Weekly Dispatch, September 14th, 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
  • Eagle and Child – Thursday, September 15th at 7:00pm at the Bittaker's
  • Parents Night Out – Friday, September 16th, 6:00pm-9:00pm at Church
  • Choristers/Bible Study/Evening Prayer – Wednesday, September 21st, 6:30pm at Church
  • Pumpkin Patch Outing – Sunday, September 25th at Kingsway Pumpkin Farm (weather permitting)

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

In the life of the Church, this week is traditionally called Autumn Ember Days. They fall on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after September 14th. The 14th is also a feast day, Holy Cross Day. What are Ember Days? How are they connected to Holy Cross Day? And why does it matter for us?

Ember Days are focused prayers and fasting for the ministry of the Church, particularly prayers for those ordained and those discerning holy orders. How very fitting to reflect on Labor Day from last week, and now focus our prayers upon those in specific vocations in ordained ministry. In many dioceses, Ember Days are set aside for those seeking ordination to write to their bishop asking for spiritual guidance and prayer.

The word ember originates from the Latin quatuor tempora, which literally means “four times.” Hence, Ember Days are recognized four times throughout the Church calendar. Originally, these were days connected to agricultural life, giving thanks to God for nature, to exhort people to live modestly, and to assist the poor. In the late-400s Ember Days were connected to the ordination of clergy. As time passed, we see developments of Ember Days becoming more closely associated with ordained ministry, and the formation of Rogation Days now tied to prayers and fasting for agricultural life.

Holy Cross Day falls on Sept. 14th because it marks the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 335, built on the site where the Cross of Christ was traditionally discovered in 326 by St. Helena, mother of Constantine. While we recognize the historical significance of the physical cross of Christ, we do not gaze upon such relics for it is “a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God (Articles of Religion, Article XXII). Despite the practical messiness of relics, we still recognize Holy Cross Day and especially in the context of the Ember Days.

It reminds the clergy, and those discerning such a calling, that our primary message we proclaim is Christ and him crucified. This was St. Paul’s ministry to the Corinthians, and the message by which he proclaimed everything else in his apostolic ministry. In other words, we see all things through the crucified Messiah. The cross is the lens by which we see all things because it is the very power and wisdom of the God. As clergy, we seek to communicate Christ crucified in Word and Sacrament for all people, for Christ came into this world to save sinners.

This is our mission at St. John’s, and it means everything for us. We have a handful of clergy in our church, and there are more seeking discernment. We need your prayers. I need your prayers.

This week I am asking that you intentionally pray and fast on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday for the clergy and those discerning. How much you pray and fast is entirely up to you but know that it is needed, and we are grateful for it.

Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the world, the flesh, and the devil. They abhor the message of the cross and seek to crush those who proclaim it. They hate the cross because it was the very event that overcame them. Pray against these defeated powers for the sake of the clergy and all other ministers who lift high the cross. Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower each of us to carry and proclaim the cross wherever we go. Pray for the whole Church to be steadfast in her mission and proclamation. Let us pray together, and to help guide us in such prayers, here is a prayer for Ember Days to pray throughout the week:

Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, in your divine providence you have appointed various orders in your Church: Give your grace, we humbly pray, to all who are called to any office and ministry for your people; and so fill them with the truth of your doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before you, to the glory of your great Name and for the benefit of your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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 Slider Sermon by Fr. Joe Gasbarre

    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." For those culinary unaware, sliders are small sandwiches where you order at least 3 for a meal. While small, they are packed with flavor and creativity. The appointed texts were simply too good to choose only one, so we chose them all in a slider fashion! However, all of them provided the divine note of our need for a consistent mediator and advocate. Thanks be to God we have one. Come and hear about Him.

    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.

    Fall Cetechesis (Adult, Youth and Children)

    Sunday Catechesis begins a new series for all ages on Sept. 18th. For the adults, we will focus on praying the biblical narrative of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation. It will include sharpening our biblical theology with various texts, and also imagining how the Scriptures can form our prayers with the various collects of the Prayer Book to be our guide.

    For the first time, we will offer Youth Catechesis upstairs at the Vestry table. We will begin on Sept. 18th. More information will be forthcoming, but we wanted to make sure you knew it was coming! All youth, ages 12 and above are welcome to be a part of something new together. We hope this can be a ministry we can grow and develop over time.

    On the same date, our young children will return to their catechetical formation of Gospel Play. This is an interactive approach where we are helping our children catch the Gospel throughout the biblical narrative and experience it through the Church calendar.

    Choristers/Adult Bible Study/Evening Prayer

    We are very excited to announce the beginning of a new ministry with our children along with a new Wednesday night pattern! Our children will begin their own choir aka choristers. Alyssa and Karen will be the leaders of this ministry. The adults will have an informal book study discussing the classic work Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the night will conclude with Evening Prayer together. This new “rule of life” group will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 21st and continue every Wednesday at 6:30pm at the church. If you have any questions, please contact Alyssa or Karen.

    Pumpkin Patch Outing

    Fall is upon us and we want to enjoy every bit of it! Join us after church on Sept. 25th to enjoy God’s creation and fellowship with one another at Kingsway Pumpkin Farm. Admission is $10 per person. If you need financial assistance, please contact Fr. Joe.

    Music in the Community!

    September 25, 3 pm at University of Mount Union’s Presser Recital Hall (in the Giese Center for Performing Arts) Maira is joined by pianist Laura Mason, violinist Bohdan Subchak, and cellist Elaine Anderson for an afternoon of chamber music of Piazzolla, Beethoven, Schubert, and more!

    October 23, 4 pm at St. John’s Anglican in N. Canton
    Our fall Keys to Artistry student recital!

    November 6, 3 pm at University of Mount Union’s Presser Recital Hall (in the Giese Center for Performing Arts)
    Piano Keys: Maira’s Mount Union university students are joined by our advanced Keys to Artistry students for a fall celebration!

    November 13, 4 pm at St. John’s Anglican in N. Canton
    Eric and Claire play an intermediate piano recital. Come hear this talented young sibling duo play music of contemporary composers as well as Haydn, Chopin, and more!

    December 18, 4 pm at St. John’s Anglican in N. Canton
    Our Winter Keys to Artistry student recital! Enjoy holiday favorites and other special music.

    Parents’ Night Out

    Join us for our monthly Parent’s Night Out on Sept. 16th, 6:00pm-9:00pm! There will be pizza, snacks, and drinks along with fun activities for all of the church youths. Please let Maggie Archibald know if you have any questions and how many will be attending so she can plan accordingly.

    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.

    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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