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

Monday, June 03, 2013

A unique Sunday - Rector's Rambling - May 26, 2013

Many things about St. John’s are unique.  The use of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer combined with a top notch music program makes us unique in the Diocese of Michigan.  Although the original blueprint of the main church is duplicated in Fort Street Presbyterian Church, the changes to our building in 1937 now make it unique.  And the mix of people who are members of the congregation, ethnically as well as financially, make it unique as well.
But perhaps what makes St. John’s stand out to most is our “next to Comerica Park” location.  Telling people which church I am at is easy!  “We are on the corner of I-75 and Woodward Avenue, next to Comerica Park!”  Any of the three-million attendees a year at a Tigers game, 600,000 attendees at Lions games, and all those who have attended shows at the Fox, or other events at Comerica Park and Ford Field can identify that church.  As an aside, we also were known for a time as the “Church with the Banner” because of the “Pray Here for the Tigers” banner we had on the church from 2001 to 2006 or so.
But today may make us the most unique parish around.  It is unique that we are next to a baseball stadium and have a great choir that sings the National Anthem at a baseball game.  But what is perhaps even more unique is that for a parish that gets good attendance on Christmas and Easter, we will have a Sunday in May (a holiday weekend to boot) with better attendance than either of those two feasts.  And we could do in one service (10:00 AM) today what we do in three for Christmas and three for Easter!  Considering, as of the writing of this Rambling on Tuesday, we have sold 346 tickets to the game, and have parishioners who are not going to baseball but are coming to Church, we should have more here today than on those two holidays!
How great would it be to have big events like this even more frequently?  Or better yet, having a parish that continues to grow so that this sized crowd is the “normal” and baseball Sunday is even bigger!  Now that would be great.
God, grant us the grace to be that parish, by our cooperation with your Holy Spirit, to accomplish your will!