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

Looking back and looking forward - Rector's Rambling for December 7, 2014

Advent is a time of new start, and of looking forward in eager anticipation.  As we discussed last week in this column, and in the sermon, we are looking forward not only to the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, but also look forward in preparation for His return in glorious majesty to judge the quick and the dead.
This year for Advent we are also doing some secular forward-looking as well.  At 9:15 AM on December 7 we have our Special Parish Meeting, to make a decision about whether to enter into a lease agreement with Olympia Development.  This will affect St. John’s in many ways, through the development of the neighborhood for apartments, retail, and a parking garage.
One-hundred-fifty-six years ago yesterday, Henry Porter Baldwin gathered a group of neighbors and proposed starting an Episcopal parish on this plot of land.  The proposal was for a 150 seat chapel and eventually a 1000+ seat church to be built in what was basically farmlands and orchards outside of the city.  What seemed foolish to many was in fact forward-looking and providential.  The city grew around St. John’s!
Many changes have happened to the neighborhood in those 156 years, some good, some bad.  St. John’s once again has the opportunity to be forward-looking in being a part of the changes to the neighborhood, with opportunities for growth in membership and new ministries.  These are exciting times!
May God guide and govern us in all our doings concerning these decisions, to His greater honor and glory.

(note- the Special Meeting of the Parish voted unanimously to empower the Vestry to enter into the lease with Olympia Development once the details are hammered out.)