Friday, September 2, 2011

Welcome to “Our Pittsburgh Diocese”

In preparation for the election of the Eighth Bishop Diocesan of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, the Nomination Committee has released the official Diocesan Profile to assist in the invitation of nominees and to create a framework for conversation with them in preliminary interviews.

The Committee deserves our thanks for its work on the Profile, and we encourage all members of our diocesan family to read the Profile carefully and to share it with others in ways that will be helpful as we move forward in this process.

Although the Profile is intended to draw a clear picture of the diocese and of our ideal episcopal candidate, no document could do this, except imperfectly. In fact, both our individual perceptions of the diocese and our hopes for our next bishop differ from one person to another.

This new blog, Our Pittsburgh Diocese, is offered as an extension—an elaboration, if you will—of the official Profile. Just as many families have posed for a formal studio portrait, our diocese has its Diocesan Profile. But families also have photo albums, shoe boxes, computer hard drives, and smart phone memory cards filled with occasional images—informal snapshots, rather than formal portraits. This blog seeks to be to the diocese what those albums and shoe boxes are to a family.

The official Diocesan Profile necessarily distills many individual contributions and conversations, reflecting the diversity of views, values, memories, and aspirations, into some “consensus” perspective. What we intend to provide here is a place where individual contributions can be shared and discussed without any editorial “distillation.” This can be a place to discover consensus or a place to uncover differences.

Our Pittsburgh Diocese, then, is an unofficial and unsanctioned public square in the blogosphere for lay persons who are members of congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and for clergy canonically or physically resident here to talk together about who we are and where we’re headed.

What is your take on the diocese today? Where are we strong? Where are we fragile? How are we affected by our recent history? What will be the most significant challenges for us in the next decade or so? What should we be looking for in our next bishop?

The conversation facilitated by the Nomination Committee was surely helpful, but those conversations did not take place across parishes. This blog will allow us to have a broader and more sustained conversation. It can help us clarify our own thoughts and may even be helpful to potential candidates for bishop.

At the right, you will see Bruce Robison and Lionel Deimel listed as “contributors.” We are that, but we do not intend to be the primary contributors. That role belongs to the lay and clergy members of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. Of course, anyone can comment on posts made here. If you would like to make a post yourself, send your contribution to or click on the link at the right.

Posts may be submitted directly in e-mail messages or in attachments (e.g., as Microsoft Word files). In general, the official contributors will neither edit nor censor contributions, though contributions may be formatted for readability. All submissions should include the name and parish of the submitter. Both submissions and comments are expected to be free of profanity, ad hominem attacks, etc. Submitted posts will be published as quickly as possible; please be patient.

With hope that over the coming months this space may host an interesting and robust conversation and, in that way, build up our life together in Christ, we remain

Bruce Robison, St. Andrew’s, Highland Park
Lionel Deimel, St. Paul’s, Mt. Lebanon

1 comment:

Comments are welcome, but please be civil. Also, include your name and parish. Anonymous comments will be deleted. You may omit your name if it is apparent from your ID.