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         

Monday, March 30, 2020

Week Ending 3/30/20

Diocese of Wyoming Commits $1 Million To Covid-19 Relief

The social and economic dislocation caused by the pandemic has led the trustees of the Diocese of Wyoming's foundation to set aside $1 million to be used for relief.  The details are still being worked out, but like everywhere else in America, families are finding it hard to make ends meet as businesses shut down, unemployment grows, and health costs rise.  The board of the foundation intends to meet weekly to make decisions on disbursement of funds. The story was covered by an on-line daily news service in Wyoming.

Beloved Liberal Priest Among the New Orleans Covid-19 Casualties

The March 28 post by blogger Steve Skardon was a memorial for the Rev. William Barnwell who began his ministry in South Carolina where he was an advocate for racial justice and integration, continued in Virginia, and finally ended in New Orleans.  A member of the Episcopal Parish in Edisto provided a further memorial that outlines his work for social justice, and his support for Episcopalians in Edisto at the time of the diocesan split.

Updates on Continuing Stories

Bishop Love Hearing to Be Done Virtually

Bishop William Love of Albany issued a pastoral letter to his congregation bringing them up to date on a number of things, and offering words of comfort.  In the middle of the letter he addresses the Title IV hearing scheduled for April 21 to determine if he his refusal to implement the General Convention 2018 Resolution B012 is grounds for disciplinary action.  The resolution required all dioceses to provide options for single sex couples to have access locally to the rite of marriage.  Love notes that the hearing is scheduled to go forward using virtual technology, but he was not sure if it would occur on the date originally appointed. 

Churches Continue Stretching to Do Ministry in Pandemic

Update's coverage of the various ways Episcopal Churches are dealing with ministry during a pandemic that has shuttered their buildings continues this week. Dealing with the death of parishioners  is a challenge.  One clergy person dealt with visitation restrictions by offering Last Rites to two different parishioners by phone. One of the members of his parish became the first Connecticut fatality of covid-19.  The Rev. Peter Walsh set up a three way conference call to connect him with the family members who were now in quarantine, and with his parishioner (with the help of a hospital nurse), to do the prayers for the dying.  When he finished that call, he connected with the family of another parish member who was in hospice for cancer, and once again did Last Rites. 
Meanwhile church boarding schools were trying to balance the need to close their school buildings with the recognition that international students might have nowhere to go.  The Episcopal News Service has an article on how the schools responded.  Interestingly, one of the Church of England newspapers, The Church Times,  had a front page story on the report of a New York priest on what was happening in that city and elsewhere in the U.S.

New Zealand Cathedral Gets OK to Start Work

The reconstruction work on Christ Church Cathedral, New Zealand took a step forward with the filing of requests for permits to actually begin work of the site.  The cathedral was badly damaged in the 2011 earthquake the destroyed much of Christ Church.  Its repair or removal then became a controversy pitting those who wanted to tear it down and build anew, and those who saw the site as a national heritage building that needed to be restored.  In 2017 the final decision was made to restore the building and since then the diocese has worked on financing the work and  doing a detailed survey of the site and damage. It is not clear what impact the coronavirus-19 pandemic may have on the actual start of the work.