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.

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A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Monday, August 6, 2012

News for Week Ending 8/6/2012

Nigerian primate to inaugurate new diocese in Indianapolis

The primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Nicholas Okoh, will visit the Anglican Cathedral Church of the Resurrection in Indianapolis, Indiana, on August 16, 2012, to inaugurate the Missionary Diocese of the Trinity.The diocese, which claims congregations both in Canada and the United States, is associated both with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). Archbishop Robert Duncan of ACNA will also be in attendance. Additional information, including Okoh’s itinerary, can be found at VirtueOnline and on the CANA Web site.

PB reflects on General Convention

On August 3, 2012, Episcopal News Service published a message to the church from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori reflecting on the recently concluded General Convention. She reviews the various actions taken in Indianapolis with satisfaction, declaring, “We have moved beyond the entrenched conflict of recent years.” You can read the primate’s full message here.

Church solicits nominations for structure task force

The passage of Resolution C095 has the potential to become one of the most important acts of the 77th General Convention. The resolution calls for the creation of a task force of up to 24 people to devise “a plan for reforming the Church’s structures, governance, and administration” for consideration by the 78th General Convention. Episcopal News Service has now published a call for nominations to that task force. Nominations are being accepted until August 23, 2012, and can be made using an on-line nomination form. Resolution C095 declares that the task force “shall include some persons with critical distance from the Church’s institutional leadership.”

Bishop Little: Go elsewhere for same-sex blessings

According to an August 1, 2012, story from The Living Church, Bishop of Northern Indiana Edward S. Little II has written to his diocese that he will not allow the use of newly authorized provisional liturgy for the blessing of same-sex unions in the Diocese of Northern Indiana. “I believe that every sacramental act in the diocese is an extension of my own ministry; and, by theological conviction, I cannot extend my ministry to include the blessing of same-sex unions.” Although Little will make no exceptions to this policy, his letter explained that he has arranged for priests wishing to use the rite to do so in churches in the neighboring dioceses of Chicago, Western Michigan, Michigan, Ohio, and Indianapolis. The full text of Little’s letter can be found here.

Sexuality issues front and center in S.C.

Issues related to sexuality are dominating the news from the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. The Rev. Canon Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary in the diocese, recently sent a letter to South Carolina Clergy describing the July 25, 2012, meeting of Bishop Mark Lawrence with diocesan clergy. According to Lewis, Lawrence believes that, in passing non-discrimination legislation and authorizing a provisional rite for  blessing same-sex unions, “the Episcopal Church has crossed a line [Lawrence] cannot personally cross.” Therefore,
He left yesterday evening, July 29, to begin several weeks of vacation. It will be a time spent on mountaintops and in deserts where the Bishop will seek refreshment and discernment. Upon his return at the end of August he will meet with the Standing Committee and the clergy of the diocese to share that discernment and his sense of the path forward.
In other South Carolina news, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported July 29, 2012, that the Sierra Club has written to inform the diocese that it will no longer hold events at the diocese’s Camp St. Christopher. (Both national and local Sierra Club events have been held there in the past.) The reason given for the Sierra Club’s abandoning the use of the camp is the diocese’s opposition to gay marriage. According to The Post and Courier, Camp St. Christopher brought in $3 million in revenue last year.