Weekly Dispatch, January 18th, 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
  • Eagle and Child – Thursday, January 19th, 7:00pm at the Bittaker's
  • Men’s Breakfast – Saturday, January 28th at 8:30am at Kidron Town and Country
  • Sunday Birthday Potluck – Sunday, January 29th, after Church
  • Annual Meeting – Sunday, February 12th, after Church

A Message from Fr. Joe

Dear Friends in Christ,

As I was praying Morning Prayer, I was captured by the opening verses of the appointed Psalm. It reads,

1 As the deer desires the water brooks, *
so longs my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul is athirst for God, even for the living God; *
when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, *
while all day long they say to me, “Where now is your God?”
4 When I think upon these things, I pour out my heart, *
when I remember how I went with the multitude, and brought them into the house of God.

Consider a time when you felt incredibly thirsty. Your mouth was parched. The roof of your mouth was severely dry. It was even difficult to swallow. You couldn’t wait to receive a tall, cold glass of water. Not only did you feel relieved, but there often comes a degree of thanksgiving and gratitude.

The psalmist compares such thirst to the soul and its relationship to the living God. While we do not use God as some kind of consumption, like a product, but there is a longing in our hearts to receive Him. It is the same longing we heard last Sunday in our Gospel lesson. Jesus asked the disciples, “what are you seeking?” They responded, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” They desired to be wherever Jesus was staying.
I recall a former parishioner who was away for the holidays attending their parent’s church. In all the services he attended they did not serve Holy Communion. He relayed to me how there was a hunger and thirst within Him for the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. All to say he felt relieved when he came back to his home church where the gifts of God would still be for the people of God.

Also, notice in the contrast in the psalm. His soul is thirsty for the living God, and yet his tears have been his food night and day. How often do we find ourselves with the alternate food of our own pain. We want a different situation where true waters are given, and yet it is still only tears. Even the accusations rise up questioning, “where now is your God?” Yet the psalmist directs us to His exact location, the house of God.
As we gather together in worship, we come before the living God who remembers our tears, and He promises that they will be wiped by His hands. While we wait for that day, we are given nourishment in Word and Sacrament every week. Many of you were sick or traveling and couldn’t come Sunday, and we certainly prayed for you! I am glad most are on the mend. I also hope that maybe the LORD was and is still deepening a thirst in you for Himself.

Church can be very commonplace where it is the thing to do on Sunday. Yet it is where the living God is present and always seeks to flood you with His very presence. I hope to see you Sunday and stay thirsty my friends.

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 taking a pause on Men’s Morning Prayer on Tuesdays. However, we will offer Midday Prayer on Tuesdays, 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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