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 31st, 2010

Today we gather for the parish’s 150th Annual Parish Meeting, and my 9th as your Rector.
The Annual Parish Meeting is the opportunity for us together downstairs after the 10am Service to elect new members of the Vestry (all of whom are excellent candidates), and to review and act on the ‘business’ of the parish from the year past and God willing the year to come. A soup luncheon will be served, and hopefully it will take about an hour conduct the business necessary for the day. The newly elected Vestry will then meet for 5 to 10 minutes to electe its officers for the year.
By the end of this year, God willing, I will be the fifth longest serving Rector of this parish. Fr. Worthington served 17 years (1868 to 1885), Fr. Woodruffe served 12 years (1922 to 1934), Fr. Johnson served 28 years (1934 to 1962) and Fr. Frisby served 25 years (1962 to 1987). It was a humbling honor to have been elected as your rector in 2001, and now of the 13 rectors in our 150 year history to move into that length of tenure behind only four others is further humbling to me. May God continue to grant me (and all of us) the grace necessary to continue steadfast in His faith here at St. John’s.
Very much has changed in my nine years here. Great increases in attendance and our more recent leveling off, wonderful opportunities for ministry in common and uncommon circumstances (ministering as the feeding center for the police during the Super Bowl stands out as unusual), and challenges as well as great joys have been abundant over these past years!
This past year has had particular challenges, especially with the finances as concerning the endowment income. By God’s grace, the vestry’s diligence, and the parish’s generosity, we can report that we ended the year without a deficit! But 2010 will be another year of financial vigilance and challenge as well.
But more importantly 2010 needs to be a year of individual and corporate spiritual growth and deepening discipleship. We must continue to be, and become even more, the Church that God desires us to be!