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

Monday, November 30, 2009

Rector's Rambling - November 29th, 2009

Happy New Church Year!

This Sunday begins the season of Advent, which means that we start the year all over again. In the course of the year we have gone through the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, and Trinity-tide. Today we start it over again.
One criticism independent churches have of Anglican/Episcopal Churches is the rigidity of the liturgical calendar. Some even berate the celebration of things like Christmas at all (not the birth of Jesus, but setting a date to celebrate it).
But as human beings we live in this space and time, and the cycles of the year (winter, spring, summer and fall) are a reality. So too is the reality that the Church calendar takes this into account and helps us to order our year around different aspects of the story of our salvation through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Those without a set calendar or lectionary find themselves stuck with the whim and whimsy of the pastor’s preaching choices. Having a set year, which remains mostly unchanged in about 1900 years of Church history, frees us to cover multiple aspects of our Lord’s life and ministry. And in our unhappy sinful divisions, it is a comfort to know that we follow a like calendar with the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and many Reformed Churches as well.
So bring on the purple vestments and hangings! It is time for us to begin by looking at the end (of time that is...our Lord’s return) as well as the preparation of the people of original covenant for the fulfillment of the coming of their Messiah in the birth of Jesus.
And just as with the secular New Year we make resolutions, perhaps the Church New Year is a good time as well. Here are some suggestions!
1] Attend Church every Sunday (great for your spiritual health AND God wills it). 2] Pray every day.
3] Read the bible every day (you can use the lectionary for the Daily Office printed on page 3 of the Chronicle as a guide).
4] Choose a Church ministry or organization to become involved in if you are not already doing so (Adult Education, Altar Guild, Ushers, Acolytes, Lay Readers, Episcopal Church Women, Daughters of the King, Armitage Men’s Club, Brotherhood of St. Andrew, Sunday School teacher, Alpha Course, Faith Alive planning committee, Coffee Hour host, etc.).
5] Help with the outreach ministries of the parish (Can a week, Christmas gift program, mitten tree, toiletry collection for Salvation Army, baby clothes and supplies for Pregnancy aid) just to name a few.

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