March Newsletter


A Message From Rev. Dr. Michael Smith

Greetings, Jesus People!

It is great to realize you are a follower of Jesus. I still remember when I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior and was born again. A month or so after that day I was sitting on the back porch of our home, and the realization that I would live with God forever became so real to me. It was one of the most powerful spiritual moments of my life. It struck me again this morning, so I decided to share it with you in this March newsletter. I know you also have had this experience. We are Jesus people who share God’s love one relationship at a time.

My morning devotional shared about a man who had a life-threatening fall from a thirty-eight-foot bridge. “One day, the wife of the man in the next bed spoke to me. ‘My husband told me what happened,’ she said, ‘we believe God spared your life because He wants to use you. We’ve been praying for you.’ I was stunned. I had grown up going to church, but I never imagined that God wanted to be involved in my life. Her words pointed me to a Savior I had heard of but didn’t know—and marked the beginning of my coming to Christ. I cherish the memory of those words from a gentle witness who cared enough to say.”

My pastoral prayer for each of us is to really know how important our personal testimony of coming to Christ can be in the life of another person who has yet to be born again. Let’s pray and ask the Holy Spirit for a fresh revelation of our own salvation and the power to share the greatest news on earth with another person.

Jesus is Enough, 

Pastor Mike

PCUSA Polity

The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church - Book of Order 

Identifies the Foundations of Presbyterian Polity

The Theology of Christian Worship

W-1.0301: The Word Made Flesh

God brings all things into being by the word. Through the incarnation, this same, eternal Word of God became flesh and lived among us, in a particular person in a particular time and place - Jesus of Nazareth. Our use of language, symbols, and cultural forms in Christian worship is founded on the gift of Jesus' incarnation. Through Jesus Christ, God speaks to us in truth and reaches out to us with grace; through Jesus Christ, we may speak truthfully to God and lift up our hearts with gratitude.


Discipleship Activities


Adult Sunday School meets in Fellowship Hall at approximately 10:05 A.M. Take time to greet other worshippers and get refreshments before gathering for class.

Erich Dominik will conclude a two-week study on the history of Lent on March 5. 

The classes on March 12,19 and 26 will be based on the book, “Surrounded by Grace, a Bible Study for Lent” by Bill Thomas. Sam Martin will lead the discussion.


Everyone is encouraged to add something good for Lent by joining the Wednesday Zoom Study, “Giving up Something Bad for Lent” by James W .Moore. The seven-week study will begin on March 1 at 7 pm. Books are available at the church for $8. If you are interested in joining or have any questions, please contact Joyce Greek at [email protected] or Peggy Fix at [email protected].


The Youth Group will be attending the “Love is Red” conference at Faith Family from March 2-4. Michaela Morris, Caleb Van Zant and Kelly and Mike Smith will accompany them.

JUNIOR WARRIORS will be March 26 from 2-3:30 pm in Fellowship Hall.

VBS is scheduled for June 19-23. SAVE THE DATE

YOUNG ADULTS continue to meet MONDAYS AT 6:00 pm in the church library. There is food, fellowship and Bible study. The group is currently watching and discussing a video series on the book of Judges by J. D. Greear. New members are always welcome. For information contact Sue Carey at 330-844-1041 or [email protected]


The “Women’s Blessing Event”, a women’s conference featuring Julie Nelson will be held at JKPC on May 6 from 8:30 am until 2:30 pm. Julie’s talk is entitled, “Daughter of the King: You do You and I do Me”. Complete information about the event will be available by brochure and on the JKPC website soon.

Youth Group

The youth group went bowling this past month for our fellowship activity. We had a blast! The group continued discussing the gospel and learned more about God’s Word. We are looking for service activities for spring. Please reach out to Michaela Morris or Caleb Van Zant if you have any needs!

Our Youth Group continues to have a great time gathering together. They continue to grow in their knowledge of one another as well as in their personal relationship with God.

Please note our new schedule below especially with the corrections in bold:

Week 1 - at JKPC


Week 3 - AT JKPC

Week 4 - No Youth Group

Week 5 - Mission Project

Junior Warriors

The upcoming Jr Warriors/Kids' Outreach Event date is Sunday, March 26 at 2:00pm. Children ages 4 through grade 5 are invited. Help our planning by letting Martha Gerber (330-854-4626 or [email protected]) know who will be attending.

