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

Monday, January 15, 2024

Busy January in the neighborhood! - Rector's Rambling for January 14, 2024

     January in Downtown Detroit used to be pretty quiet, without too many events happening in the neighborhood. 

       This has changed, especially with our neighbors the Detroit Lions making the playoffs for the first time since moving back to Detroit, making Ford Field their home two blocks away from St. John’s.         Today is the playoff game, and we are grateful for the team making the playoffs, even if it means being inconvenienced by the crowds heading toward the game as we are leaving from our Sunday Evening Prayer today.  And God willing the combination of a Lions win and a loss by a higher seed means more playoff games here at home.

Withthe addition of the 5:30 PM Evening Prayer Service on Sunday, we have had the opportunity to further engage with those downtown for the events at Comerica Park, Ford Field, Little Caesars Arena, and the Fox Theatre.  Generally the doors are open by 3 PM, if not earlier, for people leaving the 1 PM games, or heading to the evening events.

The poinsettias that were not taken by parishioners after the 10 AM Service were placed in the Church narthex with a sign for people to take one home with them.  What a fun sight to see Lions fans come in to see the church, and a few of them pick up a plant to go as well.  Better than going to waste.  And yes, at the Lions game the week before in Dallas, Decker did report as eligible.  Social media posts with the sign board affirming that went viral on Facebook and X.

After one of these major events, or before one at the theatre or arena, we have 50 people or more people stop in to look, take a picture, and/or slip into a pew for a prayer.  Some come in once Evening Prayer has started and stay for a portion, or sometimes all, of the Service. Copies of this Order of Service are left in the narthex and many people take one and a brochure or two to read about us later.

Out of this has come several people who have become regular about attending worship here, including one who after the Service asked to know more about Jesus Christ.  She was baptised a few weeks later.

A ministry of having an open door.