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.

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A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Week Ending 07/13/22

General Convention Addresses Major Issues

Liturgy, Prayer Book, Racism, Governance all were major issues addressed by the shortened General Convention in Baltimore.  In addition, despite continuing technology problems that slowed almost every electronic vote, the House of Deputies managed to elect a new President and Vice President in landmark fashion.  The Convention began the process of amending the constitution and canons to give a variety of liturgical texts "prayer book" authority.  They also revised the canons so that Executive Council would bring the budget to Convention without it passing through a convention committee.  There would still be budget hearings, but they would be done by the Executive Council's Finance Committee.  Another "streamlining" attempt which would have put the Church Archives under the direct control of the Presiding Bishop and President of the House of Deputies was put on hold by the bishops who deferred it for discussion at the next General Convention.  A resolution requiring the establishment of an LGBTQA+ and woman's desk position as part of the National Church also passed.  The Beloved Community was funded for another triennium, and a new initiative begun to put major effort into researching the church's involvement in the boarding schools that did so much cultural damage while traumatizing their students.  (See notice below under Continuing Stories.) Voting for a new President of the House of Deputies took three ballots, but the eventual winner led on each ballot.  The Latina lay candidate from Oklahoma, Julia Ayala Harris will be the first woman of color to head the House.  The Vice President of the House is the Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton a mixed race member of the Shakan tribe. She is the first woman priest and first indigenous person to hold that office.  You can get good summaries of the day's activities from The Episcopal Cafe section of the Episcopal Journal.  Here are summaries for day 1, day 2, day 3 part 1, day 3 part 2, and day 4.

Church of England Continues to Struggle with "Safe Church" Strategy

How to investigate charges against Church of England clergy or other officials who have violated trust through sexual impropriety has been an ongoing issue in the Church of England.  they have tried various investigative boards, and most recently set up a commission that was to come in with a safe church program and process for investigation.  The Church of England Synod which met almost simultaneously with the Episcopal Church's General Convention, discussed a presentation by that Commission.  However, the Commission has already set itself up as an independent board, a move that has been questioned as a step beyond any authorization.  It is safe to say that the matter has not yet been settled. 

Continuing Stories

Church to Engage in Major Fact Finding on Indigenous Schools

The Episcopal Church has now committed a major block of funds to organizing a systematic and wide-reaching search of church, diocesan, parish, and local archives to uncover the truth about the Church's participation in the system of indigenous boarding schools that were designed to replace indigenous culture, language and customs with that of the prevailing white culture.  The system separated young children from their families and treated them in ways that traumatized many.  Members of a variety of indigenous groups were among the deputies at General Convention, and they provided most of the testimony on this resolution.  Update had carried an earlier story on this proposal as a part of the attention to indigenous peoples who are members of the church.

Reunion Approved for Two Texas Dioceses

General Convention made the reunion of the Diocese of Texas and the Episcopal Church in Northern Texas official by approving the proposal already passed by both group's governing conventions. After the resolution passed the House of Deputies, the deputations from both groups were invited to the front of the house for recognition.   Update had reported on the reunion proposal and votes by both diocesan conventions.

Greater Voice for Communion Approved in Choice of Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby raised a question earlier this year about whether the Anglican Communion as a whole ought to have a little say in the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury.  The problem is that the Archbishop has a dual set of duties, one as the leader of a large body of dioceses and parishes that are part of the Church of England, and a second symbolic role as one of the "instruments of communion" for the Anglican Communion.  The Synod has approved a change in the distribution of members on the committee that recommends to the crown the next Archbishop.  The see of Canterbury has relinquished some seats so that there can be 5 representatives from the larger Communion.