Weekly Dispatch, May 11th, 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 the Semelsberger's
  • 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,

The Easter season is all about newness of life. It is such a glorious and festive time. While cultural celebrations are not part of the Church calendar, they are nonetheless good and wholesome to recognize in our society. There is a common grace to be shared in these days. It also reveals humanity’s inner desire to be liturgical creatures. In light of the most recent celebration of Mother’s Day, alongside the Church’s wider season of newness of life in Easter, it is most fitting to celebrate with the Bittaker family the recent birth of their twin boys. I have asked Shannon to share with us an update on their births and her reflections.

Samuel Ryan Bittaker (Baby A) – Born on May 3rd, 2022 (34 weeks) at 1:44pm, 5lb. 8oz. 18.9inch.

Simon Rae Bittaker (Baby B) – Born on May 3rd, 2022 (34 weeks) at 1:58pm, 5lb. 15oz. 19inch.

“Both babies are doing great! Neither baby needed any breathing support, and they are progressing exactly how they should be. They’re working on learning to eat on their own, and as soon as they accomplish that we can go home! We have seen the LORD’s provision in how so many things worked out through this whole birth process, and we are so thankful for all the family and friends who have been there for us through all of it.”

Friends, let us give thanks to God for the birth of these two boys, for the courage and gift of mothers who endure much to bring forth life, especially for Shannon. Let us continue our prayers for the Bittaker family and support them in what we can do. I know a meal train is currently happening, and I am sure there will be more opportunities to love and care for them.

One way for us to prepare receiving these boys, and the upcoming births of our other mothers in the church, is developing a nursery upstairs. We are asking for donations of baby toys, pack and plays, and furniture such as comfortable couches and chairs. Let me be clear, we need items that are clean and in good use. These are donations, and we are not looking for brand new, but what you would commonly see at a thrift store. If you would like to donate or have any questions, please contact me and I would be happy to assist and receive items for the room. Again, let us celebrate newness of life and the gift of life in our church. Thanks be to God!

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 Good Shepherd and His Sheep by Fr. Joe

    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." We celebrated what’s commonly called “Good Shepherd Sunday.” Jesus said, I am the good shepherd, I know my sheep, they hear my voice and follow me. What do the Scriptures reveal about us, the sheep, but even more importantly, what is revealed about our Good Shepherd? How does He relate to the sheep? How do I know if I really am one of his sheep? So many questions, but much Good News to hear in this week’s sermon.

    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.

    Feast of the Ascension

    Jesus, after His resurrection, was with the disciples for 40 days. He taught them, fellowshipped together, and even appeared to 500 more people. At the end of 40 days, He commissioned His disciples for mission in the world and instructed them to wait and pray for the Holy Spirit to come upon them in power. This feast day is one of the highest in the Church calendar (alongside Christmas and Easter). What makes the Ascension so significant, and why is it worth feasting? Come and see. As with other high feast days, we will provide a full meal with a service of Holy Communion to follow. Join us May 26th with the meal beginning at 6pm, and the service beginning at 7pm. Please RSVP to help us prepare the food. The sign-up sheet will be at the coffee station.

    Let us keep the feast!

    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).


    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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