| Weekly Dispatch, March 25th, 2022|
A Message from Fr. Joe
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
- Cana Vox – Friday, March 25th, 7:30 PM, at Church
- Eagle and Child – Thursday, April 7th, 7:00 PM, at Maggie Archibald's
- Vestry Retreat – Saturday, April 9th, 10:00 AM at The Archibald's
| We are now in the middle of our penitential season of Lent. As we journey together to the most Holy Week of the year, we prepare ourselves by self-examination with various spiritual disciplines. This is not news to you or me, and I think most of us know what Lent can be for ourselves individually and what we are offering corporately. It is also never too late to start something for Lent, even if we are halfway done in the season.|
| As a church, we are given a wonderful opportunity to self-examine ourselves on a corporate scale. An email was sent, and it was announced last Sunday, that we are sending out a simple one question survey. The question invites a degree of self-examination for St. John’s and your voice on our continued future. In many respects, it is keeping the conversation going from the charette. Your responses will be anonymous, and you can find the link below.|
| The responses will be collected and used for prayer, reflection, and discussion in our upcoming Vestry retreat. As you write and submit your response to the survey, I think it is also important to ask yourself, what is God doing in front of us? I think we can have all sorts of ideas for ministry and what we think is important, but we are to remember that this is Christ’s Church. We are members of His Body and function through His Spirit. Our wills are to be aligned with the will of the Father, and that kind of submission is often costly. It cost the life of the eternal Son upon the cross. Yet we know even through painful experiences, there can be resurrection.|
| Before even approaching these questions, take significant time to pray. Write down your responses to the questions, and before you submit them, pray again. Pray over the words you are writing. Ask the Spirit for wisdom, courage, and insight. I am not suggesting that you need to make sure everything you write is from the LORD. I am suggesting offering your words from a place of prayer and trust in the work of the LORD, and His calling of you to this place.|
| God is doing wondrous things in the life of St. John’s. He is healing and purifying our hearts through the sanctifying grace of His Spirit. He is drawing other people into our community to join us in worship, fellowship, catechesis, and mission. He is giving us fresh vision towards our future together, and we need not fear but keep our focus upon Christ and His Gospel. If the Gospel is the power to save, it also carries the power to hold us together. Lean into this message and receive His peace.|
| 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 Impulse to Compare by Fr. Joe
| A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." We can’t help but compare ourselves to other people. This can function in a variety of ways, but ultimately it leads to self-righteousness and depression/anxiety. Jesus gives us a word of repentance, but also reveals how His grace breaks into such an impulse. Such a fitting Lenten reflection for us!|
| 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 Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis to discuss Lewis' layered text pointing us to the great truths which underlie the Christian faith.|
| 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.|
St. John's Survey
| We ask all regular worshipers at St. John’s to take this survey to guide our prayers, reflections, and discussions for our Vestry retreat. Thank you!|
| 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.|
| As I wrote in last week’s dispatch, one of the ways to practice Lent is through almsgiving (giving to those in need). One of the ways we can give to our present worldwide situation is to the people of Ukraine. The Anglican Relief and Development Fund works directly with organizations on the ground to help make sure our giving is going to the present need. Check out their website and you will see where you can give. They also describe their various partnerships.|
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.|
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: firstname.lastname@example.org|
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