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         

Monday, June 24, 2013

News or Week Ending 6/24/2013

Hong Kong adopts Covenant

Anglican Communion News Service reported June 20, 2013, that Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, the Hong Kong Anglican Church, has adopted the Anglican Covenant. ACNS counts this as the seventh Anglican church to adopt the Covenant. The No Anglican Covenant Coalition counts it as only the sixth church to adopt the Covenant unambiguously and without special provisions.

Rowan Williams accepts new academic position

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who resigned to take a position at Magdalene College, Cambridge, barely half a year ago, is on the move again. Williams, now Lord Williams of Oystermouth, is returning to his native Wales to become chancellor of the University of South Wales. Anglican Communion News Service reported the story June 19, 2013.

South Carolina delegation attends ACNA gathering

The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) held its Provincial Council at Nashotah House June 18 and 19, 2013. ACNA’s College of Bishops met there June 20 and 21. Archbishop Duncan’s opening address can be read here, and the communiqué from the College of Bishops can be read here. Of greatest interest to Episcopalians is the fact that a delegation from Mark Lawrence’s breakaway South Carolina diocese attended these meetings, apparently in search of a nominally Anglican church to which the diocese can attach itself. Lawrence reported on the attendance in a letter to his diocese June 21.

In other South Carolina news, South Carolina Episcopalians reported June 17, 2013, that clergy who left The Episcopal Church with Mark Lawrence may be subject to deposition in August. Bishop Charles vonRosenberg has been working to determine which clergy members are remaining in The Episcopal Church and which are not.

Presiding Bishop criticized for sermon

When conservatives criticized Presiding Bishop Katharine Jeffers Schori for a sermon she delivered on May 12, 2013, in Steenrijk, Curaçao, it seemed unnecessary for Pittsburgh Update to mention it, since Jefferts Schori is criticized by conservatives for just about anything she does. The New York Times recently took note of the controversy, however, so perhaps we should also. In her sermon, the Presiding Bishop suggested that the Apostle Paul was wrong in depriving a slave girl of her gift of divination, which was viewed by some as a serious theological error. Interested readers should read the Times article about the resulting controversy.

Bishop of Milwaukee will not allow same-sex blessings

Bishop of Milwaukee Steven Andrew Miller wrote a letter to his diocese June 7, 2013, to announce that he would not allow the provisional liturgy for blessing same-sex unions to be used in the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee. Miller’s objections to resolution A049 of the 2012 General Convention seem largely procedural, and the bishop has encouraged couples wanting to take advantage of the new liturgy to do so in the adjacent Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. This story was covered by The Living Church, as well as the Wisconsin State Journal.

Sonora, Bakersfield churches returning to Diocese of San Joaquin

We noted earlier—see Pittsburgh Update story here—that St. James, Sonora, was going to be returned to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. According to a notice on the home page of St. Mary in the Mountains, Jamestown, the Sonora church, the so-called Red Church, will be returned July 1, 2013. The St. Mary congregation, which was the product of the 2007 schism, will move into the Red Church, which will again become St. James Episcopal Church.

Grace Episcopal Church, Bakersfield, another product of the 2007 schism, is expected to take possession of St. Paul’s, Bakersfield, probably on July 1. (See notice in the church’s May 22 newsletter.) That date was suggested in a May 12 Bakersfield newspaper article. The departing Anglican congregation is moving to a new location and becoming Trinity Anglican Church. Note that Mark Lawrence was once rector of St. Paul’s, Bakersfield, though he left before the diocese voted to leave The Episcopal Church.

Albany changes bishop search rules

The Albany Times Union reported June 14, 2013, that the conservative Episcopal Diocese of Albany voted to change its procedures for determining episcopal candidates, removing the responsibility from a Profile and Search Committee and giving it to the Standing Committee. The change was opposed by progressive elements of the diocese, but the ultimate effect of the change is uncertain. The diocese is not currently seeking a new bishop.

Personnel changes in Pittsburgh diocese

Lionel Deimel has reported two significant personnel changes in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. He reported that treasurer and director of administration Carl Hockenberry has resigned. In a separate post, he noted that Cathy Brall, Trinity Cathedral’s provost, is leaving her position to become canon missioner of the diocese, effective July 1. A letter announcing the changes at the cathedral can be found here.