Month: March 2011

April 2nd Prayer Walk

Well, hardy souls, temps are going to be cool with a chance of rain (or snow) for the prayer walk Saturday morning.  Bundle up, pack an umbrella, and I’ll see you there.  Please pray for moderate weather, and if you can’t make it, please pray for the community of Forest Ridge and your own immediate neighbors, and for those who will walk.  Anyone who can afford a little extra gas might consider driving the neighborhood and praying.  Please meet at the Forest Ridge Gazebo at 9:00 am.  Afterward (about 10 am), if you’d like, Jeff Brown will buy you a cup of coffee at Bob Evans.  Peace!  -Jeff


Please pray for Fr. David Straw, Trinity Anglican Church, Evansville, IN.  His mother is quite ill and likely to go in for her third heart procedure since January.

Fr. Greg

RJ Concert and Reception this Sunday!


This is a reminder that the Resounding Joy concert is this Sunday at 6:00 p.m. Please invite your family and friends to this enjoyable evening of worship and praise. Afterwards our church will host a small reception for our guests. Please bring an appetizer or dessert to share. There will be coffee and lemonade provided. For more info contact Karla Herman or Pat Prenger.

Karla Herman



Almighty God, the root and fountain of all being: Open our eyes to see, with your servant John Donne, that whatever has any being is a mirror in which we may behold you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.


“All mankind is one volume. When one man dies, one chapter is torn out of the book and translated into a better language. And every chapter must be so translated. God employs several translators. Some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice. But God’s hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie open to another.”

Donne (rhymes with “sun”) was born in 1573 (his father died in 1576) into a Roman Catholic family, and from 1584 to 1594 was educated at Oxford and Cambridge and Lincoln’s Inn (this last a highly regarded law school). He became an Anglican (probably around 1594) and aimed at a career in government. He joined with Raleigh and Essex in raids on Cadiz and the Azores, and became private secretary to Sir Thomas Egerton. But in 1601 he secretly married Anne More, the 16-year-old niece of Egerton, and her enraged father had Donne imprisoned. The years following were years of poverty, debt, illness, and frustration. In 1615 he was ordained, perhaps largely because he had given up hope of a career in Parliament.
From the above information, the reader might conclude that Donne’s professed religious belief was mere opportunism. But the evidence of his poetry is that, long before his ordination, and probably beginning with his marriage, his thoughts were turned toward holiness, and he saw in his wife Anne (as Dante had earlier seen in Beatrice) a glimpse of the glory of God, and in human love a revelation of the nature of Divine Love. His poetry, mostly written before his ordination, includes poems both sacred and secular, full of wit, puns, paradoxes, and obscure allusions at whose meanings we can sometimes only guess, presenting amorous experience in religious terms and devotional experience in erotic terms, so that I have seen one poem of his both in a manual of devotion and in a pornography collection.
After his ordination, his reputation as a preacher grew steadily. From 1622 until his death he was Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, and drew huge crowds to hear him, both at the Cathedral and at Paul’s Cross, an outdoor pulpit nearby. His prose style is in some ways outdated, but his theme continues to fascinate: “the paradoxical and complex predicament of man as he both seeks and yet draws away from the inescapable claim of God on him.”

Various collections of his sermons (a ten-volume complete edition and a one-volume selection) have been published. Most anthologies of English poetry contain at least a few of his poems, and it is a poor college library that does not have a complete set of them. His friend Izaak Walton (author of The Compleat Angler) has written a biography.

Three poems and a portion of a meditation follow.

NOTES ON PRONUNCIATION: Since this is an international list, and not all listmembers are familiar with the traditional conventions of English poetry, a few explanations may be useful.
All of the poems that follow are written in iambic pentameter. That is, a line normally has ten syllables, with five stresses, which normally fall on the even-numbered syllables, although their position may vary (in particular, the stress on the second syllable is often transferred to the first).
A sonnet has fourteen lines: an octet of eight lines, followed by a sestet of six.
In some of these poems, Donne uses a convention that is a requirement of classical Latin poetry: the elision. If a word ends in a vowel (or diphthong) and the next word begins with one, the first vowel is omitted and the number of syllables in the line reduced by one. As an aid to the reader, I have inserted an “=” sign at each elision.
In modern English the “e” in the ending “-ed” of a verb is usually silent. Sometimes in older English it is sounded, creating an extra syllable. When this happens, I have capitalized the “-ED”


Batter my heart, three-personed God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me= and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like a usurped town to= another due,
Labor to= admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy= in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.

