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, May 5, 2020

Week Ending 5/4/20

Poll Shows Weakening Trump Support Among Evangelicals

In March, approval ratings for the President rose as people rallied behind the government in a crisis, however the surge was short-lived.  A new poll by PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute) showed substantial drops in approval of the President by the end of April.  Three key religious categories (white evangelicals, white Catholics, and mainline Protestants) all showed double digit drops in approval, and all three groups showed approval ratings below 50%.  The drops among white evangelicals and Catholics is significant since these groups have been sources of strong support for Trump.   For more on the poll results go here.

Continuing Stories

Planning for a Post Covid-19 Church

Last week Update reported on Episcopalian responses to the news that several governors were beginning to lift restrictions so that some businesses could begin to open.  Bishops responded largely by urging congregations to continue to shelter in place, but also began creating plans for reopening church buildings and allowing some face to face worship. Religions News has a good article describing a variety of responses by different denominations.  This week the Episcopal Church's Executive Council met in special session to discuss what the Church might look like after covid-19.   Meanwhile, priests in the Church of England are pressing for changes in that church's policy which has been more restrictive than those of other denominations, and in Nigeria, where the pandemic is beginning to take hold, one bishop has threatened  disciplinary action against priests who allow people to come to worship without a mask.

Churches Reaching Out in Economic Hard Times 

The Update has been carrying notices of Episcopal Churches providing aid to those in economic distress.  Several efforts were in the news this week.  In Blue Hill Maine, St. Francis-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church has made arrangements directly with a lobster fisherman to buy his catch. It is an investment in a hurting local economy. The parish then sells the lobsters to local subscribers.  In Prince George's County, Maryland and Dallas Texas, parishes have moved their food pantries outside and are doing drive-by food distributions.  In both locales rising unemployment rates have increased the need for food.   In New York, a Staten Island parish is providing shelter for the homeless, while a parish in New Jersey decided to offer support in the form of snacks and treats to the workers at one of the care homes hardest hit by the virus.  In Richmond, Virginia, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, long a leader in social outreach, has announced the creation of a fund to provide covid-19 relief to those in need.  The parish has contributed $150,00 to get the fund started and is soliciting other contributions.