Men's Bible Study

The Men's Bible Study, led by Pastor Mike and Sam Martin, meets every Tuesday at 9am. All men are welcome! Please contact Pastor Mike if you're interested in joining.

Walk Worthy Conference for Men

The Moody Bible Institute is hosting their “Walk Worthy Conference” on Saturday,

March 4. All men are invited to attend this conference at Canton Baptist Temple. The cost is $65 and all interested need to register individually. For more details, go to Contact Paul Gerber at 330-605-2798 for more information.

Women's Bible Study

The Tuesday Women’s Bible Study would like to invite you to join in a new study that started entitled "Don’t Give The Enemy a Seat At Your Table" by Louie Giglio. It is based on the 23rd Psalm. Join us on Tuesday mornings at 9:45 for fellowship, snack , study and prayer.


Easter Flowers

Order forms for Easter lilies are in the bulletin. Please call the church office as soon as possible if you would like to place an order or mail the order form to the church. Note that orders are due no later than Thursday, March 9.

Healing Service

If you're in need of a touch from God, please plan to attend the Healing Service on Thursday, March 16 at 6pm here at John Knox Church.

Remaining Communion Dates 2023

April 6, 2023 (Maundy Thursday)

May 28, 2023 (Pentecost)

Aug 13, 2023 (Summer Communion)

Oct 1, 2023 (World Communion)

Dec 3, 2023 (First Sunday of Advent)

A/V Coordinator & Contemporary Worship Director

I am continually encouraged to see all of the ways our church family has truly become better together after finalizing the merging process in July! Not just in all of the amazing worship services we’ve had, but in all of the other service projects our church does to spread the love of Christ to our community, one relationship at a time. We had a great turnout once again for our Ash Wednesday service, and I’m praying that you will consider attending the other special services we have planned for March, such as our next Healing Service and Maundy Thursday. 

Yours in Christ,

Rob Clifford

A/V Coordinator & Contemporary Worship Director

John Knox Ringers

As we enter the Lenten season, I have chosen a beautiful selection entitled "The Lamb."

It is actually a hymn/choral piece that has been adapted to handbells and through the words, tells the story of the Easter season. Since it may not be familiar to you, we will be projecting these meaningful lyrics onto the screen as we play. Please plan to hear and contemplate the message of this moving piece in person on March 5th at the 9am service!

Congregational Care
Intercessory Prayer Team (IPT)

Prayers are powerful! Do you know God commands us to pray? When we pray for others, we spend quality time with God in communication and fellowship. 1 Samuel 12:23 tells us, "as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you." The Intercessory Prayer Team always has room for more people. If you would like to join us, please contact Kathy Beels or Steve Bertram. You can even call the office to sign up! Heaven is full of answers to unasked prayers!

Prayer Bowl

Prayer is talking with God. We have recently set up a Prayer Bowl in our parlor area for prayer requests. There are prayer cards inside the bowl for you to use. You can make the prayer request personal or completely anonymous. Your requests will be prayed for by our Thursday evening Prayer Group and every prayer will be held in confidence. Praises are welcome also! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Elder Steve Bertram or Pastor Mike Smith.       

Birthdays/Anniversaries Celebration

It's time to celebrate! Our next monthly celebration for all birthdays and anniversaries will be on Sunday, March 5 immediately following the 9am worship service. Please stop by and grab a cupcake and join us as we celebrate!

Thank you again for everyones support of this First Sunday celebration!

Prayer Shawl Ministry

Everyone is welcome to join us March 27 at 6:30pm in the ehurch parlor to knit and crochet prayer shawls and baby blankets.

Ministry and Mission

Community Outreach

We went to both Stark State and Kent Stark campuses in February for our tabletimes with the college students.  

Our Mystery Reader Ministry to the preschool continues to go well with many new people joining in. The children love for us to come read to them or do activities with them. 

