Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Exciting things in the last two weeks at St. John's

On November 20th we had a visit from Bishop Edward MacBurney, SSC, the retired Bishop of Quincy, Illinois. The Bishop celebrated and confirmed for Bishop Wendell Gibbs, our diocesan bishop.
Bishop MacBurney adopted me from another diocese in 1991 when I ran into the buzz-saw of 'too young. too traditional' of an East Coast Diocese. He also ordained me a transitional deacon three days before retiring.
15 people were confirmed, and three received into the Episcopal Church. Of the 15 Confirmed, 3 were adults who were baptised in the last 3 months!

Today is Thanksgiving. Here on Piety Hill that means only one thing - The Thanksgiving Day Parade. We had our liturgy for the holiday yesterday, and afterwards a sleep-over for those who wanted to stay (BYO Bedroll/air-mattress) and avoid having to drive down too early in the morning to get a parking space!
Part of the fun is that on Thursday we have a Pancake Breakfast in the Undercroft and also sell Hot Chocolate, Coffee, and Donuts out the front door. The parade passes in front of the Church, near the end of the route. The parish sets up scaffolding in the garden for parishioners and friends to view the parade, and perhaps most appreciated is that we open the Church for people to use the bathrooms and warm up
Warm-up was the operative word today. It snowed until about an hour before the parade arrived to the Church, and we had sustained winds of 30 miles per hour and gusts up to 50. Add this to high temps in the teens and you get a wind-chill of minus 10 degrees! It was bitter cold and attendance was down at the parade (and pancake and donut sales) considerably.
As the parade is ending Detroit Lions Fans are hustling past the Church to get to Ford Field (two blocks away) for the annual Thanksgiving Day Football Game (at which the Atlanta Falcons feasted upon the Lions 27-7). Overall, despite the bitter cold, it is always a fun day to invite friends and to invite cold parade-goers in to warm up and tour the Church.
Tomorrow (Friday) we do the turkey dinner at the Rectory....too chaotic on Thursday around here to do a proper meal!