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, June 21, 2016

Week Ending 6/20/16

Bishop of Missouri Appoints Deputy for Gun Violence Prevention

Bishop Wayne Smith has appointed the Rev. Marc D. Smith to a special deputy role to lead efforts in his diocese on education and action (but not advocacy) to prevent gun violence.  The diocese is approaching the issue as a health issue.  Marc Smith has a background in medicine, including hospital administration, and has already been leading efforts in health and wellness within the diocese.  For more on the job description, see the bishop's announcement.  Actual biographical information on the Rev. Marc Smith is slim on-line, but a Bloomberg listing provides some insight as does this parish announcement.

Changes in Women's Role as Clergy Marked in Three Locations

Changes in women's roles as priests can be marked in three announcements this last week.  The first is the addition of a fifth candidate to the bishop search in Central New York.  The search committee put forward three women and one man as candidates.  Now a fifth candidate, another woman has been nominated.  She is th rector of the oldest parish in Central New York, and the only candidate from the diocese. The Diocese of Spokane has also announced candidates for its search for a bishop, and like Central New York, three of the four candidates named by the search committee are women.  Meanwhile, Bishop Davidson of the Diocese of Guyana in the Province of the West Indies has announced that the upcoming diocesan synod will have ordination of women as priests on the agenda.  It has been discussed for two or three years, but the bishop wants the diocese to come to a conclusion.

Gun Violence Continues in the News

A man who had made threats and defaced both the church sign and beheaded an antique church statue charged into the services of  St. Bernard de Clairvaux Episcopal Church which meets at the Ancient Spanish Monastery and threatened to shoot the priest.  He also ordered the roughly 140 people attending the Sunday service to leave.  Police were on site because of the threats and he was arrested before anyone was hurt.  The parish meets in a 12th century building dismantled and reassembled in Florida in the 1950s and donated to the Episcopal Diocese in 1964.  Meanwhile, Pittsburgh's bishop, Dorsey McConnell has issued a pastoral reflection on the Orlando shooting.  Update covered other responses last week

Gay Rights Continues to Roil Waters of Anglican Communion

While insiders at the Church of England are beginning to predict that the issue of same sex marriages may well split that church and will be the focus of major "conversations" at the upcoming synod, the Archbishop of York hotly defended on TV the idea that you could oppose church marriages for same sex couple without being homophobic.  More basic issues are at stake in Kenya, where a parish priest has joined a lawsuit asking for greater protection and human rights for LGBT people in his country.  He argues it is a pastoral matter, having seen the way some of his parishioners have been abused. He risks the wrath of his bishop by going against the official position of the Kenyan Church.  In Kenyan there are strict laws making homosexuality illegal.

Hearing on Presentment of Bishop Bruno Took Place

The St. James the Great Congregation which has been locked out of its building by Bishop Bruno for a year after Bruno announced he was selling the property, posted a Facebook notice June 20 asking for prayers.  The official hearing had finally convened into their charges that Bruno had violated his oaths and church canons.  Mediation had already failed, and this is closest equivalent to a trial that can be held under current Episcopal Church canons.   The outcome will not be known for a while.