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, November 30, 2015

Discipleship - Rector's Rambling for November 22, 2015

One very important aspect of membership in the Church is what is known as Discipleship.  
The word disciple literally means one who follows.  We are disciples of Jesus Christ.  Although the word apostle is sometimes used as a synonym, apostle means one who is sent.  In the Bible the 12 apostles are also considered disciples of Jesus, but not all disciples are sent out as leaders. We are all called to be followers of Jesus Christ.
When we talk about discipleship in the Church we refer to our continued learning of The Faith, being equipped and built up for mission and ministry.  Baptism and Confirmation are beginning points, not an end point, in our learning.  We must continue to learn in order to be able to live the faith, and to share it. 
How do we do this?  Primarily we do it through worship.  The late Bishop Emrich said “In prayer and worship, which are the means of Grace by which God’s life comes to us, we become what we could not otherwise become.”  We are also transformed from the inside out by the Grace of the Blessed Sacrament and instructed by hearing Scripture read in worship, as well as expounded upon in the sermon.
But we have to take the opportunity to further our discipleship by learning the Scriptures through individual study as well as corporate study, such as we offer on Sunday at 9:05am and Thursday at 7pm.  One could also gather with other Christians in your local community to read and study scripture together. 
We also offer other opportunities such as the Alpha Course, movie discussions, and various Adult Education topics to help us to grow in the understanding of The Faith.  Take advantage of them.
In February we will introduce a new class called St. John’s 101.  A four week course, being developed for newcomers, I hope all current members will also attend so we have a common foundation.  I also hope that your suggestions will help me to firm up the syllabus so we can offer it 2 or 3 times a year as the parish grows.  We will look at What it means to be a Christian (always good to start with Jesus), The Bible (how do we know The Faith) The Prayer Book (how we worship), and St. John’s Past and Present. (history and mission)  This is intended to be a starting point to incorporate new members into our fellowship, and to start a lifelong zeal for learning about how to be a better follower of Jesus Christ.