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         

Monday, May 31, 2021

Week Ending 5/31/21

Episcopal Church  Economic Justice Loan Group Invests in Community Action Groups

The Episcopal News Service issued a press release listing the nine community action groups that it has provided loans to this year.  Loans are usually for 2-3 years.   Groups eligible to receive loans  are ones that work to provide affordable housing, job creation and other actions that improve the economic situation of the most disadvantaged or those suffering from discrimination.  The grants went to groups in seven states and Haiti.  Two grants went to groups in Georgia.  Other states where a group received funds included Delaware, Oklahoma, Montana, Ohio, Massachusetts, and New Mexico.  The loans ranged from $100,000 to $500,000 with the most common amount being $300,000.  Executive Council created the program in 1998 by merging two prior programs.  It has a fund of approximately $7 million dollars to work with.  

Pioneer Activist Priest Continues Making Waves

The British newspaper, The Guardian, published a long human interest story on the Rev. Eve Pitts, who was the first black woman ordained as a priest in the Church of England in the 1980s.  Pitts has been a voice for inclusion, and has had taken two parishes from near closure to vibrant, growing places.  She has irritated more than one bishop with her exposure of racism within the church.  Her current efforts include a yearly visit to the various ports where slave ships once arrived in England and praying for all the blacks they carried, both those who were enslaved and those who died on board the ships. 

 Swedish Church Statement Supports Transgender People

The Swedish Lutheran Church, which is in communion with the Church of England, has issued a statement emphasizing its welcome of transgendered people.  The original article in Christiantoday.com also stated that the church condemned radical feminism and ultra right extremist, but did not provide the wording for those parts of the statement. 

Continuing Updates

Episcopal Churches Mark George Floyd Death Anniversary

As the Update  noted two weeks ago, a large multi-city effort to memorialize the death of George Floyd a year ago had been organized by a group of Episcopal bishops.  Now Episcopal News Service has a long article on the many initiatives that the Diocese of Minnesota has implemented in response to Floyd's murder, and larger issues of systemic racism that were illuminated by his murder.  A second ENS article looks at the ways that the Seattle Cathedral chose to memorialize Floyd, and call attention to other blacks killed the police.  Among other actions the cathedral was projecting the names  and dates of death of a number of those killed by police, including  Floyd. 

Another Plaque Removed as Racist

St. James the Less in Scarsdale, New York has removed a plaque and footstone from the grave of Lenora Schuyler.  Schuyler died in December 1952 [ the time of her death is wrong in the article] and the Daughters of the Confederacy  soon added a plaque to her gravestone noting her service as the President of the organization and other work to preserve  and commemorate the confederacy. The parish archives now has the plaque ad will preserve it.  Update has been noting removal of Confederate memorials in Episcopal parishes as part of their efforts to bring racial healing.  the most recent previous post is here.


Fort Worth Parish Begins Rebuilding

St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Hillsboro was one of the parishes that had to vacate its property after the adverse legal decision affecting Fort Worth Episcopalians.  The Episcopal Diocese of North Texas has posted a story about the way people have reached out to help the parish as it starts its life without any of the parish property.  The small parish immediately received offers of places to meet and has been able to begin refurbishing a space that had been a bank.  While the congregation worked on clean up of the building and grounds, with help from some community members who just showed up, other parishes in the area began offering furnishings and supplies.   For more on this parish which is busy making the proverbial lemonade out of lemons, read the full story here