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         

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Week Ending 06/05/17

England has been in the news a lot this week, and while the terrorist attack on London Bridge has elicited voices of concern, solidarity and prayer, there is no real church tie for Update news.  On the other hand, climate change has church ties.

Church of England Wins Shareholder Fight On Climate Measure

The Church of England is a shareholder in the Exxon-Mobile Corporation.  At the shareholder's meeting this last week Church Commissioners (the financial arm of the Church)  were able to muster 62% of the votes for the resolution they put forward requiring Exxon-Mobile to report annually how the business will be affected by global efforts to reduce climate change. The New York State Comptroller partnered with the Church in sponsoring the resolution.  A year ago only 38% of shareholders supported a similar resolution.

Church leaders Speak Out After Trump Announces Withdrawal from Paris Climate Pact

President Trump's announcement that the U.S. would begin withdrawing from the Parish Climate Accord brought rounds of criticism from many quarters.  Presiding Bishop Curry issued a statement almost immediately stressing the theological position that we are stewards of the earth and have a moral responsibility. The Episcopal  Bishop Douglas Fisher of Western Massachusetts joined forces with the United Church of Christ conference leader in forcibly stating that the act of withdrawing was counter to Christian faith.  Bishops Andrus of California and Whalon of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe also issued strong statements of concern. The Anglican Communion Environmental Network also issued a statement of concern as did the Church of England's lead bishop on environmental issues.

Episcopal Church of Scotland Synod Will Take Up Same-Sex Marriage Later This Week

The Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) General Assembly took steps recently bringing it closer to allowing blessing of same sex marriages. (See Update story here.) Now it is the turn of the Episcopal Church of Scotland.  The Scottish Episcopalians will meet in General Synod beginning Thursday.  They are expected to pass a resolution which will permit their clergy to preside at same-sex marriages. The synod will take the second vote on a measure to change its canons to permit this. The canon change passed its first vote a year ago.  Update next week will have the outcome of the vote.

North Carolina Episcopal Church Offers Shelter to Woman Facing Deportation

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Greensboro opened its doors to a Guatemalan woman facing deportation as an undocumented person. The vestry voted unanimously to offer her sanctuary. The church has agreed to house her while she fights the deportation order so that she can remain with her husband (an American citizen) and four children, two of who are citizens, and two of whom are registered under the "Dreamers" policy.  She originally sought refugee status when came to the U.S. in 1994, and when that was denied received a work permit.  The permit was revoked in 1999 and since then she has been trying to receive legal status. The parish will not only house her, but work with others to pressure government officials to grant her legal status.  The Episcopal News Service filed this story and the Diocese of North Carolina issued this press release.

Pittsburghers Mourn Death of Father Lynn Edwards

Father Lynn Chester Edwards died on Monday morning, June 5 at UPMC after a long struggle with illness.  Edwards had served as a priest in the diocese for over 50 years.  Edwards served at a number a parishes in the diocese and in retirement was a member of Church of the Redeemer. During the turbulent years leading to schism in the Pittsburgh Diocese Father Lynn served a chaplain to Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh.  He is best known, however, for his pioneer ministry to those with HIV-Aids which led to the founding of Shepherd's Wellness Community.  Edwards was honored by the Merton Center in 2002 and served as co-marshall of the Pittsburgh Gay Pride Parade in 2008.  His funeral is at 11 a.m. at Trinity Cathedral on Thursday, June 8.