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

Friday, February 08, 2013

Rector's Rambling - February 10, 2013

Today we have two things of particular note.
First, we celebrate Quinquagesima Sunday which means this is our last Sunday before Lent begins on Wednesday.  This means we should be thinking about those things we are “giving up” for Lent, as well as those things that we are taking on as well.  By that I mean, not only should we chose something to give up as a discipline (like not having coffee, or chocolate, for Lent), but also make a decision to take on an additional devotion and discipline, such as attending a weekday service, Adult Education, or praying Morning and/or Evening Prayer from the Prayer Book every day.
We “give up things for Lent” for several reasons.  First, it teaches us that we can live without some of the little pleasures.  We are not talking about sinful things (if it is sinful it should be given up, Lent or not!), but some thing that we give it up as a reminder that we don’t need it and can live without “things”.  But also, we need to remember that we are not animals, slaves to our passions and impulses.  As an Orthodox priest friend of mine once said of his young son, “If he can’t learn to say ‘no’ to the temptation of a candy bar now, how will he learn how to say ‘no’ to harder temptations in his teens and beyond?”
We also “take on” things in Lent, such as extra prayers, worship services, and even service to others, not because the works earn our way into heaven!  We do them because they help us to focus and be prepared and open, spiritually and psychologically, for the good that God is seeking to give to us.
The other thing to note is that we have our Annual Parish Meeting today after the 10:00 AM service.  Called to order back on January 27th and recessed until today, we will have lunch, election of new members of the Vestry, financial reports, and reports from various ministries and parish organizations.  Be sure to attend to be informed of all that is going on in the parish as well as being informed about our financial position.