PROGRESSIVE EPISCOPALIANS OF PITTSBURGH
6393 Penn Avenue, PMB 207
Pittsburgh, PA 15206-4010
 

Contact:
Kenneth Stiles, Vice President
Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh
Telephone: +1 (412) 362-2112
E-mail: krstiles@acba.org
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Progressive Episcopalians See Movement Toward More Stable Future
 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — July 30, 2009 — According to Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh (PEP), events of July portend a period of greater unity and stability for The Episcopal Church and one of greater clarity for relations between the American church and the Anglican Communion.
 
Decisions at the recently concluded 76th General Convention of The Episcopal Church and the overall mood of that meeting certainly gave rise to that hope. On the issues that have been the most contentious within The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion (the worldwide fellowship of churches of which it is a member), the convention chose a middle path that was embraced by large majorities in both the House of Bishops and House of Deputies. “Rather than affirm or reject controversial actions taken at the previous General Convention in 2006, the 2009 General Convention chose to respond with a resolution accurately describing its current status and canons, while stressing its desire to work with other members of the Anglican Communion,” said Joan R. Gundersen, current president of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh and a deputy to the General Convention.
 
Mary Roehrich, a PEP board member who also served as a deputy, pointed out that even the resolution authorizing the collection of theological and liturgical resources related to the blessing of same-sex partnerships included a requirement to consult widely within the Anglican Communion. “What was most notable, however, was the mood of the convention—its civility, its deliberate structuring of sessions to ensure that all views were heard, and the welcome given to visiting guests from elsewhere in the Anglican Communion,” Roehrich continued. “We believe that the visitors left with a much better understanding of our church that will lead to deeper ties.”
 
On the legal front, a consensus seems to be developing with court decisions in Fresno, California, and Rock Island, Illinois, continuing a pattern of decisions supporting the legal positions taken by The Episcopal Church that property remains in The Episcopal Church when those dissatisfied with the church choose to leave. “The summary judgment awarded to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin (California) is especially noteworthy because it is the first where a judge has ruled in a case involving the purported withdrawal of an entire diocese,” noted PEP vice president, Kenneth Stiles. The ruling not only affirmed the right of The Episcopal Church to do whatever is necessary to ensure a continuing body following a withdrawal of its leaders, but also ruled that once a diocese had acceded to the constitution and canons of The Episcopal Church, it was beyond the power of the diocese to alter its governing documents in any way that would undo or limit the accession. Dioceses always have been required to have an accession clause in their constitutions before being admitted into The Episcopal Church.
 
“Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh is grateful that we in this diocese are now able to focus on reconciliation and rebuilding. We see the role of PEP especially as offering events designed to provide a deeper understanding of the Episcopal tradition and a place to explore new ways to share Christian faith through the medium of our church,” commented PEP’s other vice president, the Rev. Diane Shepard. “We will also continue to offer support to those in dioceses still troubled by unresolved tensions and share resources and experience with those in the other three dioceses who are now rebuilding following the withdrawal of diocesan leadership.”
 
 
Contact:
Kenneth Stiles, Vice President
Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh
Telephone: +1 (412) 362-2112
E-mail: krstiles@acba.org
 
 
On the Web:
This document:
http://progressiveepiscopalians.org/html/2009-07-30future.html
 
Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh:
http://progressiveepiscopalians.org
 
 
Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh is an organization of clergy and laypeople committed to the unity and diversity of The Episcopal Church, and of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. It is a member of the Via Media USA alliance.
 

# # #

CLOSE