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, November 22, 2022

Week Ending 11/21/22

Faithful America Sponsors Petition Opposing Trump Run in 2024

Faithful America, an organization founded in 2004 to oppose Christian Nationalism and ensure religious liberty for all has initiated a petition asking that Donald Trump not be allowed to run again for president in 2024.  Their goal was to get to 20,000 signatures by the beginning of December.  Faithful American is an independent interdenominational Christian group currently headed by an Episcopal priest, Nathan Empsall.   It is funded entirely by its membership. For those interested, the petition is collecting signatures on-line at their website.  The petitions wording is short and to the point. 

Central Florida Bishop Election Complicated by Diocesan Marriage Canon 

Central Florida is in the midst of the process of electing a new bishop to replace retiring bishop Brewer.  The problem is that the canons of the diocese not only forbid clergy from participating in a marriage of a same-sex couple, but set severe penalties.  General Convention passed a resolution (B 012) in 2018 requiring all dioceses to have a means to allow same-sex couples to be able to marry in a local church.  Bishop Brewer has only approved one congregation using a provision of delegated oversight to another bishop,but  because of the diocesan canons, other clergy are hesitant to come forward.  Candidates for the next bishop are thus caught between either ignoring a diocesan canon, or being out of compliance with General Convention.  The three candidates for bishop have all answered a questionnaire saying that they would obey both the canon and the General Convention resolution, despite that fact that one contradicts the other. 

New Jersey Parish Cooperates in K-9 Training

The Episcopal Journal had a story on the outreach St. John's Episcopal Church in Booton, N.J. has initiated with a local dog trainer who also is a police officer.  It began with a traditional blessing of the animals for during a fall community festival,  but led to the church building becoming the site for trainings sessions with a new explosive sniffing dog team.  The dog, Bowie, had been blessed at the fall animal blessing and so the trainer contacted the church when looking for a site to use for certifying the dog and its owner as an explosives detection team.  It is a good example of how one kind of outreach can foster others.

Continuing Stories

Latest Bishop Elections 

This last weekend, the Rev. Charles Holt was elected bishop of Florida on the first ballot in a repeat election held after the first was ruled to have failed to meet quorum.  The election was held despite a petition requesting that the election be delayed to ensure proper certification of deputies and clergy.  The conservative Holt was a controversial choice for those supportive of LGBTQA members, but has promised to implement General Convention Resolution B 012 which requires every diocese to provide access to church services for same-sex couples seeking marriage.   At the other end of the spectrum, the Diocese of Ohio elected the Rev. Anne B. Jolly as bishop coadjutor, the first woman to hold that office in the diocese. Jolly has a resume filled with congregation development leadership and served as chair of the Chicago Standing Committee during the challenging period when their bishop elect was rehabilitating following a stroke.

Brazil Elects Woman As Primate

While there are still provinces/dioceses in the Anglican Communion that do not ordain women to the priesthood, much less the episcopacy, the acceptance of women's ordained ministries continues to grow.  Update reported the consecration of the first woman to serve as a bishop in Japan earlier this year.  Update also reported on the election in November 2021 of  the first woman to serve as bishop in Mexico. Now Brazil offers a new first - first woman to serve as primate in all of Latin America.    Brazil chose Rt. Rev. Marinez Rosa dos Santos Bassotto to be their next primate.   Brazil has led the way on women's ordination in Latin America, allowing ordination of women as priests since 1985. 

Colorado Parishes Respond to Latest Mass Shooting

Colorado has been the site of several mass shootings, the most recent at a club with a LGBTQA clientele.  As in previous cases, the Episcopal Churches in have  responded with numerous prayer meetings and statements of support for the LGBTQA community.  Update has carried notices of previous shootings.

Update on Ballot Measures Supported by Dioceses

The mid-term elections also included ballot measures in a number of states.  Update reported on a constitutional amendment all the Bishops of Tennessee endorsed.  It was a measure updating the wording of a clause in the constitution to that had allowed re-enslavement of blacks through penal work requirements.  The rewording clearly abolished slavery and passed with an overwhelming 80% in support.  The Diocese of Oregon had lent its support to a gun control measure promoted by an interfaith group.  The measure passed with about 51% in favor.  It will make Oregon's gun control law one of the strictest in the U.S.