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 18, 2020

Week Ending 08/17/20

Bishop Budde Tapped for Benediction at Democratic Convention

Washington's bishop, Mariann Budde is among the interfaith group of religious leaders asked to provide benedictions during the four-day Democratic National Convention. Bishop Budde was scheduled for Tuesday, and has been in the news recently for her criticism of  the way protesters were treated in order for Trump  to use St. John's Church for a photo op.  (See later item in this post.) The list of religious leaders included leaders from Jewish, Muslim, Greek Orthodox, Evangelical, Baptist, and the Catholic tradition.  group includes almost an equal number of women and men. Religion News carried the basic story.  Episcopal Cafe provided additional information on each of the leaders. 

Episcopal School Students Quarantined After Party

While Episcopal parishes have been taking a slow and cautious approach to resuming in-person services, schools have been facing pressure to hold regular classes.   At the Episcopal School of Baton Rouge, almost one-quarter of the upper division students attended off campus parties over a weekend.  As a result, the Upper School has switched to all on-line classes, at least for a month, as students quarantine.

Continuing Stories

Another Parish Gets Local Praise for a Food Ministry

St. Paul's Parish in Louisville is the latest Episcopal parish to be praised by local media for their outreach ministry during the pandemic. The parish has dedicated what would have been their worship time to organizing a weekly food collection.  The congregation collects food dropped off by people driving up to the church.  The contributions com from both members and strangers who see their sign.  The food is then transported to another downtown Episcopal Church which has a food pantry that has fed more than 3500 people in the last 21 months.   Update has been noting as many of these efforts as possible.

Fence Coming Down at St. John's Lafayette Square 

As a result of protests at Lafayette Square in front of the White House, Washington D.C. officials decided to put up a fence that cut off St. John's Church from the Square.  The Parish very reluctantly agreed to the fence.  This week the rector of the parish announced that the fence was coming down at the end of the month.  The erection of the fence put on hold plans for a local arts group to paint the plywood protecting the parish's stained glass.  With the fence now coming down, the arts group is going to go forward with the plans for art that expressed healing, love and justice. 

The Bishop Responds to Those Forced from Church Apartments

Last week Update reported on residents who had been displaced from a diocese-owned high-rise apartment building in West Palm Beach that was housing for seniors.  The apartments had been having major maintenance and mold issues for several years, but an electrical fire forced all the residents to be moved to other quarters.  Local news reported on the concerns of the displaced residents after receiving a notice that the diocese was ending financial help for temporary housing.  A letter has now been shared that was sent by the Bishop of South East Florida in his role as chair of the board for the church corporation that owns the home.  The bishop committed to having weekly updates with the former residents until they could return.  The letter however, only addressed the fire damage and not the other issues. Episcopal Cafe had a follow-up story with the bishop's full letter. 

Helsinki Diocese Moves to Allow Same-Sex Marriages

When Finland authorized same-sex marriage, the Lutheran Church did not follow suit, although the Helsinki Diocese urged a formal approval of blessing same-sex marriages.  They did not prevail.  On the eve of a Church Synod at which the issue is scheduled to be discussed, the diocese has announced that they intend to begin allowing same-sex marriages in their churches. Individual clergy have been dong so for several years without being disciplined.  The Synod is expected to approve a local option arrangement.  The Lutheran Church in Finland has been in full communion with the Church of England for more than 20 years.