Author Archive: integritypittsburgh

July 12 event cancelled

We are sorry to report that due to a death in the family, the talk by Rev. Dr. Tom Ferguson scheduled for this Sunday, July 12, has been cancelled.

If and when Dr. Ferguson’s talk is rescheduled, we will announce it here. Cards of condolence may be sent to Rev. Dr. Tom Ferguson and his family, c/o Bexley Seabury, 583 Sheridan Ave., Columbus, OH 43209.

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Next meeting: Feb. 1, 2015

Due to parish meetings being held in much of the diocese on Jan. 25, the first meeting of 2015 for Integrity Pittsburgh will be held the following Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, at 3:30 p.m. at Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh.

We will be looking at scheduling events for Pride, including deciding if Integrity will have its own booth this year.

Next meeting: July 20

Our July meeting has been moved. Our next meeting is at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, July 20, at The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Forbes Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill section.

East Liberty Presbyterian Church will host a benefit on Sunday, July 27 at 3 p.m. for the Renaissance City Choir. The concert will include internationally acclaimed baritone Daniel Teadt and Renaissance City Choir pianist William Larson. The performance will also features RCC soloists Nathan Hart, Jeffrey Gross, Alexandra Vansuch, Kate Hammill, and Timothy Kocher-Hillmer.

Bishop to allow priests to marry same-sex couples

The Right Rev. Dorsey McConnell, Bishop of Pittsburgh, announced July 3 that priests in the diocese will be allowed to officiate at same-sex weddings.

McConnell has authorized priests to sign a civil marriage certificate and use the Episcopal Church’s provisional rite for blessing the union of a same-sex couple, although he continues to express reservations about the language in that blessing ceremony.

Dianne Watson, convener of Integrity USA’s Pittsburgh chapter, issued the following statement thanking Bishop McConnell for his decision:

“We are grateful that Bishop McConnell has given permission for his priests to marry same-sex couples. This is an important step towards full inclusion. 

“We understand and share his misgivings about the language used in the provisional rite for the blessing of a same-sex union.

“We encourage the bishop and the Diocese of Pittsburgh to take a more forward leadership role in helping the House of Bishops create a liturgy that offers the same sense of covenant that is in the marriage rite for heterosexual couples.

“We still wait for the day when all the clergy in our diocese will be willing to perform same-sex marriages.”

Annual meeting June 22, 2014

Our annual meeting and election of officers will be at 3:30 p.m. this Sunday, June 22, 2014 at Church of the Redeemer, Squirrel Hill.

We also will discuss:

  • how Pride went
  • PEP’s discussion with the Bishop
  • July EECM shelter dinner
  • Other possible outreach through service
  • Making plans to visit different churches in the fall

Only members of Integrity USA may vote, but anyone interested in LGBTQ issues, and the Episcopal Church, is welcome to attend!

Second ‘Circle of Faith’ is June 29

A message from Circle of Faith Pittsburgh:

Again this year, many Pittsburgh area churches, synagogues, and faith-based organizations are participating in “Circle of Faith…Take a Step.” Circle of Faith is a dramatic show of support for inclusion of LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual persons) in all aspects of religious services and activities.

The free, interfaith public event will be held 2-3 p.m. Sunday, June 29 in Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh where welcome and information sharing will take place, rain or shine. Three interfaith speakers will briefly address the crowd as faith communities are asked to bring and display their banners or signs identifying themselves and their welcome to all into their faith communities. Music and a unifying activity will allow all present to “take a step” in witness to welcome and full inclusion. The event is accessible and everyone is invited to attend.

For details, call 412-450-0114, visit circleoffaith.webs.com, or find Circle of Faith Pittsburgh on Facebook.

(Integrity Pittsburgh will be participating in this event, along with several Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh churches.)

Next meeting: May 25

Our next meeting is this at 3:30 p.m. this Sunday, May 25, at Church of the Redeemer in Squirrel Hill.

Our meetings are open—you do not need to be an Integrity USA member to attend. Anyone with an interest in the Episcopal church and LGBTQ inclusion is welcome at our meetings! Hope to see you there.

Next meeting: April 27

At our next meeting, April 27, we will be working on revisions to the chapter bylaws, and also discussing upcoming opportunities for outreach.

If you are an Integrity USA member and have not received a copy of the bylaws, please email us at integrity.pittsburgh@gmail.com.

The meeting is at 3:30 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh. Everyone with an interest in the Episcopal church and LGBTQ inclusion is welcome at our meetings! Hope to see you there.

Next meeting: Feb. 23

We had to cancel our January meeting, but it looks like the weather is going to cooperate this weekend. So we’re planning our regular February meeting at 3:30 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 23, at Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

Our big item will be planning for the upcoming outreach training on March 2 at St. Brendan’s. We hope to see you Sunday!

Outreach workshop March 2 at St. Brendan’s

Churches looking for ways to reach out to gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual Christians, and their families, can take advantage of a workshop being held next month in Pittsburgh’s North Hills.

The training session, scheduled for 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 2, will be held at St. Brendan’s Episcopal Church, 2635 McAleer Road, Franklin Park (Sewickley area), and will be led by educators from Integrity USA.

Space is limited, but the training is open to interested clergy and laity from any denomination. Lunch will be provided and pre-registration by February 28 is required.

(Download the bulletin insert here..)

The workshop is free for dues-paying members of Integrity USA, and $25 for non-members. Students, senior citizens and others on fixed or lower incomes may attend for $10.

For more information, email integrity.pittsburgh@gmail.com. To register, click here.

Integrity USA is a national advocacy group that since 1975 has encouraged the full inclusion of LGBTQ people and their families in the sacraments of The Episcopal Church. The workshop is part of the interdenominational “Believe Out Loud” educational and informational program.

Many of the so-called “mainline” Protestant churches, including The Episcopal Church, have official policies forbidding discrimination against partnered same-sex couples and transgender people, but practices vary from church to church.

In recent years, public debates have divided members of the Episcopal, United Methodist and Presbyterian USA churches over issues such as allowing clergy to perform same-sex blessing ceremonies, and allowing openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to be ordained or hold church offices.

As a result, some congregations are reluctant to discuss issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, and some LGBT Christians are unsure if they’re welcome in their neighborhood churches.

“Our workshops are designed to teach people how to engage their parishes in meaningful conversations about becoming more welcoming to LGBT persons, and how to take the next steps in being public about it,” says Vivian Taylor, executive director of Integrity USA.

The workshops are designed to give participants the tools they need to start collaborative, non-confrontational conversations about welcoming LGBT people into their churches, Taylor says. “For churches that have already taken these steps, we help their parishioners reach out to other parishes and the diocese to help them take their next steps,” she says.

Taylor will be one of the presenters, along with Susan Pederson, Integrity USA coordinator for Province III, which includes the dioceses of Pittsburgh, Central Pennsylvania, Northwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The Pittsburgh regional “Believe Out Loud” workshop is being hosted by the Pittsburgh chapter of Integrity USA.