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 13, 2011

Rector's Rambling - September 18, 2011

Today Fr. Michael Bedford is at the lead of worship at St. John’s, since I am on my long vacation (in lieu of a sabbatical) with my family. If all goes as planned I am in Phoenix, Arizona today and worshipping in Church with former St. John’s parishioners John and Ranée Les Callett.
Having Fr. Bedford with us at St. John’s is one of the great blessings to me and to the parish. After he retired as rector of St. Elizabeth’s Church in Redford (that’s right – Fr. Bedford from Redford) he began assisting at St. John’s while Fr. Kim was still Rector. After Fr. Kim retired in 1997 he held down the fort until the interim rector was hired. He then assisted the interim and continued on as the supply priest after the interim left in the Summer of 2000, staying until I arrived in February of 2001.
Shortly after I arrived Fr. Bedford meekly asked if I minded if he and Mary continued to worship at St. John’s. It may seem like an odd question to you, but in church circles when a new rector arrives the old clergy usually clear the deck so the new man can have a fresh start without people going to the long-timer to complain.
However, there was not only no fear of that with Fr. Bedford, but I was most happy to welcome him to assist at the altar. And although he officially retired (again) two years ago, we continue to be blessed by his and Mary’s presence among us on most Sundays of the year!
If you didn’t know, Fr. Bedford drives a long way to be here with us. The Bedfords live out in South Lyon. We thank God for their sacrifice of time and gasoline to be with us each week.
And I am most grateful to know that when I go away with my family the people of St. John’s are well cared for by a priest who knows and loves them as I do.
Thanks be to God for Fr. Bedford and Mary, and for their long and fruitful ministry with us. Ad multos annos! To many more years!