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, June 23, 2024

DOK and GC81 - Rector's Rambling for June 23, 2024

     It’s another great Sunday at St. John’s, with the admission of a new member to the Daughters of the King, Elizabeth Savage.  We are blessed to have a healthy, robust chapter of the Daughters, the largest in the Diocese of Michigan.  The Mission of The Order is the extension of Christ’s Kingdom through Prayer, Service and Evangelism. 

Today Elizabeth will make promises to obey the two Rules of The Order: the Rule of Prayer and the Rule of Service,  to offer at all times loyal aid to our clergy and parish to spread Christ’s kingdom, to wear faithfully the cross of The Order, and to work for the purposes of The Order as God may give us the opportunity.         (www.doknational.org)                  

There is a period of training classes that members of The Order complete before  making these promises, and the chapter meets regularly for support, bible study, and prayer.  Some members are also involved at the diocesan, regional, and national organization levels as well..

As I have often stated, The Daughters are a vital part of the engine room of the parish, praying for us all, and for those who have asked prayers for specific needs.   I am so grateful for them and their ministry.

Congratulations to Elizabeth and thanks be to God for The Daughters.

Yes, there is a complementary men’s organization called The Brotherhood of St. Andrew.  Anyone interested in restarting The Brotherhood here at St .John’s, one of the organization’s original chapters?  See Fr. Kelly for information.

Today marks the official start of the 81st General Convention of the Episcopal Church, meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.  Every three years representatives, lay and ordained, elected by their diocesan conventions, and all the bishops, gather in a bi-cameral legislature to consider budget, staffing, mission and various resolutions setting policy for the next three years and beyond. 

Back in my Rector’s Rambling in 2015 I quoted the now retired Bishop of Springfield, Illinois, Dan Martins, from his blog about the General Convention that year.  He notes,  We could adopt astonishing cutbacks of program, staff, and infrastructure, and come out healthier, more vital, and with more human and financial resources to devote to mission and ministry”.  Although one positive change is that Convention has been cut back from 10+ days to 7, there is still much to be done to scale back bloated bureaucracy and to adapt a streamlined, gospel-centered, ministry-supportive focus.

And brace yourself for surprising or shocking news stories or social media posts about proposals and actions at Convention.  St. John’s is not like much of the Episcopal Church if you didn’t already know!  When you encounter something questionable - take a deep breath and wait until the dust settles, and in the next month or so we can sort out actions.  Remember that biblical truth does not change by majority vote of a convention and St. John’s remains steadfast in the faith once delivered to us.