Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 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 - September 5, 2010 - Labor Day

Come Labor on! Who dare stand idle, on the harvest plain; while all around us wave the golden grain? And to each servant does the Master say, “Go work today.” ~ Hymn 576

This weekend Summer makes its last “hurrah” as we celebrate the Labor Day weekend. Here in the Metro Detroit Area the weekend is celebrated with great festivities: Arts, Beats, and Eats in Royal Oak, and the Jazz Festival here in Detroit. There are plenty of things to do this weekend as we bring summer to an unofficial close. On Tuesday school begins and society gets back into its fall/winter/spring routine.
Of course, all of the above activities, as fun as they may be, have nothing to do with the holiday itself. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” (www.DoL.gov) And, in fact, many labor unions will hold rallies this weekend to celebrate the American worker, the unions themselves, and their various causes. This grand old stone edifice on the corner of Woodward and Fisher Freeway has seen many a labor parade and rally pass by its doors.
Labor unions have evolved over the years, and our economy has certainly changed in the last 125 years! Membership in unions has declined as employment in manufacturing and other “labor intensive” industries have automated or moved away.
As we celebrate Labor Day this year, let us remember in our prayers that our common good is dependent upon each other. The creation and sustaining of gainful employment is a recognition of each other’s basic humanity and dignity. As the Department of Labor says, “The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership – the American worker.”
Reprinted from The Chronicle, 9-2-2007