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, November 9, 2015

Week Ending 11/09/15

Changing of the Guard at ACNA in Pittsburgh

Big changes are in store for the ACNA Diocese of Pittsburgh. David Virtue carried a special story on the ACNA convention and announcements.  Mary Hays, the long-time canon to the ordinary for Bishop Robert Duncan is retiring at the end of 2015.  Duncan, who has already retired as ACNA archbishop, announced at the ACNA convention that he was retiring as of June 30, 2016.  He has called for a special convention of the diocese to meet April 22-23, 2016.  The convention nominates from one to three candidates for bishop.  The ACNA House of Bishops makes the final choice.

Judge Hears Testimony in Los Angeles Lawsuit

The Bishop of Los Angeles had sued the Griffith Company in reaction to their siding with the parishioners at St. James the Great in Newport Beach who opposed the Bishop's efforts to sell the church property. See Update Stories here and here). The Griffiths Company gave the land for the building with a restriction that it could only be used for a church.  Bishop Bruno contends that they removed those restrictions in the 1980s, but the company said it had not.  According to the Facebook pages of the parish, the Griffiths were in court to testify of November 3.  There is no word on the outcome or anything else that went on in court that day.

Mormon Policy Updates Exclude Children of Same Sex Couples

The revised Book of Discipline for the Church of the Latter Day Saints has new sections responding to the legalization of same sex marriage by making clear that children in families headed by a same-sex couple will be barred from all church rituals until they are 18.  Then, if they wish to join the church, they will need to denounce their parents.  The church defended the rules by saying they were trying to keep families from internal divisions and from confusing young children.  The secular press, and Mormons who have been working for inclusion of LGBT people in Mormonism have reacted strongly against the policy announcement.  You can find the Episcopal Cafe story on this here.

Ecumenical Statement on Persecution of Christians

A World Council of Churches sponsored a recent meeting in Tirana, Albania where 150 representatives of Christian churches discussed issues and drafted a common statement on the growing concern about places where Christians face persecution and martyrdom.  The Anglican Communion News Service focused on the Communion representatives who took part.  More information can be found on the web site for the World Council of Churches, including the full statement.

Presiding Bishop Appoints New ERD Director

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has appointed a San Antonio lawyer with strong human rights and social justice credentials as the new Director of Episcopal Relief and Development.  Daniel McNeel Lane was appointed November 1, the day Curry took office.  Lane is not a stranger to ERD, having served on its board.

Zambia to be site of 2016 Anglican Consultative Council Meeting

The planning for the April 8-20, 2016 meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council will get its official launch at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka, Zambia at a special service November 29 at which the the secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon will preach.  The ACC has representatives (lay and clergy) from all of the provinces of the Anglican Communion.  A recent meeting in Ireland of provincial secretaries identified key issues for the ACC meeting, including Mission and evangelism, environment climate change, reconciliation and difference, and refugees and migrants.

Archbishop of Canterbury and Ecumenical Patriarch Meet

In the aftermath of the historic agreements reached between the Anglican Communion and the Orthodox Churches, Archbishop Justin Welby had a visit from the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Churches.  According to the Anglican Communion News Service the two discussed a number of topics, especially the refugee crisis and global warming.  The two also discussed issues related to marriage, sexuality, and the beginning of life.  The Episcopal News Service focused its stories on the agreement already signed and reported. (See Update Story here.)

Nigerian Church Intervenes to Help Women

Women in the Enugu and Udi states of Nigeria have been terrorized by Fulani herdsmen.  The woman have been driven from the fields they farm by the Fulani, who have raped and terrorized the women.  The women's husband's have been unable to stop the terrorism by the Fulani, who have migrated into the area and are trying to displace the subsistence agricultural people who live there.  The Mother's Union of the Nigerian Anglican Church recently stepped in and organized a major protest march by women to the state government legislatures, demanding protection.

Controversial Study Shows Children from Religious Families Less Altruistic

A controversial study of children from the U.S., South Africa, Canada, Jordan, China, and Turkey claims that there is an inverse relationship between religious ties and altruism among the children.  A number of religious faiths were included, but roughly 43% were Muslim, 24% Christian, and 28% non-religious.  Altruism was measured by seeking how children responded to the idea of sharing, and reacting to violence against others.  The press has picked up on the study as showing that religion does not help form moral behavior.