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, April 14, 2024

Good Shepherd Sunday - Rector's Rambling for April 14, 2024

     In a 5 day period in 1994 I graduated seminary, was ordained a transitional deacon, celebrated my 28th birthday, and moved to the Philadelphia suburbs to began my first position as a clergyman in The Episcopal Church.

I was so grateful to have been hired as the curate at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, Pennsylvania.  At the time, it was one of the premier Anglo-catholic parishes in the Diocese of Pennsylvania with a long, storied history of glorious worship and meaningful ministry.  Every two years or so, a new curate would be hired to cut his teeth as the assistant clergyman under the tutelage of the Rector of the parish, and the caring (and patient) community of faithful parishioners. 

It was there that I began this journey to learn how to shepherd a flock.  The Rector at the time, Fr. David Moyer, led both by example and instruction, and the people in the pews helped in innumerable ways by encouraging (and sometimes challenging) me to be the leader that God desired me to be as a priest of the Church.

Let’s face it...as urban/suburban congregation there (and here) the idea of being an actual shepherd  to a flock of sheep is an alien concept.  Yet it was in that parish dedicated to Jesus as the Good Shepherd that I began to appreciate why our Lord used this as a metaphor for ministry.  Yet I am reminded that I am an under-shepherd who is called to lead and guide to the one who is THE Good Shepherd, Jesus.  May we learn  to hear his voice and follow his lead!