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, May 25, 2021

Week Ending 05/24/21

New Units for Safe Church Training

In response to the recent focus on sexual harassment and the "Me Too" movement, a task for for the Episcopal Church has developed a new set of modules as part of the safe church training.  Although these will eventually be available in French and Spanish, the videos are currently available with subtitles.  The units also include written materials. These units are in addition to the units already available on safeguarding children.   The Episcopal News Story includes information on how to order these units.

Doves of Hope at English Cathedral

The Church of England Cathedral in Liverpool has just installed a new artwork of 15,000 of paper doves bearing messages of hope.  The installation  is expected to draw thousands of people to see the display high in the ceiling of the church.  It is part of three new art installations that will be on display from May 21 to August 21, 2021.  The dove exhibit was originally scheduled for May 2020, but has been delayed a year due to the pandemic.

Continuing Updates

Pittsburgh Adds Two Bishop Candidates

Update reported last week on the three candidates for the bishop in Pittsburgh selected by the nominating committee.  All were women and two were African American.  The week-long petition process has added two additional white male candidates, including one who has spent almost his entire multi-decades of ministry in Pittsburgh.  The two candidates add theological and gender diversity to the candidate pool, but actually reduce the likelihood of the election  resulting in greater diversity for the House of Bishops.  The election is scheduled for June 26.

Churches Beginning to Meet in Person

As the number of people vaccinated rises and the number of covid-19 cases drops in much of the United States, Episcopal Churches are beginning to return to in-person worship.  Local news covered the return of one of Pittsburgh's largest parishes, St. Paul's Mt. Lebanon on Pentecost Sunday.  Coverage of the service was done by both the local CBS affiliate, and by the Post-Gazette.  St. Paul's chose to begin by holding a service in a local outdoor amphitheater  so all of their 1500 members could attend if they wished.  The Episcopal News Service highlighted congregations in North Dakota and Rhode Island who were taking steps towards in-person worship.  Update has been regularly covering the attempts of churches to worship during the pandemic. Our most recent previous post is here.

Anti-Racism Work Continues

Update has also been regularly calling attention to work the Episcopal Church has been doing for racial healing and the recognition of the church's past failing to be racially inclusive.  In addition to anti racism education, church discussions have centered around the idea of reparations for past wrongs and the removal or change of interpretation for various memorials that praised those who had prominent roles in enslaving African Americans or promoted white supremacy.  Now the Diocese of Virginia is exploring setting aside budgeted money for some form of reparations, and a congregation in Augusta, Georgia is dealing with the divided responses to a decision to move a memorial to a Bishop who also served as a Confederate General.   See these recent posts, one on reparations and the other on memorials here.