeting on the climate crisis in Edinburgh.  Update carried stories on that meeting and the  role of Episcopalians at the meeting

Continuing Stories

More on the Property Handover in Texas

The scorched earth approach of the schismatics, who have been awarded the property of the Episcopal diocese in Fort Worth  was the subject of some additional news this week.  The six parishes who lost their buildings as a result of the Texas Supreme Court decision have not handed over all of the things they owned as of 2009 quickly enough to suit the ACNA diocese. All Saints Parish Corporation, declared bankruptcy to protect properties owned by the corporation and not the parish.  The Episcopal Cafe, posted this exchange of emails between the legal counsels of the two sides, which shows the level of animosity.  More interesting, however, might be the story by the public news station in North Texas, KERA.  Their story gives information on what has happened to the buildings turned over to the ANCA diocese.  Two have already been sold, and not to the parishes who had to give them up.  Update's most recent stories on the bankruptcy, parish status, and the property handover are here, here, and here, respectively. 

Oxford Dean Saga Continues

The saga of the battle between the Christ Church Dean (of both college and cathedral) and the college faculty continues.  Despite reviews by outside independent panels, the college seems intent on going ahead with a disciplinary tribunal.  Now the college board is being challenged to both itemize and justify its expenses in the legal battle.  Thinking Anglicans has more on this latest development.  Update's most recent previous post on these battles is here.

Church Continues Navajo Food Program

The Navajo nation has been hit hard by Covid-19.  Many people in Navajoland were already below the poverty level, and covid has depressed many of the sources of income for people.  The Episcopal Church has a mission diocese that encompasses most of the areas where Navajo live, and in 2020 when covid-19 hit, the Church began a food mission feeding more than 100 families.  The ministry continued throughout 2020, and with help from donors, Episcopal parishes, and the Church of the Latter Day Saints, the ministry has continued, providing 300 families with food (including Thanksgiving dinner) for a month.  Another distribution of food, managed by the Episcopal parishes in Navajoland, will provide a second month of food in time for Christmas.  The Church hopes to be able to finance monthly food distributions throughout the winter months of 2022 as well.  The Episcopal News Service has more details here.

Watch the Arguments on the South Carolina Property Appeal 

The hearing at the South Carolina Supreme Court on the appeal filed by the Episcopal Diocese of 
South Carolina will have oral arguments on December 8th at 9:30 E.S.T. Because of covid restrictions, only the two lawyers  for each side and the court judges and officials will be in the courtroom.  However, South Carolina provides a live stream for anyone interested.  That stream is here.