September Newsletter

A Message From Rev. Dr. Michael Smith

Hello Family,

It is great to have a church family that loves you and prays for you on your good days and bad days. A group of twenty Christians flew to Jamaica recently to help other families. One group provided for their medical needs, another built a home for a gentleman, and the third group hosted a Bible Blast for the local children. Words can’t express how powerful and spiritual it was to see God’s family take their time, resources, and spiritual gifts to make other families feel loved and special. Below are some pictures for your viewing. I thank God for all of you and may God help us to always be, “Followers of Jesus sharing God’s love, one relationship at a time.”

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-1.0106: Word and Sacrament

In Christian worship Jesus Christ is truly present and active among us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, through the gifts of Word and Sacrament. Wherever the Scriptures are read and proclaimed and the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper are celebrated, the Church bears witness to Jesus Christ, the living Word, and proclaims the mystery of faith. Through these means of grace, God imparts and sustains our faith, orders our common life, and transforms the world. Through these same acts of worship, we share in the life of the Spirit, are united to Jesus Christ, and give glory to God.


Discipleship Activities

Adult Sunday School 10:05 A. M. in Fellowship Hall

NO SUNDAY SCHOOL SEPTEMBER 4. There will be one church service at 10:00 A.M followed by a picnic lunch.

On September 11, 18 and 25 the Adult Sunday School class will be viewing and discussing the RightNow Media series “Psalm 23” by Matt Chandler. Sam Martin will facilitate the discussion.

Wednesday Zoom Bible Study 7:00 P.M.

Wednesday Evening Zoom Bible Study will resume September 7. The study will be “Jesus Calling: Receiving Christ’s Hope.” Paul Gerber will lead the discussions. Copies of the book are still available for purchase in the church office. Any questions or to be added to or subtracted from the zoom email, contact Joyce Greek at or Peggy Fix at 

Children and Youth Sunday School, 10:05 A.M.

There will be no Sunday school on September 4. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the outdoor worship service at 10:00 A.M.

There are some changes to the children and youth Sunday School program effective September 11, 2022:

1. We are adding a class for 5th through 8th grade. Joyce Greek will lead this class. Each week there will be a Bible lesson and discussion on how to make the Bible pertinent to their everyday lives as middle-schoolers. Peggy Hamilton will be her backup. For now the group will be called the “Seedlings” and will meet in Room 111 (formerly the “Roots” room).

2. The “Roots” group, led by Mike Beels and Kelly Smith, will meet in the library, Room 105.

3. The nursery will be available during the Sunday School hour if needed for children 0-3. 

4. The “Sprouts” room will not change.

Youth Group


Youth Group normal schedule of Sunday evenings from 5-6:30 P.M will resume on September 11.

CONFIRMATION resumes September 25 at 4:00 P.M. in the church library - Room 105. Pastor Mike will be contacting confirmation class members and their parents with additional information.

Young Adults

On August 15 Savannah and Caleb hosted the group for an evening of food and fun: cornhole, a bonfire, hot dogs and s’mores. On August 22 the Vinci’s hosted an evening for the group at their trailer and pontoon boat on Portage Lakes. We had a wonderful time touring the lakes on their pontoon boat, and of course, plenty of good food!

The regular meeting time for the group remains Mondays from 6-8:00 P.M. in the church library - Room 105. New members are always welcome.

The first Friday evening CONNECT fellowship event will be September 4 at the church starting at 6:00 P.M. We will have a cookout and play games. Everyone ages 18-26 is invited to attend and bring friends. 

Any questions? Contact Sue Carey at or text 330-844-1041.

Director of Family Life

The Director of Family Life Search committee is meeting regularly. They have had several potentially worthwhile candidates. Please continue to pray for the committee for wisdom in choosing the candidate God has chosen for JKPC.

Moody Women’s Conference

“Restoration in a Season of Isolation” is the title of the Moody Women’s Conference being held Saturday, September 17, from 8:30 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. at Canton Baptist Temple. Register online at If you would like to attend with other John Knox women, please see the sheet and sign-up at the Welcome Center.

New Members Class

Pastor Mike will be having a New Members Class for all those interested in learning more about and/or becoming a member of John Knox. The class will meet on Sunday, September 11 from 12:15pm-2:15pm. and lunch will be provided. Please sign-up at the Welcome Center.

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.

Women's Bible Study
The Women's Bible Study meets every Tuesday at 9:45am. All women are welcome! Please contact Martha Meadows with any questions.

September 4th Outdoor Worship Service at 10am

All are welcome to come and worship with us on September 4 outside. There will only be one service that morning at 10am in the pavilion area.

