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, June 15, 2021

Week Ending 6/14/21

 Diocese of California Celebrates Juneteenth with New Liturgy

Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the date that enslaved blacks in Galveston,Texas learned that they had been emancipated via the Emancipation Proclamation, has increasingly become the date in the African-American Community used to mark the end of official chattel slavery in the U.S.  It was adopted as an official diocesan church calendar commemoration in 2020 in the Diocese of California.  While various surrogates used to enslave blacks after emancipation continued (such as convict slavery, debt peonage, and various vagrancy laws created as part of post-Civil War "Black Codes"), the end of the Civil War, implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation, and passage of the 13th Amendment brought an official end to the larger system of enslavement.  The Union of Black Episcopalians has been working with the Diocese of California to create a liturgy for use at commemorations of Juneteenth since the  diocesan convention.  The first use of the liturgy will be on June 19 at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.  The Diocese will propose making this a Church-wide addition to the liturgical calendar at General Convention in 2022.  There are special events planned for Juneteenth in a number of Episcopal jurisdictions.

Scottish Church Adds a New Commemoration 

The Scottish Episcopal Church has voted to add a feast day commemorating the life and death of Jane Haining to their liturgical calendar.  Haining was a church worker from Scotland who was working with Jewish Children in Hungary, when the children were sent to Auswitz, she went with and rejected all efforts to have her released.  She argued that if the children had needed her before, they needed her even more once in the death camp.  She died at the camp.  The Scots found that she was better known and honored in Hungary than in Scotland, and hope to make her dedication, work and sacrifice better known in her home country.

Ongoing Updates

Another Parish Uses Resources for Affordable Housing 

St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, NY is replacing its parish hall with a 17 story tower that will include parking, church meeting and choir rooms, and a 138 unit apartment tower, of which 30% will be affordable.  A private company is doing the developing on a 99 year ground lease from the parish.  Several other parishes around the country have tried to address housing shortages with church assets.  Update has reported previously on the plans of a parish in Saratoga Springs, NY on a parish hall replacement project combining a community center with affordable housing , and on parishes in the Florida Keys and California to buy and renovate apartment buildings for affordable housing. 

Oxford Block Their Own Canon on Twitter

Last week Update reported that the embattled Oxford Cathedral and College Dean had been cleared of charges under the Clergy Discipline process of the Church of England, but that the college was still going ahead with an internal tribunal.  A respected Canon  emerita at Christ church Cathedral, Angela Tilby, raised some gentle questions on Twitter out of concern for the treatment the Dean Martyn Percy. She is currently a Canon of Honor at Portsmouth Cathedral.  The College/Cathedral's response was to block her tweets from the Christ Church site and remove her as a follower of the site.  This needless to  say has added fuel to the fire, and does not reflect well on those at Christ Church.

Anglican College in Pakistan Back in Government Control

The Edwardes College in the Peshwar Province of Pakistan has been the subject of several lawsuits as Pakistan first tried to nationalize all private schools and colleges and then restored a number of church institutions.  Update reported in 2019 that the Anglican Church in Pakistan had regained control of its only school, The Edwardes College, but later that year a new legal challenge was put forth, and now the high provincial court has ruled that the college belongs to the state.  This is a severe blow to the entire Christian minority in Pakistan, and it is not clear what action, if any the Church might take next.   

Episcopalians Support Anishinaabe Challenge to Pipeline 

The Minnesota Anishinaabe (often called the Objiway), are leading efforts to stop still another Canadian pipeline routed through the U.S.  This one would carry crude oil from a tar sands fields in Alberta through northern Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin.  The oil contains carcinogens and the pipeline cuts across streams and rivers traditionally used by the Anishinaabe for wild rice harvesting.  The tribe has challenged the pipeline in court, but the company went ahead with construction before the case was resolved.  This last weekend a protest organized by women of the tribe drew supporters from all over the U.S. including many Episcopalians at the headwaters of the Mississippi.  The Episcopal Church has had missions serving Minnesota Anishinaabe for 170 years.  The church has been prominent in its opposition to pipelines, including the Standing Rock protests in North and South Dakota, and in West Virginia.  Update has carried notices of a variety of these protests.

More on Rebuilding Efforts in Fort Worth

The refusal of the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the appeal of property litigation concerning Fort Worth has led to the withdrawal of five parishes from properties that they had continuously worshiped in (until covid).  Update carried notice of how one parish was rebuilding in a new location already.  Now stories on the Fort Worth diocesan web site give insight into the fates of two more congregations.  All Saints parish retained control of a school property which had a chapel and recently welcomed their provisional Bishop to the new location.  St. Christopher's parish is currently being hosted by a nearby Lutheran congregation while it gathers resources to once again build their own church and preschool complex. For more on these tow parishes, including a number of pictures from the Bishop's visit to All Saints, you can go to the story on All Saints here, and on St. Christopher's here