Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 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 160 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

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A tribute to Chris Sayers - Rector's Rambling for 10/24/2021

Very shortly before the publication of last week’s Chronicle we received the shocking news of the death of longtime St. John’s Parishioner Christopher L. Sayers.

The son and nephew of Episcopal priests, Chris was a thorough Churchman.  He knew the Prayer Book, liturgy, and musical heritage of our Anglican Tradition, and was an invaluable aid in helping us at St. John’s to propagate the Faith once delivered unto the saints through the worship of the Church. 

Recognizable to most as one of the choir members, often leading the chant of the minor propers during Mass, Chris did many more things behind the scenes to aid in worship.   He helped with many of the administrative tasks concerning the choir; helping to schedule singers and making sure the payroll was completed in a timely manner.  Chris compiled each week our Order of Service, making sure that the music included was correct and adding the Selected Notes on Today’s Music.  He also edited the weekly Chronicle and then uploaded it to the printing company website.  He scheduled and trained the readers at the 8 and 10 AM Services.

Chris took care of the audio equipment in the church, providing new microphones when needed,  The updated amplifiers and recording equipment, was mostly his doing.  Each Sunday he would take home with him the digital recording of the service and upload the sermon to our Apple iTunes Podcast account.  And as we are working on having our upgraded video equipment installed for livestreaming, Chris was involved in helping to integrate our audio equipment into the new system for maximum quality broadcasting. 

In 2004 Chris took over the volunteer position of webmaster after C. A. Hocker, parishioner and developer of our first website in 1997, died suddenly in his sleep at the age of 39.  Chris redesigned the website and was involved in the current complete re-design of the website which is to go live soon.

Personally, I looked forward to Chris’ texts, emails and calls, and his constant encouragement as we moved forward to the next thing, whether it be the mundane daily task of livestream links for website and weekly banter about edits for the Chronicle articles, to plans for bigger projects.  Chris is going to be missed not just for all his tasks performed but also for his kind heart and desire to glorify God in and through the worship here at St. John’s!


 On a personal note, I will be away this week from Wednesday morning until Saturday night.  During the beginning stages of the pandemic in 2020 I picked up an old hobby - rowing.  This weekend I am entered in two events in the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta in Philadelphia; the Masters (50-59) Lightweight Single, and I am also stroking an Eight with a group of Penn Lightweight Alumni, some of whom I rowed with in college.

These will be my first rowing races in 34 years and I am looking forward to it!