Weekly Dispatch, October 19th, 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
  • Choristers/Bible Study/Evening Prayer – Wednesdays at 6:30pm at Church
  • Eagle and Child – Thursday, October 20th, at 7:00pm at the Semelsberger's
  • Newcomers and Interested in Membership Lunch – Sunday, October 23rd, at 1:30pm at Fr. Joe’s
  • Trunk or Treat – Sunday, October 30th, at 6:00pm in Church Parking Lot
  • All Saints Feast Day Dinner and Eucharist – Tuesday, November 1st, at 6:00pm at Church

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

Last month’s dispatch, I focused upon membership at St. John’s but also the significance of confirmation. As some of us are in situations of discernment, I thought it would be helpful to continue the conversation of our life together in membership to the local church and what this looks like.

First, membership at St. John’s is rooted in our baptism in the name of the Triune God. Baptism establishes a new identity in relationship to God and with His Church. It signifies in concrete and physical ways that our life is not our own, but of belonging to Christ and His Church. This means membership is not about joining a club, but to be relationally connected to the living God and the Body that is called to be active in the gifts of the Spirit. What does this activity look like?

It is primarily an activity of worship and participation. As we are able, we are come to the LORD’s house to hear His Holy Word and receive His Holy Sacrament. We are invited to see all of time belonging to Him, and therefore we encourage members to participate in the feasts and fasts of the Church. Membership also invites us to pursue catechetical formation. We are always growing in the faith one delivered, and we seek to be equipped more and more to pass it on to our neighbors and all those we come in contact. We are not storing up knowledge for ourselves, but catechesis sends us forth to go and tell so that more would come to the saving grace of our God. Catechesis simply means “Christian instruction”, and we believe the primary and authoritative source of such instruction comes from the Holy Scriptures. Again, as we open ourselves to the Scriptures, we observe a God who seeks and saves the lost, and He sends His people out into the world to proclaim and reveal His truth and grace. This leads to the next aspect of our membership.

In order to move the mission of the Gospel forward, the call of members is to give their talents, time, and treasure. We offer these things not from a place of guilt or shame, but from a place of gratitude for all that God has given us. We give our talents because we believe the Holy Spirit has given each member of His Church gifts to build up the Body of Christ and we need each other. We give our time because we believe all of it belongs to God and we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit to use us as He sees fit for His mission. Finally, we give our treasure because we are realistic of the needs of ministry, and we take Jesus’ words seriously when He says it is better to give than to receive. The last aspect of membership we hold to each other is the area of holiness.

We believe God is sanctifying us or setting us apart as His own people. Again, this goes back to our baptized identity. We do not belong to the world, the flesh, or the devil, despite how much they can overwhelm us, we know they are defeated by Christ crucified. We rely upon the Holy Spirit to continually renounce these false powers, and His grace to turn towards Jesus Christ, trusting in the Holy Scriptures, and walking in His holy ways. We will fail, which is why faithfulness is more about repentance. The deepening of repentance and our need for grace will deepen our obedience and sheer love for God and neighbor. As members, we seek out, understand, and abide by the moral teaching of Scripture. And we look upon the wisdom and tradition of the past to guide us in the complexities of our world.

At the very heart of every aspect of membership at St. John’s is the conviction of calling. We submit ourselves because we believe we are called. The calling of God to a place is not insignificant. It signifies God’s active presence in our lives leading us to go further up and further in towards the upward call in Christ Jesus. Nearly all of us come from different church backgrounds, with various expectations, and therefore particular baggage which shapes even how we perceive membership. My prayer is that when choosing to accept a call towards membership at St. John’s, you would experience potential healing from other churches and the renewal of the Spirit with where He holds you in the here and now. This is not to say St. John’s will be the perfect place where you will never experience pain, disappointment, or heartache. It is to say we are all sinful, wounded human beings in need and we bring all our needs to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

And for those who are already members, I pray these words reaffirm your calling and commitment to St. John’s. I am so grateful for our calling together, and I pray that each of us would step further towards Christ’s mission together and where He is leading us.

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 Commemoration of Martyrs by Fr. Joe

    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." This past Sunday we commemorated Ridley and Latimer, bishops of the English Reformation martyred for their faith under Queen Mary. As Anglicans, their sacrifice was significant to our present identity and ministry. Their blood speaks courage to stand for the faith once delivered, and inspires us to proclaim the Gospel even when faced with persecutions.

    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.


    Following such a great experience from last year, we are continuing what might be a tradition for us! Deck out your trunk, bring some candy to share, and enjoy prayers and fellowship with one another on Oct. 30th at 6pm in the church parking lot. All are welcome to this family-friendly event. There will be prizes for best trunk!

    All Saints Feast

    We are approaching one of the highest feasts of the Church calendar, the Feast of All Saints on Nov. 1st. We will gather for dinner together at 6:00pm where you are invited to bring a side dish and the church will provide the main. Please sign-up with Elizabeth Beer to bring food. Afterwards, we will celebrate the feast with Holy Communion at 7:00pm. Please come for a wondrous day of feasting and worshipping together.

    Interested in membership at St. John’s?

    Perhaps you have worshiped at St. John’s, and even participated in a variety of events or fellowship opportunities, and you are discerning if you are called to membership in the local church. What would that look like? What is the benefit of membership? What can I expect? If you would like to explore membership and other questions you might have, Fr. Joe is hosting a fellowship lunch at his house on October 23rd after church. There is no pressure, but simply an invitation to ask questions, discern the Lord’s calling for yourself, and learning more about St. John’s. Please RSVP by October 20th by emailing Fr. Joe.

    Seeking Confirmation? What’s That About?

    Every year we offer a catechetical instruction for those seeking confirmation. What is confirmation, and who is it for? Confirmation is a practice we draw from the book of Acts. We witness the apostles laying their hands upon baptized Christians praying for the Holy Spirit to empower them within the life of the Church. As more infants were being baptized, this practice became more for older children to publicly profess their faith and reaffirming their baptismal identity within the Church. We continue such a practice for our children, but also for those seeking to further confirm their sense of calling to the local and wider Church. We believe confirmation connects us to the broader church and apostolic faith through the laying on of hands by the bishop, but chiefly we trust the Holy Spirit is renewing His people in their commitment to the Church and her mission. If you would like more information on confirmation and would like to discuss further, please contact Fr. Joe.

    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.

    Youth (ages 11/12-18) are invited to their own catechesis upstairs in the Vestry room. Similar to the adults, they will engage the biblical narrative giving them a framework for reading the Bible. 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.

    Music in the Community!

    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.

    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.

    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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