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, September 4, 2018

Week Ending 9/3/18

Senior Editor for ENS Goes on Leave

Mary Frances Schjonberg, the senior editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Services is beginning a three month leave.  In May, after Neva Rae Fox was let go, Schjonberg took on the additional assignment of acting Director of Communications for the Episcopal Church.  While Schjonberg is on leave her ENS duties have been assigned to the managing editor, Lynette Wilson.  The news staff will simply be shorthanded.  The church web site  also lists no new Communication Director, just managers of various areas of communication. 

Two Pittsburgh ACNA Parishes Merge

Two of the congregations that chose to leave their buildings and worship in shared space with other denominations have closed and reinvented themselves as a new organization, Reconciliation Anglican Church.  St. James Anglican in Penn Hills and All Saints in Rosedale (a section of Penn Hills close to Verona) are the two combined groups.  The old congregations were having trouble sustaining themselves separately.  The "new" parish is located in shared space with the Methodist Church in Rosedale that has been providing space to All Saints.   The Pittsburgh ACNA diocese has a feature about  the "new" parish on its web site.

Welby Speech to U.N. Stresses Role of Church in Reconciliation

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, made a strong case to the United Nations for the role of the Church in reconciliation and mediation in cases of civil strife. One of his examples was the role Anglican leadership played in South Sudan.  The ENS covered his speech at the United Nations, and the Anglican Communion web site has the full text of his speech.

Government Closes Over 8000 Places of Worship in Rwanda

Citing health and safety issues, the Rwanda government shut down more than 8000 places of worship from a number of different faiths with no warning.  The government believes that many of the congregations were scams, had poorly trained leaders, and engaged in practices  (such as extreme fasting) that risked the lives of their followers.  The Anglican primate of Rwanda defends the government actions in a piece in the Church of England's Church Times this week.

Further Thoughts on the Contested Episcopal Election in Haiti

Last week's Update carried the story about the Review Committee report on the contested election in Haiti.  Now the Rev. Mark Harris, who has spent a considerable amount of time in Haiti, suggests that the Review Committee report exceeded its authority and got the context wrong.  Harris casts the strife in Haiti as a struggle between the bishop and those who challenge the canonically given powers of the Haitian bishop and standing Committee.  The system, according to Harris is much more centralized than in American dioceses.  He urges the Church to let Haiti work out its own differences.

Follow-Up on the McCain Funeral

Last week the Update covered items related to Senator John McCain's death and ties to the Episcopal Church.  On Saturday, the national cathedral put on a grand show as John McCain's official "national" memorial service.  The Episcopal staff and bishop of the cathedral were there in full garb, for a service based on the Book of Common Prayer (sans communion).  The speakers were bi-partisan but highly political in their remarks. The cathedral  scrambled to deal with all of the security for the McCain service, and a wedding scheduled for later that same day.  Most media covered the remarks of the speakers.  This account has slightly more on the liturgical event.

Is Albany Diocese Walking Towards Schism?

Later this week, the clergy of the diocese of Albany are meeting with Bishop Love to hear his thoughts on the General Convention vote requiring every diocese to make provision for same sex couples to marry within their diocese.  Bishop Love was the most adamant opponent of the compromise  resolution B 012.  Other conservative bishops began announcing how they would comply, but Love refused to make a statement until he held this clergy meeting.  The Times-Union interviewed him this last week.  The bishop told them that the church was in the midst of schism.  For more, the full article is here.

Tallahassee ACNA Dean Resigns

The ACNA bishop of the Gulf Atlantic has announced that the cathedral dean, the Rev. Eric Dudley has resigned from his posts in response to complaints filed against him while he was on sabbatical.  The complaints included inappropriate physical displays of affection abuse of alcohol, and anger management that deeply wounded several individuals.  Dudley will not function as a priest and has admitted that both he and his family need long-term counseling.