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, July 31, 2017

Founders Day 2017 - Rector's Rambling for July 30, 2017

It is nice to look backwards occasionally to be reminded of your heritage.  That is a goal of this Sunday’s Founders’ Day.  We not only worship  today with the original Prayer Book in use when the parish opened for worship (November 10, 1859), but we are reminded again of the hundreds of people who were instrumental in the building of the chapel (1859) and church (1861) and the thousands who have gone before us.  These many people have supported this parish with their prayers, time, and financial contributions.
We are here today on this corner of Woodward and High Street (now Fisher Freeway) to worship the same Almighty God, using the same Anglican formularies of faith and liturgy.  Although the “ ſ ” now looks like an “ s ” in the prayer book, the form for our worship in the 1928 Prayer Book differs in only the smallest ways of reordering and reprioritizing.  The Faith for which our worship is ordered has not changed because it is grounded in Scripture.  This Faith has continued to be expressed in our worldwide Anglican Communion since the 16th century, and since the Good News of Jesus Christ was brought to England (home of our mother church) shortly after the Resurrection.
Henry Porter Baldwin is our parish founder, having bought this land and donated it, along with architectural designs for these buildings, and some cash to get it started.  It is for his leadership in organizing his neighbors in a meeting in the house pictured above to form this parish, his leadership as Senior Warden of the parish for 34 years while also serving as State Senator, U.S. Senator, and Governor of Michigan, and as a leader in banking and industry, that we celebrate Founders’ Day, and we give thanks to God for him, and for all those who have sat in these pews since 1859.