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.

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A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Week Ending 7/9/18

General Convention Round-Up

Convention Goers Witness Against Gun Violence and For Detained Refugees/Immigrants

Sunday at Convention was a morning filled with witnessing on major issues.  At 9:30 several hundred gathered across from the convention site for an event sponsored by Bishops Against Gun Violence.  Several Bishops spoke, but the main addresses were by the parents of Carmen Schentrup, one of those killed at Stoneman High School and a very articulate 14 year-old who organized one of the larger school walkouts in Texas.  At the conclusion, the crowd joined others boarding busses to go to a prayer service at the Huto detention Center where women refugees/immigrants are detained, including at least 40 who had been separated from their children.  Nearly 1000 Episcopalians gathered in direct sun for a prayer service in Spanish and English. Local news outlets and the Living Church covered the two events.

Language a Major Issue at Convention

Language - what to say and when is a major theme at the convention.  There have been problems with providing translating for those testifying at convention and with getting materials on the floor of the House of Deputies  available in a timely manner for the Spanish speaking members of convention.  There are proposals being put forward that would require church organizations and institutions to use inclusive and non-gendered language in all settings, and revision of the Book of Common Prayer with a focus on non-gendered language and expanding the imagery used for God.  None of the measures have of yet passed both houses although the House of Deputies passed a Prayer Book Revision resolution that has some nod towards being sensitive to the historic formularies of the church and traditional language, but with no guarantees.  This provoked concern from conservatives. It is not clear what the House of Bishops will do.

Convention Debates Socially Responsible Investment Options

The House of Deputies has sent a resolution that asks for the development of social justice criteria relating to the Palestinian crisis be developed to guide church investments.  The measure was amended on the floor to include language that referenced a 1991 General Convention resolution stressing the difference between disagreeing with Israeli governmental policy and anti-semitism.  Just out of committee and going to the House for votes are resolutions on socially responsible investing.  The house has already passed a resolution and sent it to the bishops on using their clout as investors to change policies of companies, especially in relation to gun violence.

Women's Status Addressed in multiple Ways

The special task force on women's status has brought several issues to General Convention.  The convention began with a special listening liturgy planned by women bishops of the church. On Monday the 9th many members wore purple scarves to raise the question of why there are so few women bishops and encourage election of more. There are major proposals working their way through the committees and two houses for a task force to study sex bias, discrimination and harassment in the church, and require inclusive language and others to study the barriers discouraging women church musicians.

Church of England Synod Takes Stands on Nuclear Weapons and Divestment

The Church of England Synod is meeting at the same time as General Convention of the Episcopal Church.  The Synod went on record as supporting total nuclear disarmament.  It also has ordered that the church divest itself of stock in companies, including fossil fuel companies,  that cannot show they are addressing issues of global warming. The Church Times has good stories on the Nuclear resolution here and the Divestment one here.

Election of Haitian Bishop Challenged

The Living Church reports that the House of Bishops went into an executive session in order to discuss a complaint challenging the election of a new bishop for Haiti.  The Update has reported on the divisions in the Haitian diocese that are the background to this challenge.  The hope was that electing a new bishop would end the controversy that had pitted the suffragan bishop and bishop against each other.