Weekly Dispatch, December 15th, 2021
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St. John's Weekly Dispatch, v. 2

St. John's Schedule

  • Catechesis Hour - Sundays at 9:00am before Church
  • Holy Eucharist - Sundays at 10:30am at Church and via Zoom
  • Evening Prayer - Wednesdays at 6:30pm at Church
  • Catechesis Community Group – Wednesdays at 7:00pm at Church
  • Eagle and Child Meeting - Thursday, December 16th, at 7:00pm at the Bittaker's
  • Children's Christmas Pageant – Sunday, December 19th, 10:30am at Church
  • Candlelight Christmas Eve Service – Friday, December 24th, 6:00pm at Church
  • Christmas Day Eucharist – Saturday, December 25th, 10:30am at Church

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

In general, time does feel like it goes very quickly. Our busyness in this time of the year speeds up, and we wonder why Advent feels so short. I often wished Advent was longer, but then I realize that Advent is somewhat continuous. Yes, the season will come to an end on the Eve of December 24th, but Advent is a true reflection of our Christian pilgrimage. We are still waiting and watching for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are still looking for the full restoration of all things where God finally makes His dwelling here.

This coming Sunday, our children are going to provide a picture of the first arrival of who we have longed to see. They will re-tell the story of Christ coming into the world, for unto you a child is born, unto you a son is given. We will remember that Christ came into the world for your sake. As we say in the creed, “for us and for our salvation he came down from heaven…for our sake he was crucified.” His coming was not a random birth, and it wasn’t simply an unjust death sentence. However, the eternal Son was given away, and for the first time took flesh and blood, so that in His crucified Body we might be fully healed, reconciled, and redeemed. It was for your sake and my sake He came into our world. And we still wait for Him to come again. One of the fairly popular hymns to be sung in Advent is O Come, O Come Emmanuel. The hymn follows what is called the “O Antiphons” which find their source mostly from the prophet Isaiah. We will discuss this in more detail in catechesis, but what’s fascinating about the hymn and these antiphons is that they proclaim both advents, or arrivals. As we heard in our readings from Lessons and Carols, there was a sense of Christ’s coming in Bethlehem (what we will see from our children), but also the final day of His coming, and all that He will bring. It is in this spirit that we declare, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” come, our God with us and our God for us.

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

    Judgement That Leads to Joy by Fr. Joe

    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." On the third Sunday of Advent, we light the rose candle and name this day Gaudete Sunday which means "rejoice." It is a break within the penitential practice of Advent. However, in all that is going on around us and within us, what can we rejoice about? In the sermon, we recognized the difference between joy and happiness and the great surprise that repentance and judgment might just bring us cause for joy. Curious? Check it out.

    Read more
    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.

    Giving Thanks

    Thank you to all those involved in our Advent Lessons and Carols service. Thank you to Daniel, Karen, and to all our readers of Holy Scripture. You made night magical. I also want to thank Maggie and our children for their wonderful work in preparing for this week’s Christmas Pageant. It can be quite daunting for a child to speak and act in front of people. Let us celebrate and thank them this Sunday! Finally, thank you to all our children who have provided wonderful cover art to our order of worship. You are truly gifted.

    Mark Your Calendars

    Please mark two dates in your calendar for January.

    First, we will celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany on Thursday, January 6th with Holy Communion and a meal together. If you are interested in assisting with this special feast day, please see me. More details are to come, but hopefully you can keep this date open.

    Second, as we move forward together in ministry, it is helpful for God’s people to gather around a common vision together to remind ourselves of who we are, where we are going, and how we are going to get there. To that end, we will have a vision charette on January 23rd after church with lunch provided. This vision charette includes all ages to participate where we are invited to dream where the Lord might lead us as a church. Our discussions will orient around our identity and values, but even more importantly we will discuss where are we going with a sense of clarity and vision for the future. Again, more information will be given but I would ask you to keep your calendar open for this day. The more people the better for such an event.

    Advent Sunday Catechesis

    In light of holiday travels and availabilities, we will NOT have catechesis on Sunday, December 26th .

    However, we will have an intergenerational and interactive Sunday Catechesis on January 2nd. All ages are invited to come together where child and adult will share with each other their Advent and Christmas experiences. But also, we will focus on interacting with the 12 days of Christmas with the various feasts the Church recognizes throughout the Christmas season. This will not be a sitting down and listening exercise, but there will be movement and interaction with one another. There may even be gifts to be given. Don’t worry, no calling birds or geese will be let loose.

    Also, our catechesis community group will be moved to Sunday morning catechesis and the two shall come together. I recognize that many of us travel significant distances and keeping things to Sunday can be more beneficial to everyone. In the season of Epiphany, beginning January 9th, our catechesis will focus on the creeds. We will explore not only what the historic Church believes, but why it matters for the Church to profess these things.

    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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