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

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rector's Rambling - April 22, 2012 - Sharing the Faith part 1

One question I get from people is, “how am I supposed to share my faith with others?” This is a great question, because it comes from an understanding that we DO have to share it. I know that not all of us have the gifts of the Holy Ghost for some of the more extroverted forms of evangelism. Few of us would be equipped for (or inclined to) street corner preaching or walking about with a sandwich style sign board proclaiming the coming of the kingdom of God. But as the new prayer book asks in the form for baptism, we are to share the good news of God in Christ in word and example. Quite often I hear quoted something attributed to St. Francis, “Preach the Gospel at all times, and only when necessary use words.” This catches an important part of the spirit of evangelism, as long as you are not using it as an excuse to not share the words as well. One of the principles of 12-step recovery programs is that it is one of attraction, not promotion. In the Church this is the “example” side of evangelism. We are to be people who live the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are hopeful, joyful, thoughtful, and attempting by grace to live in love and charity with our neighbors. This will open others’ hearts to hear the gospel because of the impact on our own lives. But we also have to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”! (1 Peter 3:15) And that means not only knowing that Jesus is Lord, and why that is important for us to know, but to share that message with the world, beginning with those closest to us. In the coming weeks we will look at some of those “answers” and “reasons” in this column. To be continued…