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

Monday, September 30, 2013

St. Michael and All Angels - Rector's Rambling for Sept. 29, 2013

Today we are combining two of my favorite autumn festivals: St. Michael and all Angels, and St. John’s Homecoming.
We often think of angels as soft and cuddly creatures, but today’s lesson reinforces the biblical image of angels as warriors!  There are many tasks assigned to the various orders of unseen ministers (see the Teaching Notes on page 4), but in today’s emphasis, the Archangel Michael fights against the evil one.
In our glorious West Window St. Michael is depicted on Christ’s right hand (the Angel on Christ’s left is St. Raphael from the Book of Tobit).  He is in armor and equipped for battle with a shield in one hand and a flaming sword in the other.
St. Michael, in addition to being patron of many parishes around the world, is the patron of our Youth Conference held here in Michigan in July.  He was chosen because he represents a strong faith in our Lord, and we hope to instill in the teens a like-minded resolve to be prepared for spiritual battle, and to be fully equipped for it!
When I arrived at St. John’s 12.5 years ago we began our Homecoming Sunday.  It is an  opportunity to have some of our friends, who attend elsewhere most Sundays, but make St. John’s their Major Feast Day home, come and worship with us again.  Additionally, it is a nice day to welcome other friends and newcomers, not only with sublime worship, but also a potluck luncheon.
Homecoming Sunday has moved around various October and November weekends, but with St. Michael and All Angels falling on a Sunday it is a good idea to combine the two and to also use it as a kick-off to our programming year!
Welcome to our guests and friends, and I hope that all will come again, and frequently, to worship with us.