Pittsburgh Update

Pittsburgh Update publishes weekly summaries of recent developments in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, The Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Communion that affect or could affect Pittsburgh Episcopalians. Emphasis is on reporting, not interpretation. This is a service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh. This site is in no way affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh or the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh.

A Pittsburgh Episcopal Voice          

A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Week Ending 04/08/19

Storied Civil Rights Center's Main building Destroyed 

The Highlander Center in Tennessee, founded in 1932, has been a major force for liberal causes, especially since 1950 in Civil Rights.  Almost all of the major Civil Rights figures including Rosa Parks, Ralph Abernathy, James Foreman, and Martin Luther King, Jr. attended leadership workshops at the center. Episcopalians Carl and Anne Braden were associated with the center. Despite attempts by the segregationists to shut it down between 1958 and 1962, and the loss of its original site, the Center re-instituted itself and has continued its educational tradition.  However, on Friday, its main building was set on fire and a white power symbol painted in the parking lot.  The building was a total loss, but the programs will continue.  The on-line news service religionnews.com has the story.

Egypt Install First Female Canon

Bishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt, North Africa and the Horn of Africa,  has announced All Saints Cathedral in Cairo will install its first female canon, Mrs. Alexandra Wakid on April 12.  Mrs. Wakid was born in Scotland, and has been a member of the cathedral for 28 years.  She and her now deceased husband were married at the cathedral.  For the last 10 years she has served the bishop as Consultant for International Relations.  In that role she was instrumental in negotiating the return of Church property in Algiers held by the British Foreign and Consulting Office. The Anglican Communion News Service has more.

CPG Invests in Renewable Energy

The Church Pension Group has announced that it will invest $40 million in the New Energy Captial Partners, LLC.  The company invests in clean, renewable energy sources including wind and solar power.  It is part of CPG's intent to invest in projects that have a positive social impact. The full release is here.

New Church Plant Upsets Church of Wales

The Bishop of Llandaff in the Church of Wales, June Osborne, has run into a snag by forgetting to consult the existing parish at St. Teilo's in Cardiff when it decided to use their building for a new evangelical church plant.  The bishop had created a partnership with a London evangelical parish to create a parish that would appeal to unchurched  and evangelical, low church students at the local university using the original campus church building. The new plant has a substantial grant to begin its ministry.  The problem is that the inclusive, but liturgically traditional Anglo-Catholic, parish that already occupies the space was not consulted.  The parish does have another building not far away, but that site also has a congregation and neither were consulted.  The bishop is now faced with a petition signed by 1500 residents asking that the original congregation remain in place.

Illinois Parish Retires Medical Debts for 3617 Families

Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Springfield has used the final $15,000 of money raised during a a capital campaign to leverage retirement of $4,000,000 dollars of medical debt owed by families in the bounds of the diocese.  The Champaign, IL parish raised the money as part of a capital campaign celebrating 100 years in their Ralph Cram-designed building.  Having met all needs for a refurbishing their building, and giving to local charities, the parish teamed with the non-profit RIP Medical debt for one last gift to the community.  The non-profit buys packages of medical debt on pennies for the dollar and then forgives the debt.  The $15,000 was enough to buy the medical debts of 3617 families living in the Champaign area and throughout southern Illinois.  The parihs does not know who has received the gifts and hopes that individuals will let the media or the parish know.

Ongoing Story

Northwestern Pennsylvania and Western New York Diocese Start Bishop-Sharing

On Saturday, Bishop Sean Rowe of Northwestern Pennsylvania was installed as Bishop of Western New York.  The experiment of sharing will be re-evaluated after 5 years.  Because of the difference in state laws it would be difficult for the two dioceses to merge, but they will look for ways to pool resources and ministries.  Rowe has experience at leading two dioceses at once .  He served as Bishop Provisional for the Diocese of Bethlehem  from 2014 to 2018.  Update has followed this story beginning with the first exploratory talks, to the confirmation of the arrangement , and now its implementation.