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         

Sunday, December 20, 2009

News for Week Ending 12/21/2009

Final version of covenant draft released

The Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion (formerly the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates’ Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council), met privately in London December 15–18, 2009. Its main business was the approval of a revised Section 4 of the proposed Anglican Covenant. On December 18, it released a completed draft, with a revised Section 4, to be sent to the churches of the Anglican Communion for their adoption or rejection. A video statement concerning the completed draft by the Archbishop of Canterbury was made available on the Web at the same time. Both Episcopal News Service and The Living Church have provide helpful stories on the release of the completed draft covenant, and each contains helpful links to the draft itself and related material. An additional comparison of the old and new versions of Section 4 is a somewhat different format from that provided by the Anglican Communion Office can be found here.

Before the release of the final covenant draft, the Standing Committee issued a statement reaffirming support for the moratoria on the consecration of partnered gay bishops, on the blessing of same-sex unions, and on episcopal border-crossings. Episcopal News Service reported the story and provided background here.

South Carolina churches distance themselves from Episcopal Church

The Post & Courier, of Charleston, S.C., reported December 19, 2009, that St. Andrew’s Church of Mount Pleasant has voted to leave The Episcopal Church and join the Anglican Church in North America. According to the story, two other congregations in the Diocese of South Carolina, Trinity Episcopal Church of Myrtle Beach and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church of Hilton Head Island have removed references to The Episcopal Church in their governing documents. The Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, South Carolina’s bishop, insisted that neither Trinity nor St. Luke’s is about to leave the church. He has claimed to be in close contact with all three churches. “These are challenging times for all Episcopalians both in the Diocese and in the larger church. Such times I believe call for a pastoral and creative response. I will continue to strive to offer it,” Lawrence said.

Washington bishop praises D.C. action

The Rt. Rev. John Chane, bishop of the Diocese of Washington has praised the D.C. City Council for passing a provision to allow same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. The bill has been signed by the mayor, but Congress has 30 days in which it can veto the legislation. According to Episcopal News Service, priests in Chane’s diocese may already bless same-sex unions. The bishop may eventually allow them to solemnize marriages and sign marriage licenses if the bill becomes law.

California church appeals to U.S. Supreme Court

According to the Los Angeles Times, the congregation of St. Luke’s Anglican Church, which lost its legal battle to retain parish property when it left The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Los Angeles, has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The attorney for La Crescenta, California, church is Eric Sohlgren, whose Supreme Court appeal on behalf of another breakaway Los Angeles congregation was rejected by the court in October. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.)