Weekly Dispatch, November 16th, 2022
facebook twitter instagram 
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
    • **No Choristers/Bible Study/Evening Prayer on November 23rd**
  • Parents Night Out – Friday, November 18th, at 6:00pm-9:00pm at Church
  • Sonnenberg Station Men’s Choral Group – Saturday, November 19th, at 3:00pm at Church
  • Eagle and Child – Thursday, December 1st, at 7:00pm at the Bittaker's

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

This Sunday is commonly called Christ the King Sunday. It marks the end of the Church calendar, which will begin a whole new year with Advent. In times of such social and political distress in our country, Christ the King Sunday is most needed, and what the Church can witness to the world. It is the unashamedly profession that Christ is King over all creation, even with such chaos, deception, and anxiety all around us. What difference does it make to regard Christ as King over all things?

First, what is revealed about Christ in Holy Scripture? There is so much one can say, even St. John recounts how if everything Jesus did was recorded the world itself could not contain the books that would be written, but these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. But the first point to draw from Christ our King and why we need Him as our King is that He comes to us as Savior. Our submission to Him as Lord over all our lives deepens as we continually embrace Him as Savior. The saving power of God in Jesus Christ is His justifying grace in our ungodliness. He doesn’t embrace faithful subjects, but ungodly enemies. He doesn’t look for worthy people to save, but Scripture reveals He came to seek and save the lost.

I can’t wait for all the Advent hymns we will sing. They are some of my favorites. One of my favorites is “Lo He comes with clouds descending.” The verse that grips me most is the line, “Savior, take the power and glory: Claim the kingdom for thine own.” The kind of King we always need is one who lays down His life to meet us in our darkest corners, and as the Psalms proclaim, “He brought me out of the horrible pit, out of the mire and clay; he set my feet upon the rock, and secured my footing.” The hand of our King is not one who takes from us and demands our blood, but His hands are scarred by the life He gave for us and the blood He poured to reconcile us to the Father filling us with the Holy Spirit.

The second draw towards Christ our King is His own Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is often called the reign of God. While a King may be located in a particular place, the idea of a King’s reign is for His rule and will to govern wherever it has invaded. Americans obviously do not like the idea of a Kingdom because we do not wish to be under kings but under the rule of law. As an American I am sympathetic to these convictions. Yet I know the life of the world to come will not be a republic, but a monarchy. However, the good news is that Christ’s Kingdom is not of this world. What makes the Kingdom not of this world, and at the same time desirable for us?

The way Jesus describes the Kingdom is typically opposite of the world. The last shall be first, the first shall be last. Whoever loses his life will find it, whoever finds his life will lose it. It’s like a mustard seed buried in the ground to bring forth large branches for birds of the air to rest. It’s like rejoicing when what is lost is found. It’s where the blind see, the lame walk, and even the dead are raised. It’s always good news to the tired, weak, and sinful yet a stumbling block to the self-righteous religious, the strong, and even the rich.

It is the kind of Kingdom we desire because our current political status has revealed our own hypocrisy, our failures, and lies. We can’t put our trust in our political leaders so who can we trust? How can I embrace a different life than the exhausting one I am living right now? The Kingdom provides such an alternative, and it becomes more desirable the more we become a needy people.

Therefore, when we come to pray for our nation and the various leaders, my one prayer is always repentance. This was the call from Jesus at the beginning of Mark’s Gospel; “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” As we approach Christ the King Sunday, let us be drawn towards the Savior who claims this Kingdom for His own, and let us pray and bear witness to such a Kingdom to come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

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

    The Final Judgment – Surprising Good News by Fr. Joe

    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." We are so close to the end of the Church calendar where the readings have shifted towards an apocalyptic theme leading us towards Advent. All of the readings specifically drew us towards the reality of God’s judgment. What does Jesus tell us about the coming of the final day, and what is the surprising Good News we can hold onto?

    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.

    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.

    Advent Sunday Catechesis (Adult, Youth, and Children)

    This Sunday is our last Sunday in the Fall series on Praying the Biblical Narrative. We will begin a new Advent catechetical series for all ages.

    Adults will begin exploring and unpacking the minor prophet Habakkuk. This short prophetic book will connect us deeper towards Advent enriching our reflection, anticipation, and preparation towards the coming of our Lord.

    The youth will prayerfully engage what are commonly called the O Antiphons of Advent. These titles given to Christ come forth from the prophets too. We hope our youth will more deeply be drawn towards Christ and reflect upon the words of the prophets.

    Our children will approach Advent through Gospel Play. They will interact with various symbols, objects, and encouraged to further participate in the new season.

    Adults: The Prophet Habakkuk (main worship area)
    Youth (ages 11/12-18): The O Antiphons of Advent (Vestry room upstairs)
    Children (ages 4-10/11): Advent Gospel Play (Children’s room upstairs)

    Advent Wednesday Gatherings

    Choristers will continue to meet throughout Advent preparing their offerings for Advent Lessons and Carols. The adult Bible Study begins a new book study on The Lord’s Prayer by NT Wright. This book uniquely engages the Lord’s Prayer within the context of Advent. It is a rich catechetical resource connecting the content of our faith to the dynamic of worship. As always, we will conclude with Evening Prayer together. Evening Prayer is always a blessing to participate, but especially in Advent where we are called to watch and wait for the coming of our Lord who will come again like a thief in the night. All are welcome beginning Nov. 30th at 6:30pm.

    Music in the Community!

    November 19th, 3:00pm at St. John’s Anglican Church in North Canton
    • Sonnenberg Station Men’s Choral Group
    December 18th, 4:00pm at St. John’s Anglican Church in North 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

    Connect with Us on Social Media

    facebook twitter youtube 
    Email Marketing Powered by MailPoet