Weekly Dispatch, January 13th, 2021
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St. John's Weekly Dispatch, v. 2

St. John's Schedule

  • Evening Prayer - Wednesdays at 6:30 pm via Zoom
  • Mission Council - Thursday, 1/14 at 6:00 pm via Zoom
  • Holy Eucharist - Sundays at 10:30 via Zoom
  • Boquist Baby Shower - via Zoom just after church on 1/17

A Message from Fr. Bryan

Dear Friends in Christ,

What a crazy week it's been in the midst of a crazy year. I hope you are all doing well, despite the chaos in Washington D.C. and in so many other places. Although the last few years have been too busy for me personally, the community of St. John's has turned out to be a tremendous comfort in these turbulent times. I am constantly reminded that, even when things seem to be heading in the wrong direction generally, God is at work building His church right here among us. We should never forget that the world has always been heading in the wrong direction and that God has acted decisively and effectively on our behalf because He loves us. He redeemed the world with the blood of His own Son, Jesus Christ. He poured out His Holy Spirit on His People and He is building His Church by His own providential design. How can we possibly think we are among the defeated ones in this world? Quite the opposite is true. In Romans 8:31, St. Paul asks, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" And then he continues in vs. 35 with these powerful words of encouragement:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Let's make sure we keep to the path that Jesus Christ has laid out before us, and God's promises will be our future. And let's be careful not to confuse our politics with the ultimate things of God. In his Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis offers this very relevant warning. In the following quotation, the demon Screwtape, advises his nephew demon on how to go about winning a person, engaged in partisan politics, for hell.

“Whichever he adopts, your main task will be the same. Let him begin by treating the Patriotism or the Pacifism as a part of his religion. Then let him, under the influence of a partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part. Then quietly and gradually nurse him on to the stage at which Christianity is valued chiefly because of the excellent arguments it can produce in favor of [Patriotism] or of Pacifism…Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing. Provide that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusades matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours.”

Please make note of several opportunities from the C.S. Lewis Institute available to the people of St. John's. First, applications for the C.S. Lewis Institue Fellows Program are now open. I've posted an article with more information and links on our blog, and you can access that blog post below. This is a wonderful opportunity for the people of St. John's, and I hope that many of you will become involved in various ways.

Second, a young man from Youngstown named James Brownlee has asked me to help him facilitate a conversation among men under 40 on what it means to be a "man" in a culture where gender is said to be fluid and some forms of masculinity are considered "toxic." We are hosting a Zoom conversation titled "The Art of Man" next Thursday, January 21st at 8:00 P.M. The title is taken from a very short essay titled "The Necessity of Chivalry" written by C.S. Lewis, and our time together will involve a short presentation and then a discussion of the essay. Please consider joining us for this initial conversation, which may turn into an ongoing gathering. I hope that some or all of our young men will consider participating. You can find a link to register for this free event on the C.S. Lewis Institute Facebook Page. If you don't have Facebook, then contact me, and I'll help you get registered.

Finally, our Sunday eucharistic service will take place on Zoom this week, and you can pick up your consecrated bread on the following days and times this week:
  1. Thursday, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm (I'll be upstairs on a video conference)
  2. Friday, from 10 am to Noon
  3. Saturday, from 10:30 am to Noon
I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Grace & Peace,

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

    Applications Open for the C.S. Lewis Institute Fellows Program

    Applications Open for the C.S. Lewis Institute Fellows Program
    The Application Period is Now Open for the 2021-2022 Year One Fellows Class! Many of you know that I serve as the Director of the C.S. Lewis Institute of Northeast Ohio. You may also know that the heart of our work is a year-long Fellows Program focused on "developing wholehearted disciples of Jesus Christ who will articulate, defend, share, and live …

    Read more

    Our Baptismal Identity by Chad Sanner

    A message from the series "Sermons from Lectionary Texts." Seminarian, Chad Sanner, preached on the identity that Jesus received in his baptism, and how that identity also identifies us as Christians.

    Read more

    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 morning, noon, and evening prayer. The site is hosted by our friend, Fr. Michael Jarrett.

    Contact Us

    If you have questions about the content contained in this email or want to learn more about St. John's Anglican Church or, please let us know. You can fill out a form at this link, and you will receive a response from Fr. Bryan.

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