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, May 05, 2024

Rogation Sunday - Rector's Rambling for May 5, 2024

     What a wonderful day we have planned for today, May 5th!  The last few Sunday’s have been chock-full of activity in addition to our worship, and today is no exception! 

First, a thank you to all who pitched in to help make last week’s baseball outing a success.  To Pat Walter and Pat Burson who coordinated the hot dog cooking (with help from Martina Stevenson), to all those who invited family and friends to join us for worship and the game following.  The weather was looking uncooperative in the morning, but it cleared up nicely by game time, and the Tigers had a solid 4-1 victory to continue to play over .500 - something they haven’t done in the month of April in several years.  As interesting to note that in 23 years of this outing (no outing during 2020 because the MLB was not allowed to have spectators in the stadium), we have had only ONE rain out!

Today on the Liturgical Calendar we celebrate Rogation Sunday, an opportunity for us to pray for God’s blessing on the beginning of the agricultural season.  We will have a procession outside, around the perimeter of our building as a symbol of our ‘beating the bounds” of our parish boundary.  We sing the Litany Hymn while doing this.  More information on this is on Page 4 of this Chronicle.

Also, being the first Sunday in May we have our Annual Malawi Ingathering in support of the Church in Malawi.  For nearly 30 years now St. John’s has supported the Church in Malawi through the ministry of Bishop Jackson Biggers.  Some years, it was for general diocesan support.  A few years our offerings helped to build the convent for the Sisters of the Community of St. Mary and their ministry to orphans.  Recently, our support was designated to the Leonard Kamugu Theological School for the training of priests, and more recently, our gifts are being used to support the Bishop Jackson Biggers Secondary School.  Information about the school and its recent accomplishments can be found on the insert in today’s Order of Service.  On a related note, please keep Bishop Biggers in your prayers.  He now lives in a retirement community for clergy in Malawi and has had some recent health struggles.

The third special thing today is that we have the baptism of Bennett Antonio Hardy.  His parents Samantha and Shawn were married here at St. John’s in 2018, and we are most grateful to be able to incorporate Bennett into the family of God through this Sacrament.

Looking forward, we have more special events coming up in the next few weeks including Mothers Day, Pentecost and Hans and Ellen’s 50th Wedding Anniversary Blessing, our Outreach Giving Sunday, and the institution of a new member of the Daughters of the King. 

Sundays are the day for us to gather as the people of God to be fed in Word and Sacrament, and to be encouraged in the Faith through fellowship.  All these special events help us to see the big picture of the Church in action!