Weekly Dispatch, March 30th, 2022
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St. John's Weekly Dispatch, v. 2

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
  • Carl Trueman Lecture – Friday, April 1st, 7:00 PM, at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church, Youngstown
  • 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
Dear Friends in Christ,

We are getting closer and closer to the end of our Lenten journey culminating in Holy Week. In next week’s Dispatch, I will give a thorough unpacking of each day in Holy Week and their significance to the faith we claim. But we are not there yet. Like Jesus, we are still setting our gaze towards Jerusalem. When we are so close to the end of Lent, and in light of so much happening around us in the world, the word we perhaps need is, endure.

Oftentimes endurance is communicated to mean we need to tough things out. We put up with the things that come our way. The centrality of our endurance becomes more about us and the strength that we can find within ourselves to pull through. But the biblical picture of endurance is different.

The language given by St. Paul when confronted with spiritual forces beyond our control is to equip ourselves with the armor of God (armor which belongs and is provided by Him), and then he tells us to stand firm. I preached on this subject some weeks ago, and Paul’s words stem from the Exodus event. The people of Israel are trapped between the Red Sea and the blood-thirsty Egyptians. The word of the LORD that came through Moses was to stand firm, for the LORD will fight for you, and you only need to be silent. It wasn’t to take up your battle cry or to drown in the Sea. It was to stand firm.

Endurance through standing firm re-directs our strength and trust from ourselves and towards the one who actually fights for us. This doesn’t mean we are devoid of suffering, far from it. In light of the promises of God through Jesus Christ and His victory, it means we can rejoice in our sufferings. Paul teaches us in Romans that “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” In our suffering, we have the promise that in the middle of it all we have hope for God’s love through the Spirit has been poured into us.

Therefore, we stand firm. We do not stand alone. We stand with the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit alongside fellow brothers and sisters in the Church. If you find yourself worn out and not sure you can endure one more thing this week, look towards Jesus who fought for you and whose grace is still fighting for you. This grace is for you now, and it will be given again to you this Sunday. Hope to see you there.

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

    A Celebration of Grace by Fr. Joe

    E0F84B4C-C4BA-4CC5-A6D1-96F941501BE4
    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." Last Sunday we heard a fairly known parable among many Christians. It is commonly called the Parable of the Prodigal Son. However, a closer delve into the text and see it is really about three characters: a father of reckless grace and two lost sons in need of it. The wondrous surprise from Jesus is that our heavenly Father actually relates to us this way.

    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 Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis to discuss Lewis' layered text pointing us to the great truths which underlie the Christian faith.
    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.

    St. John's Survey

    We will keep the survey up one more week for you to submit your responses. Please keep the Vestry in your prayers for these discussions at our retreat. Thank you!

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PT8TPLM

    Catechesis

    We have started 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 have also entered 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.

    Palm Sunday – Passion Narrative

    Calling all readers and potential readers! One of the unique parts of Palm Sunday include the various voices of the congregation for the passion narrative. If interested, you would simply stand where you are and read your portion of the narrative from your seat. Please e-mail Fr. Joe or contact Maggie to join in!

    Easter Lilies

    One of the ways we can beautify our worship space for Easter is through white Easter lilies! The cost is approximately $8, and if interested, we will provide an order form which will be available for the next two Sundays. Alyssa is the point person where you can submit cash or checks made out to St. John’s Anglican Church with Easter Lilies in the memo. All ordered lilies will be placed around the church, and you can pick up your flowers after service on Easter Sunday or leave them for someone else! If you have any questions, please see Alyssa.

    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: frjoe@stjohnscanton.org

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