August 3, 2012
To all in leadership positions in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh:
I hope all of you read with interest the notice in a recent Grace Happens and on our web site announcing Nancy Bolden’s choice as one of the outstanding women of our community. I am happy that the community is acknowledging this, for we in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh have known it for a long time. Nowhere is this more evident than in her passion for anti-racism training.
Even before I moved to Pittsburgh three years ago, Nancy cornered me to remind me of the next workshop on anti-racism. Although I had this training in Southern Ohio and also with various boards on which I serve, I knew that sharing it within the context of the diocese where I would be serving would be worthwhile. I was not disappointed. In fact, I found the training here to be far superior to others.
In speaking with Nancy recently, she reported to me that 24 of our 31 active (not retired) clergy have taken this training. I was very proud to hear this. It is a good percentage, but think how great it would be if the other seven signed up and we could report 100% of our active clergy.
In addition, we have many dedicated lay leaders in important positions of diocesan leadership and retired clergy who continue to serve. Our recent General Convention reaffirmed its long held position that every person in leadership (clergy or lay) should share in anti-racism training.
Such an opportunity is coming up soon at St. Martin's in Monroeville on October 5 and 6 (for details go to www.episcopalpgh.org/arw). Personally, I can think of no greater satisfaction than knowing that upon leaving Pittsburgh in October, the last anti-racism workshop on “my watch” was full to overflowing.
This would be great, not because General Convention recommended it or even so our numbers will look good here in Pittsburgh. It would be great because I believe training such as this is a vital way for us to begin to change the way we do business and to start to overcome the racism that is still part of our lives. It is a vital part of living into our life as brothers and sisters in Christ.
I know Bishop-elect McConnell feels the same way and you will be hearing from him in the future. But for now, as one of my last acts as your bishop, I encourage you to put this workshop foremost in your mind. If you are one of the active or retired clergy who has not yet attended, this is your chance. If you have attended and thus know its value, then please approach the lay leaders in your parish and encourage them to sign up. I am convinced that this training will be a significant tool for continuing the rebuilding of this diocese under our new bishop.
Thank you for joining me in promoting this October 5-6 workshop. It will be time well spent.
Kenneth L. Price, Jr.