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, August 08, 2023

Transfiguration and new organ scholar - Rector's Rambling for August 6, 2023

     Last week we got a chance to have a special celebration by having our Founders’ Day.  This week it is the Church Calendar that gives us the opportunity to have a special celebration.

August 6 is the Feast of the Transfiguration, and because it falls on a Sunday this year, we get to celebrate it instead of the 9th Sunday after Trinity.  All Feasts of Our Lord have “Precedence” over most regularly appointed Sundays, such as Sundays after Trinity.  If you want to see which special days have priority then you can turn to pages l and li in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer for the Tables and Rules for the Movable and Immovable Feasts.

On the top of Mount Tabor in Israel, where this happened, is a lovely 1920s church that replaced a destroyed 12th century Crusader-built church built over the ruins of a destroyed 4th century Byzantine church.  But it is around back, in the gardens, that one gets a sense of what it may have been like in Jesus’ time, to see Him as His divinity shined through his human flesh.  Jesus is alone with the core group of disciples who get a glimpse of what has been called a pre-Resurrection Resurrection appearance.  Even if Peter gets it wrong (again) they did figure out eventually that it is Jesus alone who is worthy of worship, and so we do today.


Today we welcome our new Edwards Organ Scholar, Grace Jackson.  According to her bio Grace “is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts with a concentration in organ and sacred music from the University of Michigan studying with Professor Nicole Keller. In May of 2023, Grace received a Master of Sacred Music from the University of Notre Dame with a concentration in organ having studied with Dr. Kola Owolabi. During her time at Notre Dame, she served as organist and graduate assistant for the Liturgical Choir at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. A native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Grace completed a Bachelor of Music in organ and piano performance from Oklahoma City University (OCU) under the direction of Dr. Melissa Plamann and Dr. Sergio Monteiro. During her time at OCU, she was a music assistant for Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel, served Westminster Presbyterian Church as organ scholar, and from 2020-2021 she was Director of Music and organist at St. Joseph Old Cathedral in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Grace is excited to join the music ministry at St. John’s and looks forward to learning from and serving alongside Dr. Huw Lewis to aid in a prayerful liturgy.”