Weekly Dispatch, November 24th, 2021
facebook twitter instagram 
St. John's Weekly Dispatch, v. 2

St. John's Schedule

  • Catechesis Hour - Sundays at 9:00 am before Church
  • Holy Eucharist - Sundays at 10:30 am at Church and via Zoom
  • Evening Prayer - Wednesdays at 6:30 pm via Zoom
  • Catechesis Community Group - Wednesday, December 1st, at 7:00 pm at TBD
  • Ladies' Christmas Social - Saturday, December 4th, 3:00 pm at the Boston's
  • Advent Lessons and Carols - Friday, December 10th, 6:30pm at Church

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

We are entering into a new season in the life of the Church: Advent. The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival.” It is a season focused upon two comings or arrivals. The first Advent is our celebration of the coming of the Christ child at Christmas. The Scriptures promised us a coming Messiah who would come through the offspring of the woman to crush the head of the serpent and whose heel would be bruised (Genesis 3:15). We anticipate a celebration that God became one of us. He Himself condescended and stepped into our shoes, sharing in our humanity while yet being without sin. He came to crush the powers of darkness through His own flesh and blood. Advent prepares us for this His first coming.

However, Advent is also about Christ’s second coming. Jesus promised that He would come again in great glory and splendor culminating in making all things new. We live within a tension between the two advents. In many respects, Advent reflects the Christian life. We have been fully justified, forgiven, and redeemed, and yet we await the restoration of all things. Sin is still a pressing reality within and around us. There is an already and not yet reality within creation which groans for coming of the Son, and we long along with the rest of creation for His coming again too.

You will notice the use of blue. Purple or blue are interchangeable in the season of Advent. Blue, like purple, can represent royalty. It is to make ready the first and second coming of our true King. In keeping with such preparation, blue is also connected to the Virgin Mary. Like Mary, the Scriptures describe birth pains in our longing for Christ to return. Finally, blue can be associated with hope. We are hopeful to truly see our Lord face to face and such a hope does not put us to shame.

The season of Advent calls us to watch, to wait, and to anticipate the coming of Jesus Christ into the world. Throughout this season, there will be opportunities in worship, catechesis, fellowship, and mission where you can watch, wait, prepare, and anticipate Christ’s coming. I invite you to enter the season of Advent with expectant hearts for what the Spirit might do among us. And may our prayers cry out to our Messiah; even so, come Lord Jesus!

Grace and Peace,
Fr. Joe

If you would like to support St. John's during this time, you can give online by clicking the button below. You may also send a check to the following address:

PO BOX 36591, CANTON OH 44735

    Being Generous With Our Time by Fr. Joe

    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." This past Sunday was Christ the King Sunday and the conclusion of our sermon series on Generosity. We connected the liturgical closing of the Christian year with the generosity of time. We find ourselves constantly busy and tired feeling like we are running out of time or never having enough time. The Good News is that we can rest in the promise of a world without end where Christ our King restores all things. Here we see that our callings, vocations, and work matter. In whatever we do and with whatever time we are given, let us do so to the glory of God alone.

    Read more

    This Sunday's Hymns

    This section of the dispatch contains samples of hymns and other music that we will be singing the this Sunday. If you come across any hymns you are not familiar with, these will be helpful for you to review so that you may sing with greater confidence and attention each Sunday. Happy singing!

    Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates

    Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

    Blest Be the Tie That Binds

    Lamb of God

    Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending

    Join us every second and fourth (usually) Thursday night for our Eagle and Child reading group! This is a group that meets to discuss and apply classic works in Christian theology from the likes of Lewis, Augustine, Bonhoeffer, and other important authors. Currently, we are reading The Love of Wisdom by Andrew Davison to discuss the history of philosophy as it relates to Christian theology and practice.
    Cana Vox is a discussion group that meets every other Friday where those, married or unmarried, who support a classical understanding of marriage can explore the controversial issues in a calm, deliberative setting that is not subject to the hostilities often found in today's public discourse on the topic. We seek to discuss thoughtful and gospel-oriented responses to the confusion surrounding marriage in our culture.

    Let the Children Come

    We are happy to be inviting our children to participate more within our worship. Here is a list of ways they can participate:

    1) At the beginning of our worship, we invite families to read a short liturgy along with lighting the advent candles. Please see Fr. Joe to participate, and we would love to include them in this!

    2) We are inviting children to draw cover art for our order of worship. We would like children to draw the advent wreath with the appropriate candles lit. Please see Maggie if you would like to submit your artwork! We would love to celebrate your gifts.

    3) On the fourth Sunday of Advent, we will have our Christmas Pageant. All children are invited to participate, and I want to give a huge thanks to Maggie for organizing. If you have any questions, please connect with her.

    Wednesday Evening Prayer and Catechesis

    Beginning on December 1st, we will offer Evening Prayer at the church starting at 6:30pm. Evening Prayer is a wonderful way to enter Advent, emphasizing the call to watch and wait for the LORD in prayer.

    Also, following Evening Prayer (7pm), we will offer catechesis focusing on the Lord’s Prayer. All are welcome to join, but especially those discerning membership and confirmation at St. John’s.

    Advent Sunday Catechesis

    We begin a whole new focus in our Sunday Catechesis for Advent. Children and adults will be exploring the season of Advent along with practices to be engaged in worship and at home. Here is a snapshot of what you can expect with the adults for Advent One.
    Advent One: The beginning of a new year!
    - Christian perspective on time within the Church calendar. What does it mean to
    orient your time around Christ and His Church? We will look at the full scope of
    the Church calendar (breaking it down).
    - Why do we start with Advent? – Connecting to the Collect of the Day
    - Discuss an adjustment to the liturgy – The Exhortation
    - Advent Practice at Home – The Advent Wreath/Advent Devotional

    The Daily Office

    Interested in a simple way to pray the daily office from the Book of Common Prayer? Follow this link for text and audio versions of the morning, noon, and evening prayer services taken directly from the 2019 ACNA BCP.

    Contact Fr. Joe

    I am here for you. If you would like to grab some coffee or other beverages, or would like a home visit, please don’t hesitate to contact me at: frjoe@stjohnscanton.org

    Connect with Us on Social Media

    facebook twitter youtube