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 1, 2022

Week Ending 10/31/22

Presiding Bishop Calls "Christian Nationalism" Unchristian

The growth of a particular interpretation of "Christian Nationalism" that argues the U.S. was intended to be a "Christian" nation, and that only "Christians" should be allowed to participate or hold office, and that a particular set of supposed "Christian" policies should be made law has concerned a number of religious leaders. (For more on the varieties of "Christian Nationalism," see this article from an evangelical source.)  Many arguing that the precepts actually go against what Christ taught.  Presiding Bishop Curry used part of his remarks at a Seminar at Georgetown University to express his views on "White Christian Nationalism.," including this statement, "If you look at the complex of white Christian nationalism, as an ideology, you lay it alongside Jesus of Nazareth and we’re not even talking about the same thing.”  For the whole panel discussion go here.

Northern Michigan Church Fights for Ecology

A joint ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in that area, is focused on appreciation and protection of the wilderness areas of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  The group meets several times a month, worships in wilderness locations outdoors, and has begun an effort to prevent the building of a space launch site for satellites in the midst of an old growth forest.  The Episcopal News Service (ENS) has more of the details here.

ACNA Mission Joins Diocese of Indianapolis

As ACNA increasing doubles down on conservative social positions, some members of that organization have become increasingly uncomfortable.  One sign of this is the announcement by Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows of Indianapolis that an ACNA mission founded in 2015 has after a year of discernment voted 44-4 to transfer from ACNA's Diocese for the Sake of Others to the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis.  ENS also carried a story.

New Zealand Bishop Has Inclusive Take on Anglicanism

As GAFCON continues to set up competing organizations to Dioceses or provinces that it considers too liberal, and that they represent "true" Anglicanism and are the "real" Anglican Communion, a bishop in New Zealand has penned an essay offering a different take, arguing that is the inclusion that is the real historic position of the Anglican Communion, going back to its roots in the Church of England.  He notes the many times, that the church adapted in order to expand into areas with a different culture or language, and how it strove to encompass as many people as possible in a state church.  For more see the full essay here.

Continuing Stories

Responses to Church of England's Latest Document on LGBTQ

The Church of England continues to slowly muddle along trying to find a position that will be more welcoming to LGBTQ people while not driving out those who want affirmation of traditional marriage.  The latest study document was issued this fall and the Church of England Synod now awaits what the bishops of the church will propose as a response to its findings and recommendations.  Thinking Anglicans has the latest responses.  Same-sex marriage is the biggest sticking point with a set of alternative paths forward suggested here and a critique of those from the point of view of a supporter of same sex marriage here.

Church of Nigeria in America Groups Join ACNA

The Anglican Church of Nigeria has for a number of years been maintaining a "missionary" diocese supposedly for Nigerians in america, but actually attracting many of those unhappy with the Episcopal Church's move towards LGBTQA+ inclusion. The bishop of that Missionary diocese has just announced that he, and a number of the congregations under his charge are joining ACNA because the Nigerian mission was only supposed to be a temporary "fix" until there was a another American option.  The result has been to split the missionary diocese as some congregations decided to remain as part of the Nigerian church.  The Archbishop of Nigeria has suspended Bishop Orji.  This puts them in the awkward position of suspending a bishop who has joined the organization headed by the current presiding officer of GAFCON, of which Nigeria is a prominent member.

Latest on South Carolina Diocese Transitions

The transition following the legal opinions by the South Carolina Supreme Court continue.  On Sunday, October 30, Episcopalians held their first service in St. Bartholomew's Church in Hartsville.  There are no pictures yet from that service, but the web page for the revived congregation is up and functioning.  Meanwhile, Bishop Woodliff-Stanley announced that the diocese had decided to sell the building of St. Matthew's in Fort Motte to the ACNA congregation occupying it.  The money will become a fund that can be used to create a new regional church that will cover a fast growing area in a neighboring county.  Update has followed each step of the tranistion, with the most recent posting here.