A/V Coordinator & Interim Contemporary Worship Director


The Praise Team is incredibly grateful for Hannah’s contribution to our music ministry this past month, and we are praying for her as she begins her Masters of Divinity studies at Harvard. Moreover, I am blessed to have a team of so many gifted and adaptable musicians and AV techs that we are still able to have worship services in the midst of Covid absences and all the other challenges the world throws at us. To that end, the A/V department is still looking for more volunteers to assist with our services on Sunday and fill out our ranks. Reach out if you have any interest, we will train anyone who is willing to learn and wants to take a more active role in the church’s ministry.

The Sanctuary Remodel Team, now working alongside members of the Spruce Up Committee, is beginning to consolidate our ideas and search for companies to work with on the remodeling process. We’ve reached a point where we have a general idea of what broad changes we believe will be most beneficial, and want to involve professional designers as early in the process as we can so that the end result is glorifying to God and pleasing to the congregation. As we move ahead with the redesign process, we will be reaching out to the congregation for your input on the proposed changes so that everyone can be involved. 

Yours in Christ,

Rob Clifford

A/V Coordinator & Interim Contemporary Worship Director

Contemporary A/V Opportunity

The A/V Team is looking to have a backup video person during worship and is willing to train. Please contact Rob Clifford (234-207-0526) if you have any interest in learning about this opportunity.

John Knox Ringers

Please consider sharing any musical talent you may have by playing in our group!

We can work with different lengths of commitment; a full season, half season or maybe just a month or 2. We are a small, friendly group of committed Christians honoring God with our efforts in music. We meet Wednesdays from 12:30-1:30pm and begin with prayer, praises and concerns. Hope you will join us!

Contact Laurel @ 716-698-9134

Flower Openings

The church has the following dates open to sign up for flowers: November 27 and December 11. Please contact Stacey in the church office if you are interested in ordering flowers for either one of those dates.

Congregational Care
Intercessory Prayer Team (IPT)
If you enjoy praying or have felt God leading you to pray for others, we can surely use you on our team! There are no tryouts, practices, or being cut from the team! All you have to do is ask to be on this team and we will welcome you with open arms. When a prayer request comes into the church, we send out an email to you, explaining what the prayer need is. Then it is entirely up to you how to pray for that request. If you are interested in joining us, contact the church office.

Grief Support Group

My own story: I was asked recently what made me commit to this program. I have lost many close friends and family, some recently, others over the years. I was saddened by the death of each friend, family member, or close relative. Most often it bothered me that I wasn’t there for that person when they needed comfort. I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I was called upon to become a Deacon I was asked to work in the Bereavement Ministry (funeral meals) and found it to be something I was good at. I could do that! I wanted to help people in their time of sadness by taking one more burden or worry, off their shoulders. It was very rewarding for me and helped me to heal the emptiness I had felt before. I am committed to this ministry, now I am there for someone. 

“Caring friends can double the joy and divide the pain.”

So what can we do to help people survive loneliness and grief year round? Talk to the person grieving, and be ready to really listen. Keep pressing them, gently, to talk about their loss and if they don’t want to talk, sit quietly with them and hand them tissues. Bring them a meal or dessert occasionally and sit with them and eat something. Don’t ignore their pain or try to cheer them up, just be there for them and listen to what they are saying. Offer to pray for them and with them if they are open to it.

Our wish for those grieving is that in the days ahead they will remember that anguish is not forever, that joy is possible even in grief, that time is your friend and that you are your best companion.

GriefShare Ministry will always need more leaders and volunteers. Why not find out how you can help?

Diana Jones


Birthdays/Anniversaries Celebration

It's time to celebrate! Our next monthly celebration for all birthdays and anniversaries will be on Sunday, September 4 immediately following the outdoor worship service. Please stop by and grab a cupcake and join us as we celebrate!

Thank you again for everyone's support of this First Sunday celebration!

Prayer Shawl Ministry

Everyone is welcome to join us September 26 at 6:30pm in the ehurch parlor to knit and crochet prayer shawls and baby blankets.

Change of Address

Fran Cox has moved. She is now in Independent Living at The Waterford at St. Luke’s. Her new address is 201 Holl Rd. NE, Apt. 209, North Canton 44720.

Ministry and Mission

Partnering with Malone

John Knox Church has partnered with Malone University to provide Bibles to all new incoming freshmen. 

