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

Monday, May 23, 2016

Trinity and Tigers Sunday - Rector's Rambling for May 22, 2016

Welcome to our many friends who are joining us today for our Tiger Baseball Sunday!
This tradition began the year after the stadium opened, with the Rector throwing out a first pitch.  Since then the choir has done a wonderful job of presenting our National Anthem before the game, representing our parish church.
Second only to Christmas and Easter, our Tiger Baseball Sunday is our best attended single service of the year.  The three services on Christmas and Easter total many more people, but this one service, with hot dogs following and then over to the game, attracts both parishioners and friends for the festivities.
What amazing changes this grand old edifice has seen in the last 157 years!  Hard now to imagine that when St. John’s chapel opened in 1859, and the big church in 1861, this was considered “out in the country”.  This land was an apple orchard when purchased by Henry Porter Baldwin to plant a parish.
But the city grew up and around us, and St. John’s has seen many different neighbors come and go.  The revitalization of the Fox Theatre, followed by the opening of Comerica Park and Ford Field, began the first phase of neighborhood rebuilding.  By next year’s Tiger Baseball Outing we should be parking in a new five story parking garage behind the church, and by next fall of 2017, St. John’s will be mid-way between Tigers home plate and the Red Wings center ice.  Even more vitally, hundreds of new apartment units will be built in the parking lots to the south of St. John’s, and even more housing units built in Brush Park and beyond.
The neighborhood has changed for bad and for good, over the years, but what has not changed is the Faith in Jesus Christ as the Anglican Communion has received it, and for which this building was erected.  Fads and novelties come and go, but the Good News of God in Jesus Christ remains constant and unchanged, and by His Grace we continue to worship and glorify Him on this corner of Woodward Avenue.