Weekly Dispatch, July 27th, 2022
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St. John's Weekly Dispatch, v. 2

St. John's Schedule

  • Catechesis Hour – Sundays at 9:00am before Church
  • Holy Eucharist – Sundays at 10:30am at Church and via Facebook
  • Men’s Morning Prayer – Tuesdays at Variety’s at 7:30am
  • Bishop Visit/Confirmations/Baptisms – Sunday, July 31st, at 10:30am
  • Eagle and Child – Thursday, August 4th at 7:00pm at TBD
  • Holy Eucharist and Parish Celebration – Sunday, August 7th, at 10:30am at the Archibald/Weaver Farm
  • Vestry – Thursday, August 18th, at 6:00pm at the Church
  • Evening Prayer and Bible Study – Wednesday, August 24th at 6:30pm, TBD
  • Gospel Play and Policy Training – Sunday, August 28th, After Church

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

As many of you know, this Sunday we will have the honor of welcoming Bishop Mark for his visit at St. John’s. In this unique service, we will have two confirmations of adults (Ryan and Colleen Sprunger) affirming their calling in the church. We will also have two infant baptisms (Samuel and Simon Bittaker). Ordinary Time is such a rich season of being a part of the extraordinary growth and movement of the Holy Spirit among God’s people.

In this dispatch, I want to simply highlight the significance of a bishop’s visit for the life of the local church. The bishop is the chief shepherd over multiple churches, and especially clergy in a diocese. A diocese is the organizational structure of multiple churches and clergy, typically collected within various geographical jurisdictions. While rectors are instituted as chief overseers of the local congregation, it is a ministry shared with the bishop.

Anglican governance, at its best, is designed towards representation and accountability. In one sense, I am accountable to the Vestry who represents the congregation. I am also accountable to the bishop, who represents the Anglican Church of North America. And the bishop is accountable to both the Archbishop of the ACNA and the college of the bishops. All that to say, we are all governed by both representation and accountability to the spiritual authority given by God under the apostolic faith the Church is called to pass down. In this sense, Anglicans affirms apostolic succession meaning ordained clergy trace their calling to the apostles whom Christ breathed upon, giving the Holy Spirit for their ministry, and the apostolic teaching they are to deliver or pass on to others.

One of the unique callings of a bishop is for confirmations and ordinations. In the book of Acts, we witness the apostles laying their hands upon people to receive a renewed sense of the Holy Spirit already given at baptism. The renewal of the Holy Spirit was always tied to the continued mission and life of the Church. The same Spirit to come upon those seeking to confirm their call to Christ and His Church, is prayed to come down upon those seeking ordination. We believe the Holy Spirit, through the laying on of hands in the apostolic ministry, comes down upon people to draw them further up and further in the life of the Church. The Holy Spirit never takes us away from the Church, but always draws us towards the Church. It is the role of the bishop to guard the faith of the Church so that more would come into the faith once delivered to the saints.

In summary, I hope we might catch two big ideas for the importance of bishops in the life of local church. First, we need spiritual authority that represents the faith once delivered and is accountable in all things to the faith. Representation and accountability can provide helpful stability and direction for the continued ministry of the local church. Second, in their representation and accountability, bishops are used by the Holy Spirit in the growth of God’s people connecting them to the historic Church. The same Holy Spirit breathed upon the disciples is at work among His apostolic leaders. This does not mean the Holy Spirit can be manipulated or controlled by our own systems, but for those who submit to the higher authority of Christ will see the work of the Holy Spirit on the ground. Paul said it best in his words to the Thessalonians.

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 1:4-6).

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 Life of Prayer by Fr. Joe

    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." The disciples asked Jesus, Lord, teach us how to pray. This is where we receive the Lord’s Prayer. What does the Lord’s Prayer reveal about God and even about us? Jesus also reveals the nature of prayer, and how it is much more of a gift than we realize. Come and hear how the Lord might expand your prayers.

    Read more
    Join us every first and third (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. We are reading Confessions by St. Augustine. This is a classic work of Christian spirituality and will make for great fellowship and discussion together!
    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.

    Parish Celebration

    So many wonderful things have happened and is happening around St. John’s, and we want to celebrate it all! The birth of children, baptisms, upcoming confirmations, transitions in ministry, and a sense of hope for what’s to come. Alongside the Hollons farewell, we want to celebrate all that God is doing in our midst and we want everyone to be a part of it (and then some more!). As you know, August 7th will be this celebration at the Archibald/Weaver Farm at 10:30am. This will include our worship service and picnic to follow where everything is provided. If you would like to contribute in any way, you can bring a pie for our pie judging contest. The Archibald’s have also graciously opened their property the evening prior for those who would like to camp out and spend the night (tents not provided).

    Here is a link detailing all the activities for the weekend. Please click to make your various reservations so that we can plan accordingly.

    Parish Health Assessment Reminder

    As you might already know, we sent out a parish health assessment at the request of the diocese. This is to help the diocese observe the health of the congregations and will certainly continue to guide our mission together. If you did not submit your responses, here is the link again. Please be sure to take the time to fill it out. Thank you very much.

    Bishop's Visit

    Mark your calendars for the Bishop’s Visit on July 31st. He will be a part of our catechesis conversation, celebrate, and preach. There will also be confirmations and baptisms. Let us rejoice in the work of God in the life of the church!

    Men’s Morning Prayer

    Every Tuesday morning, 7:30am at Variety’s, the men are invited to pray Morning Prayer together. The prayers typically last for about 30 minutes, but guys are certainly encouraged to stick around for fellowship, coffee, and even some bacon.

    Summer Catechesis

    We are starting a whole new summer catechetical focus for adults and children. Adults will prayerfully and thoughtfully engage the Canticles of the Prayer Book. Each week we will study specific canticles in their place for prayer and their context in Holy Scripture. We also hope to learn how to sing some of them.

    Our children will hit the pause button on Gospel Play and begin a new summer curriculum called Storymakers. Each child will have their own booklet of activities and engagement with a biblical narrative. This summer we will focus on the Exodus. If you miss a week, you can totally bring your booklet home with you and engage at home or on vacation.

    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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