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, September 22, 2021

Week Ending 9/20/21

Woman-Focused Lectionary Published

Women have recently published two new cycles of readings for the church year.  One, done by the Rev. Wilda Gafney, a Brite Seminary professor in Fort Worth, is published by Church Publishing.  A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church includes a complete set of Old Testament, Psalm, New Testament, and Gospel readings for a three year cycle, and a one year version.  Year A and the Psalms are now available, with years B and C soon to follow. The use gender inclusive language and focus on parts of the Bible that give women voice.  Although published by an Episcopal organization, the lectionary is not an official document of the church.  (That would require General Convention action), but is a resource clergy and parishes might find useful.  The second lectionary, The Women’s Lectionary: Preaching the Women of the Bible Throughout the Year was published by a Quaker woman who focused on the parts of the Bible using feminine imagery for God and places where women are active in the Biblical narrative.  Her readings are a one year cycle.

Church of England Reorganization Proposed

A report has been issued by a specially appointed committee on a possible reorganization of the governing, charitable and administrative structures of the Church of England which would streamline activity and change oversight of many of the functions.  The report is now open for discussion and before any of  the changes would be implemented would require a variety of legislative acts, both by the Church of England Synod and other legal bodies.  It will be interesting to see if the proposals gain any traction.  The report is here and early responses are covered by Thinking Anglicans.

New York Times Hires ACNA Columnist

The New York Times has announced the addition of an "Anglican" perspective to their on-line newsletters, however, the "Anglican" they have chosen, Tish Harrison, is a member of ACNA, which is not part of the Anglican Communion.  Pittsburgh readers may find the name familiar because Harrison was at Church of the Ascension before accepting a position as Writer in Residence at Resurrection Anglican Church in Austin, TX.  Harrison (a Texas native) and her husband were both ordained by Bishop Duncan after Duncan left the Episcopal Church.

Continuing Stories

 Women Bishops Continue to Rile GAFCON Waters

A sixth woman will soon have been installed as bishop in Anglican Communion provinces in Africa.   The newest addition is the Rev. Canon Vincentia Kgabe who will serve in Southern Africa as Bishop of Lesotho.  She is the third woman to be elected in Southern Africa, however, one of those women died so Southern Africa will only have two active women in that office once Kgabe is consecrated.  The other women bishops are in GAFCON participating provinces, two in Kenya and one in the South Sudan.  The consecration September 12 of the Rt. Rev. Rose Okeno as a diocesan bishop in Kenya is creating waves in GAFCON.  Okeno is the first diocesan, but second woman as bishop that Kenya has chosen in the last year.  In 2016, South Sudan consecrated a woman as an assisting bishop.  Many GAFCON participating provinces do not accept women's ordination, and the group's leaders had earlier agreed not to install women as bishops.  Okeno's election has made clear that the provinces that have ordained women are getting tired of waiting and the responses by GAFCON leaders and anti-women's ordination groups has made clear how precarious the policies are.  ACNA's presiding bishop, Foley Beach, also serves as head of GAFCON.  ACNA allows dioceses to decide if they will ordain women, but restricts the office of bishop to men.  He reiterated that position.  Conservative Anglo-catholics in ACNA, however, created an on-line open letter  of protest against women's ordination, especially as bishops and began soliciting signatures.  That letter however was taken off its sponsoring priest's blog at the order of his bishop.  Update earlier reported on the election of Okeno.

 Church Vaccine Requirement Grows

At the beginning of September, Update reported on the decision of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco to require proof of vaccination in order to attend services and events.   The Cathedral is not alone.  The Episcopal News Services reports on several other Episcopal Churches that have made similar requirements, and gives more detail on how Grace has implemented their requirement. In fact, a majority of parishes in the Diocese of California have vaccination requirements, and Bishop Andrus has urged the requirement.  In the Diocese of New York both the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and St. Luke's in the Field have vaccination requirements.  At least one parish in Maine has requires vaccination. All are also offering on-line options for worship, and some include an alternative testing option and have given exceptions to those who are not eligible for the vaccine. Other places are not requiring that attendees be vaccinated, but are requiring all Church employees and volunteers be vaccinated.  Maine has chosen that route as well as Massachusetts, and now the Diocese of Toronto in the Anglican Church of Canada has taken a similar stand.