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, January 26, 2021

Week Ending 1/25/21

Executive Council Reaffirms Church Role in Reconciliation

After reflecting on the deep divisions in American Society, political, economic, and racial, The Executive Council for the Episcopal Church reaffirmed the Church's role in bridging the divides, healing the hurts, and bringing reconciliation.  The opening statements of the both the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies helped to frame this discussion.   The Presiding Bishop mentioned a variety of crises facing us, but spent the most time on racial justice.  Gay Jennings used her remarks as President of the House of Deputies to focus on the danger of Christian Nationalism. 

Washington National Cathedral Hosts Post-Inaugural Service 

Among the Inaugural week events was a post-inauguration national prayer service hosted virtually by the the Washington National Cathedral.  The service was interfaith with participants from participants reaching across all major world religions, and some more  specifically American traditions such as the Navajo.  Th preacher was Disciples of Christ bishop William Barber, who linked repairing the breech in American Society to correcting its inequalities.  Presiding Bishop Curry gave the final blessing. 

ACNA Reaffirms Stance on LGTBQ People

The ACNA College of Bishops has issued a long paper  providing guidance to its churches on the status of LGBTQ people in their church.  Characterizing  same sex relations as similar to other sinful human failings, such as adultery, divorce, greed, pornography, and disregard for the poor, the bishops declared celibacy the only acceptable course, refused to rule out conversion therapies, and urged the use of "same sex attraction" as the term to use rather than anything that might suggest a sexual identity.  The statement provides an unspoken contrast to the Episcopal Church positions affirming LGBTQ people  and approving liturgies for the marriages of same sex couples.  

Priest Calls Attention to Consumer Culture and Ecological Issues by What She Wore

The Rev. Sarah Robbins-Cole, a chaplain at Wellesley College, took up a challenge to show how people could live with less and thus reduce their ecological footprint and consumerism.  The challenge was wearing the same dress for 100 days.  Robbins-Cole chose a basic black dress, which of course, went well with a clergy collar, but also with a variety of scarves, jackets, tights, and other accessories.  Although initially telling only a few family and friends, she created an Instagram page documenting what she wore and soon gained  thousands of followers.  Over 65 papers around the world picked up the story. 

Updates on Continuing Stories

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Re-Licensed

 Lord  George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury got caught up in the safe-church investigations in England and was accused of covering up sexual abuse by Peter Ball and ignoring victims.  As a result in 2017 he resigned as Assistant Bishop of Oxford, and lost his license to provide religious services.  In 2018, a license to officiate in Oxford was restored,  but in 2020 it was again revoked when his actions in a different abuse case were questioned.  Now it has again been restored.  Update has covered each change of status.  

More example of Outreach

This week Update can note  three very different forms of outreach by Episcopalians.  Christ Episcopal Church in Bordentown, New Jersey was featured in local news for a variety of efforts to reach those who are economically hurting and how the parish has made outreach to the community its central theme.  St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Lafayette, Louisiana stepped up to offer space when local organizers were denied use of public property for a memorial to those in the county who had died from covid-19.  The church offered its lawn for the display of 210 flags with the names of those local people who had died, and the parish priest blessed the installation. In New York, the Episcopal Actors Guild has stepped forward to offer aid to those in the entertainment field who are in need since the industry has been largely shut down by the pandemic.  The Church of the Transfiguration provides a home base for the guild.  the Guild has a long-standing grants program and food pantry, but their work has expanded during the pandemic.  Update has been highlighting outreach ministries with notices almost every week.  Last week's notices are here