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, April 19, 2022

Week Ending 4/18/22

 Rising Antisemitism Prompts Look at  Good Friday Liturgy

The recent rise in hate actions against Jews has prompted church members to again look at the use and translation of the Gospel According to John.  That account is specified for Good Friday.  It is also the account that directly links Jesus's death to the Jewish community.  The text of John has been used in the past to justify action against Jews as those who killed Christ.  Episcopal News Service has a story on the discussion and on an alternative translation authorized for use by one of the Texas dioceses.  The articles is here

Anglicans Helped Pass New UN Resolution against One-Use Plastics

In response to growing concerns about the environment, the United Nations Environmental Assembly passed a resolution calling on all countries to reach an international accord by 2024 on the epidemic of one-use plastics.  The Anglican Consultative Council had representatives present at the assembly in Nairobi.  The ACC was the major drafter of a letter from faith communities that was submitted to the assembly, lobbied the 173 member nations, and testifying on the damage done by plastics not able to be recycled. For more on the resolution and the role played by the ACC, you can read the Anglican Communion News story here

Continuing Themes:

Parish Organizes Help for Ukrainian Refugees Sent to Italy

When the son and daughter-in-law of Grace Episcopal Church, Ocala FL members reported that the church they attended in Italy had been turned into a refugee center for Ukrainian refugees, the parish quickly sprung into action, raising money for needed supplies for the refugees.  The effort is on-going
More about the effort here.  The Italian congregation is not affiliated with the Anglican Communion, making the effort one of many interdenominational efforts to help refugees. Update has carried other stories of church efforts to help Ukrainian refugees. The most recent is here

Jesus College Chapel Denied Permission to Remove Statue 

The Episcopal Church has seen parishes and other institutions removing and re-interpreting memorials, art work, and windows commemorating those who participated in enslaving black or promoting forms of racism.  Update has posted a number of notices about these activities, most recently here.  In England, however, things are more complicated.  Jesus College, Cambridge had numerous memorials including a lecture series, annual dinner, portraits, and a statue in the college chapel in honor of Tobias Rustat who had been a major benefactor of the college in the 1600s.   Rustat, however, made at least part of his wealth by investing in the Royal African Company which was one of the largest transporters of enslaved Africans to British Colonies.  The college had petitioned to remove the statue to another location at the college where it could be contextualized.  However, because the building is listed on the British historic register, the college needed approval of the Diocesan Court.  The Diocese of Ely Chancellor ruled against removal, noting that all donors are flawed individuals and leaving the new head of Jesus College, Sonita Alleyne, the descendant of those enslaved on Barbados in the uncomfortable position of having to conduct her duties as College Master while staring directly at the memorial.