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

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Remembering - Rector's Rambling for September 11, 2022

     Today, primarily, we are celebrating the 13th Sunday after Trinity because that is assigned on the calendar for the collects and readings.  We also have our first day of Sunday School, the return of the full choir season, and our rededication of the carillon today at coffee hour, with a concert at 11:45 AM.

But today is also a day of somber remembrance as well.  It is hard to fathom that it is already 21 years since the hijackings of 9/11 that ended in such carnage and destruction in New York City, Washington DC, and Shanksville, PA. 

For those of us who are old enough to remember (and just saying that makes me realize how long it has been) we have memories of what we were doing that day when we first heard the news, how we reacted, and what it was like in the following days, weeks, and months. The effects of the events of that day still reverberate today, effecting US foreign policy as well as homeland security precautions. 

Since the War of 1812 we felt a sense of security on our continent, for the most part, from attacks from foreign enemies. During the Cold War we certainly feared an attack from missiles launched from far away.  I studied US/Soviet nuclear policy in college and it certainly was concerning, but thankfully no attack happened.   The events of 9/11 burst the bubble of security on our continent, as we awakened to the stark reality of evil, foreign based terrorism, and our need for vigilance at home as well as abroad.

Today at the Carillon Bell Concert we will play as one of the hymns O God, our help in ages past.  On this day in 2001, a dozen of us gathered in the evening at St. John’s in an otherwise deserted downtown Detroit.  All workers had been sent home mid-morning as a precaution in case tall buildings here might be targeted.  We did what Christians do in times of distress and attack -  we gather to pray!  And we sang that hymn as a powerful reminder that no matter what the earthly circumstance God is still our help and ultimately our home as well. 

May we remember that He is our God in the good times, as well as the bad, and we should turn to Him in all the situations in which we find ourselves.