PROGRESSIVE EPISCOPALIANS OF PITTSBURGH
6393 Penn Avenue, PMB 207
Pittsburgh, PA 15206-4010
 

Contact:
Joan R. Gundersen, President
Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh
Telephone: +1 (412) 799-0440
E-mail: jrgunder@hotmail.com
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Episcopal Group Vows to Help Return Pittsburgh Diocese to Health
 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — October 4, 2008 — Reacting to the vote by the convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh to “realign,” Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh (PEP) has vowed to work with all members of the diocese who remain in The Episcopal Church to return the diocese to health.

 
PEP is a group of clergy and lay members of the Pittsburgh diocese that was formed early in 2003 in response to the realization that Bishop Robert Duncan and other diocesan leaders were intent on extinguishing moderate and progressive voices both within the diocese and in the wider church. This became apparent in a divisive resolution passed at the 2002 diocesan convention in anticipation of the 2003 General Convention. PEP supports unity in a diverse Episcopal Church.
 
“The schism we have seen today has been long in coming,” said Lionel Deimel, PEP board member and PEP’s first president. “It is an unhappy outcome and one we would like to have avoided. Although we see challenging times ahead, we also see an opportunity to build an Episcopal diocese that is less contentious and more focused on the gospel imperative to minister to a troubled world.”
 
“PEP has always worked to bring traditional Anglican diversity to our diocese,” explained Joan Gundersen, PEP’s president and one of six people on the steering committee of Across the Aisle, a broad coalition of Episcopalians who have sought unity and reconciliation in Pittsburgh. “We hope the individuals who have left The Episcopal Church today find the spiritual home they are seeking. The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh will always be ready to welcome them should they want to return to The Episcopal Church. Our task now is to make our diocese a model of how people of different views can work together for Christ.”
 
One challenge that is still ahead is access to property belonging to the church. PEP expects that the current efforts by Calvary Episcopal Church will result in a favorable decision regarding diocesan property. “We hope that the involvement of the courts in resolving distribution of parish property can be minimized,” said Kenneth Stiles, a local attorney and a PEP vice president. “Clearly, the continuing diocese and everyone in it, those who have chosen to ‘realign,’ and The Episcopal Church itself are all interested parties that must resolve parish property issues. As much as possible, we hope to preserve the possibility of a future reconciliation between the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and at least some of the departing congregations.”
 
In the immediate future, PEP will work to create an effective, harmonious diocese. Its long-term goals include promoting an understanding of and appreciation for The Episcopal Church among Pittsburgh Episcopalians.
 
 
Contact:
Joan R. Gundersen, President
Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh
Telephone: +1 (412) 799-0440
E-mail: jrgunder@hotmail.com
 
 
On the Web:
This document:
http://progressiveepiscopalians.org/html/2008-10-04convention.html
 
Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh:
http://progressiveepiscopalians.org
 
Across the Aisle (non-realigning Pittsburgh Episcopalians):
http://episcopalpgh.org
 
The Episcopal Church:

http://episcopalchurch.org
 
 
Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh is an organization of clergy and laypeople committed to the unity and diversity of The Episcopal Church, and of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. It is a member of the Via Media USA alliance.
 

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