Weekly Dispatch, August 24th, 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
  • Vestry – Thursday, August 18th, at 6:00pm at the Church
  • Evening Prayer and Bible Study – Wednesday, August 24th at 6:30pm, the Beer's
  • Eagle and Child – Thursday, August 25th at 7:00pm at the Semelsberger's
  • Gospel Play and Policy Training – Sunday, August 28th, After Church

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

This morning some of the men of the church gathered for a time of Morning Prayer. It is such a gift to pray with one another in a public setting. One of the passages read from the Daily Office Lectionary, and what I seek to share with you, are the words from St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians. He wrote, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

These words may sound familiar to you. They are part of the closing blessing at the end of our Sunday worship. We see that the peace of God is tied to releasing our anxieties to Him in prayer. I don’t know if you can relate, but when someone tells me to not be anxious, my anxiety rises a bit. I am reminded of Jesus’ words, do not worry about anything, such as food and clothing but today carries its own worries.
Despite the exhortation to not be anxious or to not worry, what actually gives my heart calmness is knowing the one speaking these words to me. The same apostle who tells me to not be anxious, is the one who also tells me of the peace of God, which is beyond all understanding, even beyond my own anxiety, and such peace will be my guard. The same Messiah who tells me not to worry is the one who invites all who are weary and heavy laden to come to him, for he will give rest. The exhortation can be more of a relief knowing the voice who speaks these words to us.

What is the means by which we might relieve our anxiety to the peace of God? Paul tells us in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to God. We are to entrust our anxieties in prayer, and here we will encounter the peace of God to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. What’s most interesting, and surprisingly good news is that when we let our requests be made known to God, we are not promised those requests will be answered the way we expect. Instead, the promise is the peace of God. It is the shalom or wholeness or restorative grace that meets us in our prayers. This is what God will give you. It may not be what you want in your immediate prayers, yet you will soon realize it is exactly what you needed. Where do we see such peace?

It is the same peace breathed over creation in Genesis. It is the same peace realized in the blood of Jesus who reconciles us to the Father. And it is the same peace we exchange with one another. While it is a peace revealed in Scripture, in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ, and experienced with one another in worship, there is a depth of such peace which surpasses our understanding. There is something mystical and “other” about such peace, and yet it invades our hearts and minds. While this peace can be known to us and experienced, Paul reveals that it is far richer or above what we can conceive. It invades our anxiety and produces hope for today. In the words of St. Paul to the church in Rome, and one of the closing sentences to Morning Prayer, “May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. (Romans 15:1-3)

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

    Our Tension With God's Judgement by Dr. Beer

    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." Our own Dr. David Beer preached on the Christian’s tension interacting with the reality of God’s judgment revealed in Scripture. How do we grapple with these tensions? The good doctor invites us to enter in.

    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 Health Assessment

    Thank you to everyone who participated in the parish health assessment. Again, we hope these results can keep the conversation moving forward in our ministry efforts. According to the numbers of those participants, it looks like we need more people to take the assessment to provide an honest account for ourselves. Please take the time to prayerfully fill this out. Thank you again for your love of St. John’s and caring for her welfare.

    Take the assessment here.

    Gospel Play and Policy Training

    If you would like to serve in our children’s ministry in any capacity, please attend this training day on Gospel Play (children’s catechesis) and our policy regarding sexual misconduct prevention. This will be immediately following church on Sunday, August 28th, and we are planning to provide lunch. Also, we will provide childcare to give us focused time together. Please let Fr. Joe or Maggie know that you plan to attend.

    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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