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, October 12, 2015

Something I dislike talking about - Rector's Rambling for October 11, 2015

It is that time of the year again when we ask you to consider your support of St. John’s Church, both of your time and talent, as well as your tithe.
One complaint that I hear, in general, is that the church is always asking for money.  I hope that this hasn’t been said about St. John’s.  In fact, I would posit to you that one of my besetting faults is that I DON’T like to talk about or ask for money!  In fact, I loathe it.  It makes me very uncomfortable and I would rather write, speak, or preach about just about any other subject other than money.
Now some of you might read this and think, “doesn’t sound like a fault”, but it is.  Because it is in fact a part of our spiritual life and discipline.  Money, possessions, and the support of the church are all intertwined and are in fact an important part of who we are as Spirit-filled, Bible-believing Christians.
Money and possessions (zeal to obtain them and keep them, as well as worry about not having enough) can be a great distraction in the spiritual life, and can even become an idol.  We worship what is most important in our life, or what occupies a disproportionate amount of our thoughts and activities.
The solution, as the church has taught throughout time, is to be generous.  If we realize that all that we have is a gift from God, then giving back a portion of it makes perfect sense.  For all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. (1 Chronicles 29:14) sums up the theology of this mentality, as well as Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).
The reason that we ask you to pledge, and to do so generously, is not that St. John’s needs your money to further her mission (although we do).  It is because YOU need to give for the support of the Church, learning to acknowledge that all we have is a gift from God, and that we need to be generous in supporting the building up of His Kingdom.