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, January 11, 2022

Week Ending 01/11/22

Reclaiming Epiphany

Last week was a busy week for Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.  After presiding at the funeral of the Rev. Dr. Harold Lewis in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, he hurried back to Washington D.C. to participate in an Epiphany service at the Church of the Epiphany, give remarks at an outdoor gathering at the Lincoln Memorial,  and to offer a prayer at the moment of silence  organized by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi to mark the one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and the injuries and death of those defending Congress which was in session.  The Presiding Bishop minced no words, referring to the attack as a insurrection, and stressing that this attack was contrary to all that the season of Epiphany was supposed to mean.  While the sermon in the Church of the Epiphany was apparently marred by a bad sound system, his printed remarks have  been made available.

Continuing Stories 

Legal Issues Continue in Texas

In addition to the legal troubles still facing All Saints Parish in Fort Worth, St. Mary's Hillsborough, remains in court because the ACNA group is claiming it should receive a bequest worth $2 million  made to the Episcopal congregation in 2017, long after the separation.   It is clear that the donor's intent was for his estate to remain with those still in the Episcopal Church, both from his own membership in an Episcopal parish, other bequests, and his stipulation of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas as the residual heir should St. Mary's no longer exist.  The ACNA group is claiming they have exclusive rights to the name of the parish, and thus the money should be theirs.  The group affiliated with The Episcopal Church, has also continued to use the name St. Mary's and has found a new location in a former bank building.   The matter will be decided in probate court, with the next hearing January 14.

Conservatives Split Another Denomination

Conservatives continue to draw a line in the sand, unwilling even to accept same-sex marriage and full participation of LGBTQA people as something that Christians may hold different stances on.  The latest group to deal with the issue is the Reformed Churches of America.  The Reformed Church came to the Americas with Dutch colonists, and while it remains a small denomination, is among its oldest.  The governing body of the denomination created a plan for withdrawal of conservative congregations that was designed to avoid costly legal suits, and conservative congregations have withdrawn.  The are now forming a rival denomination, the Alliance of Reformed Churches,  other groups are also trying to draw in the congregation that leave the Reformed Church of America.  Conservatives have left other churches including, of course, the Episcopal Church, which continues to have property disputes. The Lutherans, Presbyterians, and the Methodists have all had withdrawals.  The Methodist split was the one most recently covered by Update.