Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 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, December 08, 2005

What goes on at St. John's other than Sunday Morning?

When I came to be interviewed by the Diocesan Bishop before interviewing at St. John's, he expressed a hope that St. John's wouldn't be a "Sunday Only" parish...and we certainly are not.

Of course, we have worship on Sunday, and the majority of our classes (for youth and adults) happens then. Parishioners drive from as far as an hour (or more) every Sunday, and it is hard to expect them to come down on a weekday as well. But much is happening during the week, and many do!

Since last week we had a Saturday morning healing seminar put on by the Diocesan Chapter of the Order of St. Luke, attended by 35 people. While that happened, Pro-Literacy Detroit met in our Chapter Room. On Wednesday Night Pro-Literacy Detroit returned, while there was also a fundraising dinner for the Cornerstone Schools www.cornerstoneschools.com with the CEO, Mr. Clark Durant speaking. This dinner raised $1200 for the schools, which strives to help inter-city youth get a great, Christ-centered education.

Those were special, occasional events (although P.L.D. is pretty regular, about 12 times a year). Every week Monday through Friday we have Morning Prayer at 9am and Evening Prayer at 5pm. We have the Holy Communion on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Alcoholics Anonymous has 5 meetings a week at St. John's. We also have the front doors open on weekdays at lunchtime for people to come in and pray, reflect and be quiet. Two adult baptisms in recent months have been the result of people walking in the front door during the week because the doors were open. We also hope to start offering The Alpha Course on a weeknight at the Church in the near future (recently we did it on Sundays after Church). Also, our chapters of the Daughters of the King and Brotherhood of St. Andrew meets on a non-Sunday day.

Other groups using St. John's include a home-school co-op on Thursdays, and occassional use by the Detroit Police Department Chaplains Corps (that is me in my Chaplains uniform) and Mariners Inn (an Episcopal Church affliated rehab facility about 10 blocks from St. John's). For the Super Bowl Week (yes, Super Bowl XL will be happening about 2 blocks away in Ford Field) the non-worship space will be rented by the Police Department and a video production company for the NFL. We have even been a lunch room for the crew shooting the movie The Island (yes, that is a picture of me with Island star Ewan MacGregor - I didn't know who he was at the time!). We have even had a huge snow-board half-pipe set up in our parking lot and covered with dry ice in August for the Molson Snow Jam! That was quite a sight!

We also host concerts, for the most part classical music but occasionally a gospel concert as well (music at St. John's is glorious traditional Anglican fare!).

We are most certainly not a Sunday only parish church, and we are always looking for other opportunities for use of the facilities to the greater glory of God and the support of the parish.