Weekly Dispatch, March 9th, 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
  • Vestry Meeting – Thursday, March 10th, 6:00 PM at church
  • Cana Vox – Friday, March 18th, 7:30 PM, at Church
  • Eagle and Child – Thursday, March 19th, 7:00 PM, location The Semelsberger's
  • Vestry Retreat – Saturday, April 9th, 10:00 AM at The Archibald's

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

I often find keeping a holy Lent compared to Ohio weather. Much like the warm couple of days we enjoyed, our Lenten disciplines seem to be on track. Praying the daily office, reading a Bible plan, fasting appropriately, and things feel like a surprisingly warm Ohio day in March. And in just 24 hours we have a whole new day. It’s cold, windy, and rain is in the forecast. You were a bit tired to get to Morning Prayer. You thought you did so well with your fast, so you deserved that extra piece of bacon. You missed reading your Bible chapter for the day, but you can read two chapters the next, and suddenly, each day contains 5 more chapters.

As good and righteous your intents may be, what our Lenten journey reveals is the wayward weather of our hearts. This doesn’t mean to throw up your arms and give up on your spiritual disciplines. They are actually doing what they need to do in you. They are peeling back the onion of our hearts. And sometimes it can bring tears. This is where the grace and goodness of Jesus Christ meets us.

Last Sunday we heard of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. As we witnessed and heard, He was the only one who overcame the lies of the devil. I love how Luke ends this narrative. It reads, “And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.” Jesus endured every temptation the devil threw at Him, not only the three we heard. It is to say that whatever temptation you have entertained and given into, Jesus was also there, and He overcame them. In our own wilderness, Christ’s victory meets us in our failures.

As you waver in your disciplines or give into any temptation, and your spirituality looks much like our weather, take heart, and look to the skies to our victorious Lamb. I pray this Lent will guide your fasting, prayers, and giving towards a deepening dependence on our Savior whose favor never falters or wavers for you. Despite what shifts within you, His grace can be your constant.

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 One Who Overcomes by Fr. Joe

    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." We begin a whole new season in the life of the Church. It is the season of Lent. Every first Sunday in Lent, we hear the same significant event of the Temptation of Christ in the wilderness. What surprises us is that He is the one who overcomes all temptations, not for Himself, but for us. Are you overrun with temptations? Hear the grace Jesus has for you.

    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.


    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.

    Evening Prayer and Bible Study

    We continue our Wednesday Evening Prayer at 6:30pm in the church. 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.

    Lenten Almsgiving
    One of the spiritual disciplines we are encouraged to consider is the practice of almsgiving, that is giving to the poor. As the crisis intensifies and Ukrainians fight for their lives, more and more Ukrainians are being displaced and made homeless. Others will be without necessities like water, shelter, and food as basic infrastructure is destroyed. The Anglican Relief and Development Fund (ARDF) has mounted a campaign to raise funds to help. The Anglican Church in North America is currently partnering with those inside Ukraine and those working in bordering countries being overwhelmed with refugees.

    Pew Project Update

    I am excited to announce that we will be receiving pews for our space! They are arriving this Friday, along with other church furniture such as a new pulpit and a baptismal font. All of the furniture was graciously donated from a Presbyterian church that closed in Akron. We are honored to make use of their gifts to continue the ministry of the Gospel. In my conversations with the associate pastor, he expressed to me a glad partnership to see these furnishings move the Gospel forward. Let us give thanks to God for His Church and His provisions towards us.

    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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