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

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rector's Rambling - October 4

Thank you to all who made yesterday’s Community Flea Market a success! If not for the good planning work of many people involved in the process, as well as all who pitched in on the big day, we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this. We not only made some money for the operating expenses of the parish, but we also made a good impression on the many vendors and neighbors who participated and enjoyed the day.

Today we are celebrating the Solemnity of St. Michael and All Angels. The feast day actually occurs on September 29th, but it is an important enough feast that it has an “octave” assigned to it - which means that it can be celebrated for 8 days! We are celebrating it on the Sunday within the octave.

It is an important feast day because there is a lot of misunderstanding about the ministry of angels and who they are in their created order. Keeping this feast day allows us to give thanks to God for their creation and their ministry, as well as be informed about who they are and what they do (and who they aren’t and what they don’t do) so we can dispel the myths and mis-information surrounding them.

Today, being October 4th, is also the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis lived in the 13th century in Italy. The son of a middle class cloth merchant, “Frenchy” chased after military glory in hopes of elevating his and his families status by earning knighthood. Instead God used him to renew the Church.

After a conversion experience in which Jesus told him to ‘rebuild my Church’ Francis embraced absolute poverty in order to preach the gospel without being attached to property concerns. Many others were attracted to his way of life and joined him. Three modern religious orders are the fruit of his call - The First Order Franciscan (brown robed friars), Second Order semi-enclosed nuns (the Poor Clares) and Third Order men and women following a rule of life but living in the world and their families.

Although the rule of life has changed over the years, the charism (‘spirit”) lives on in the Franciscan vocation. More info? www.fodc.net

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