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.

My Photo
Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, October 10, 2022

Hooray for Harriett - Rector's Rambling for October 9, 2022

Hooray for Harriett!

Today we celebrate the retirement of our Office Manager Harriett Mottley. 

During the turmoil of the 2007/2008 financial crisis our previous Office Manager retired.  With the upheaval in the economy, the vestry was hesitant about what direction to take in hiring a replacement.  Then God provided the answer in Harriett! 

At first volunteering to hold down the fort, it became abundantly clear that she was the right person to take on the position.  A lifetime of employment in a variety of occupations including church secretary, combined with a multi-generational family membership at St. John’s proved to be the right formula as Harriett picked up the mantle of responsibility for the position as a full-time employee of the parish.

Not only did Harriett coordinate things in the office, but before the pandemic, she also did things like coordinating the university students staying for the week in the undercroft from Wayne State and  schools further away who came Detroit for their alternative spring break outreach work. 

One big project that Harriett worked through was the packing up of the ugly 1971 Office Building, moving the offices into the undercroft temporarily, and then moving everything into the new Burton Ministry Center offices.  In the middle of all that, we had a flood in the undercroft from a broken pipe into the temporary office space. 

With the pandemic things were put on hold, and post pandemic we all had to ‘pivot’ to the ‘new normal’, including how we worked in the office and did church.  During the reboot, Harriett decided that retirement was a good idea and helped us as the Vestry and I developed the job description, posted the job and interviewed candidates, and then helped us to transition our new Office Manager Elizabeth Savage into the position.

The good news is that although she is retired from the staff, she continues her lifelong membership at St. John’s and will be here for Sunday worship and more.

We give thanks to Almighty God for her ministry, and for her continued presence at St. John’s!