Weekly Dispatch, December 1st, 2021
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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 at Church
  • Catechesis Community Group – Wednesdays at 7:00pm at Church
  • Cana Vox Meeting - Friday, December 3rd, at 7:30 pm at Church
  • Ladies' Christmas Social - Saturday, December 4th, 3:00 pm at the Boston's
  • Advent Lessons and Carols - Friday, December 10th, 6:30pm at Church
  • Eagle and Child Meeting - Thursday, December 16th, at 7:00pm at the Bittaker's
  • Children's Christmas Pageant – Sunday, December 19th, 10:30 am at Church
  • Candlelight Christmas Eve Service – Friday, December 24th, TBD at Church
  • Christmas Day Eucharist – Saturday, December 25th, 10:30 am at Church

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

Watch, wait, and prepare. These are some keys words to consider in the season of Advent. In our watching, we remember our Gospel lesson from last Sunday. Jesus said, “Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” It is very tempting to focus on the chaos around us, yet we take Jesus’ words of watching to heart. We posture our watch towards Christ and not the things around us. Yes, see the signs. Do not be uninformed or even misinformed, but do not allow the signs to drive your sight. Watch for your redemption.

Waiting can be frustrating. Who wants to wait for anything? Yet Advent teaches us to wait for our Lord to arrive, and waiting involves endurance. We endure hardship, persecution, heartache, and even loss and yet we still wait in hope because we trust that Jesus will fill every valley, every mountain will be made low, the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level. In other words, in every way that seems wrong and backwards in this world Christ will reverse and restore. We wait because only He can accomplish such a task. But we also prepare.

We prepare in our worship, our prayers, and in our love and witness in this world. As we gather for worship, we prepare our hearts for such a day through our participation in His Word and Sacraments. Here we are receiving the grace to cast away the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. In our prayers, we take every opportunity to intercede for all people to receive Christ, and to prepare ourselves to see Him, much like the five virgins were prepared who took oil for their lamps (Matt. 25:1-13). And in our love and witness towards others we desire more of Christ’s Kingdom and of His Church. The light has come into the darkness, yet so many still walk in darkness. It is only the Gospel which unveils our eyes and the eyes of others to see the light and walk in it. As we prepare in Advent, may we keep the vision of the Gospel in front of us and imagine how it can shine in the hearts of the people around us. As we watch, wait, and prepare, even now we pray, “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

    Our Redemption Draws Near by Fr. Joe

    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." This Sunday began a whole new year in the Church Calendar. The Church begins in Advent; a season of watching, waiting, and preparing for two advents. Our season will eventually lead us to Christmas celebrating the first advent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. However, Advent is also about watching, waiting, and preparing for His promised Second Coming in glory and majesty. As that great day approaches, we heard from Jesus two things in our Gospel lesson: first, straighten up/raise your heads for your redemption is drawing near, and second, that while everything else is passing away, Jesus’ words will not pass away. May these words of relief permeate your heart.

    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!

    O Come All Ye Faithful

    On Jordan's Bank

    Refiner's Fire

    What Can Wash Away My Sins

    Hail to the Lord's Anointed

    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 Two.
    Advent Two: The Bigger Story
    • Connecting the story of the Church calendar to the bigger story of Holy
    • Lessons and Carols – Connecting to the Collect of the Day
    • Discuss one adjustment to the liturgy – Acclamation/Proper Preface/Blessing
    • Advent Practice at Home – Advent Devotional/Reading of Scripture (OT)

    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

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