Sunday, November 8, 2009

Anglican Diocese to expand, cut costs

From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-

Due to at least a temporary loss of endowment, the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh has slashed its budget, but still plans to launch 70 new churches over five years.

It received five mission congregations at its convention yesterday in Sewickley. It also received four parishes from outside its original boundaries. All nine were already counted among its 58 churches.

The Anglican diocese is appealing a Common Pleas Court decision awarding its endowment to the 28-parish Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. The two split last year when a majority at the diocesan convention voted to secede from the Episcopal Church, which they believed had failed to uphold biblical doctrine on matters from salvation to sexuality. The Anglican diocese billed this as its 144th convention, and there were references to the Episcopalians as "the rogue diocese."

But others can't be blamed for any past failure of missionary initiative, said the Rev. Mary Hays, canon to the ordinary, as she urged the diocese to start 70 new churches.

"There's a reason we're in this mess and it isn't just the rogue diocese," she said. "We have to take responsibility for not reaching the people around us with the love and power of the Lord Jesus."

The diocese left the Episcopal Church for the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone in South America. Both the Southern Cone and the Episcopal Church belong to the global Anglican Communion.

In June the diocese joined the new Anglican Church in North America, which hopes to join the Anglican Communion.

Yesterday it voted for sole affiliation with the Anglican Church in North America, while its bishops and clergy hold dual credentials with the Southern Cone.

It adopted a flexible 2010 budget of $919,163 to $987,416. That's down from $1.7 million for 2009. Rent will be slashed by moving from Downtown to the North Side. Archbishop Robert Duncan's pay package was reduced from $192,700 to $89,356 but he will receive $75,000 from the Anglican Church in North America for serving as its archbishop.

The convention overwhelmingly passed a resolution opposing abortion, except to save the mother's life, and called for aid to women with crisis pregnancies. There were questions about a clause against teaching that "divorces the sexual act from ... the possibility of procreation."

Some asked if that was a criticism of contraceptive use. Co-author Deacon Tara Jernigan of Butler replied that "the intent here is not to legislate with regard to birth control" but to counteract a world view "that has divorced sex from babies."

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1 comment:

Celinda Scott said...

I'm surprised Mary Hays--or anyone in the diocese which proudly calls itself the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh-would stoop to calling the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh the "rogue diocese." Abp Duncan has said they are leaving the past behind and embracing the future. Why this petty insult as they do so?