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, August 18, 2014

News for Week Ending 8/18/2014

Female priest named to head South Africa theological college

Anglican Communion News Service reported August 12, 2014, that the Rev. Dr. Vicencia Kgabe has been named Rector of the College of the Transfiguration, thus becoming the first woman to hold such a post in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. Transformation is described as the only provincial residential college of the Southern Africa church.

Court refuses to stay decision in Virginia same-sex marriage case

The Washington Post reported August 13, 2014, that the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to stay its decision invalidating Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban. The Supreme Court has been asked to override the refusal to stay the opinion pending appeal. (See story here.)

Tennessee judge upholds same-sex marriage ban

Roane County Circuit Judge Russell E. Simmons, Jr., ruled August 5, 2014, that Tennessee’s ban on same-sex marriage is constitutional. If upheld on appeal, this could force the Supreme Court to deal with the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans sooner than it might otherwise. SCOTUSblog covered this story. An article from The Washington Post explains how a 1972 case the Supreme Court refused to hear supports the argument that states are free to ban same-sex marriage.

Questionnaire available on 2015 UNCSW

The Episcopal Church is asking Episcopalians to respond to a questionnaire regarding the church’s participation in the 2015 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) meeting that will take place in New York City March 9-20, 2015. Details of the request can be found in this press release. The questionnaire itself, which must be completed before September 15, 2014, is here. The church is also seeking applicants to participate in the UNCSW. Details are here. Applications are also due by September 15.

Applications being accepted for Constable Fund grants

The Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs has announced that applications are being accepted for Constable Fund grants. These grants are given for mission initiative not provided for the triennial Episcopal Church budget. The application deadline is November 1, 2014. Note that an earlier Constable Fund grant of $30,000 was made to the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh for its sexuality dialogue. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.)

Bishop Seabury Church sold to Baptist congregation

Bishop Seabury Church of Groton, Connecticut, has been sold by the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut to the congregation of Stedfast Baptist Church, which was seeking a larger church home. Bishop Seabury was the subject of litigation after its congregation and that of five other Connecticut churches left The Episcopal Church. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) According to an August 18, 2012, press release, proceeds from the sale will be used to support a new missionary effort in Connecticut.

Bishop asks prayers for St. Louis/Ferguson, Pittsburgh

Bishop Dorsey McConnell has written the diocese to communicate the prayer request from Bishop of Missouri George Wayne Smith for the city and county of St. Louis and for the town of Ferguson, Missouri, which has experienced strife following the police killing of unarmed black youth Michael Brown. Our bishop has also asked prayers for Pittsburgh, which has had its own racial conflict. Bishop McConnell’s letter can be found here.

Future of Episcopal Café uncertain

The collection of blogs known as Episcopal Café may shut down. Editor Jim Naughton raised that possibility in “A letter to our readers about the future of Episcopal Café” August 14, 2014. The Café has been a major part of the Anglican blogosphere for eight years. It began as a project of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington but is now independent. A staff of Episcopal volunteers contribute its content. Pittsburgh Update relies heavily on The Lead, arguably the flagship blog of the Café, for stories. The Naughton letter cites finances, changing technology, and personnel burnout as reasons for closing shop. News of The Episcopal Church and, to a lesser degree, the Anglican Communion, will become less readily available if this important resource is lost.