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 6, 2022

Week Ending 12/5/22

Wisconsin Dioceses Start New Collaboration

Most recently the dioceses of Wisconsin have been in the news to merge the three dioceses in to one. The announcement this last week of a plan for Fond du Lac and Milwaukee to share personnel for youth and summer camp ministries is a step towards that merger.  The announcement also notes a further cooperation.  The camp sessions will be held at a camp owned by the ELCA.  The Episcopal Journal has more on this effort.

Continuing Stories

Methodists Approve Parish Withdrawals

Both the Central Texas and Northwest Texas Conferences of the United Methodist Church met last week, and in both cases approved the disaffiliation of a large number of congregations. With earlier approvals the total now rests at about 45% of the Texas congregations choosing to leave the United Methodists.  That still leaves over 700 congregations as a part of the United Methodist Church in Texas.  Most of those leaving plan on joining the Global Methodist Church, which does not support LGBTQA ordination or same sex marriage. Update has covered the split  (most recently here).  Each withdrawal leaves the United Methodist Church more in the hands of its liberal wing.  The Episcopal Church and United Methodists have been in conversation and have a proposal before the governing bodies of both groups for full communion. 

Church of England Discussion of Same Sex Marriage Upsets Conservatives

The fact that several Church of England bishops have now come out in favor of the church providing blessings and marriages for same sex couples, and that the Church of England Synod will be discussing the latest study document on LGBTQA status in the church, has not surprisingly elicited negative comments from those aligned with the Global South.  The latest is a suggestion that should the Church of England actually provide some access to blessings for same sex couples, the Archbishop of Canterbury would no longer be able to lead the Anglican Communion.  The Most Reverend Dr Mouneer Hanna Anis, the archbishop emeritas of Egypt, and an advisor to the Global South made the statement in a recent essay reported on by the conservative on-line journal Anglican.ink which regularly sides with ACNA and GAFCON.  Given that these groups have already set up schismatic alternatives in any province that leans towards full inclusion, the statement is unsurprising, but intended to put pressure on the Church of England.  Since the Anglican Communion is defined as those provinces in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the process for selecting the Archbishop of Canterbury takes place withi the English Church (although with some input from other provinces), this would be impossible to do within the current communion structures. 

Canada Appoints New Bishop to Head Indigenous Branch

The Anglican Church of Canada is in the middle of creating a new structure that will give indigenous people their own structure  (the Sacred Circle) within the larger church.  Bishop Mark McDonald had provided crucial leadership as the structures were created, but then he had to resign due revelation of a sexual impropriety.  Progress on the new arrangement has been slowed while a search was conducted for a new archbishop.  That wait is now over with the appointment of Bishop Chris Harper of Saskatoon as the Indigenous Archbishop.  Harper, a plains Cree, came to the Anglican ministry after a career as an emergency technician.  He was priested in 2016 and made a bishop in 2018.