Weekly Dispatch, October 26th, 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
  • 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
  • Eagle and Child – Thursday, November 10th, at 7:00pm at TBD
  • Boquist Baby Shower and Potluck – Sunday, November 13th, after Church

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

When I was a child, and to a certain degree still to this day, I really loved Halloween. I asked my mom why I liked it so much, and she said, I liked to dress up and be anybody I wanted to be once a year. I think all the candy helped too. Where Christmas involved a naughty or nice list, Halloween went against all lists and candy was for anyone willing to knock on a door. What a twist!

But Halloween has been a contested day for many Christians whether to “celebrate” it or not. There are many who embrace Halloween in an unhealthy way where they experiment with the demonic and think it is a celebration of evil. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and any forms of these participations of Halloween we should avoid. However, I want to make a case for some kind of recognition of All Hallows Eve.
One of the most frightening, but in the end, beautiful display of Halloween was Fantasia’s Night on Bald Mountain and Ave Maria. The scene involves a giant mountain coming alive only to be a demon wreaking havoc on a small town. Ghosts would rise from graves and demons would dance. At the very peak of their evil darkness, and when the bulking demon is about to strike his large blow, he is overcome by the simple coming light and bells. The demons skirt back, and the horrors of the night are driven away by the breaking of dawn.

As they fade back into the shadows, the morning cuts to a solemn procession of individual lights walking along a path through a forest and into what looks like the new heavens and new earth. In their procession, the sun is rising more and they are singing Ave Maria. What was the darkest night of the year was overcome by the simple light of the saints and new creation coming into the world.

I find Halloween to be a significant day not because of all the thrills and scares, but because the reality of evil is met with the light of All Saints Day. We cannot dismiss evil nor sweep it under the rug, but we need to see it for where it presently stands; defeated under the cross.

On All Saints Day we will participate in a baptism, and the parents will speak on behalf of their child renouncing the realities of such evil and naming them as the world, the flesh, and the devil. The renouncement of such realities is to declare that while they exist, they hold no power over the baptized chosen people of God. They put up a good show on their mountain, yet they are defeated and hold no power over you.
Considering another significant day, Reformation Day, when Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses on the church doors, I leave you with two significant quotes to take with you when you engage in any Halloween activities this week.

The first one is interestingly the opening quote by C.S. Lewis in the Screwtape Letters; “The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.” Flout him on Halloween and see his defeat among the saints the following day.

Finally, this last one is by the far the best, especially when you feel the world, the flesh, and the devil on your back stronger than usual; “So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: "I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall be also!” Even if you find yourself on Bald Mountain, the God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God is with you and His light will shine on.

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

    Another Feast?! by Fr. Joe

    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." This past Sunday we recognize yet another feast and kept everything red for it. It was the feast of St. James of Jerusalem. Listen in on the significance of St. James with the Jerusalem Council in the Book of Acts, and its implications for us today. Spoiler alert: It is more significant than you think!

    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.

    Baby Boquist Baby Shower and Potluck

    What a gift to celebrate and continue to welcome newness of life in St. John’s! We want to celebrate the gift of life for the Boquist Family having a baby shower and potluck together. After church on November 13th, join us for a time of fellowship and joy. Please bring a side dish to share, and if you would like to extend a gift to the family please connect with Elizabeth Beer for details.

    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!

    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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