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, April 12, 2022

Week Ending 04/11/22

Chancellor Who Defended Church Property Dies

David Booth Beers served as the Chancellor to the Presiding Bishops under three different Presiding Bishops.  His service came in a very challenging times as  schismatics tried to leave the Episcopal Church and take property with them, contrary to the Canons of the Episcopal Church.  Beers was largely successful in his defense in secular courts.  He was also helpful to those in Pittsburgh who were trying to plan for life after schism, meeting with lay leaders several times as it became clear what was  transpiring.  He continued long after the usual retirement age, but eventually turned over those duties to others.  Beers, 86, died last week and his passing has brought out numerous statements of gratitude for his devotion and service to the church.  You can read more, here.

Graduate Theological Union Offers On-Line Short Courses

The Church Divinity School  of the Pacific (CDSP) is one of the participating theological schools that make up the Graduate Theological Union in Berkley, CA.  GTU has announced an expanded effort to offer theological and religious studies courses to any and all who might be interested. Religion News Service picked up the story here.  The courses are on-line  and are shorter than a standard term.  They draw on all of the resources  and faculty of the very diverse  religious organizations that make up the union.   You can learn more about what CDSP, the participant from the Episcopal Church, has to offer, through links found here.  

Continuing Stories

Ukrainian Anglicans Connect Despite Diaspora 

Members of the Church of England parish in Kyiv have dispersed as refugees from the city, but they are managing to stay in touch with each other.  by connecting on the internet and participating in services on-line provided by the Diocese in Europe.  Update earlier carried a notice of the experience of a parish member during the siege of Kyiv. 

Trans Anglicans in England Concerned by Latest Move by Bishops

In May of 2021 the Church of England House of Bishops adopted a study report on sexuality that was supposed to provide welcome for the LGBTQ community. However, at the March 2022 House of Bishops meeting the bishops decided to separate out the trans community and while endorsing a ban on conversion therapy for others in the LGBTQ community, asked for a new study committee on conversion therapy for the transgendered. Frustratingly, the British government has left the trans community out of the law banning conversion therapy being considered by Parliament. There have been a series of protests that another study would be damaging, and expressing frustration that the resources already provided were being bypassed.  Two of these statements are here and here.  Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams is among the religious leaders who petitioned Parliament to make the ban inclusive of transgendered.  In the U.S., the trans community is facing state actions that are hurtful to the trans population (such as the law signed this week by the governor of Alabama, criminalizing any medical treatment for minors for gender dysphoria). Update earlier covered the statement by the TEC House of Bishops decrying these anti-transgender laws and urging a full welcome in TEC parishes.

Christ Church, Oxford to Do Governance Review

Christ Church, Oxford has announced that it is searching for an independent outside reviewer to do a thorough review of the college/cathedral governance.  The College did a study in 2011, but since that time has been embroiled in a long, and very nasty controversy between the faculty, and the Dean of the Cathedral and College.  Update carried numerous notices of the battles including the final settlement reached in February of this year.  The Board of Trustees provided as generous settlement to have the Dean at the center of the controversy resign. Problems with the governance structure were evident throughout the controversy, and the College and Cathedral's non-profit status threatened by a review by the Charities Board.