Weekly Dispatch, March 2nd, 2022
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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
  • Ash Wednesday – Wednesday, March 2nd, 6:30 PM at Church
  • Eagle and Child – Thursday, March 3rd, 7:00 PM, location TBD
  • Cana Vox – Friday, March 4th, 7:30 PM, at Church
  • Vestry Meeting – March 10th, 6:00 PM at church
  • Vestry Retreat – Saturday, April 9th, 10:00 AM at The Archibald's

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

In my teenage years, Lent was always a suspicious season. I remember one Wednesday seeing classmates come to school later in the day with ashes on their foreheads. What was that about? Not only suspicious, but Lent seemed unattractive. Fasting? Spiritual disciplines? Giving away money? Not a very attractive season at all.


But as I grew older, experienced painful situations, was spiritually exhausted from a church culture where I was supposed to be happy all the time, I started to attend a more liturgically based church where Lent surprisingly became liberating for me. There was a whole season where I came face to face with my dust, my limitations, and my ultimate need to be honest about myself. I didn’t have to smile every Sunday, in fact, Lent encouraged me to experience the opposite. I was invited to mourn, to be frustrated, and to admit that my life wasn’t as put together as I had hoped. But even more transformative, Lent took my battered heart on a 40-day journey towards the God whose mercy endures forever in the cross.


40 is a very popular number in the Bible. Nearly everything associated with 40 involves pain, discomfort, and longing. The earth endured a flood where it rained non-stop for 40 days and 40 nights. The people of Israel wandered in the desert and tested by God for 40 years. And of course, Jesus fasted and was tempted in the wilderness for 40 days. It is safe to assume that whatever you practice throughout these 40 days, choose something that will help your heart look honestly in the mirror. This can be difficult, even painful sometimes. Yet according to Jesus if you want to find your life you are to lose it. The way up in God’s Kingdom is always the way down. This is where the grace and goodness of Jesus Christ finds us.


Finally, if you find yourself failing in your fasting, prayers, and giving then you are probably keeping a holy Lent. We do not pursue these things to show God how spiritual we are or those worthy to be named the real, authentic kind of Christians. If Epiphany was meant to reveal Christ for the world, Lent is to reveal our sinful hearts and need for this Christ. Our 40 days of sloppy spiritual disciplines reveals such a need for somebody else’s righteousness, for ours are filthy rags. Thanks be to God we will not be measured and weighed by our Lenten attempts, but brought to the cross of Christ where the sufficiency of His blood receives and covers sinners like you and me.

Blessings,
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

    The Hope of Glory by Dcn. Chad

    2B6D4413-7CC1-4706-A49F-F28F4C6892B3
    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." The General Thanksgiving prayer teaches us to pray for "the hope of glory". But what is this hope of glory supposed to look like in the Christian life? Chad Sanner preached this weekend on how glory gets misunderstood in our world now, and how it is better understood through the lens of the Transfiguration for the world to come.

    Read more
    Eagle-and-Child
    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.
    CanaVox-Logo-tinified
    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.

    Catechesis

    We are starting a new Lenten series which will include Morning Prayer and a brief discussion/teaching on the Ten Commandments. In order to respect our time, we will start promptly at 9am If you have children and are arriving late, please use the black doors located to the right of the red doors. This will open to the stairs for the kids. Then, please enter through the red doors. I highly encourage everyone to attend this unique catechetical experience that connects both process (prayer) and content (teaching) together in our formation.

    Our children will also enter a new catechetical season with Lent in our Gospel Play formation. They will lean more into the season which includes learning about the imposition of ashes, the temptation of Jesus, the Ten Commandments, Jesus’ ministry pointing to the cross, and the reality of sin in our lives.


    How Can I Serve at St. John's?

    There are plenty of ways to serve at St. John’s and we would love for you to join in on what God is doing in the church. Below you can see all the different ways to serve. No special skills required, simply a willingness to learn and grow in service.

    Acolyte Ministry – Carrying the cross, assisting at the table, and learning more about the Anglican Way.
    Altar Guild – Preparing the Lord’s Table for Holy Communion before the service and developing a sense of holiness in worship.
    Readers – Approaching God’s Word with boldness and declaring it to the people.
    Hospitality – Providing food, setting up and cleaning up the area, and making space for all people to feel welcome and belong. We also hold special events throughout the Church calendar preparing feasts together.
    Gospel Play – Experience catechesis with our children with interactive materials enhancing biblical narratives within the liturgical calendar. It is a lot of fun!
    Ushers/Greeters – Welcome people as they come to church, especially newcomers, handing out bulletins, and passing the plates for the offering.
    Music – We would love to expand our music ministry with your various gifts. Do you play an instrument? Are you a gifted singer? Come join the team!

    We hope to develop these ministries with more lay leadership. In the meantime you can contact Fr. Joe, Dcn. Chad, or Maggie if you interested in participating or even taking leadership in these various ministries.

    Ash Wednesday

    March 2nd begins a new season in the life of the Church called Lent. It begins with the Imposition of Ashes commonly called Ash Wednesday. It is a very moving and powerful service reflecting on our own frailty and sinful nature. Please note the time change. The service will begin at 6:30pm.

    I highly encourage you to attend. Hope to see you there!

    Evening Prayer and Bible Study

    Wednesday the 23rd will wrap up our Lectio reflections with the Gospel of Luke. Next Wednesday will be Ash Wednesday, but the following Wednesday we will maintain Evening Prayer and include some Bible Study. Our Lenten focus will be discussing the relationship and connection between the OT and Gospel Lesson in the Sunday Lectionary. All are welcome to attend and hope this can be spiritually formative for you in the season of Lent.

    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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