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, August 30, 2022

Week Ending 08/29/22

Climate Action Park Created in Ireland

A Church of Ireland priest in Galway has led an effort to convert 4 acres of land next to the rectory for the Aughrim and Creagh Parish Union into a "climate action park."  The goal is to plant it with native plants, trees, and hedgerows, lace the area with trails and engage the town in thinking about biodiversity and climate issues. The clergyman, John Godfrey is involving groups in the town, and the churches of other denominations to make it a true community effort.  The land previously was used to graze cattle and is a large open field. Some meadow areas have been planted, but the plans are on hold for an archeological review before they can start building trails or planting trees.  Eventually the park will have several different zone of plants, including an area with a creek running through it.

Continuing Stories

 Pittsburgh Parishes Join Medical Debt Forgiveness Plan

Update has carried a number of stories about Episcopal parishes that teamed up with a non-profit called RIP Medical Debt to extinguish the medical debts of a large number  of people in an area picked by the parish.  The most recent story is here.  Now two parishes in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, St. David's in Peters Township and and St. Thomas in Canonsburg have launched a campaign and invited others in the diocese to join them in raising funds to extinguish debts for people in western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia.  The non-profit buys the debt at a greatly discounted rate with money raised by their partners and then retires the debt.  The two parishes, both in Washington County, south of Pittsburgh hope to extinguish $500,000.00 of debt.  You can learn more here.

Florida to Re-Do Election of Bishop

The Diocese of Florida will hold a new election for Bishop, according to Bishop Howard.  His statement was in a video posted to You-Tube, but not linked to the Diocesan website.  (In fact, the website still has Holt featured as Bishop-Elect.) Howard did not give a timetable for when that convention might be held, but he did express a hope that the Rev. Charlie Holt, whose election was ruled irregular because of a lack of quorum  would remain a candidate.  Holt had left his post in Houston, TX and moved to Florida where is working for the diocese in anticipation of a fall consecration, which has of course been cancelled.  Last week Update carried the notice that Holt had withdrawn his acceptance of the election in response to the findings of irregularity by the Court of Review. 

Conservative Dioceses Not Leaving Australian Church

The bishops of two conservative Australian dioceses have made it clear that they are not joining the GAFCON sponsored schismatic diocese.  Both are in the Province of New South Wales where conservatism is strong, especially in Sydney. The Archbishop of Sydney (i.e. the bishop over all of the dioceses in the province, is Kanishka_Raffel.  Rafel is the bishop of the Diocese of Sydney, serves as the Metropolitan for the Province of New South Wales, and the primate for the Anglican Church of Sydney.  He made a statement saying that conservatives in conservative dioceses had no reason to leave for the new GAFCON Diocese of the Southern Cross since conservative dioceses would continue to uphold what they considered orthodox theology, and would work from the inside to "restore" the church to "orthodox" theology.  He could understand if some clergy in liberal diocese might need to find an "orthodox" haven [read "orthodox" as anti-LGBTQ].
The Bishop of Armidale had basically the same message to his diocese.  The Diocese of Sydney also has at least one liberal diocese (Newcastle) where the bishop is prepared to bless same-sex unions.  The announcement does suggest there will only a small, slow trickle of clergy and congregations to the GAFCON group.  Update last week posted  about the formal implementation of the GAFCON diocese.