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

Yet ANOTHER unique Sunday - Rector's Rambling - June 2, 2013

Another unique Sunday at St. John’s.  After last week’s amazing crowd for worship before going over to the Tigers game, this week we have another unique situation – country music festival destination!
As you noticed when you drove in today, the Downtown Hoedown surrounds St. John’s this morning.  Until two years ago this event occurred down at Hart Plaza on the river, but the organizers’ desire to charge admission and make for a more secure event drove them up Woodward to our parking lot.
We own a portion of the lot next to, and behind, the church.  We have a contract with Olympia Parking who manages and staffs the lot, and also works with the other portions of Olympia Entertainment to use the lot for various events.
Our parking lot has been Super Bowl security perimeter, Major League Baseball All-star Game fan zone, and the staging area for movies and television commercials.  When Jimmy Buffet plays at Comerica Park portions of the lot are filled with sand and a beach party is thrown by the organizers.  The lot has been used for The Vans Warped Tour and the Molson Ice Jam (one day themed music festivals), Cornerstone Schools “Be A Tiger for Kids” fundraiser, as well as various walks, races, and health fairs.  And of course we use it for parking on Sundays as well as for weekday events.
Sometimes we overlap with parking needs.  Newly engaged couples are encouraged to be flexible about the time of their service until the Detroit Tigers schedule is published for the next year.  And last Thursday’s Corpus Christi service had some outside clambering as they set up for the event this weekend.
Last year was the first time there has been an event that overlapped onto a Sunday.  The parking company made the arrangements then and they went off without a hitch, so we have repeated them this year.
Our flexibility on Summer Sundays also has a financial reward for the parish, and I thank you for your patience if you were inconvenienced.