Daily Archives: July 2, 2011
Members of an Anglican parish in Penn Hills have quietly handed over their building to the rival Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, saying they couldn’t accept the ground rules for property negotiation and believed it was better to rent space in a different church nearby.
It’s the latest development in a split and legal dispute between the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. The Episcopal diocese said it didn’t ask the congregation to vacate St. James Church on Frankstown Road but will start its own services there. The Anglican pastor said he hoped to maintain good relationships with Episcopal colleagues.
“We’ll have a positive attitude about this move,” said the Rev. Doug Sherman, rector of St. James Anglican Church, which will now worship in Faith Community Church. “We made the right decision, and we’re excited. It’s hard leaving a building that you’ve been in for 50 years and that people have paid for. But we look forward to continuing our ministry in Penn Hills.”
Beginning this first weekend of July 2011, the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh plans to re-establish congregations in at least three locations that have been without an Episcopal Church presence for several years.
For over 50 years, the congregation at St. James Episcopal Church has ministered to the Penn Hills community at their Frankstown Road location. The congregation is now moving, after accepting the kind offer of Faith Community Church to share their building and facilities at 501 Jefferson Road, Penn Hills. Concurrent with the move, the congregation is pleased to announce the formation of a new congregation in the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh: St. James Anglican Church.
As a child growing up just south of Atlanta, Margaret Mitchell used to sit on the front porch, listening to adults tell stories about the Civil War as they passed still summer nights in Clayton County. Those stories went on to help inspire one of the most famous novels of all time ”” Gone with the Wind, which was published 75 years ago this month.
Mitchell “used to pretend that she was asleep,” says Peter Bonner, who runs a tour company in the area. “[She would] lay there on the porch and stick around and hear some of those great stories. Later, she said, ‘I sat on the fat slippery laps of my great-aunts and heard what would become Gone with the Wind.’ ”
The Church of England has said it is reviewing its approach to same-sex relationships and whether gay priests in civil partnerships should be allowed to become bishops, its most significant work on the subject for years.
According to a statement from the House of Bishops, there is a “theological task to be done to clarify further understanding of the nature and status of these partnerships”.
The Church of England has taken a step towards liberalising its teaching on homosexuality with the announcement of a review of its teaching that active same-sex relationships are wrong.
Its bishops admitted that they had spent “very little time” discussing the issue that has torn the fabric of the wider Anglican Communion.
The Bishop of Norwich, the Right Rev Graham James, a favourite to succeed Dr Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury, said that the bishops now accept that they have a responsibility to address the policy issue.
Petra Kvitova won her first Grand Slam title Saturday by beating Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 in the Wimbledon final.
An opinion issued by the church’s legal office last month noted that there had never been a statement that “a celibate person in a civil partnership cannot be considered for appointment as a bishop.”
The legal opinion went on to say that present or past personal relationships of a candidate could be considered in deciding whether he could “act as a focus of unity.”
Lawyers have said the Church could not reject clergy as potential bishops on the basis of their homosexual orientation alone.
The Church of England told clergy in 2005 they could enter civil partnerships if they remained celibate, but uncertainty has arisen about whether such clergy could be nominated as bishops.
The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, speaking on behalf of the Bishops, said today that the 2005 pastoral statement on civil partnerships, produced by a group he chaired, “was silent on the issue” of whether priests should be eligible for episcopal appointment. He said that “while the relevant legal background was analysed in a recently published Legal Office note (News, 27 May), the House acknowledges its responsibility to address the policy issue”.
In addition, the Bishops have pledged to tackle the whole issue of homosexuality. In a parallel review, it will take “a wider look at the Church of England’s approach to same-sex relationships . . . in the light of the listening process launched by the Lambeth Conference in 1998”, Bishop James said. It intends to publish a consultation document in 2013.
“Among the matters to be considered in the review of the 2005 Statement there is one of some importance which the House did not address in advance of any experience of civil partnerships. This is whether clergy who have registered civil partnerships should be eligible for nomination to the episcopate. The House has concluded that it would be wrong to pre-empt the outcome of the review and that clergy in civil partnerships should not at present, therefore, be nominated for episcopal appointment. The House’s intention is to complete the review, which will need to take account of the legal analysis set out in GS MISC 992 (Choosing Bishops ”“ the Equality Act) during 2012.
“The House has also decided that more work is now needed on the Church of England’s approach to human sexuality more generally. In February 2007, the General Synod passed a motion commending ”˜continuing efforts to prevent the diversity of opinion about human sexuality creating further division and impaired fellowship within the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.’
God our Father, who hast created us in thine own image, with a mind to understand thy works, a heart to love thee, and a will to serve thee: Increase in us that knowledge, that love and that obedience, that we may grow daily in thy likeness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Anani’as. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Anani’as.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying, and he has seen a man named Anani’as come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Anani’as answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to thy saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon thy name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; 16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Anani’as departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized, and took food and was strengthened. For several days he was with the disciples at Damascus.