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, January 30, 2024

Gesima Season - Rector's Rambling for January 28, 2024

 As we begin a new season, the pre-Lenten season known as the “Gesima” Sundays, I am reminded of the start of a poem by John Betjeman:

Septuagesima – seventy days

To Easter’s primrose tide of praise;

The Gesimas – Septua, Sexa, Quinc
Mean Lent is near, which makes you think.
Septuagesima – when we’re told
To “run the race”, to “keep our hold”,
Eschew injustice, not give in,
And practise stern self-discipline;
A somewhat unattractive time
Which hardly lends itself to rhyme.

We are now making a start toward Lent, hence the appearance of the purple vestments and the disappearance of the “Alleluia”.  And yet, we still have flowers on the altar and weekday Masses are kept in the “color of the day” rather than the strict purple-only of Lenten weekday Masses.  It isn’t quite the heaviness of the full penitential season, but it is a three week reminder that the time is coming, and that you should be thinking of the disciplines you will be taking on, and that which you will be “giving up for Lent”.  Don’t let Ash Wednesday, on February 14, sneak up on you unprepared!

 Today, after the 10:00 AM service, we will hold our Annual Parish Meeting in the Undercroft.  I hope that you will come downstairs for a bite to eat and to stay for the meeting.  Generally, the meeting is less than an hour long and is a wonderful way to stay informed of what is going on around the parish.  We find ourselves overwhelmed with blessings here at St. John’s, and the Annual Parish Meeting is a wonderful way for us to not only give thanks to God for these blessings, but an opportunity to look forward to what God may be calling us to do in the year (and years) ahead.