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

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Outreach Giving Sunday! - Rector's Rambling for July 24, 2016

Welcome today to our guests from the many organizations who are recipients of our Outreach Giving grants.
This has been a wonderful opportunity to get to know so many great works that are being done in our neighborhood and within the Detroit city limits.  We look forward to greeting you today as we distribute our giving to you, and to your return in September for our Outreach Committee Fair.  That day we look forward to hearing about your good work, and to the opportunity to sign up to come alongside of you as volunteers.
For 157 years St. John’s has been on this corner of Woodward and what is now I-75.  The neighborhood has gone from farmlands and orchards to the bustling metropolis we see around us.  There have been very good years, and very lean years as well.  Recent redevelopment of this neighborhood is already benefiting the parish with new neighbors, opportunities for ministry, and income, and we look forward to even more such advances as construction begins eventually for three apartment buildings with retail space between us and Central Methodist Church.
Throughout most of our history we have been a ministry outpost to others.  A lunchroom provided affordable meals in the old parish hall building, as well as housing for soldiers in World War II.  It also had a gymnasium to host neighborhood basketball games, and the YWCA of Detroit got its start in there.
Now, in our undercroft and office building, many groups, from Alcoholics Anonymous to local university alternative spring break teams, use our facilities to help others.  Over the years we have participated in community gardening events, local clean-up initiatives, and at one time we even had a harmonica club that performed for local nursing home residents (I kid you not!).  God places all sorts of interesting opportunities at our door step!
Today begins a new day in our outreach efforts to help those around us.  It is exciting to anticipate how God is making opportunities to not just support these ministries financially, but also to partner with them as volunteers to the greater glory of God.