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Friday, April 15, 2011

Pee Bee Visit to TEC-Pgh 2011

Presiding Bishop Visit 2011

Perhaps newly reinstated TEC priest Whis Hays will report on the "private discussion" at the afternoon meeting with the clergy. From

The Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, will make her first official visit to the Diocese of Pittsburgh on Tuesday of Holy Week.

All are invited to join her on April 19 for a short worship service and open forum beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Trinity Cathedral, 328 Sixth Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh. A reception will follow, at which the Presiding Bishop will be available to sign her most recent book, The Heartbeat of God: Finding the Sacred in the Middle of Everything. Calvary's Bookstore will make copies available at the event at a discounted price of $20.00.

Earlier that day, the Presiding Bishop will celebrate the Eucharist and preach at the annual Renewal of Ordination Vows. That service, at 10:00 a.m at St. Stephen's, Wilkinsburg, is also open to the public. During the afternoon she will have a private discussion with the clergy of the diocese.

Clergy are reminded that the color for the day is red and to please register for lunch and healing oil by clicking here.

Bishop Katharine previously visited Pittsburgh as a guest of Calvary Church on November 2, 2008.


  1. I didn't see Whis Hays, but I can tell you what I remember.

    It was all rather tame. She began by doing what was called a meditation on God's love, in which she didn't say anything unorthox--although she did ask us to ignore Genesis 2 and 3 and just imagine ourselves in an unfallen state, to imagine what it felt like to loved and not judged by God. After we'd all thought about that for a bit in silence, she asked us to say what it was like. There were some positive comments, and some who felt unable to ignore the fact that we had sinned and needed forgiveness. Her response to both was pretty much the same--look to Jesus as we see him in the poor and marginalised. Nothing wrong with that, even if it isn't the whole counsel of God, and she didn't have a whole lot of time. Not what I would have stressed during Holy Week, but nothing controversial. She had a very distracting way of making her points, though; no matter what point she was making, after she'd made it her eyebrows went up and her eyes grew big and she took on an air of surprise as though she'd never thought of something like that before. Which didn't seem very likely, since she didn't say anything that we haven't all thought before about a hundred times. I couldn't tell if this was natural or acted in the hope that we'd all suddenly smack our foreheads and say 'of course--how come I never saw that before?' I found it distracting because it got me thinking about her rather than what she was saying. So maybe I'm not reporting what she was saying as accurately as someone who wasn't distracted by this.

    Anyway, after various comments on being loved by God, we moved into more general areas of interest. The questions I remember her being asked were about the prospect of the Covenant changing anything in the Anglican Communion, and about the place of Conservatives in the Episcopal Church. No one asked her about legal or property issues. About the Covenant, she didn't see it achieving much as a covenant, but thought the process of talking about it would do some good. New Zealand and Korea had problems with it because 'covenant' was the word used for treaties between the British and the Maoris which were only adhered to when it suited the British, and for promises made to the Koreans by the Japanese during the 1930s and 40s, which were also not remembered positively by the Koreans. She wasn't asked about the chances of the Episcopal Church adopting it, and didn't comment on it.

    As far as the place of conservatives in the Episcopal Church is concerned, she had told Executive Council that the Church needed to look for ways to give conservatives more visible participation, and that some bishops were meeting to look at how this might be done. But no solution to the problem yet. After being pressed on this, she said it was 'complicated', but work on the issue would continue.

    There was discussion of the importance of keeping up all possible personal relationships with those in ACNA, with Bruce Robison and Cathy Brall being the most effective speakers on this. The PB's comment recommended treating them like any other denomination, but agreed that it would be years before we could reach the equilibrium we had with the Methodists, for instance. She wasn't asked about legal or property issues, and didn't comment on them.

    That's really all that stood out for me. It was really not much of an event, from any point of view.

    The Renewal of Vows service was interesting in that no reference was made to the Episcopal Church, so that any ACNA priest could have participated fully. As I remember the practice under Bishop Duncan (not that I attended frequently, if you've been keeping vows I don't see any purpose in 'renewing' them) we would specifically be asked to 'conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church', but we did nothing that specific. Bishop Price wrote that part of the service.

  2. Thanks Philip for the report. Too bad no one pressed her on the legal or property issues. Then again maybe all the clergy present either agree with her or are afraid to rock the boat?

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