|Sign designating Trinity as the Episcopal and Anglican
cathedral (click for larger view)
At last night’s Chapter meeting, the question of returning to a strictly Episcopal church (and to being the cathedral for only the Episcopal diocese) was put to a vote. The question was carried, after which members of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh on the Cathedral Chapter walked out.
This afternoon, the following e-mail message was sent from the Trinity Cathedral office:
December 16, 2011
Dear Trinity Cathedral Family and Friends,
Yesterday evening the Chapter of Trinity Cathedral voted to re-affirm its Charter of Incorporation. Article II of the Charter states its purpose as “For the support and maintenance of a cathedral church for the public worship of Almighty God according to the faith, doctrine and discipline of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America” and Article V further clarifies Trinity Cathedral’s historic identity: “This corporation acknowledges religious allegiance to the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America and that portion of the same known as the Diocese of Pittsburgh and will be subject to and governed by the laws, rules, and regulations of the same as set forth in the constitutions and canons of said Church and said Diocese.” Chapter’s decision brings to conclusion the difficult and weighty matters with which they had been wrestling during the past six months. It also effectively ends the governance provisions of the Special Resolution which was adopted by Chapter in August, 2008 and ratified by the parish in September, 2008.
This decision was not made lightly or hastily. All the members present were given ample time to express their views before the vote was taken. Many, if not most of the comments made during the lengthy time of discussion had been previously raised in past several months of the Chapter’s work on discerning the best possible future for the Cathedral. This work began in discussions with the bishops of both the Episcopal and Anglican Dioceses of Pittsburgh and included the production of several drafts of a “White Paper” that attempted to explore all feasible options. In the end, the Chapter was not able to achieve consensus about the direction and the timing of the best path forward.
In the current Strategic Plan for Trinity Cathedral, the two central priorities are “Grow the Parish Family” and “Strengthen Our Role as Cathedral.” We believe that the clearer sense of our identity as an Episcopal Cathedral will help us to refocus our efforts and gain ground on both priorities. Our mission, “to serve the Lord Jesus Christ in the heart of this metropolitan community” remains unchanged. We will continue to be a “house of prayer for all people” and everyone is welcome in our worship and community. This vote, and the reaffirming of our Charter, does not compel anyone to leave our Cathedral, regardless of their affiliation. We would welcome opportunities to host the Pittsburgh diocese and larger body of the Anglican Church in North America should they choose to use our facilities for future events.
Our parish family should have an opportunity to discuss Chapter’s decision and its impact on our corporate future. With the Christmas season nearly upon us and many of you planning for travel and other obligations, there will be a Special Parish Meeting on Sunday, January 7, 2012 at 9:15 a.m. in the Blue Room. Until then, I ask that you would continue to keep Trinity Cathedral and its leadership in your prayers.
In Christ Jesus,
The Rev. Canon Dr. Catherine M. Brall, Provost
-- Kate Ferrick
328 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2508
Update, 12/17/2011, 6:50 PM: A story about the vote of the Trinity Cathedral Chapter is now on the Web site of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. The statement from Canon Brall is now also on the Trinity Cathedral Web site. I have seen no comment from either the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh or the Anglican Church in North America. As yet, Episcopal News Service has not reported on Thursday’s decision by the Chapter.