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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 11, 2022

Week Ending 01/11/22

Reclaiming Epiphany

Last week was a busy week for Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.  After presiding at the funeral of the Rev. Dr. Harold Lewis in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, he hurried back to Washington D.C. to participate in an Epiphany service at the Church of the Epiphany, give remarks at an outdoor gathering at the Lincoln Memorial,  and to offer a prayer at the moment of silence  organized by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi to mark the one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and the injuries and death of those defending Congress which was in session.  The Presiding Bishop minced no words, referring to the attack as a insurrection, and stressing that this attack was contrary to all that the season of Epiphany was supposed to mean.  While the sermon in the Church of the Epiphany was apparently marred by a bad sound system, his printed remarks have  been made available.

Continuing Stories 

Legal Issues Continue in Texas

In addition to the legal troubles still facing All Saints Parish in Fort Worth, St. Mary's Hillsborough, remains in court because the ACNA group is claiming it should receive a bequest worth $2 million  made to the Episcopal congregation in 2017, long after the separation.   It is clear that the donor's intent was for his estate to remain with those still in the Episcopal Church, both from his own membership in an Episcopal parish, other bequests, and his stipulation of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas as the residual heir should St. Mary's no longer exist.  The ACNA group is claiming they have exclusive rights to the name of the parish, and thus the money should be theirs.  The group affiliated with The Episcopal Church, has also continued to use the name St. Mary's and has found a new location in a former bank building.   The matter will be decided in probate court, with the next hearing January 14.

Conservatives Split Another Denomination

Conservatives continue to draw a line in the sand, unwilling even to accept same-sex marriage and full participation of LGBTQA people as something that Christians may hold different stances on.  The latest group to deal with the issue is the Reformed Churches of America.  The Reformed Church came to the Americas with Dutch colonists, and while it remains a small denomination, is among its oldest.  The governing body of the denomination created a plan for withdrawal of conservative congregations that was designed to avoid costly legal suits, and conservative congregations have withdrawn.  The are now forming a rival denomination, the Alliance of Reformed Churches,  other groups are also trying to draw in the congregation that leave the Reformed Church of America.  Conservatives have left other churches including, of course, the Episcopal Church, which continues to have property disputes. The Lutherans, Presbyterians, and the Methodists have all had withdrawals.  The Methodist split was the one most recently covered by Update.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Week ending 01/03/22

Pittsburgh Episcopalians Mourn the Rev. Dr. Harold Lewis

The Rev. Dr. Harold Lewis led Calvary Episcopal Church, one of the three largest parishes in the diocese for over a decade.  He died, age 74 on December 31.  He had come to Calvary after serving as the staff person at the Church Center for African America ministry.  Dr. Lewis was a noted historian who published several books and articles, wrote poetry, and served on numerous Church Boards and as a Deputy to General Convention.  He is remembered as the rector of the parish in Pittsburgh who won a lawsuit against Bishop Duncan and the Episcopal Diocese as it was headed towards schism, thus preserving the property of the Episcopal Diocese for Episcopalians. You can read about more of his accomplishments here.  The notice of his death put out by the diocese includes a statement from the President of the House of Deputies.  A statement from Progressive Episcopalians is here

Colorado Episcopalians Begin Fire Relief Work

A devastating wildfire swept through two large, middle-class communities between Golden and Boulder with the lost of 991 homes and several other structures.  The fire spread very rapidly with little warning as winds up to 105 miles an hour drove the flames across plains already parched by drought.  Falling temperatures and a full winter snowfall followed the fires helping to put out the flames, but hindering recovery actions.  Episcopal churches in the area were not burned, but the homes of many parishioners were.  The churches are already mobilizing to provide basic needs for families left with nothing but the shirts on their back.The Episcopal News Service has the story.

Continuing Stories

Retrospective on Archbishop Tutu

Last week Update carried the news of Archbishop Desmond Tutu's death and the various ways he was being commemorated.  This week Anglicans On Line has a retrospective on his life and the many causes he upheld.  He was an  advocate for women's ordination, LGBTQA people, the poor, reconciliation, opposed governmental corruption in his own party, and spoke out against the mistreatment of Palestinians.