Weekly Dispatch, December 21st, 2022
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St. John's Weekly Dispatch, v. 2

St. John's Schedule

  • Catechesis Hour – Sundays at 9:00am before Church
    • **No Catechesis on Dec. 25th**
  • 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/Evening Prayer on Dec. 28th but will resume next week**
  • 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
  • Feast of the Epiphany (Dinner and Eucharist) – Friday, January 6th, 6:00pm at Church
  • Eagle and Child – Thursday, January 5th, 7:00pm at TBD

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

This weekend is finally Christmas!

For many of us, Christmas is a time we simply want to get through. Perhaps our holiday traditions leave us feeling with sadness rather than joy. In the wider culture, Christmas started right after Thanksgiving, and we can’t wait for the day to pass when it is finally over.

But what if I told you the heart of Christmas is about a God who entered the fullness of your heartache, both your joys and your sorrows? The season of Christmas is to celebrate and recall the wondrous mystery that the eternal Son took upon flesh and entered into our world.

I love how one carol describes the incarnation; “lo he abhors not the virgin’s womb.” In other words, despite the disordered devices and desires of our own hearts, Christ dares to enter in. He enters in the muck and the mire of our lives, and He does not abhor it, but embraces it for through such an embrace and union He seeks our healing. This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

These are tidings of comfort and joy. Even when sadness hits our hearts in the holidays, remember that Jesus has assumed your sadness too, and He is with you. He seeks to lead you to His manger reminding you that your humanity is not forgotten, but surprisingly embraced by the divine. And it is embraced not because of how awesome you are, but because you are beloved by your Creator, pursued by your Redeemer, and sustained by your Advocate and Guide.

I pray these words will land upon your hearts and join with me in all our Christmas celebrations; for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. Merry Christmas (in four days!).

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 Annunciation – A Children’s Homily by Dcn. Chad

    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." We were blessed by our children who presented and acted out the Christmas Story with all the various characters (who knew there was a snow owl present!). Our Deacon Chad invited the children to wonder about the announcement of the angel to Mary about the birth of the Messiah and that He would come through her in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is not only Good News for children to hear, but for all people, even you.

    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.

    The Feast of the Epiphany

    The Magi will finally arrive to see the Christ Child and the Holy Family on Jan. 6th! Will you join them in celebration that Christ the Light has drawn the nations, including you, to Himself? We will have a potluck soup meal at 6pm, and we are inviting folks to please bring a soup, bread, and/or dessert. There will be a sign-up sheet through email and at church. Please see Elizabeth Beer if you have any questions. The service will begin at 7pm with the procession of the Wise Men and will include singing from our Choristers. We hope you can come and keep the feast with us!

    Christmas Catechesis

    We will resume catechesis on Jan. 1st with the adults and youth coming together to discuss and reflect on the various feasts of Christmas looking at their biblical foundations. Our children will have their own Gospel Play exploring the drama of the Nativity and events surrounding it. Join us at 9am with the coffee on!

    Free Christmas Breakfast and Worship Service

    We are excited to extend invitations to our neighbors to come and enjoy a free breakfast at 9am with a simple Christmas Day service at 10:30am. All are welcome to enjoy and keep the feast together. On this joyful day, you can even come to church with your Christmas pajamas! If you are available to assist with this event whether setting up, cleaning, or cooking, please contact Megan Tennant.

    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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