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

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rector's Rambling - October 25, 2009

Yesterday was the 175th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. The Diocese officially came into being 25 years before St. John’s was founded, with a small number of parishes that were being cared for by Canadian bishops who traveled across the Detroit River from Windsor. St. Paul’s, then located on Woodward near the river (now located at Woodward and Warren in their 3rd structure) is considered the mother church of our diocese. It was the long-time Junior Warden of that parish, recently elevated to Senior Warden, who called for a meeting of neighbors living ‘out in the country’ near his new house to found a new parish, St. John’s.

18 months after the parish was founded, and 7 months after the Chapel was opened, the Convention itself met for an special afternoon session to help with the laying of the cornerstone of our Church. In there was placed a document from the Rector, Wardens and Vestrymen of the parish while included this…

“We are conscious and confident that we are building that which will outlast ourselves; and we rejoice in the hope that, within the walls we are permitted to raise, thousands, in successive generations, will worship GOD, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and confess our LORD and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, in the sacraments and ordinances of His Gospel; and partake of all the blessings of membership in His Church, which are precious to our souls today. As Christians and Churchman, we thank GOD for our strong assurance and conviction, drawn from past history, that the Protestant Episcopal Church, for whose communion this building will be reared, is so grounded on the one foundation, Jesus Christ, so true to Him, in the ministry, the doctrine, the Liturgy, the sacred year, the entire system which she inherited; so careful of His complete Gospel, holding each and every part thereof, in its own due proportion and harmony; that however we and those who shall follow us may prove unworthy of her and of her LORD, among all the changes and chances of this world, she will remain, in all essential things unchanged.”

Although St. John’s remains “in all essential things unchanged” concerning the faith and worship of The Church, I wish I could report that yesterday’s Diocesan Convention does the same. (ie...legislation supporting funding of ministries at odds with biblical lifestyle choices, calling for action on climate change based on bogus research for 'global warming', and worship not at all in accord with Anglican Prayer Book worship) I would venture that The Episcopal Church 2009 is little that Henry Porter Baldwin and the other founders of our parish would recognize.