Community Outreach

It Is exciting to think about the number of children at Lake Cable Elementary School that we might reach with the gospel message. If they fit the norm, about 80% of the students do not go to church. Yes, that is correct! We will be going there to present the 90 minute afterschool Good News Club one day a week for seven weeks this October/November and seven weeks next spring. It is a fun-filled time with a Bible story, memorization, games, songs, crafts, and snacks. Assistance and materials are available through Child Evangelism Fellowship. If you missed our Sunday service on August 21, please go out to our website and watch the service which includes the presentation by CEF. 

Our people are catching the thrill of this Good News Club and signing up to come to the required trainings. Our first training is Monday, August 29 from 6:00-8:30pm in our fellowship hall. If you want to commit to involvement in this, or even just to learn more, please text or call Martha Gerber at 330-854-4626. 

If you are unable to attend on the 29th, you are welcome to attend the same training on Tuesday, September 6 from 6pm-8:30pm at Village Baptist Temple (6322 Whipple Ave).


Food, Fun, and Friends - Dinner and Cake Walk 

Come join us for an evening of good food and a fun cake walk on October 2 at 5pm with our good friends, Linda and John Heater, Jayne, Mike and Jace Kauffman and our John Knox family. 

We will have a potluck dinner, a cake (dessert) walk, many friendly interactions and learn about significant developments with TEAMS for Medical Missions from our Jamaican missionaries.

Please bring a covered dish. We suggest a side dish for those whose last name begins with A-H, a main dish for I-Q and a desert for R-Z. Also, anyone may make a dessert for the cake walk in addition to their covered dish.

The Pregnancy and Parenting Center

This month's class had 19 clients! The speaker taught about different parenting styles. A huge thank you to Savannah Lones and Caleb Vanzant for providing childcare for 7 babies and toddlers!! Many thanks to Donna Mathias for making dessert and to Candy Kovey for the subs! Next month's class is Tuesday, September 20th from 6-7:30. Please let us know if you are interested in helping!

Maria Bertram,

Sue Carey,


Session Highlights - July 2022

The John Knox Session met on July 19, 2022, at 6:30pm. Rev. Michael Smith served as moderator and opened with prayer and a devotion and prayer.

June Henderson was appointed clerk pro tem in the absence of Joyce Greek.

The June 2022 Session minutes were approved and the financial reports for June were received and approved for audit.

Two letters of transfer were accepted. One for Carl Davidson and the other for John and Chris Ralston. They will be formally accepted into membership after a September 11th New Members Class.

Pastor Mike has accepted an invitation to serve on the Board of Heritage Christian School for a 4-yr term.

The JKPC Organizational Chart was reviewed and updated.

A Session Retreat will be held on Saturday, August 20, 2022, from 9:00am-3:00pm at Camp Wakonda.

Discipleship Council Elders reported that a committee has been formed to search for a Family Life Director. Martha Gerber is the chair and on the committee are: Jamey and Justine Groetz, Duane Houser, Blake Meadows, Michaela Morris, and Trevor Sproul. Information cards about JKPC will be distributed at the Balloon Lift-Off and at the Preschool Carnival on August 6th.

Mission Council Elder Vicki Vinci reported that the Total Living Center is holding a community carnival on September 17th from 5pm-9pm. 20-plus volunteers from JKPC will be needed, as this is one of the missions we support. The J-Team will be commissioned on July 24th and will serve in Jamaica August 6-13.

Elders signed up to serve communion on August 7th and on October 2nd.

A report was given on current progress of the Sanctuary Remodel Team. There was discussion about possibly blending this team with the Spruce-Up Team.

The meeting closed with prayer by Steve Bertram and was adjourned at 7:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Joyce Greek, Clerk of Session

Session Retreat Highlights - August 2022

The JKPC Session met for a planning retreat on Saturday, August 20, 2022, from

9:00am-3:00pm at Camp Wakonda. Rev. Michael Smith served as Moderator.

After devotions, singing, and prayer, the minutes from the last meeting on July 19, 2022, were approved. Also, financial reports for July 2022 were received and approved for audit.

The Elders who lead each of the Ministry Councils of our church gave a 30-45minute presentation about their council. These presentations included the goals, the members of their teams, and the activities/ministries of each team. There are five Councils, so three did their presentations before lunch and two were after lunch. During these presentations there was opportunity for questions, discussion, and planning for the future.

The following action items were taken:

   1) Session voted to dismiss the current Finance team. Current check-signers Michael Mast and Christina Warren will be replaced with Tina Young and Rich Whitlatch.

    2) Session voted to officially dismiss the Personnel Committee.

    3) Session voted to move the Nominating Committee from under the Mission Council to the Administration Council.

    4) Session voted to remove the food fee from our funeral policy for members and for relatives of members.

