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 10, 2021

Week Ending 8/9/21

Episcopal Retirement Homes Mandate Vaccine 

Episcopal Cafe has  an article noting the decisions of a number of retirement facilities linked to the Episcopal Church that are mandating staff be vaccinated. The mandate is in response to the current surge in infections of covid-19.  Some of the facilities have experience a staff member or resident being diagnosed with covid-19, in some cases a breakthrough infection.  Because there is no central clearing house for retirement, assisted living and nursing facilities with ties to the Episcopal Church, the evidence for the mandate is scattered.

Church Adds to Its Solar Energy System

St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Framingham, MA has already installed solar panels on its building proper and is not only benefiting from the electricity generated, but is selling power to other churches at reduced rates.  Now it has contracted with a solar company to lease the space over their parking lot.  The leasing company will install a canopy that is covered with solar collectors.  The church and company will sell the power to the local utility provider and split profits.  St. Andrews expects to receive about $7000 a year from the venture, and save a little money on plowing the parking lot as well.  The creative use of space is a model for other parishes interested in reducing their fossil fuel footprint and fostering the growth of sustainable energy sources.

Church Among Leaders in Promoting "Lift Every Voice"

An Episcopal News Service article notes that the Episcopal and Lutheran Churches are among the strongest proponents of having "Lift Every Voice and Sing" be declared the United States's national hymn. Executive Council recently passed a resolution supporting these efforts.  "Lift Every Voice and Sing" began as a poem written by James Weldon Johnson, and set to music by his brother. The article notes that the hymn setting, which while widely known within the black community, achieved much larger awareness after Episcopal musicians lobbied for its inclusion first in the supplemental hymnals that took their name from the poem, and then the Episcopal Hymnal 1982.  Lutherans also included the hymn in their major book of worship about the same time.

Episcopalians Arrested at Voting Rights Demonstration

The efforts within the Episcopal Church to promote racial justice and healing include efforts to protect and improve voting rights for all.  the united States has a dismal history in protecting voting rights for citizens who are not white.  The latest efforts to restrict voting and make access to the polls more difficult has provoked a response and pressure on Congress to pass a new voting rights bill.  At a recent protest organized by the Rev. William Barber and Jesse Jackson, about 200 demonstrators were arrested in Washington D.C..  Among those were a number of Episcopal clergy and lay leaders.  The protesters have deliberately and symbolically linked their efforts to those of the voting rights drives of the 1960s.