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, March 1, 2022

Week Ending 2/28/22

Faith Leaders Speak Out on Russian Attack on Ukraine

As Russian troops encircled the Ukraine and then attacked its neighbor, church leaders began speaking out both for the Ukraine and for peace. Religion News has a story on the interfaith voices being raise in this way.  Thinking Anglicans has compiled links to the reaction from Church of England leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop of the Canadian Church's statement is here.  And the Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop has made statements carried by the Episcopal News Service.

Continuing Stories

Court Ruling in St. Mary's Case

A bequest left to the faithful remnant  of St. Mary's, Hillsboro TX was challenged by the ACNA group, which claimed that it should get the million dollar plus bequest because it retained the name and because of the decision in the diocesan case.  The bequest, however, was made after the split and the person was clear that he was supporting groups that stayed in the Episcopal Church.  Update carried the original story in January.  The probate judge has now made his decision in favor of the faithful remnant.  The judge thought it was very clear that the deceased had intended his money to support the group that had stayed in the Episcopal Church. However, because ACNA may appeal, the parish which worships in a converted bank building after losing its church building to ACNA, is holding off doing anything with the money.

Episcopal Church Holds Forum on Black Experience and Racism

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has made racial reconciliation and anti-racism a major focus of his leadership.  Update has carried many stories on the efforts of the Episcopal Church and its dioceses, parishes and institutions to come to terms with its racist past and to live up to its statements about welcoming all.  As part of the Church's efforts and to commemorate Black History Month, the affinity group for the  Church Pension Group (CPG) of African Descended people hosted a webinar panel looking at the Episcopal Church's current status and what the Church's racial audit had revealed.  The panel comprised 5 prominent black leaders including retired bishop Nathan Baxter; the Vice President of the House of Deputies, Byron Rushing; Dean of All Saints Cathedral in the Virgin Islands, Sandye Wilson, the executive VP of the CPG, Patricia Favreau; and the rector of Washington D.C.'s Church of the Epiphany, Glenna Huber.  Zoom attendance reached 500.  It is now available as a recording for others to watch.  The Episcopal News Service has More details.

Church Leader's Respond to Texas Governor's Letter on Transgender Youth 

Governor Abbott of Texas recently issued a letter defining medical treatment of transgender minors yo be child abuse, and directing the state's attorneys to investigate and prosecute parents and others involved.  It also required school officials to report any statements made by a child that suggested he or she was transgender to parents and authorities.  Episcopal Church officials have been issuing statements declaring the Episcopal Church to be a safe and welcoming space for all families and children, including the transgendered.  The Episcopal News Service story is here.  The Episcopal Cafe has the statement from the Bishop of Texas, and the statement of the Bishop of Northern Texas is on the diocesan web site.   Update has carried notices of The Episcopal Church's welcoming of the transgendered a number of times, most recently here.

Congregation Adds Members on Zoom

Pittsburgh Update has carried numerous stories of church adaptations to on-line worship in response to the pandemic. (The latest is here.) Many churches either live-streamed or hosted on zoom their worship services.  Some have discontinued their on-line services as parishes began to return to in-person services, but many have continued providing access on-line.  A small parish in Kansas, St. Luke's in Wamego dropped its live-streaming when in-person worship resumed, but switched to live zoom for those still connecting on line.  The parish has integrated their zoom congregants into the service and now, one, living 700 miles away in Chesterton Missouri, has been elected to the St. Luke's vestry.  You can find out more here.