Good News Club has started up again for our 7 week winter session. While we lost a few of our fall students to other activities, new ones are coming. Ten new students came the first week! We have made an impact on 32 Lake Cable Elementary students this school year. 

Jr Warrior/Kids' Outreach Events are planned for the 4th Sundays from 2:00-3:30. We welcome four year olds through fifth graders, so if you know someone who would like to come, please invite them. Please also let us know so we are prepared with food and materials. The next event is on the 26th.

We continue to greet, pray, and build relationships with our pantry folks. Beyond giving food, we sometimes can show love to individuals in the community through buying clothes, a gas card, or paying a bill, thereby helping them through a difficult time.  

If you would like to become involved in any of these ministries, please let Martha Gerber (330-854-4626) know.

John Knox Church Food Pantry

Dear Network Partner,

In 2022, we came together to provide 23.3 million meals to families experiencing hunger, despite our community experiencing significant challenges – rising costs, supply-chain issues, and continued affects from the pandemic. Because of this, we simply cannot thank you enough for your dedicated service to our neighbors!

Thanks to the generosity of our community, your Foodbank continued to support hunger-relief partners, like you. In 2022, we accomplished great feats together:

Distributed 29.2 million pounds of food.

Leveraged the Stark County Campus to distribute 7.3 million pounds of food.

Delivered 26,000 food boxes through our home delivery program.

All this work, and more, is made possible through our collaboration with you, our hunger-relief partners.

To further highlight your program’s impact on the community and how our partnership benefits your program, please review your 2022 Network Partner Report below.

Akron Canton Food Bank

JKPC Building and Grounds

A huge thank you to our Building and Grounds Team who have been working very diligently painting hallways and bathrooms, and everything looks great!

Total Living Center

We will be needing volunteers to go to The Total Living Center on March 25th from

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is their monthly give away. We will have a sign up sheet at the Welcome Center. Please sign up as soon as possible. This is a great opportunity to serve our community! Please contact Vicki Vinci 330-268-2210 or Michaela Morris 330-354-6241 for information or questions. 

Samaritan's Purse

God did incredible things through Operation Christmas Child this past year. Over 9.3 million shoebox gifts were collected in the U.S. during National Collection Week—the most ever! Our worldwide total was over 10.5 million boxes, which included the 200 millionth shoebox packed since the project began in 1993. That special gift was lovingly placed in the hands of an 8-year-old orphan girl in Ukraine. This remarkable year wouldn't have been possible without partners like you who packed the shoeboxes. Thank you for your generosity, faithfulness, and especially for your prayers.

"One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare

Your mighty acts."

~ Psalm 145:4


Session Highlights

The John Knox Session met on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, at 6:30pm. Rev. Dr. Michael Smith served as Moderator and opened the meeting with prayer and devotions. All but two elders were present.

Clerk’s Report 

Minutes from the last Stated Session Meeting (January 17, 2023) were approved as printed.

The 2022 Annual Statistics report was approved for submission to Presbytery.

Treasurer’s Report

Financial Reports for January 2023 were accepted as printed.

Pastor’s Report

Pastor Mike and Michaela Morris have joined Caleb and Savannah Van Zant as advisors for the Youth Group.

Jamaica recap – built a house, the clinic saw 540 patients and dispensed 1600 prescriptions, encouragers prayed individually for over 200 people, gave out 30 gospel tracks, and 3 people accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The team also spent time with kids in local schools and participated in youth ministries.

Comfort Room ministers are reading “Forgiveness” and are meeting to get the Divorce Care, Inner Healing, and Dream Interpretation ministries off the ground.

Administration Report

The church bus had its catalytic converter stolen recently. The Admin Team is working on ways to better secure the bus from future vandalism.

Congregational Care Report

Steve Bertram presented thoughts on Elder Fasting and Prayer Objectives. He encouraged all of the elders to participate in some way.

We are looking for a person(s) to lead the Fellowship Team. There is already a team; they just need some leadership. This team plans the social events of our church family. Please contact Steve Bertram or Matt Muhlbach if you are interested.

Discipleship Report

The search for a Family Life Director has been suspended. We continue to listen to God’s leaning on this, but for now we are covering those responsibilities from within.

