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 13, 2011

Rector's Rambling - September 11, 2011

It is remarkable to think that 10 years have passed since the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
Having been born in 1966 I missed that pivotal moment in history and the subsequent question of “what were you doing when John F. Kennedy was assassinated?” Other pivotal moments in history however have been engrained in my psyche: President Nixon’s resignation, President Reagan’s attempted assassination, and Pope John Paul II’s assassination attempt. All these events evoke strong memories of those moments in time when they happened, what I was doing when I heard the news, and the well-spring of emotions associated with them.
That morning in 2011 will forever be etched in my memory: hearing the report while listening to the radio of the fire at the World Trade Center, and watching in horror, live on television, as the second plane hit the other tower. It was at that moment that I realized this was no accident but a calculated attack on the citizens of the United States. By the end of the day there was additional carnage and destruction.
But who could have imagined, on that morning, that nearly 10 years later we would be engaged in a 10-year war in Afghanistan and eight years of fighting in Iraq. And words like Jihad, Shiite, Sunni, and a host of Arabic named entities, cities, and provinces have become common-speak in our media and households.
There was an initial surge in attendance at churches as people in fear were moved to prayer. That uptick did not last long. Although the country became inconvenienced by new security measures and security alert codes, life mostly returned to “normal” for most Americans.
However, the one thing not touched upon in the media or the churches is to pray for the root cause. Since that day I have prayed regularly this collect For Missions from the prayer book, p. 38:
ALMIGHTY God, whose compassions fail not, and whose loving-kindness reacheth unto the world’s end; We give thee humble thanks for opening heathen lands to the light of thy truth; for making paths in the deep waters and highways in the desert; and for planting thy Church in all the earth. Grant, we beseech thee, unto us thy servants, that with lively faith we may labour abundantly to make known to all men the blessed gift of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.