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, October 12, 2021

Week Ending 10/11/2021

All Posts This Week Build on Previous Posts

Church Marks Indigenous Peoples Day

The Episcopal New Service marked the celebration of  Indigenous Peoples Day with pertinent stories on the Episcopal Church's involvement with native peoples.  One story focused on the work in Minnesota to both recognize ways the church fell short and its long ministry to the Anishinaabe, and its current support of efforts led by Indigenous People to protect the environment, especially the water supply from potentially polluting pipelines.  Update has carried numerous posts on the environmental protests.  A recent post is here. Another story focused on support for the creation of a national commission to explore the involvement of a number of churches in running boarding schools for Indigenous children.  These schools promoted a program that stripped away native culture. Update carried notices of efforts of the Episcopal Church to come to terms with its running of such schools. The latest is here.  Two of the Episcopal Church's General Conventions have passed resolutions repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery which empowered Europeans to seize native lands. Religion News had a good background piece this week  on the Doctrine of Discovery and its damage to native peoples.

New Woman Bishop Sets Course While Another Is Elected

 Last week Update reported on the consecration of Ruth Woodliff-Stanley as Bishop of South Carolina.  She wasted little time in setting out the goals for the diocese and her ministry.  Although her diocese is still facing legal battles to regain the assets taken by those who left the Episcopal Church in 2012, the new Bishop is calling people to move forward making racial reconciliation and justice the focus of their lives together.  In an interview with the Post Courier, Stanley emphasized the diocese needed to work with its historically black congregations and with Native Americans with the diocese.  While Stanley was busy getting to know her diocese and setting its course, the Diocese of Nevada elected its next bishop from among four candidates of whom three were women and the fourth a Native American man.  They chose Elizabeth Bonforte  Gardner, who is currently rector of a parish in Alexandria, Virginia. Gardner will be the second woman to serve as bishop in Nevada.  The first was Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Another Parish Reaches Out to Homeless

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Denver has long had an interest in serving the homeless, but now it has announced that it wants to use half of its parking lot as a fenced space for 8 vehicles a night  to provide a safe sleeping place for those living in their cars.  The church is also adding a portable bathroom, hand sanitizing and trash receptacles.  The space is for cars only (no RVs or trailers) and the occupants are limited to 2 adults.  Its start date is not yet set because negotiations are still in the works with the neighborhood association and there is no formal agreement.   Earlier the historic landmark commission nixed using the site for a group of tiny homes serving the homeless.  The parish would also contract with a service provider to help those staying in the lot to transition to other living arrangements. Update has carried numerous posts on parish or diocesan efforts to help the homeless, including this year projects in Western Louisiana, Oregon, and Michigan.

Wisconsin Dioceses to Reunite

 In August, the three diocese in Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, and Milwaukee announced that they were going to explore a closer partnership, sharing resources and some committees.  This was not surprising since three three diocese combined have just under 12,500 baptized members, and several other of the smaller dioceses had recently announced similar partnerships.  However, this last week the three dioceses announced their intent to go further, to reunite into one diocese encompassing the whole state of Wisconsin.  It would be a return to their historic roots. The timing is right for merger because two of the dioceses are served by provisional bishops. Fond du Lac's bishop, Matt Gunter began serving as bishop provisional for Eau Claire in 2020, and this year Milwaukee's bishop resigned after 17 years of service, and Bishop Lee who had recently retired for the Diocese of Chicago, became Milwaukee's bishop provisional.  The idea of reuniting the dioceses in Wisconsin is not new, and in fact, the three came close to doing so in 2008.  Pittsburgh Update reported on that attempt in one of its early posts.