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, March 5, 2019

Week Ending 3/4/19

"Lego" Repair a Cathedral

What can a cathedral do when an earthquake does serious damage to your building?  Well, if you are the Washington National Cathedral, you start rebuilding as you seek funds.  The latest effort allows people to buy Lego building blocks and place them in a  Lego model of the Cathedral.  When the model is completed, it will be as large as a van.  For more on the launching of this fun fundraiser, see the report posted by a local Washington D.C. radio reporter.

Partnerships Announced in Seminary Education

Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) and Trinity Church Wall Street have announced what they are calling a partnership between the wealthy New York parish and the west coast seminary.  In reality, Trinity now owns CDSP and its vestry will double as the board for the seminary.  The new arrangement will bring an infusion of cash to the seminary and will facilitate educational programming that Trinity has long sponsored. The story (with different background information) is explored by Episcopal Cafe and by Anglican.ink.  A different kind of partnership was announced jointly by the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, a seminary of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  The seminary has been adding courses on the Episcopal Church and Anglican theology, and has now created a formal program to train Episcopal clergy and laity in western Pennsylvania. It has programs for Methodists and Lutherans as well.

Schismatic Group in South Carolina Running Huge Deficit

Financial records published as part of the upcoming convention for the schismatic group in South Carolina show legal fees climbing to nearly a million dollars in 2018.   This created a major deficit in the budget.  However, the group is not cutting staff or salaries.  In fact, Lawrence and two other staff members are getting raises.  One has to wonder if the strategy is not to completely exhaust the endowments that they still control although the state supreme court has ruled they belong to the Episcopalians.  Blogger Steve Skardon  comments on the financial situation.

Updates on Ongoing Stories

More on Lambeth Spouses Controversy

Responses continue to the announcement that same sex spouses were not being invited to the Lambeth gathering of Anglican Communion bishops in 2020.  A bishop in England has announced he will attend without bringing his wife as a way of both protesting the exclusion of some spouses.  To further liven up the debate at least one member of Parliament has asked to have the omission investigated as a violation of equal employment laws in Britain. At least one of the uninvited spouses will be attending anyway.  Mary Glasspool, Assisting Bishop of New York intends to be accompanied by her spouse.  She has the support of the diocesan and suffragan bishops of the diocese, and all three signed a formal statement that the three and their spouses were looking forward to conversations at Lambeth.  The same-sex spouses were omitted from the list in hopes of placating those in the Anglican Communion who oppose same sex relationships.  The effort may be in vain because those bishops most adamantly opposed have said they are coming unless all the bishops in the "liberal" provinces are disinvited

Another All-Female Bishop Slate

Michigan has joined the list of dioceses with only women on the announced slate of nominees for bishop. There may still be other candidates added by petition, but the nomination committee has brought forward the names of four women.  Several other dioceses have already elected bishops from all women slates, most recently in Texas.  In case you are worried that men are being left out, the South Dakota nominating committee has proposed a slate of two for election as bishop.  Both are men. 

Disappointed Methodists Consider Next Steps

The majority of American Methodists were disappointed by vote at their international meeting last week.  The meeting turned away from a proposal that would have made ordination, hiring, and marrying people in same-sex relationship a matter of local option.  In stead by a 54 vote margin, they adopted a proposal that will strengthen penalties against LGTBQ clergy and same-sex marriages, anddenounces all homosexual activity.  There were open demonstrations of defiance at the convention and in United Methodist Churches throughout the U.S. this last week.  It is not clear if parishes or individuals will leave the church or stay to fight another day.  It is possible, that a new body will emerge, representing just Methodists in the U.S.  Update has been tracking this story, especially in light of the proposed full communion agreements being proposed between United Methodists and The Episcopal Church. 

Bishops Visit Congress to Urge Gun Control

Bishops Against Gun Violence continues to find new ways to urge action on gun control.  The latest was a well-publicized event with a deputation of bishops traveling to Washington D.C. to encourage members of the U.S. Congress to pass reasonable gun control legislation.  Formed after the Connecticut school shooting that left 26 dead, the Bishop's group has become increasingly active over the last several years as gun violence increased. Update has covered  other activities of the Church to witness against gun violence.