Weekly Dispatch, December 28th, 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
  • The Feast of the Epiphany – Thursday, January 6th, at 5:30pm at Church
  • Vision Charette – Sunday, January 23rd, after church (lunch provided)

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

Again, I wish you all a Merry Christmas! We continue to celebrate these 12 days of Christmas, and I encourage you to find ways to feast with friends and family as much as you are able. However, I would like to recognize that this Christmas season feels like we can do anything but celebrate. Many of you are in my prayers because you or friends or family members are sick. How do I keep the feast when so much around me and within me is more than I can bear? While I am not one to give easy answers, and I hope this is not heard with such ears, but it is to say we have far grander promises from God that have taken flesh and blood in our Savior Jesus Christ.

As I type this on December 28th, it is fitting to talk about such things on an unsettling feast day within Christmas: the feast day of the Holy Innocents. It is the day we recognize the genocide committed by Herod against all two-year-old boys surrounding Bethlehem. It was a horrific action made by an evil tyrant seeking to destroy the Christ child and who did not care whose blood was shed to find him.

The readings appointed include the prophet Jeremiah who regards the tears of Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted because they are no more. This would be later fulfilled and revealed to be this event of Holy Innocents in Matthew’s account. Sometimes pain runs too deep to even hear words of comfort, even if these comfortable words weigh more for your sake than you realize. Sometimes silence is needed in our pain and loss. However, God cannot remain silent to our pain and loss. He does not minimize it, nor does He lack sympathy, but He enters into it. Christ bore the sins of the whole world, including the sins of wretched King Herod. He bears them in His Body upon the tree. Justice and mercy kissed at Calvary and when He ascended into glory He received and held onto these 2-year-old boys. They were not forgotten.

The tears of Rachel were not forgotten either. The NT lesson appointed is from Revelation where God physically wipes her tears and your tears from all eyes and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. God is never removed from your pain, but He is our forever Emmanuel; our God with us. He turns our mourning into laughter and our sorrow into gladness, even when things look and feel bleak. I pray such a grace would visit you where you are, and the glad tidings of the angels would still rest upon your hearts and households. Grace and Peace upon you all!

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

    Living in the Light Which Has Come by Fr. Joe

    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." This past week was filled with Christmas celebrations with Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and celebrating two feast days in one on Sunday. Last Sunday we recognized St. Stephen and St. John. We are obviously more partial to one and so our focus was on John’s first epistle. There are three words drawn from the text that are very fitting to the incarnation and our life together on the ground. We are also named after such a beloved apostle and evangelist. I pray we would reflect our namesake in all our ministries.

    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

    Good Christian Friends Rejoice

    In the Bleak Midwinter

    What Child is This?

    Go, Tell it on the Mountain

    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.

    Intergenerational Catechesis

    This coming Sunday we are going to have a very special catechesis hour. Adults and children will come together and engage with the 12 days of Christmas and the Holy Days of Christmas in a unique way. It will be highly interactive and there will be gifts! See you at 9am.

    Feast of the Epiphany

    On Thursday, January 6th we will celebrate the high feast of the Epiphany. This is the day where we recognize the visitation of the Wise Men to see the Christ Child. We will feast together over dinner at 5:30pm with a simple and rich service of Holy Communion to follow. In order to determine how much food to bring, please RSVP by e-mailing Fr. Joe. We are still in need of people willing to assist with bringing food. The church can provide the funds, we simply need those willing to make the food. If you are willing, please contact Fr. Joe and he will give more instructions.

    Catechesis in Epiphany

    We are close to entering a new season in the life of the Church, the season of Epiphany. In this season, our catechesis focus on Sunday will be upon the historic creeds of the Church. What do we mean in what we profess and why does it matter? Beginning on January 9th, come and see.

    We are also beginning a new catechesis curriculum with our children called Gospel Play. It is highly interactive, engaging the Scriptures through playful experience within the Church calendar. We will begin on January 9th focusing on the parables of Jesus throughout the season of Epiphany. We are in need of adults willing to help with this ministry. If interested, please see Maggie.

    Interested in Becoming a Member of St. John’s?

    Fr. Joe would love to take you out for coffee discussing your interest in becoming a member at St. John’s Anglican Church. Membership is wonderful step forward in affirming your sense of calling to the local and even wider church. If you have any interest in becoming a member or seeking discernment of membership, please reach out to Fr. Joe.

    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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