Weekly Dispatch, January 11th, 2023
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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
  • Midday Prayer – Tuesdays at 11:00am in Malone University's Cafeteria
  • Choristers/Bible Study/Evening Prayer – Wednesdays at 6:30pm at Church
  • Vestry Meeting – Thursday, January 12th, 6:00pm at the Church
  • Eagle and Child – Thursday, January 19th, 7:00pm at TBD
  • Women’s Gathering – Friday, January 20th, at 6:00pm at the Swank's
  • Men’s Breakfast – Saturday, January 28th, TBD
  • Sunday Birthday Potluck – Sunday, January 29th, after Church
  • Annual Meeting – Sunday, February 12th, after Church

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

What does it look like to embrace the season of Epiphany? Again, Epiphany means revelation where Christ is revealing Himself, what He came to do, and what His Kingdom looks like to all peoples. There is a missional outlook to the season of Epiphany. Christ is being made known to us, but He desires to make Himself known to others through you.

This past Sunday we celebrated a Baptism welcoming a child whose identity was united to the Triune God and whose belonging was founded in His Church. The final prayer over the candidate after he is baptized and sealed with the sign of the cross, reads as follows:

Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon this your servant the forgiveness of sin, received him as your own child by adoption, made him a member of your holy Church, and raised him to the new life of grace. Sustain him, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit, that he may enjoy everlasting salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

While prayed over the newly baptized, this is a prayer for all the baptized to be reminded. We are first reminded of the forgiveness of sins. Paul says these things are of first importance, and we profess in the creed in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. Our forgiveness does not mean a “do-over” to try to get it right the next time. In our baptismal identity, it means a continuous relationship of forgiveness won for us in the cross. We need only know our limitations and admit our constant need for such forgiveness.

As a forgiven people, this makes us adopted children of our Heavenly Father. We are given a new identity in relationship with our God, and our adoption is intimately tied to our membership of His Church. As the prayer reveals, such newness of life is one of grace. What does all of this have to do with Epiphany? When we live into this prayer, we are revealing the Gospel to the people in front of us.

As the baptized people of God raised to newness of life by the Spirit, He has given each of us gifts to reveal Christ to others. In our life together, we encourage one another to pursue such gifts. This doesn’t always look extravagant either. Oftentimes the gifts the Spirit seeks to graft within us happen through our willingness to serve.
In this season of Epiphany, and moving forward in this new year, please consider how the LORD is drawing you to serve. I know the three areas the Church needs the most help would be Gospel Play (catechesis with our children, altar ministry (setting and cleaning the Lord’s Table), and Hospitality (providing snacks for our fellowship and cleaning afterwards). When we submit ourselves to such simple ways of service, we are revealing the humility of our Lord to each other and building up the Church as a healthy place to belong. Consider your baptismal identity and submit yourself to the Spirit in acts of service around you, especially in His House.

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 Baptism of our Lord by Fr. Joe

    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." Every First Sunday of Epiphany we recall the Baptism of our Lord. What is the sacrament of baptism, and how does the Baptism of Jesus speak into the practice all Christians are called to embrace?

    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.

    Wednesday Choristers/Bible Study/Evening Prayer

    Join us every Wednesday where our children are invited to learn to sing unto the LORD and adults gathered to discuss the faith once delivered to the saints. Our focus throughout the season of Epiphany will be on the Apostles’ Creed reflecting on what we believe and why we believe it. Finally, the evening culminates with a time of Evening Prayer together. Everything begins at 6:30pm and hope to see you!

    Annual Meeting (2/12/23)

    Please mark your calendars for our Annual Meeting on Feb. 12th after church. All are welcome to attend, but only members are allowed to vote. We will be presenting some reflections on the past year and what we are anticipating for the new year, our financials from 2022 and expectations for 2023, and finally giving thanks to God for our outgoing Vestry members and voting for two new Vestry members. Nominating forms will be available soon, and if you have any questions on the process, please see Josiah Spencer or Daniel McWilliams.

    Epiphany Catechesis

    For all ages every Sunday at 9am.

    In the season of Epiphany, adults will focus on Christ’s King and Kingdom Fulfilled in the Gospel of Matthew. We will unpack various texts from Matthew whose chief goal is to reveal Jesus as the fulfillment of the biblical narrative.

    Our youth will also focus on the Gospel of Matthew, particularly Jesus’ parables and healings throughout His ministry revealing His Kingdom to us.

    Our children continue with Gospel Play exploring various parables of Jesus all revealing Jesus’ identity, why He came into the world, and what His Kingdom is like.

    Men’s Morning Prayer Update

    We are going to take a pause on Men’s Morning Prayer on Tuesdays. However, we will offer Midday Prayer at 11am at Malone’s Cafeteria. All are welcome to join.

    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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