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, June 29, 2021

Week Ending 6/28/21

All Items Are Updates of Previous Stories 

Pittsburgh Convention Elects Black Woman as Bishop

Saturday, June 26, the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh chose the Rev. Dr. Ketlen Solak as their next bishop.  It took three ballots for the lay deputies and clergy choices to converge and grant Solak the needed majority among both lay and clergy voters.  On the first ballot, laity spread their votes almost evenly among three candidates (including Solak) with two others receiving many fewer votes.  The clergy votes were likewise split three ways, but for a slightly different group of three.  Solak had the highest number of votes.  On the second ballot, Solak was the leading choice among the 5 candidates.  Two, the Rev. Jeffrey Murph and The Rev. Kim Coleman then withdrew.  On the third ballot just over 53% of of the laity and 55% of the clergy voted for her.  With degrees in church music from the Catholic University and both an M.Div and D.Min from Virginia Theological Seminary, the Haitian-born Solak has been serving 3 parishes in Delaware that retain separate identities and governance while working cooperatively. Assuming approval by the diocesan bishops and Standing Committees of the Episcopal Church, she will be ordained as bishop in Pittsburgh on November 13, 2021. The diocese issued a press release announcing her the election.  The area newspapers Post-Gazette and the Tribune Review each added other details.  Update covered the search including the addition of 2 male candidates by petition to a slate that originally was comprised of three women, two of whom were of African descent.

Presiding Bishop Urges an Even Greater Focus on Racial Reconciliation

At the opening session of the Episcopal Church's Executive Council, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry announced a renewed effort to engage all the dioceses in racial reconciliation and anti-racism.  He noted the work already done by many dioceses, but then stressed that there were still some dioceses lagging and that there was more to do everywhere.  The Executive Council, which includes laity, clergy, from every region of the church and representatives from the House of Bishops, has been working on these issues for several years.  In January, the Council had reaffirmed its commitment to the Church's efforts to bridge the racial divide and bring healing.  

Hong Kong Primate Raises Concern About Freedom of Expression

Andrew Chan, the new Archbishop of Hong Kong has raised concerns about the limitations of freedom of expression under the Chinese National Security Law.  He is concerned that clergy will be limited in what they can say or preach, and is also raising the possibility that the government may punish churches who are seen as politically "incorrect."  Chan's statements are a decided contrast to the support the previous Archbishop showed for the implementation of the security law.

Bishop of Liverpool Says It Is Time for the Church of England to Bless Same Sex Marriages.

Paul Bayes, the Bishop of Liverpool has said that it is time for the Church of England to revise its marriage canon to be gender neutral, and to recognize and bless the marriages of same-sex couples.  He made the comments at a conference of supporters of an inclusive Anglican Church.  The Thinking Anglicans article has a link to the full text of  Bishop Bayes's address. Update has followed the steps by Parliament that have put the Church of England increasingly out of step with the government on this issue see this article and this one as examples.