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

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rector's Rambling - October 24, 2010 - Homecoming

A hearty welcome to all our guests, as well as our regular visitors and parishioners on this Homecoming Sunday.
This day was conceived nine years ago in the hope that those many friends who had other home parishes, but made St. John’s their special Holy Day destination, would join us a third time each year in addition to Christmas and Easter.
Most Churches show an increase in attendance on “High Holy Days”. St. John’s is no exception! In addition to our regularly attending parishioners, St. John’s is a place where many who have family connections to the parish (present and past) come for special occasions. We also are a magnet for those whose parishes do not have the ability, or desire, to produce traditional Anglican choral music, which is especially appreciated on Feast Days. We also attract first-timers on these days, those who, although not attending anywhere regularly, find us an attractive place on these special days. And finally, we are a place that many call “home”, even though they have not yet responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to be an active weekly participant in the life of the Church.
No matter where you are on your spiritual journey where this parish is concerned, we are always happy to have guests and friends here with us, and we are blessed by your presence!
It is interesting to look back at the history of this parish. In 1926, 2500 people came to services on an “average” Sunday, and 4000 on Easter. In the 1950’s, 600 people came on an “average” Sunday, with 1500 on Easter. By the 1990’s, it got as low as 37 on an average Sunday, and only 100 at Easter.
By God’s grace, things have had a general upward trend the last 10 years. This past year we averaged 188 on Sundays, with over 400 on Easter and Christmas. That is a pretty good start. After all, we can seat 800 people at any service!
This Homecoming Sunday you will hear about our upcoming Faith Alive Weekend which will take place November 5 – 7. I hope that whether a regular member, occasional visitor, or friend, you will consider joining us on these three days to be a part of the wonderful upward springing of the parish’s growth in grace and attendance, that we may be the holy people and parish God intends us to be!

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