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         

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Week Ending -10/5/15


Details Emerge on Failed Conciliation between Bishop Bruno and Newport Beach Parish

The Living Church published an article based on interviews with those involved in the failed conciliation process between Bishop Bruno of Los Angeles and the parish who filed a presentment against him because of the way he went about trying to sell their parish property.  In a process resembling shuttle diplomacy, the conciliator went back and forth between the parties who never met face to face.  Now there are questions about the conciliator relayed all pertinent information to both sides.  The parish people now claim that the bishop offered them $1 million to withdraw charges.  The bishop says that the money was a repeat of an offer made to the parish before they filed charges.  The parish claims they made an offer that would have allowed some development on the property while allowing them back in the church.  The bishop claims never to had that offer presented. In the meantime supporters are preparing several resolutions for the diocesan convention in December designed to prevent future abuses and restore the parish property.

Communique From Nigerian Church Takes Hard Line on TEC and LGBT Legislation

Nine of the  points in a Communique issued by the Anglican Church in Nigeria addressed local issues of poverty, bad roads, corruption, and other local concerns.  Two bullets, however,  showed no sign of any healing of the divide with the Episcopal Church.  One bullet point put the church fully in support of the legislation in Nigeria which not only banned same sex marriages, but made it a crime to attend any kind of an LGBT meeting, club or society. (Pittsburgh Update covered that law's passage here.) The next bullet point reiterated their position that they are in impaired communion with those churches not fully endorsing the Jerusalem Declaration. (See Update coverage of the Declaration here.)

Parish Pressures Canadian Government to Cut Red Tape Blocking Resettlement of Refugees

St. Aiden's Parish in London, Ontairo responded to the pictures of desperate Syrian refugees with a fund raising campaign that had people putting a piece of red tape on their car antenna, post box, or other  visible place after sending a contribution to the fund the church set up to help refugees through the maze of regulations slowing resettlement.  Contributions could be dropped off at any Anglican Church.   As visible pieces of red tape began appearing on numerous cars and mailboxes, they helped show the breadth of support for cutting Canadian red tape. The church set up a facebook page for the campaign.  Other churches have joined the movement.

Oregon Episcopalians Respond to Community College Shooting

In the wake of the shooting of nine students and faculty at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, the Bishop of Oregon issued a statement expressing his concern before the number of dead and wounded had been clarified,  and called on his Diocese to use the "transformative power of love" to end "expressions of hatred and self-loathing" that result in actions such as the shooting.  Meanwhile, the local Episcopal Church in Roseburg opened its doors as a quiet place for prayer and meditation, moved the planned community blessing of animals from a campus site to the church, and turned its Sunday morning service into a service of healing. Resigned bishop of Southwestern Virginia, Neff Powell is priest-in-charge at the parish.  Another Oregon priest published his sermon on the events as an article in Episcopal Cafe.  Responses from outside Oregon included a call by Connecticut Bishop Ian Douglas for a conversation across America about gun control.

Interview with Presiding Bishop-Elect Curry Sets Tone for His Leadership

In an interview published in the Charlotte, North Carolina Observer, Bishop Michael Curry talked about where he'd like to lead the Episcopal Church over the next nine years.  He not only gave the interviewer background on his life and ministry, but talked about how Episcopalians need to be comfortable talking about their faith and how it leads them to service in the community. The theme was familiar to those who heard him preach at General Convention in 2012 and 2015, who took on-line course on "Crazy Christians" or read his book by the same title.

Zimbabwe Diocese On Road to Recovery After Years of Strife

The ground-breaking for a new university marks the recovery of the Diocese of Harare after years of abuse by the rogue bishop, Nolbert Kunonga. Kunonga had split from the Anglican Church, but seized the church buildings in the diocese, forcing Anglicans to worship outdoors. He threw clergy out of their homes, made death threats against bishops, and won the initial rounds of legal battles over property. (See Update Stories here and here.) Not until President Mugabe withdrew his support of Kunonga in 2012 did the Supreme Court return the property to the Anglican Church.  Many of the buildings had been severely damaged and turned to other uses under Kunonga's control.  Now, the Diocese has recovered enough to begin building in Marondera the Anglican University of Zimbabwe. The project is estimated at $250 million and will be the first Anglican institution of higher learning in the country.

Canadian Couple Weds in Service Blending Anglican and Muslim Traditions

When Captain Georgette Mink married Ahmad Osman, a Lebanese soldier at a Canadian military base in Borden, Ontario, the Anglican service included several touches that acknowledged the groom's Muslim faith.  The base's Muslim chaplain was invited by the Anglican chaplain to chant a traditional prayer, and provide a blessing.  He also helped the groom say his vows in arabic.  The Anglican Church in Canada believes this service was a historic "first."