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

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Rector's Rambling - January 24th, 2010

After two weeks away it sure is great to be home! I enjoy going away and being on vacationwith my family, but I miss being here on Sundays to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness with this parish family.
Today’s return is doubly gratifying because Bishop Jackson C. Biggers is with us today. Bishop Biggers is the retired bishop of Northern Malawi in Central Africa.
Bishop Biggers is a native Mississippian. After a time as a missionary in Malawi he returned to the United States and was the rector of a parish in Biloxi, Mississippi. His election to be bishop of the newly formed diocese was a surprise, and relatively swift compared to the long, drawn out process in the Episcopal Church USA.
Being a new diocese (and a position without a salary) the fellow priests of the Society of the Holy Cross (SSC) banded together and began supporting Bishop Biggers and his new diocese. Our own Fr. Michael Bedford, at that time recently retired for the first time, suggested that St. John’s support Bishop Biggers’ ministry and we have been doing so ever since. In addition to direct support of the bishop and the diocese, St. John’s over the years has supported the foundation of the Community of St. Mary in Malawi, help with AIDS orphans and their grandparents caring for them, and study bibles for seminarians at the Leonard Kamungu Theological College in Malawi.
Bishop Biggers has asked St. John’s to become the American Commissary to the seminary and the Vestry has agreed to take on this ministry. We will be the US clearing house for collecting tax-deductable funds in support of the seminary. We will be making appeals to parishes and individuals to support the seminary, which is able to educate priests with sound theological training for work in the Church in Malawi and beyond.
We welcome Bishop Biggers’ return to St. John’s. Although Malawi is home for Bishop Biggers, he comes to the United States almost yearly, and we are honored that he is able to join us almost yearly!