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, July 26, 2022

40 year ordination anniversary of Fr. Bedford - Rector's Rambling for July 24, 2022

     Today, in addition to celebrating the 6th Sunday after Trinity, we are also giving a special “Thanks be to God” for the 40th Anniversary of the ordination to the priesthood of our own Fr. Michael Bedford on July 24, 1982.

Before his ordination Fr. Bedford had a secular career in the business equipment industry.  Studying for ministry at the diocesan school, now known as the Whitaker School for Ministry, Fr. Bedford was ordained a deacon in 1977 and began his ministry at St. John’s Church in Plymouth.  He then became deacon in charge of St. Elizabeth’s Church in Redford where he was ordained to the priesthood, serving there until his initial retirement.

Attending and assisting at our St. John’s during the rectorate of Fr. Dick Kim, Fr. Bedford served as the supply priest at the beginning and end of the interim period before my election, and helped the interim, Fr. Leovy, as well.

Shortly after my arrival here, Fr. Bedford asked if I minded if he and his late wife Mary attended on Sundays.  It is customary when  new priest arrives at the parish that the clergy who previously served there absent themselves from the parish for a period of time.  But as you know, there are not many parishes around here like St. John’s!

I not only welcomed Fr. Bedford and Mary’s attendance, but was also  grateful that he was willing to assist at the altar for many years and also celebrate and preach on the Sundays when I went away on holiday.

A few years ago Fr. Mike decided that some of those years were catching up on him and asked to be excused from serving at the altar (retiring once again!)but I am most grateful that he continues to attend Services on Sundays when health, weather, and family obligation permits! Afterall, he drives over 45 minutes to get here!

Not many ‘second vocation’ priests who are ordained in their 50s get a chance to celebrate 40 years of ministry.  We are most grateful to be able to do so today!  And I thank God for his faithfulness to Jesus Christ, to Him in His Church, and to this parish over all these years.  And I am grateful for his friendship, advice and counsel to me as a fellow priest.

Thanks be to God for these 40 years of ministry.