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

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

St. Michael's Conference, and Robert Hart's Burial - Rector's Rambling for July 7, 2024

It is that time of the year when the St. Michael’s Conference for Youth, Midwest, meets at the Manresa Retreat Center in Bloomfield Hills.  This will be my 25th year on staff of the Midwest Conference, and 27th year overall after to years on staff at the east coast conference.  The conference begins this afternoon, and concludes at lunchtime on Saturday.

What is the St. Michael’s Conference?  It is a week of worship, learning, and fellowship for young churchman and churchwomen, between the ages of 12 and 20.  We are at full capacity this year, with 70 Michaelites, faculty, and staff. 

The weekday schedule is rigorous.  Morning Prayer is optional but all are in attendance for 8:00 AM Solemn High Mass with all the trappings.  Breakfast follows and then three classes on a variety of topics.  I am once again teaching the Survey Course, required for all first year Michaelites, and is an introduction to Jesus and Christianity.  I am also teaching a class for older Michaelites on World Religions.  Other classes offered by the faculty include The Bible, Church History, Meditation, Sever Virtues, The Saints, and more.

After lunch there is free time with the opportunity to play organized games, or unorganized time together.  We reconvene at 5 PM for Solemn Evensong and a faculty talk.  This year the talks are on the 10 Commandments.  After dinner there are discussion groups and an evening activity, which ranges from games, a square dance, and a talent show.  After Compline (night prayers) it is off to bed to recharge for the next day.

The Conference concludes on Saturday with the Michaelites offering a performance of The Pageant of Salvation for family and guests.  Then after a closing ceremony there are lots of hugs and tears as we conclude the week and begin looking foward to next year’s conference.  The overwhelming majority of  kids return every year they are eligible!

Perhaps most remarkable is that the conferes give up having cellphones and internet access for the week!  And most admit by Tuesday or Wednesday that is kind of nice to not have it, to have to check it all the time!

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 On Wednesday, July 10th at 2 PM we will have the Burial Office for the repose of the soul of Mr. Robert Hart, who passed away on May 22nd.  Robert was our oldest parishioner who passed away at the age of 97.  He was regular about Sunday church attendance until about year before his passing.  Rest eternal grant unto him O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him.