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 30, 2020

Week Ending 6/29/20

Nashotah House Offers Free Class on Black Faith

Nashotah House, a seminary of the Episcopal Church in Wisconsin, has announced a free on-line course  "the Bible in Theology and Color" which is described as providing "the opportunity to study the history and theological insights of the Black Church, Latino/a Protestantism, and Asian American Christians and learn what these insights have to teach us about the present moment."  The instructor is  Esau McCaulley, and ACNA priest  and Assistant Professor at the conservative evangelical Wheaton College in Illinois.  The start date for the course is not given in any of the materials.

New Anglican Province Created in North Africa

The Anglican Province of the Middle East and Africa has been reconfigured into two Provinces, thus raising the number of provinces in the Anglican Communion to 41.  The measure to create the new Province of Alexandria is now complete.  The Province of  Jerusalem and the Middle East now covers the dioceses of Jerusalem (which includes Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria), Iran, Cyprus and the Gulf.  The new Province of Alexandria includes dioceses in 10 countries: Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Chad, Mauritania, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia.  This will increase the number of conservative votes at both the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates Meeting.

Continuing Stories

South Carolina Episcopalians File Reconsideration Request

The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina filed a motion for reconsideration with the judge who issued an order in the church property case that negated the findings of the state Supreme Court.  The filing outlines the many ways the court exceeded its authority, misinterpreted the SC Supreme Court decision, and was factually incorrect.  The diocesan news release itemizes the points made in the motion. . The full filing is here.  Update has followed the full eight-year court  struggle. Its most recent posting was on the court order that is the subject of the current filing.

St. John's Lafayette Square Saga Continues

St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington D.C. has been in the new continuously since the death of George Floyd sparked nationwide protests demanding racial justice and an end to police brutality.  The Church was damaged by a small fire during the protests, then the site of a brutal clearing of Lafayette Square to facilitate a photo opportunity for Donald Trump.  Church officials were initially denied access to the building for a prayer vigil, although later events were held outside.  Most recently protesters have camped on the church patio directly across from the White House, and some additional minor damage (spray painting ) occurred.  The parish was planning on a peaceful removal of protesters through negotiation, but Washington police  did a forcible removal. Now Church officials reluctantly agreed to a temporary fence installation assuming the fence would be installed on the entire block.  A statement from parish leaders is here.  Instead, just the church was enclosed in a tall fence, which is now the subject of controversy.

Christ Church Oxford Groups Ordered to Mediation

The blog Thinking Anglicans has links to a number of stories carrying further developments in the Christ Church, Oxford struggle between faculty and the Dean of the College and Cathedral.  Update has carried posts on this bitter feud a number of times.  Now the parties have been ordered into mediation while an investigation of safe church procedures goes forward.  Adding to the embarrassment of the college, the college learned that one of the fractious faculty who signed a letter asking for the removal of the dean on moral and ethical grounds has himself just been convicted in France on child pornography charges.

No Surprise! ACNA Joins Global South

The Global South/GAFCON group within the Anglican Communion continues on the path of destruction of the communion.The Global South is supposedly a group of provinces within the Anglican Communion, but it moves in close coordination with GAFCON (originally the name stood for the Global Anglican Futures Conference). GAFCON has been setting up alternative dioceses and provinces to places in the Anglican Communion it deems too liberal. It is well on a course to creating an alternative communion or splitting the existing Anglican Communion. The current chair of GAFCON is the ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach.  Thus it comes a no surprise that the ACNA Council has voted to accept membership in the Global South. 

Caution Continues on Church Building Re-Openings

It is clear that much Episcopal worship will continue to be done on-line for months to come. The rise in covid-19 cases in many states has slowed church moves to return to in-person worship. Update has been following the re-opening efforts.  Cautious groups of in-person worshipers are gathering on church lawns or in small numbers in their Church buildings in a number of dioceses.  The Episcopal News Service has an article surveying practice and caution in a number of dioceses.