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, March 24, 2014

News for Week Ending 3/24/2014

GAFCON chairman: GAFCON rescue mission for Communion

GAFCON chairman, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, has issued a Lenten message in which he calls GAFCON “a rescue mission for a Communion threatened by rebellion against the biblical gospel.” Predictably, Wabukala attacks the Continuing Indaba project and The Episcopal Church. He also praises Mark Lawrence’s Diocese of South Carolina for joining the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.)

Michigan closer to marriage equality

A Michigan federal judge struck down Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional March 21, 2014. Judge Bernard A. Friedman declared the state’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional and called witnesses for the state in the case brought by two female nurses “unbelievable.” He issued an immediate order to allow same-sex marriage, and hundreds of couples immediately availed themselves of the opportunity to marry. (See New York Times stories here and here.) The Episcopal bishops of Michigan issued a statement applauding the legal development. The next day, a federal appeals court issue a temporary stay of Judge Friedman’s order. USA Today reported on the situation in Michigan here and here.

Alban Institute to fold

The Alban Institute, a source of congregational support for 40 years, announced March 19, 2014, that it is going out of existence. It has arranged to transfer its publications to Rowman & Littlefield, and negotiations are ongoing with Duke Divinity School to assume its remaining assets. Details can be found in the story from Religion News Service. Alban issued issued this press release.

Archbishop of Canterbury to attend Oklahoma conference

According to Episcopal News Service, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will be a speaker at a conference titled “Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace: An Episcopal Gathering to Challenge the Epidemic of Violence” to be held April 9–11, 2014, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Additional details can be found in the ENS story.

House of Bishops meet at Camp Allen

Episcopal Church bishops are meeting at Camp Allen Conference & Retreat Center in Navasota, Texas, March 21–26, 2014. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s sermon at the opening Eucharist (on Thomas Cranmer) can be found here. Episcopal News Service has thus far reported on the first four days. (See stories here, here, here, and here.) Actual news from the meeting has been in short supply. On the first day, however, the bishops were briefed on the work of the task forces on marriage and on reimagining The Episcopal Church.

Klusmeyer added to PB nominating committee

Bishop of West Virginia William Klusmeyer has been added to the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop. He replaces Bishop of Central Pennsylvania Nathan Baxter, who resigned from the committee. Klusmeyer thus becomes the episcopal representative of Province III on the Committee. (The Diocese of Pittsburgh is also in Province III.) Episcopal News Service covered the story. Members of the committee can be found here.

TREC meets in Maryland

The Task Force on Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC) met in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, at the Maritime Institute of Technology March 13–15, 2014. TREC issued a brief report on its work. The agenda for the meeting can be found here.

Episcopalians suffer another reversal in S.C.

According to the breakaway Diocese of South Carolina, the South Carolina Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and The Episcopal Church March 18, 2014. At issue was access to legal correspondence prior to the diocesan split. (See discussion on the Web site of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina.) To date, no statement on the legal development has appeared from the South Carolina Episcopalians.

Texas rulings goes against Episcopalians

According to the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, the Texas Supreme Court, on March 21, 2014, denied requests for rehearing in the Fort Worth and Masterson cases. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The Supreme Court action sends the cases back to their respective trial courts. A.S. Haley, not a friend of The Episcopal Church, discussed the recent court actions in South Carolina and Texas here.