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, December 4, 2019

Week Ending 12/3/19

English Cathedrals Increase Attendance

A little good news from the Church of England -- it appears that attendance at worship services and educational programs for youth sponsored by Cathedral churches has gone up noticeably.  The article suggests that the Cathedrals are connecting with people in new ways, and that has spilled over in creating more interest in the worship services.  A longer report on the growth is available here.

Church Mourns Death of Louie Crew

Louie Crew, founder of Integrity and a long-time member of General Convention and former Executive Council member has died.  Crew's gentle but persistent pressure helped The Episcopal Church become much more inclusive.  There have been numerous tributes to Crew. Ironically, Crew's death came almost at the same time as news of a leadership crisis in Integrity. 

Bishop McConnell Announces Retirement

Pittsburgh Bishop Dorsey McConnell has announced that he will retire in April 24,  2021 and that the search process for his replacement will begin almost immediately, with an electing convention called for November 21, 2020.  His retirement date was set to coincide with the probable consecration of the new bishop.   McConnell was elected the 8th Bishop of Pittsburgh in October 2012.

Updates on Continuing Stories

South Carolina Diocese Gets Day in Court

Judge Dickson, who was handed the task of implementing the South Carolina State Supreme Court decision, and who has managed to delay doing so for over two years, held a hearing on outstanding motions, some of which date back to early 2018.  The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina had a relatively positive press release describing the hearing.   It was clear, however, that the judge had either not done his homework or had a short memory about matters already documented.  Blogger Steve Skardon provided a more mixed review of the hearing in his November 26 post, especially given that the judge suggested he might ask the SC Supreme Court to clarify its ruling on the status of 29 church properties awarded to the Episcopal Church. The schismatic group has not provided any statement.  

Fort Worth Property Case Hearing December 5

As earlier noted in Update, oral arguments on whether the Texas Supreme Court should hear the appeal of the Appeals Court decision awarding the Diocese of Fort Worth property to those who stayed in the Episcopal Church are being held December 5 at 9:00 a.m.  The arguments are live streamed and then available later from a video archive. Both are reachable at this link.  This case has now been in court for over a decade.

ACNA Dealing with Sex Abuse Case

Update earlier carried a story about former Bishop Robert Duncan taking a position as interim in a Tallahassee, Florida ACNA parish.  Duncan, who is the retired Archibshop of ACNA,became interim when the rector of the resigned pending an investigation.  The independent investigation released recently  documented that the priest had  groomed, harassed and assaulted young male parishioners and clergy. Duncan has overseen a process of "restoration" with those hurt by the priest.  ACNA has apparently responded to the report by revising its policies on sexual assault and harassment. The article did not say if the priest had been removed from orders.

More on Irish Bishop Controversy

When a member of GAFCON Ireland was elected as Bishop of one of the Dioceses in the Anglican Church of Ireland, a number of the Church's leading clergy asked the Irish Bishops to not confirm the election becasue GAFCON was creating a split in the church.  Update carried that story and a response that appeared from the GAFCON group.  The Archbishop of Canterbury, in Ireland to help celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Irish Church as a separate body, could not resist trying to muddy the waters further.  The Irish bishops did approve the election, and Welby came out with a statement saying he didn't see GAFCON as a group trying to foster schism. 

Canadian Conservatives Ask for Cease Fire on Same Sex Marriage 

Five conservative clergy, including Ephriam Radnor, had sent a letter asking the Anglican Church of Canada leaders to declare a 20 year moratorium on further implementation of same sex marriage.  They also asked that clergy be given the option of affiliating their parishes with a bishop that hold the same position as the clergy and parish. Radnor was a founder of the Anglican Communion Institute and was previously active in conservative circles in the U.S. The letter tries to claim that this is what has been done in The Episcopal Church.  However, that is not how either DEPO or the new arrangements made under General Convention Resolution B 012 actually work.  The full letter was carried as part of a commentary in The Living Church

Church Holds Border Ministry Summit

The second annual border summit was hosted by the Episcopal Church in Tucson.  The meeting attracted people from more than five Episcopal dioceses, and included meetings with bishops from central America and Mexico.  Those in attendance were able to see first-hand the problems encountered by those waiting in Mexico after applying for asylum in the U.S. , and heard from a number of speakers on the challenges of ministry to immigrants on both sides of the border.  The bishops of five dioceses issued a joint statement at the end of the conference.  The Living Church had a short piece on the summit.  Episcopal News Service had a much longer onehttps://livingchurch.org/2019/11/29/border-summit-focuses-on-migrant-crisis/.  Update has carried numerous stories on migration ministries, on eof the recent ones is here

Alabama Parish Provides Funds to Retire more than $7 Million in Medical Debts for State Families

Earlier Update carried news of an Illinois parish that worked with a private company to buy up medical debts of Illinois families so they could be forgiven. Now St. Luke's Episcopal Church has signed on with the same company and raised enough funds to buy at greatly reduced rates the medical debts of Alabama families in 14 counties. Those debts totalled between $7 and $8 million dollars.  It is a real Christmas gift to their community.  The full story is here.