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, July 07, 2010

Rector's Rambling - May 30, 2010

Although parishes are linked by a common heritage, basics concerning the worship form, and hopefully a common faith, each parish has its own unique set of circumstances that affected its character.
Sometimes this uniqueness is manifest by its adherence to the more ancient forms of worship, well honed by years of theological and liturgical contemplation and participation, such as we have here at St. John’s. Sometimes its character is formed by the physical church structure, which points toward an appropriate expression of faith. The history of a parish, particularly if there is some persecution involved, can also make an indelible impression on a parish. And, of course, the members themselves affect who the parish is and how it expresses itself.
One other way a parish’s character is formed is by its location. An affluent suburban parish will be different in many ways to a struggling neighborhood urban church.
Today is one of those days that we manifest the unique character of St. John’s due to the circumstance of our neighborhood! Our Tiger Baseball Outing Sunday is one of our largest Sundays for attendance! We are certainly grateful for the many friends, family, and neighbors who are joining us this Sunday for worship, fellowship, and of course the baseball game following. No other Episcopal Parish in the Diocese has this unique circumstance of having a Major League baseball stadium built 250 yards away from her back door!
It is hard to imagine today that when this parish was opened about 151 years ago, this building was out in the country! Since then the city has grown up and around her, changing the neighborhood and the make-up of the congregation, as it has changed from rural to residential to commercial and now chiefly entertainment related.
And yet the one thing that does NOT change is Jesus Christ, the faith revealed to us by Him in Scripture, and that same faith propagated in the Anglican tradition through the Book of Common Prayer (1549 - 1928 editions). May God grant us a long lifetime of fidelity to Him.

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