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 4, 2019

Week Ending 06/03/19

Wisconsin Priest to Become Sudanese Bishop

Patrick Augustine, will give up his Diocese of Eau Claire parish in order to become a South Sudanese Assistant Bishop with a special assignment of being the liaison between the Anglican Church of Sudan and the Episcopal Church, represent the church to the Anglican Communion, and provide support for refugee Sudanese in the U.S. Augustine, originally from Pakistan and ordained there, was received into the Episcopal Church in 1986 and has served in Episcopal Parishes for over two decades. The Episcopal News Service has more details on Augustine and his appointment.

New Hampshire Episcopalians Applaud End of Death Penalty

New Hampshire Episcopalians have been vocal advocates for an end to the death penalty.  They were therefore among those celebrating the passages of a New Hampshire law ending the death penalty.  It took an over-ride of the governor's veto for the legislature to accomplish this, but support was strong for joining the 20 other states that have abolished the death penalty.  The Episcopal New Service has a story on the witness of the Episcopal Church in this area, and the activities of the New Hampshire Episcopalians in support of abolition.

Membership Decline Hits Baptists Hard

The Southern Baptist Convention is reeling from another year of declines in Baptisms and membership.  While conservatives often point to the decline of membership in liberal churches, such as The Episcopal Church, conservative churches are also facing declines.  For the Southern Baptists, it means a decline in membership figures that put them below figures from 1989.  While giving was ups, almost all membership categories including attendance, number of congregations, baptisms, and attendance at Bible study were down. 

The Year of the Woman as Bishop

This continues to be the year of electing women as bishops.  This last week both the Dioceses of Michigan and El Camino Real elected women as bishops.  The Michigan diocese choose Dr. Bonnie Perry from among a slate entirely of women.  Perry is also the first bishop for Michigan to have a same-sex spouse. The El Camino Real convention had choice of 5 candidates-- 2 men and 3 women.  Rev. Canon Lucinda Ashby of Idaho was selected. Women are, for the first time in the church's history, outnumbering men among those elected as bishops.  The House of Bishops, however, continues to have a very large male majority.  Pittsburgh Update has been following the election of women as bishops. 

Iker's Replacement Picked

Jack Iker, the bishop who led a large part of the Diocese of Fort Worth out of the Episcopal Church claiming that his group is the "real" diocese of Fort Worth and has fought long and hard in court to hold on to diocesan property announced his retirement last year.  Soon after Iker also announced he was undergoing treatment for cancer.  Iker has now supervised the election of his successor.  The schismatic group has chosen the dean of their cathedral, Ryan Reed as the next bishop.  That choice will need to be approved by the House of Bishops of ACNA before it is final.  Reed is a graduate of Trinity School for Ministry.  Reed was an active proponent for the formation of ACNA, has served as president of the standing committee of the schismatic group. He is not expected to change the direction of the group, including opposition to women's ordination.  If things go according to plan, he will be consecrated in September 2019 and Iker will retire at the end of the year.