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, February 4, 2020

Week Ending 02/03/20

Anglican Minister Among Victims of Terrorist attack on Congo Christians

Islamic Rebels known as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) have been terrorizing Christians in Beni region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Government troops are trying to the ADF back in Uganda where they originated.  The latest  attack left 36 Christians from 2 villages dead, hacked to death with machetes. Among those killed was the Anglican minister for the village of Eringeti. The Christian Post  article puts the most recent attack in context.

Wisconsin Governor Honors Episcopal Priest During State of the State Speech

The priest serving Trinity Episcopal Church in Baraboo, WI and St. John's in nearby Portage was honored by being mentioned by name in the "State of the State" presentation by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.  Evers was impressed by the Rev. Dave Mowers efforts to create a homeless shelter in Baraboo and his persistence when his first site was opposed by local residents.  The Living Church has the full story.

St. Louis Episcopal Parish Placed on National Historic Register for LGBTQ Support 

Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Louis has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places for their early and consistent efforts in support of LGBTQA+ rights including sponsoring one of the earliest Gay Rights groups and their willingness to minister to those stricken by the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s when most places were unwilling to respond.  The parish recently celebrated the placement of a Register plaque on the outside of the church.  The Episcopal News Service has fuller details.

Updates on Continuing Stories

Chicago Diocese Reaches Settlement with Quincy Anglicans

The Diocese of Quincy was the smallest diocese in membership when it became the 5th diocese affected by the schism resulting in the creation of the Anglican Church of North America.  The continuing diocese merged in 2012-13 with the Diocese of Chicago.  Chicago was unsuccessful in its court challenges in recovering the endowments and property of the diocese (see here and here), but has quietly been in negotiations with Anglicans.  They have just announced an agreement with the Anglican Diocese of Quincy.  The terms are confidential, but there are financial benefits for the parishes who stayed with the Episcopal Church and retained control of their buildings.  Two congregations, whose faithful remnants did not retain control of their buildings will need to be the subject of further negotiations. 

Ordination of Southern Virginia Bishop Celebrated in New Venue

Two weeks ago Update reported that the Episcopalians in Southern Virginia had withdrawn from using Williamsburg's Roman Catholic Church for the consecration of the Rev. Susan Haynes as their new bishop.  Conservatives upset both by a protestant ceremony being conducted in the church, and by the fact that the bishop-elect was female had raised a major stink.  The Diocese quickly found another Williamsburg church willing to host the ceremony, and this last weekend, the ceremony went off in grand style.   

More than One Episcopalian Chases the Democratic Nomination as President

Episcopalians have been pleased by the open way candidate Pete Buttigieg has been willing to mention his Episcopal faith. ( See updates here and here.)  Now we learn that there is a second Episcopalian seeking the nomination, and he also credits his faith for being the reason he is passionate about the environment.  Tom Streyer, like Buttigieg came to the Episcopal Church as an adult.  He credits the church with connecting him to those fighting climate change and other environmental issues.  Streyer attends Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. 

Partial Apology of Archbishops Welby and Sentamu Fall Short

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York issued an apology for the way the statement by the Church of England House of Bishops addressed LGBTQA+ issues (see Update here), but the House of Bishops refused to rescind the statement.  Their apology has not eased the protests coming from a variety of church organizations who felt the statement undercut all efforts to reach out to the LGBTQA+ community, including those who were participating in the ongoing discussion that were to bring a new statement to the Church of England Synod.  Thinking Anglicans has a good round up of the critical reactions to the apology here.

China Using Coronavirus to Put More Controls on Christian Churches

The Chinese government has seized supplies sent to churches in the area most affected by the coronavirus, and is using the seizure to futher insist that the Chinese Communist Party is the head of all churches.  This includes setting doctrine, approving clergy, and requiring the churches to cut ties with all external religious organization.  These rules affect hierarchical churches, including those of the Anglican Communion directly.  Anglican.ink  has the story.  Update has covered the increasing persecution of Christian Churches on several occasions (see here, here, and here).