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, December 13, 2022

Week Ending 12/12/22

Parish Helps Build Home for Teen-Aged Mothers

In Cheyenne, Wyoming  (population 60,000), there are around 300 homeless teenagers.  St. Mark's Episcopal Church members have been deeply involved in a charity called Unaccompanied Student Initiative that works with these homeless youth.  The latest project for USI is a home for teen-aged mothers, and St. Mark's has committed to applying for a grant from the Wyoming Diocesan foundation to buy land for the home.  St. Mark's has been successful in getting past grants from the Diocese totaling nearly $200,000 for USI.  Other charities and the First Christian Church have committed to raising the money to build the home.  First Christian will do its fundraising as part of a celebration of its 100th birthday.  A local charity that works with young mothers has committed to matching whatever First Christian raises.  The Episcopal News Service has more on this combined effort.

Continuing Stories

Methodists Split in Alabama

The United Methodist Church Conferences are continuing their annual meetings, and Methodist congregations are applying at the meeting withdraw and join a new conservative organization that does not recognize LGBTQA people as clergy or same-sex marriages. Last week Update reported on the withdrawals from two Texas conferences.  This week was the turn of  the North Alabama Conference.  The conference granted the withdrawal of 198 of its 638 congregations.  As other conferences meet, there will be more announcements. 

James Island Parish Reopens in South Carolina

Over 100 people turned out December 4, 2022 for the first service at St. James Parish on St. James Island in the Diocese of South Carolina.  The re-opening of the parish as an Episcopal Church was delayed a month waiting for the ACNA group occupying the building to move to their new location. The congregation was founded in the first part of the 18th century.  The parish Facebook page has pictures of the service.  This is the final transition involving the 6 parishes that were clearly returned to the Episcopal Diocese by the state supreme court.  Three other parishes are awaiting word if appeals (one by the parish and two by the Episcopal Church) will be heard by the supreme court and if there will then be any change in the courts decisions concerning these 3.

Formal Challenge Filed Again in Florida Election

The Rev. Charles Holt is now in unchartered territory.  Twice a convention in the Diocese of Florida has seemed to elect him as their next bishop, and twice people have filed formal complaints that could result in the process being declared invalid. The first filing was successful, hence the second convention. Twenty-eight people signed a formal complaint listing a variety of mistakes, and decisions that made this second attempt unfair. The most serious concerns include that the official record lists a clergy person as  registered and voting who was not present at the convention, and that duly elected lay deputies were denied seats. That complaint will go, as did the first, to a committee of review from the Episcopal Church.  It will take a while for the process to determine if Holt's second election will stand.  After the first complaint, Holt refused his "election."  This time he has issued a letter to the diocese about the humbling nature of the process and re-pledging that if the election stands, he will serve all of the people of the diocese and implement resolution B012 of the General Convention 2018 which requires every diocese to have a means by which same-sex couples can be married at a church locally.  Update had an earlier story on objections raised during the voting at the second convention.

New North India Moderator Chosen

Earlier Update reported that the moderator (archbishop) of the Province of North India has been arrested on charges of Fraud and money laundering.  After the arrest, the moderator was deposed from the ministry, and now a new moderator has been chosen and installed.  It is the Bishop of Phulbani, The Most Rev. Bijay K. Nayak, who had served as vice-moderator.  The moderator is recognized as one of the primates of an independent province in the Anglican Communion. 

Some Parishes Using Women's Lectionary for Advent

Last year, Update made note of a new A Woman's Lectionary for the Whole Church that had been prepared by the Rev.Wilda Gafney.  Year A was published in 2021 by Church Publishing, and years B and C are forthcoming.  Now a number of parishes have chosen to use the year A set of readings for the Advent season rather than the standard Revised Common Lectionary readings.  Gafney has the lessons focus on the women central to the Advent story.    

Nigerian bishop Tries to Forcibly Claim New Jersey Parish

Recently Update noted that many of the U.S. congregations created by the Nigerian Anglicans Church had decided to end any ties with Nigeria and being fully incorporated into ACNA.  This apparently did not sit well with some of the Nigerians, and the result was a physical confrontation between the ACNA bishop overseeing  Christ Anglican Church in Irvington, N.J. and a group including the suffragan Bishop for the Nigerian-affiliated  parishes.  The Nigerians tried to stop the Sunday service and people began shoving and hitting.  Police  had been called, and it took a while to get the Nigerians to leave.