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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

An invitation - Ministry Note for April 13, 2014

There is no better time to invite people to join us for worship at St. John’s than Holy Week and Easter!  God is calling more and more people to come and worship Him, and you might be the vehicle He is using to drive them into our fellowship (figuratively and literally).
Let us be like the sower in the gospels who takes the seed and scatters it in all places regardless of what soil it might be.  Let us sow our invitations to all we meet and with whom we interact.
This can be done simply by saying, “do you have a place to go to Church on Easter?”  If they say “no”, or hesitate, then be quick with an invitation to join you for services at St. John’s.  Offer a ride if they seem leery about coming downtown!  And then pray for them as they decide.
Continue to pray for them, even if your invitation is declined.  You may never know when that invitation today may find fruit in coming years.  Remember, you are just scattering the seed.  Another may water, but God will give the growth.  We have one member of the Vestry who was invited to St. John’s by a former choirmaster years before, but did not come for the first time until a few years later – and has been coming regularly ever since.
Let us not neglect a more primary invitation to attendance at St. John’s – to our own parishioners!  I would be remiss if I did not mention my disappointment with our average Sunday attendance since the beginning of this year.  Extreme weather, sickness, and being out of town is certainly a valid reason one might not be in church on a Sunday for worship.
But let’s be honest with ourselves.  Would the reason we miss Sunday worship cut it with Jesus?  Would you be willing to stand at your judgment day and tell our Lord, who died on the cross for your sins, that you missed worshipping Him because _________ (fill in the blank)?  Could you not find 90 minutes or more to give to Him on Sunday morning?
The good news is that He is about forgiveness!  And each Sunday is a new start to this right relationship in Christ.  Attendance this week, next Sunday, and the Sunday afterwards, and you are back in the habit again!