Anaheim, California, July 17, 2009 — The entire General Convention of the Episcopal Church has now recognized the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh for its continuing witness to the Episcopal Church locally, despite “recent difficult times.”
The House of Bishops voted so today, concurring with the House of Deputies vote yesterday. The Deputies’ vote was followed by a standing ovation that brought some deputies to tears.
The recognition by church’s highest governing body came in a resolution commending the lay and clergy leaders of the diocese, and its members, for “unflagging efforts” to maintain the diocese after the departure of former leaders and many members.
“It was the right thing to do and very helpful for us to have the General Convention affirm our rightful place in the Episcopal Church as the same Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh that we have always been,” said Pittsburgh’s Assisting Bishop, Robert H. Johnson.
Bishop Johnson said the warm reception given the Pittsburgh deputation throughout the convention “was remarkable.”
The affirmation was one of the final acts of the 76th General Convention.
“It was a way for Convention to be on record that we have been here all along and fully participating as we’ve done before, despite the rebuilding we’ve had to do back home,” said the Rev. Dr. James Simons, chair of the Pittsburgh deputation. Dr. Simons served throughout as chairman of the House of Deputies Dispatch of Business Committee.
Similar recognition was extended to the Dioceses of Fort Worth, Quincy, and San Joaquin, where leaders have also recently left the Episcopal Church.