Weekly Dispatch, November 30th, 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, December 1st, at 7:00pm at the Bittaker's
  • Ladies Gift Exchange – Saturday, December 3rd, at 3pm at Maggie’s house
  • Vestry – Thursday, December 8th, at 6pm at Church
  • Caroling in the Neighborhood – Saturday, December 10th, at 6:00om at Church
  • Advent Lessons and Carols – Friday, December 16th, 7:00pm at Church
  • Music Recital – Sunday, December 18th, 4:00pm at Church
  • Christmas Eve Service – Saturday, December 24th, 6:00pm at Church
  • Christmas Day Breakfast and Service – Sunday, December 25th, Breakfast at 9:00am/Service at 10:30am at Church

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

Perhaps you are wondering, what are some practices to keep a holy Advent? So glad you asked! Just remember, there’s no wrong way to practice Advent except not to embrace it, especially in the context of worship. To give us a good perspective of Advent alongside these practices, there are four words to consider that reflect the season but also springs forth from the Sunday Lectionary readings in the coming weeks.

We heard the first one last Sunday, which was to watch. Secondly, and this will be evident this Sunday, is to prepare. The third Sunday of Advent, which is always reflective of the joy of the LORD, and a key word alongside joy is to wait upon the LORD. Finally, on the last Sunday of Advent we will hear of the Annunciation from the angel to Mary and the key word is to proclaim the Messiah. Watch. Prepare. Wait. Proclaim. How do we practice these things in Advent?

One practice that fits all four actions of Advent is to pray, particularly Evening Prayer or Compline. These prayers invoke a sense of keeping watch for our Lord Jesus Christ who taught us that He will return like a thief in the night. He also taught us to keep our lamps burning, staying awake for the coming Bridegroom lest He find you asleep. As a church, we will keep watch every Wednesday, so please join us!

You will notice in worship that Advent interacts with themes of light and darkness. One very simple practice is keeping an Advent wreath with five candles prepared at home. Each week increases the light until the 5th candle or the Christ candle at Christmas is finally lit for He has finally arrived. The greens circling around the light represents the new creation to come in the new heaven and new earth. It is circular because it is the restored “world without end” we are watching for.

Another practice to consider is recognizing St. Nicholas whose feast day is Dec. 6th. One fun practice is to place gold chocolate coins in shoes to remember his ministry of charity and love for children. You just might hear more about him this Sunday!

If you are hungry for some solid Advent teaching to deepen your engagement, check out some of the best writings on the season entitled “Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ” by Fleming Rutledge. Highly recommend it. If you are seeking to focus on reading specific portions of Scripture, I recommend choosing one of the prophets. You can even start reading Habakkuk with us at catechesis!

Also, I crafted an Advent Devotional which includes singing portions of the O Antiphons (O Come, O Come Emmanuel). Our youth are focusing on these antiphons for their Advent catechesis too. Finally, consider ways to give unexpectedly to your neighbors, even in small ways. Look for needs around you, meet them, and find opportunities to proclaim Christ in all things.

My hope is that these options might even open your imagination to other practices that draw you to watch, prepare, wait, and proclaim. Surely the Lord is coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Blessings,
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 Advent Call to Watch by Fr. Joe

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    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." There are a variety of actions tied to the season of Advent, and one of them is the call to watch. What does it mean to be watchful in accordance with the Scriptures and what might it mean for our neighbors? Also, what or who are we watching for and what difference does that make?

    Read more
    Eagle-and-Child
    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!
    CanaVox-Logo-tinified
    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.

    Advent Sunday Catechesis (Adult, Youth, and Children)

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

    The youth are prayerfully engaging 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 are approaching Advent through Gospel Play. They 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)


    Caroling in the Neighborhood

    One of the first of what we hope to be many opportunities to engage our neighbors around us is singing carols and inviting people to Lessons/Carols and our Christmas offerings including Christmas breakfast. We will gather at the church at 6pm, prepare ourselves, and head out! Wear something warm and bring your singing voices. Please contact Daniel McWilliams to let us know you plan on coming!

    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.

    Advent Lessons and Carols

    Mark your calendars, Friday Dec. 16th at 7pm, and bring everyone you know to this wonderful and unique service. We will hear Lessons of Holy Scripture preparing us for the coming Messiah coupled with Carols to sing with expectation and hope. We will have special music from various parishioners along with pieces from our Choristers. Afterwards we will enjoy some Christmas cookies. If you would like to bring cookies, please contact Elizabeth Beer.

    Music in the Community!

    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

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