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, October 5, 2021

Week Ending 10/04/21

Cathedral Sponsors Art Exhibit "De-Colonizing" Christ

St. Stephen's Cathedral in Harrisburg, PA has been hosting an art exhibit with the theme of "De-colonizing Christ."  The various artists participating in the exhibit all explored themes in which Christ was portrayed as a person of color.  The object was to challenge the eurocentric perception of Christ has dominated art and popular thought.  The Episcopal Journal has an article on the exhibit with pictures in color of several of the pieces.
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Anglican Communion Adds another Province

When the Pittsburgh Update began, the Anglican Communion had 39 provinces.  Now it has 42, All of the new provinces are in Africa.  The most recent addition was created by splitting the Province of Southern Africa so that the two Portugese-speaking countries of Angola and Mozambique have their own province.  The addition of these African provinces while responding to growth and cultural issues, has the potentially negative side-effect of changing the balance of power in the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates meetings.
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Updates on Continuing Stories

 Forum Responding to Episcopal Church Statement on Boarding Schools

This is advance notice of an October 11 event that will have a panel of indigenous people responding to the statement the Episcopal Church issued concerning its involvement in boarding schools for native peoples, and the fact that these schools purposefully tried to eliminate native culture and created great trauma in the indigenous communities.  The Episcopal New Service announcement of the event has information on how to attend the forum virtually.  Update carried a story when the Episcopal Church issued its formal statement.
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Parish Converting Office to Apartment for Refugee Family

 One of the Kansas City television stations ran a feature on the work that St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Lee's Summit, Missouri has been doing to convert their offices into a three bedroom apartment for one of the refugee families from Afghanistan.  The priest at St. Anne's, Meg Rhodes consulted a parishioner who was an immigration attorney to figure out the types of help refugees would need, and then involved others in the community including Jewish Vocational Services.  Update has carried other stories about the Episcopal Church's work with refugees.  The most recent is here.
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South Carolina Consecrates New Bishop

This last weekend South Carolina Episcopalians in the rebuilding diocese took an important step by consecrating a new diocesan bishop, Ruth Woodliff-Stanley.   Update reported on her election in May.  The Diocese of South Carolina was one of the five dioceses to undergo a complete schism and the rebuilding of a diocesan structure. Since the split in 2012, the diocese has been guided by provisional bishops.  It was the last to experience schism.  Only Fort Worth is left to take the step of electing a regular diocesan.  The Episcopal News Service, has a full press release on the occasion, at which the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry served as chief consecrator.  The blogger at scepiscopalians.com gave a more personal response to the service, and noted in his Oct. 2nd post that with covid restrictions limiting seating inside Grace Cathedral, many people listened out side the church.  He and they were delighted that Presiding Bishop Curry, went outside to administer communion to those unable to be seated.
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Scottish Bishops Set Up Mediation

Two weeks ago Update noted that Ann Dyer, the Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney, had been the subject of an investigation into her leadership style, which was seemingly too abrasive  for her diocese.  The report recommended a removal, but the House of Bishops for the Episcopal Church of Scotland suggested instead creation of a mediation process.  Dyer is the first and only woman serving as a bishop in the Scottish Church.  The bishops fulfilled their promise at a recent House of Bishops meeting and have created a panel of three to head the mediation efforts.  
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Parish Organizes Interfaith Burial for Unclaimed Covid Victims

 New York City still has many unclaimed bodies of those who died from covid-19 waiting for burial.  A parishioner at St. James Episcopal Church asked if there was not some way that churches could help in giving these people a respectful burial.  Working with the Partnership for Faith for New York City they were able to make proper connections, and do the tracing necessary to notify next of kin, and offer faith-based memorial or burial services. Churches have done this without cost, even providing space in columbariums or cemeteries.  The Living Church has the story.  Update has carried many stories about unique ministries and responses to the social challenges brought by the pandemic.  The most recent are here.
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Pauli Murray Film Released

When the documentary film makers showed their latest effort My Name is Pauli Murray at the Sundance Festival in early 2021, Update carried a notice.  The film makers learned about Murray from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg while making their critically acclaimed documentary RGB.  Murray, who died in 1985, made important contributions to both civil rights and women's rights was a poet, lawyer, feminist and Episcopal Priest. The documentary was released for general audiences on October 1. Unfortunately, the film is currently in a limited theatrical release, and available otherwise only through a premium streaming service, Amazon Prime+.  
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Former ACNA Parish Looking for Denominational Home 

Last week, Update carried a story about an ACNA parish in Nashville that had voted to leave ACNA for a denomination that they thought would give them a little more room to welcome LGBTQA people into their worship life.  The plan was to join a much smaller group, the CEEC. It turns out that there are two Anglican splinter groups, both of which have issued statements refuting any idea that they were more "progressive" when it came to participation of LGBTQA people in their faith communities.  The Archbishop of  the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches  issued a statement saying they were not progressive on matters of sexuality, although they welcomed both men and women as clergy. This is the body that St. Mary of Bethany thought they had joined.  The Archbishop of the other CEEC (the Continuing Evangelical Episcopal Communion) also issued a statement stressing their agreement with ACNA on its insistence that any gender identity or orientation other than heterosexuality was a sin. It is not clear where St. Mary's is going to find a home.