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, December 08, 2014

From the Rector - Advent Eagle (Newsletter) 2014

Who would have thought the Rector would be happy to be bumped to the second page of the newsletter?  But happy I am because of what has replaced me on the front page: the good news announcing a Special Parish Meeting!  Elsewhere in this newsletter is information on the purpose of the meeting, and I hope that you can be there on what will be an historic day. 

Each year as Christmas approaches I am reminded of a Christmas Eve in 1992, when I worshipped at St. John’s for the first time.  I was a seminarian and had been invited by the Schafers, who are long-time family friends.  I wouldn’t have imagined that just over 8 years later I would be the rector of this same parish!  That first time I worshipped here the neighborhood was quite shoddy.  By the time I arrived as rector it had improved greatly with the opening of the new stadium, and in fits and starts it has continued to improve.  After a lull in the economy, improvements are underway again with the new hockey arena under construction, and all the ancillary development of apartments, retail, and office space.

As a ‘glass half-full’ guy, I am usually looking for the positive, and looking and working toward the future.  Although there were a couple of rough years during the economic downturn, the past 18 months have proven to be a grace-filled time of forward-looking, positive growth and ministry.  And although, as always, I would be happier to see a couple dozen more people in the pews no matter how full we are, so many metrics of spiritual and parochial health are upward trending that we are the envy of many of my priest friends around the country.  God is blessing us in innumerable ways!

Advent is a season of being forward-looking: to not only the coming of the Christmas Feast, but also the coming again of Jesus Christ.  Let us prepare our hearts and minds for both!  There are great opportunities to worship, for fellowship, and giving for this season of preparation, so take advantage of them.

And NOW is the time to be inviting your friends, family, and neighbors for the Christmas services; 4pm Children’s Pageant, and the Solemn celebration at 8:30 and 9pm.