August 25, 2007.
The leadership of the Diocese of Pittsburgh is
encouraging parishes to consider their future relationship to The Episcopal
Church. (See “
Diocese Asks: What Next?”) To facilitate such discernment, the diocese has
created a new Web site called “Parish
Toolbox.” According to the July 26
announcement of the site:
Episcopalians will have an online source for materials, opinions and news about
the choices facing the diocese and each parish in light of the decision of The
Episcopal Church not to place moratoria on same-sex blessings and the election
of bishops in same-sex relationships and to unequivocally reject the request of
Pittsburgh and six other dioceses for Alternative Primatial Oversight.
The announcement promised to post material “from all
perspectives.” It explained how the inclusion of particular material could be
recommended, but noted that “[t]he diocesan office reserves the absolute right
to reject or to edit submissions.”
Parish Toolbox is clearly a work in progress, and the early experience of
Episcopal Church supporters who have made submissions to the site has been
Submissions have not always been posted
evenhandedly, and posting delays have been significant.
In order to make material supportive of the
Episcopal Church and opposed to schism available to parishes in a timely manner,
have created an alternative site, “A
Pittsburgh Episcopal Voice.” Development of this site is not intended to
signal an abandonment of Parish Toolbox as a repository of more moderate
opinion, but it will allow material to be posted more expeditiously.
Additionally, users may find the organization of A Pittsburgh Episcopal Voice to
be more user friendly than that of Parish Toolbox. Documents on A Pittsburgh
Episcopal Voice are grouped by topic, rather than by source, as they are on
A Pittsburgh Episcopal Voice
already contains two unique items. A new document,
on the Current Controversy Facing The Episcopal Church” answers basic
questions about The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion, and the current
disputes besetting the world of Anglicanism. (See “Q&A
Handout Helps Explain Conflict.”) This should prove a popular handout in
parishes to orient Episcopalians to help them understand ongoing developments.
Also on the site is “Connecting
the Dots,” the report of Bishop Sauls’ committee to the House of Bishops.
This report is available elsewhere, though not widely. Only on A Pittsburgh
Episcopal Voice are all the appendices bundled together in one PDF file, along
with the report itself. The report makes clear what is happening to our church:
“TEC is dealing with a well-thought-out, well-organized, and well-funded
strategy designed to enable and justify the removal of assets from use for the
Church’s mission and ministry in the world.” The report makes interesting
Anyone wanting to suggest
material for posting on A Pittsburgh Episcopal Voice should send e-mail to
email@example.com. Submissions to Parish Toolbox should
be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Episcopalians should feel free to send their submissions to both sites.