Weekly Dispatch, May 4th, 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 Facebook
  • Evening Prayer and Bible Study – Wednesdays at 6:30 PM at Church
  • Eagle and Child – Thursday, May 12th at 7:00 PM at TBD
  • Feast of the Ascension (Provided Meal and Holy Eucharist) – Thursday, May 26th at TBD
  • Prayer Book Retreat – Saturday, May 28th from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Loylola Retreat Center (Lunch provided)
  • Bishop's Visitation for Confirmations – Sunday, May 29th at 10:30 AM at Church

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

As we have already experienced this past Sunday (the feast day of St. Philip and St. James), the season of Easter contains many opportunities to feast and celebrate. This Sunday, and every 4th Sunday of Easter, is commonly called “Good Shepherd Sunday.”
The image of the LORD being our shepherd and we the sheep is frequently communicated throughout the Scriptures. As sheep, God’s people need to be watched and tended by their shepherd. The Scriptures are revealing that God’s people are always in need of Him. When sheep do not have a shepherd, they not only wander but are at high risk of death and destruction. The consistent image of a shepherd and sheep reminds us, not only are we a needy people, but that the LORD is always over us. He is our constant shepherd. I love how one hymn puts it (and we will sing it this Sunday), “perverse and foolish oft I strayed, but yet in love he sought me. And on his shoulders gently laid, rejoicing home he brought me.” The LORD takes great delight in being your shepherd.

But the image of our shepherd sharpens in the Gospel of John when Jesus declares, I am the good shepherd. Jesus identifies Himself not only as a type of good shepherd, but the good shepherd communicated throughout the Old Testament. In other words, Jesus is the image of the invisible God. He is the LORD our God for the Father and the Son are one. Since our lives are to conform to the image of Christ, it makes sense for New Testament writers to see clergy as shepherds. But they are very careful in their words because while the weight of the call is heavy, they are not the good shepherd. As your rector and priest, I am not the good shepherd, but my call is to lead you to Him and that the ministry we share reflect His goodness for the people yet to join the fold, and those in need to be carried back in. It is a wondrous dynamic for the church to be the sheep looking to the Good Shepherd, but also how the LORD entrusts leaders who will direct the way.

It is sad to see how many shepherds in the LORD’s sheepfold have compromised their sacred trust with the sheep. I can understand the hesitancy and caution that can arise when a priest walks in the room. All the more reason for each of us to know one another better, being open and transparent, and in the end develop trust. As we worship together, let us be unified in our Song to the Lamb for the Lamb for who was slain is our good shepherd and has brought us together in this place.

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

    Jars of Clay: St.Philip and St.James by Fr.Joe

    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." This past Sunday was the feast day of St. Philip and St. James. We explored how little we know about these apostles, yet what they proclaimed was not themselves but Jesus Christ as Lord. They were jars of clay. And the same call is for us. What does it mean to be jars of clay? Come and see.

    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 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.

    Prayer Book Retreat

    Mark your calendars for a special retreat at Loyola Retreat Center, Saturday, May 28th, 9am-12pm. Lunch will be provided at 12pm. You may also stay longer until 3pm for your own personal prayer and retreat. The retreat will focus on major aspects of the Prayer Book where you will reflect and pray through the sections. All are welcome to attend, especially those to be confirmed and those discerning. Please sign-up either through emailing Fr. Joe or the sign-up sheet in the back by the coffee.

    Bishop Visitation and Confirmation

    Are you sensing a call to be confirmed in the Anglican Church and deepen your sense of calling to St. John’s Anglican Church? If so, there are three things to pursue. First, contact Fr. Joe and he would love to meet with you. Second, start attending our Sunday catechesis on the sacraments at 9am. Third, mark your calendars for the Prayer Book Retreat on May 28th and the Bishop’s visit on May 29th. Among many aspects of the Anglican Way, catechesis on Sundays will also further explore the nature of confirmation and more information will be made available.


    All parties, both adults and children, interested in pursuing baptism please contact Fr. Joe. This would involve intentional pre-baptismal catechesis leading to baptism on the feast of the Holy Trinity (June 12th).

    Vestry Update

    The Vestry will be meeting next week, and we will further discuss the results of the parish survey. There was much to discuss, and we are grateful for all that you sent us. We want to make sure that you know you were heard and that things are being prayed over and processed together. We hope to have a much fuller report in the coming weeks. Please continue to pray for us and the great things God is doing among His people. If you have any further questions, please connect with Fr. Joe or Bob Archibald our Sr. Warden.


    As we begin a new season in the Church calendar, Eastertide, we will begin a new catechetical focus. Our focus will be on the sacraments and the sacramental life within the Church expressed in the Anglican Way. We will resume April 24th at 9am.

    Our children will begin a new focus on the post-resurrection encounters from Jesus, the development of the Church and worship, the sacraments, the ascension of Jesus, and culminating with Pentecost.

    Evening Prayer and Bible Study

    As we enter a new season in the life of the Church, we will begin a new pattern of prayer and focused conversations on the Scriptures. Eastertide is often associated with the book of Acts or what’s called the Acts of the Apostles. Acts is a wondrous text to explore and engage to help inspire us in our called ministry together. Please come with a desire to be shaped, formed, and sent out by the Scriptures.

    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.

    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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