After the five Council presentations, discussion was held on two other topics. One was the current Session Priorities. As a Session, we feel it is important to openly state and confirm what is important to us as spiritual leaders of the church. Since there are several new elders, it was decided that we will continue this discussion at the next Stated Session meeting in September after everyone has had a chance to think about them.

The last topic of discussion was about the Fall Grow Offering. It was decided to collect it in October for the “improvement of our Food Pantry Ministry.” The goal will be to raise at least $10,000. The Administration Council will be speaking to the congregation about this in the near future.

The retreat ended at 3:00 with Pastor Mike’s closing prayer.

Feel free to ask any elder about their experience at the retreat. It was a very productive, Spirit-filled time for your leadership.

Respectfully submitted,

Joyce Greek, Clerk of Session

Financial Corner

Receipts in July............... $40,000.13

Expenses in July............. -$39,847.98

Net Income............................$152.15

A Word From The Finance Office

It has been a busy time transitioning from QuickBooks to Church Windows, but I’m happy to report the transition is complete. One change is the use of numbers with descriptions to identify receipts and expenses. Copies of this list are available so you can start using the numbers on your payment vouchers. Moving forward, I ask that you put payment vouchers in the tray in my office (located on the table behind my desk) or in my mailbox. Checks will be printed on Monday’s and Wednesday’s. Please feel free to stop by, call, text, or e-mail with any questions, requests, or concerns.

Thank you all for your support, patience and understanding during this transition. I am happy to serve and look forward to working alongside all of you!


Tina Young, Financial Secretary

Stewardship Fruits

Thank you John Knox family for giving unto the Lord in August. Below are some of the fruits which were produced due to your financial support!

124 local people received food from our pantry

Over 300 people in Jamaica received medical care and needed prescription medications

800 people worshipped God either in person or online

100’s of people gathered and studied God’s word together

Deacon prepared meals were given to families to show God’s love

Many scouts meet in our facility to learn life skills

Children & youth were taught about God’s word in Sunday school

"The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-8


Moody Bible Institute Renew Women's Conference

All are welcome to come to “Restoration in a Season of Isolation” on

Saturday, September 17, 2022, from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at Canton Baptist Temple. For additional information or to register, visit If you would like to attend with other women from John Knox, please sign-up at the Welcome Center.

Mission/Ministry Opportunity

Many volunteers are needed to help with the Total Living Center Music Festival on Saturday, September 17 from 5pm-9pm. Sign-up sheets are at the Welcome Center. If you are unable to physically work, donations are welcome and will only be used for the Music Festival. Please make checks payable to Total Living Center. Any questions, please contact Vicki Vinci at 330-268-2210 or Michaela Morris at 330-354-6241.

Looking for Childcare Workers

The Discipleship Council is looking for volunteers to care for children ages 0-3 during the Sunday School hour. They also want JKPC to be able to promote itself more effectively to families including those at Interfaith Preschool and those participating in the Food Pantry. To do so, they need to have childcare available for children ages 0-3 when needed. If you love children in this age group and are willing to volunteer for this position, please contact Pastor Mike or one of the Discipleship Elders, Sue Carey and Paul Gerber.

The Monthly Newsletter
If you are interested in having the monthly newsletter mailed to you, please contact Stacey in the church office.
Dinner Diners

The Dinner Diners will meet on Monday, September 12 at 5:30pm at Palumbo's. Please contact Sandy Engel at 330-854-4466 with any questions. All are welcome! Plan to come and fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ!

Lunch Bunch

Lunch Bunch will meet on Thursday, September 15 at 11:30am at Canal Grille. Please RSVP by texting or calling June Henderson at 330-284-3080. All are welcome! Plan to come and fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ!

Birthdays and Anniversaries

1............Mark Allen, Anne Ballinger

2............Nathan Skalsky

4............Larry Jones

7............Bob King

8............Nancy Tobin

11..........Bev Leitner

12..........Brandi Rinehart

13..........Rod Baxter

15..........Jacob Walton

17..........Caleb Vanzant

18..........Emma Knisely

19..........Sharon Now

20..........Amy Lones

23..........Robert Bergmeyer

24..........Karissa Mennona

27..........Terry Renninger

29..........Jennifer Santora

30..........Tracy Beistel


5...........Trevor and Jodi Sproul

12.........Bob and Joyce Werstler

14.........Gunnar and Amy Lones

18.........Carl and Nancy Collins

22.........Bill and Jo Foraker, Shirley Lucas and Cliff Dillow

25.........Steve and Maria Bertram, Perry and Anne Ballinger

5155 Eastlake St NW, Canton OH 44720
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