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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Monday, August 26, 2013

News for Week Ending 8/26/2013

Welby: Anglicans in dangerous place

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby preached a sermon in Monterrey, Mexico, on August 13, 2013, in which is declared, “ It is a dangerous place, a narrow path we walk as Anglicans at present.” He spoke of “an absence of any core beliefs”—presumably alluding to churches such as The Episcopal Church—one one hand, and “intolerance and cruel exclusion”—presumably characterizing the detractors of Western churches—on the other. His prescription for curing the present problems of the Anglican Communion: “walk in the light” with God, with each other, and with the wider world. “There must not be politics in dark corners, but love expressed in the light, even love expressing difference.”

Welby’s sermon received increased attention after the The Telegraph published a story on the sermon August 22 titled “‘On the edge of a precipice’—Welby’s doomsday warning to feuding Church.” Of particular interest is a blog post from the Very Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, Scotland. Holdsworth declared the sermon unhelpful and “quite offensive.” On the other hand, Communion Partner bishops—the Communion Partners Web site is here—issued a letter August 26 seemingly accepting the analysis of the Archbishop of Canterbury and noting that six Communion Partner bishops had met with him “last week.”

Coincidentally, The Living Church, two days before Welby’s sermon, published a reflection about the Toronto Anglican Congress that was held 50 years ago this month. In it, Jesse Zink suggests that the approach of  “Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence in the Body of Christ,” the document prepared for the gathering, offers a better path to Anglican unity than does the emphasis on the Trinity seen in the Anglican Covenant and the reports that preceded it.

Federal suit dismissed in South Carolina dispute

SCNow reported August 23, 2013, that U.S. District Court Judge Weston C. Houck dismissed the federal suit brought by Bishop Charles vonRosenberg against Mark Lawrence. (See Pittsburgh Update stories here and here.) In his order, the judge argued that all the important issues between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the breakaway group headed by Mark Lawrence can be resolved in the ongoing state court action. Both the Episcopal faction and breakaway faction in South Carolina have commented on the court decision.

Christian Associates executive director to retire

Trib Total Media reported August 24, 2013, that the Rev. Donald B. Green, the executive director of the ecumenical Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania will retire on his 67th birthday, March 31, 2014. Many Episcopalians know Green from his attendance at important Episcopal events such as diocesan conventions.

Diocese releases video to promote sexuality dialogue

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh posted a video last week to encourage people of the diocese to sign up for the sexuality dialogue. The 5-minute video consists of interviews with people who have already participated. You can view the video here.