Update 4/25/17: Unfortunately, this year's Trinity Institute event at St. Paul's has been cancelled. Please check back next year for more information on TI 2018, and check our website for more social justice opportunities.
This year, St. Paul’s will host Trinity Institute for the third time. This theological conference is hosted by Trinity Episcopal Church in New York City, and webcast to participating partner sites like ours. It is an opportunity to hear top theologians and scholars contemplate a single contemporary issue, and to think deeply with them. As I’ve often said, most cities, seminaries, or universities would be incredibly fortunate to host just one or two of the speakers who at Trinity Institute; those participating in Trinity Institute hear and see them all, interacting and responding to each other.
Most years, my big pitch sounds a lot like that: come to Trinity Institute, to hear these thoughtful and thought-provoking people.
This year is different.
This year, Trinity Institute will focus on the topic of “Water Justice.” And, while questions of water pollution, climate change, and access to safe drinking water are global concerns, they are also intensely local ones. Communities in the Pittsburgh area are busy testing the lead levels in their drinking water, just like in Flint, Michigan. Sudden summer downpours are deadly in Pittsburgh and the South Hills, but in a different way than the storms that levelled New York City in the last two years. The problems are different in this area, and yet they all speak to the questions of Water Justice.
But, the conversation will also be different in Pittsburgh. Because of our geography and natural resources, our considerations of these topics will be different than they are in New York, or elsewhere. We worry about rivers flooding and storm sewers overflowing, not sea level rise. We worry about pollution, but also recognize the ways in which our community is tied to oil and gas extraction.
That’s why this year, I will pitch the conversations that make up Trinity Institute at St. Paul’s. The Trinity Institute program is not simply one of passively listening to voices and figures on a screen. The program includes regular conversations with other participants. Historically, Trinity Institute at St. Paul’s has drawn ordained people and lay people from over a dozen different denominations, and many area communities. It’s a chance to talk about what’s important here, as well as where God might be calling us in the future.I hope you will consider joining us for Trinity Institute this year. We’ve compressed the program into two days to make it easier to attend. You can find more information, including a link to register, here.