Vacation Bible School is set for June 19-23, 2023.

Jr. Warriors will now be the 4th Sunday of each month from 2:00pm-3:30pm. Amanda Wirth has agreed to lead the group

Nominating Committee

Two new deacons have been elected to fill the terms left vacant by Pauline and Theresa Parson. They are Joyce Houser and Carl Davidson. The Nominating Committee has begun their search for elders and deacons to be elected at the June Congregational meeting.

Other Business

Session voted to have an Easter Love Offering which will raise funds to help those affected by natural disasters internationally and also to help those in need in our own community and church family. Stay tuned for more details!

The next Stated Session Meeting will be Tuesday, March 21st at 6:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Joyce Greek, Clerk of Session

Financial Corner

Receipts in January: $36,367.27

Expenses in January: $53,990.35

Net income          -$17,623.08

A Word From The Finance Office

We were in the red for the month of January, but we are still in the black for the fiscal year with a net income of $34,602.74. Thank you for your loyal support!

Many things have been happening around the church to make the building look nice and to provide services to those in need. Please continue to pray for God’s blessings and guidance, so that we may bless others and help them to know Christ!


Tina Young, Financial Secretary 

Cheryl Hawkins, Treasurer

Generous Giving Fruits

You JKPC saints are so awesome.

You continue to give of your prayers, volunteer time, and financial support.

“Followers of Jesus sharing God’s love, one relationship at a time.”

Ash Wednesday Service 

More hallways and bathrooms painted at JKPC

VBS curriculum chosen 

Elders participated in first evening Bible Study, “Twelve Ordinary Men.”

Empowered Young Men fellowship continued 

Jamaica Mission trip 


Mystery Readers Needed

Interfaith Campus Preschool

Wednesdays at 3:00pm

Thank you to all of you who have agreed to read to the Interfaith Campus Preschool for 2023. Both the Classes, Nursery- (6) weeks, (12) and (18+) months and the Preschool ages (2) years, (3), (4) and (5) years old for March and April have been filled.

If you would like to be an occasional substitute for a reader who needs to call off, please call me.

A few members of the congregation have made a commitment to read a certain week of a month. I would like to make a plea for more to be willing to read to the younger Nursery age classes. It is amazing how attentive they are. The youngest of the young are usually sleeping. Those who are walking are interested and very loving. Give it a try - “You Might Like It." An adult size chair is now made available for you to sit in if you want to.

As always, sign in at the Preschool desk. When the teacher/caretakers are ready, they will direct you to the first available class. You can expect to spend approximately 15 to 20 minutes in each class. If you have any questions or need more information, please call or text me at 330-704-1677 or email at jdsouthwood2920

In Christ’s Love and for His Service,

Judy Southwood 

Dinner Diners

The Dinner Diners will meet on Monday, March 6 at 5:30pm at Canal Grille. Please contact Debbie Wilson at 330-417-0343 with any questions. All are welcome! Plan to come and fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ!


Lunch Bunch will meet on Thursday, March 16 at 11:30am at MULLIGAN'S. Please contact Cheryl Hawkins at 330-492-0414 with any questions. All are welcome! Plan to come and fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ!

Birthdays and Anniversaries


1............Ira Essner

2............Brock Meadows

7............Deb Shriver, Theresa Parson

10..........Marilyn Welsch, Nancy Collins, Cheryl Hawkins

11..........Bob Kovey

12..........Ben Dominik, Duane Houser, Eileen Jones

13..........Shirley Martin

15..........Matt Muhlbach

18..........Henry Warren, Richard Scherpenisse

19..........Wilma Krumlauf

20..........Jamey Groetz

21..........Jennifer Daum

26..........Brian Morrison

29..........Kayla Lones, Jodi Sproul

30..........Jack Welsch, Judy Hamrick, Erin Hawkins

31..........Anita Scherpenisse


1............Charlie and Patty Tepic

7............Jeff and Ashley Bair

18..........Tom and Lori Collier

24..........Mark and Chris Allen

27..........Paul and Martha Gerber

28..........Bob and Janda Lemmon

5155 Eastlake St NW, Canton OH 44720
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