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, August 11, 2020

Week Ending 08/10/20

 Church Responds to Beirut Explosion

The devastaing blast that leveled Beirut's port and surrounding residential area shattered all the windows in All Saints Church, part of the Diocese of Jerusalem, and also damaged the Anglican Center at the Near East School of Theology about two miles from the blast.  Beirut faces a daunting task in rebuilding because the port where relief supplies and building materials would arrive is totally destroyed. Bishop Dewani has called for contributions to repair the church structures and to help in rebuilding the communities that surrounded these buildings.  Despite its damage, All Saints should be able to serve as a relief distribution center.  The American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of jerusalem are coordinating  contributions.  The Episcopal News Service has more details on the damage, the challenges for rebuilding and places to contribute.

Presiding Bishop to Join Daniels Memorial Service Virtually

Seminarian Jonathan Daniels gave his life in 1965 when on August 20 he took a shotgun blast intended for a young black girl part of a group of 4 civil rights activists who had just been released from jail.  The Episcopal Church commemorates him on August 14, the day of his arrest.  Daniels was a native of Keene, New Hampshire and St. James Episcopal Church holds a special service commemorating his life and death every year.  This year Bishop Michael Curry has recorded a reflection that will be part of the church's service. The reflection will be followed by a zoom service of prayers and meditations.  The local news carried a story inviting all to attend the event on August 16.  The Presiding Bishop's video will be available on the church web site for a week.  

Seniors Homeless After Closure of Church Residence

The residents of a high rise home for senior citizens on fixed incomes that was owned and managed by the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida were displaced after a June 14 electrical fire rendered the high-rise, 182 unit building uninhabitable. For at least 2 years before that residents had been complaining of maintenance issues.  The diocese has been paying for food and housing for the displaced residents, but has informed them that the subsidies are about to end.  Residents are concerned that they are ending up homeless.  Situated on the intercoastal waterway in West Palm Beach, with upper floors having an ocean view, residents are concerned that the diocese may decide to cash in on the value of the property rather than go forward with repairs.  The story and more detail is available from a local newspaper.

Remembering Bishop Sam Hulsey

Bishop Sam Hulsey, the retired Bishop of Northwest Texas, was a major guide and support for Episcopalians in Fort Worth during the schism and diocesan rebuilding died on August 6.  The Diocese of Northwest Texas and the Diocese of Fort Worth both published very full memorials of his life and work.  While the two memorials share much of the same information, each has additional material related to his work and his relations with people in that diocese. The Diocese of Northwest Texas piece is here.  The Fort Worth one was written by Katie Sherrod, and includes a number of personal reflections


Three Board Members Resign from Brotherhood of St. Andrews Over Racism

Frustration over the slowness of the Brotherhood of St. Andrews to address issues of racism within its organization and in society have led to the resignation of 3 black members of the group's leadership team.  The last straw was the reaction of the Brotherhood's president to a proposed statement  written by an ad hoc committee including the three members. One of the 3 was Joe McDaniel the vice president of the Brotherhood's racial reconciliation committee.  The statement was to be a response to the killing of George Floyd and questions of systemic racism in society. The remaining Brotherhood leadership has now tried to mend the breach by inviting the Rev.  Shaneequa Brokenleg, the staff officer for Racial Reconciliation for the Episcopal Church to consult on the Brotherhood's anti-racism efforts.   For more detail, Episcopal News Service has this article.

Continuing Stories

 Springfield Reaches Compromise on Bishop's Retirement

Update reported that the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Springfield and Bishop Dan Martins had reached an impasse over the details of his retirement.  Most particularly, the Standing Committee wished him to resign earlier because Martins had already moved to Chicago and they doubted he would be able to fulfill all of his episcopal duties from several hundred miles away.  The Presiding Bishop's office sent the parties to meet with a mediator, the retired Bishop of Northern Indiana, Edward Little.  A compromise was worked out where the Standing Committee would assume most of the administrative duties, but Bishop Martin would retain authority over clergy and provide confirmation and other occasional episcopal services.  For a fuller summary see the Anglican.ink story here.