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, December 14, 2021

Week ending 12/13/21

 Happy News to Brighten the Season

Trinity Episcopal Church in Covina, CA recently celebrated its 130th birthday.  What the local newspaper decided to highlight was not the typical anniversary story, although it covered the unique circumstances around the building of the parish's stone church.  What the paper highlighted was all the ways the parish gives back to the community through outreach, and its diversity.  The parish participates and supports many community events, is an integral part of the local food bank, Coalition for the Homeless, Habitat for Humanity, and other outreach programs. 

Continuing Stories

South Carolina Hearing Brings Surprises

Update had carried notice of the South Carolina Supreme Court hearing of an appeal filed by the Diocese of South Carolina in the on-going property litigation.  The court had already ruled once, overturning a lower court decision and awarding most property to those who had stayed in the Episcopal Church.  Implementation, however was assigned to a district court judge, who proceeded to draw things out for several;years and then awarded the property, contrary to the Supreme Court opinion, to those who had left the Episcopal Church.  The Episcopal Diocese then appealed asking the Supreme Court to affirm its opinion.  The hearing, however brought a major surprise when the Chief Justice, who had provided one of the 3 opinions supporting ownership by the Episcopal Church, denied he had ever said that.  The hearing extended beyond its original time frame.  Now both the Episcopalians, and those who left have issued press releases in response to the hearing.  More insight, however is found in the December 8 commentary in the blog scepiscopalians.com

Ordination Revives Tension in Birmingham

The Cathedral in Birmingham, AL had been estranged from the bishop and rest of the dioceses for years, and came close to leaving The Episcopal Church for ACNA.  Update reported recently on the agreement worked out between the Cathedral and Bishop Glenda Curry that seemed to bring the estrangement to an end, while leaving both sides free to hold different views on matters such as ordination of LGBTQA people.  The diocese recently conducted the ordination of 4 clergy in a ceremony at the Cathedral with participation of the cathedral choir and staff.   However, on of those ordained was in a committed same-sex ordination, and a question was raised about whether the Cathedral had therefore endorsed such unions despite the stance of its vestry and clergy.  The diocese was surprised by the response, since the ordination and the backgrounds of the ordinands was publicized throughout the diocese, and it was a diocesan event, not a parish event.  However, the Cathedral's parish leadership was taken aback, and what both sides are calling a theological difference has led to tension resurfacing.

Sewanee Head to Leave 

Vice Chancellor Reuben E. Brigety II, who was the first African-American head of the University of the South in Sewanee has announced that he is leaving after only 18 months.  The university has been trying to emerge from a past tied to the myth of the old South and its white supremacy origins, however, Brigety and his family found they were subjects of vandalism and harassment on campus (see Update story here).  His stated reason is that President Biden is likely to appoint him to an ambassadorship and he did not want to disrupt the university more by leaving in the middle of a term.  However, it seems that not everyone in Sewanee was ready for a leader of color.   

Displaced Parish's New Location Blessed

St Mary's Hillsborough was one of the Episcopal Parishes that lost their building in the Fort Worth property case.  Update reported earlier that the parish had found a drive up bank building to convert.  This last week the bishop visited and blessed the building and its contents.  St. Mary's is the only displaced parish to have found a site that is not shared in some way.