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, July 21, 2020

Week Ending 07/20/20

Buttigieg Talks About Service with House of Deputies

Former presidential candidate and mayor of South Bend, Pete Buttigieg provided a virtual presentation to around 400 of the General Convention deputies and alternates for 2021.  His talk explored everyday faith and living a life of service.  It was a strong reminder of the ministry of the laity.  For more of what he said, read the full Episcopal News Service story.

Central New York Embraces Sudanese Congregation

For the last decade a group of Sudanese refugees in Syracuse have been conducting services from the Book of Common Prayer in the Dinka language.  Originally they were an outpost of the Sudanese Episcopal Church, and then South Sudanese Church.  They found a home sharing Emmanuel Episcopal Church's building, and the two congregations have grown closer together over time.  The diocese of Central New York has now received the Sudanese Congregation as a mission chapel, and the diocese is providing financial assistance to its "newest" small congregation. Episcopal News Service has the details.  

Continuing Stories

South Carolina Episcopalians Start Appeals Process

After Judge Dickson issued a finding awarding church property to the schismatics in June, when he was supposed to oversee the implementation of a South Carolina Supreme Court decision awarding the property to the Episcopalians, the South Carolina diocese filed a request for a reconsideration.  Dickson has refused that request, so the Episcopalians have filed a notice of appeal with the South Carolina Court of Appeals, and asked for a stay on any actions affecting the property.  They expect the case to be transferred to the South Carolina Supreme Court given that Dickson essentially reversed their ruling. 

Church During the Pandemic

As the number of covid-19 cases rises rapidly in a number of states, Episcopalians are responding.  In Oklahoma, where the governor will not make masks mandatory, the Episcopal bishop has done so for any in-person services.  In Missouri, the Episcopal bishop has ordered that churches not hold in-person services, although allowing up to 10 people to gather at the church in order to create a service that will be made available virtually.  The order is in effect until September.  Christianity Today is reporting that a number of the largest protestant congregations are not in a hurry to offer in-person services  and are focusing on on-line ministry rather than offering services for only a portion of their large congregations.   Meanwhile in California a group of independent evangelical clergy are suing the governor because he has banned singing and chanting in churches.  The argument is that he hasn't banned singing in movie theaters or bars, and so it is a violation of religious freedom.  Of course, group singing and chanting may not be something being done on a large scale in those other venues, but the courts will be sorting this one out. Update has been reporting on the response of churches to the idea of returning to in-person worship, and on creative ministries.  Two reports of creative Episcopal ministries are the offering of free bag lunches by St. James Episcopal Church in Bangor Maine and an Episcopalian who has been organizing large scale donations of masks and protective equipment to front line workers that they can use on or off work.  The Episcopal Church has also been involved in efforts on a number of Native American reservations trying to help preserve the tribal culture and language.  Both are at special risk because the elderly who are the sources of much of this knowledge are at great risk from covid-19. 

Church Leaders Condemn Executions

The abrupt resumption of executions (after almost a two-decade hiatus) of those condemned to death in federal courts, has brought condemnation from Episcopal leaders.  The Episcopal Church is on record as opposing the death penalty.  Update has carried numerous notices of actions in different dioceses, including Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Arkansas

More on Anti-Racism and Reconciliation

The Presiding Bishop and the Episcopal Church have made Anti-racism and Reconciliation a major theme for the Church.  Update has reported on many of the initiatives. Local news carried a story on the support of the Diocese of Kentucky for restoration of the buildings of two traditionally black congregations in Louisville.  The diocese linked their efforts to raise money for these buildings to work responding to the death of Breonna Taylor.  The article linked the diocesan help to news carried earlier about the commitment of the Virginia Theological Seminary of a substantial sum for reparations, although there was no indication that the seminary was providing funds.  Update carried Seminary's original announcement here.