Yet dearly= I love you,= and would be lov-ED fain,
But am betrothed unto your enemy
Divorce me,= untie or break that knot again;
Take me to you, imprison me, for I
Except you= enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.


Death, be not proud, though some have call-ED thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death; nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy picture be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow;
And soonest our best men with thee do go–
Rest of their bones and souls’ delivery!

Thou= art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy= or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke, Why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die!


(Numbered footnotes below.)

Since I am coming to that holy room
Where, with thy choir of saints for evermore
I shall be made thy music, as I come
I tune the instrument here at the door,
And what I must do then, think here before.(1)

Whilst my physicians by their love are grown
Cosmographers(2), and I their map, who lie
Flat on this bed, that by them may be shown
That this is my southwest discovery,(3)
PER FRETUM FEBRIS,(4) by these straits to die,(5)

I joy that in these straits I see my west;
For though their currents yield return to none,
What shall my west hurt me? As west and east
In all flat maps (and I am one) are one,
So death doth touch the resurrection. (6)

Is the Pacific Sea my home? Or are
The eastern riches? Is Jerusalem?
Anyan,(7) and Magellan, and Gibraltar,(8)
All straits, and none but straits, are ways to them,(9)
Whether where Japhet dwelt, or Cham, or Shem.(10)

We think that Paradise, and Calvary,
Christ’s cross, and Adam’s tree, stood in one place;(11)
Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me;
As the first Adam’s sweat surrounds my face,
May the last Adam’s blood my soul embrace.

So, in his purple wrapp’d receive me, Lord,
By these his thorns give me his other crown;
And as to others’ souls I preached thy word,
Be this my text, my sermon to mine own:
“Therefore, that he may raise, the Lord throws down.”

(1) That is: “Since I am on the verge of death, let me prepare my thoughts.”
(2) Cosmography is the study of the basic structure and constitution of the world.
(3) “Southwest discovery” refers to the fact that from England one can reach the riches of the Orient by sailing southwest around South America through the Straits of Magellan, or northwest around North America through the Bering Straits, or southeast around Africa, or northeast around Norway and Siberia. One can also go east through the Straits of Gibraltar and then across land, either across the Isthmus of Suez and then again by sea to India or else by the Silk Road to China along the route of Marco Polo. Donne here speaks of the “southwest discovery,” the route taken by the explorer Magellan.
(4) “Per fretum febris,” by the wearing away of a fever (Latin). The explorer Magellan, who made the “southwest discovery,” died “per fretum febris” before he could complete his goal of sailing around the earth. Donne, at the time of this writing, is ill with a fever.
(5) “Strait” means “narrow, constricted, or tight” (as in “strait-laced,” referring to the extremely tight corsets that were once fashionable, and thence by analogy to someone considered to be inflexible in his behavior). It is not to be confused with “straight”, meaning “not crooked”. A strait is a narrow passage, a tight squeeze, especially a narrow sea passage connecting two larger bodies of water, and bounded closely on either side by land. The
word also refers, especially in the plural, to a situation of distress, deprivation, difficulty, perplexity, misfortune, or the like. (A man lost in the desert is said to be “in dire straits”.) Hence Donne, playing on the double meaning of the word “strait,” says that he is about to die of his present distress, meaning his fever and his illness.
(6) On a flat map of the whole world the far east (the rightmost edge of the map) and the far west (the leftmost edge of the map) are places that touch on a globe or in the real world.
(7) “Anyan” is another name for the Bering Straits.
(8) We place the stresses in this line as follows:
“AN-yan, and MA-gel-LAN, and GIB-ral-TAR”.
(9) No matter what desirable and fabled country is my destiny, I must sail through a narrow strait to reach it. The same is true of Heaven, which I shall reach by passing through the strait of death.
(10) The three sons of Noah were named Shem, Ham and Japheth. (The initial sound of “Ham,” or “Cham” is a throaty breathing as in the name “Bach.” Neither Greek nor Hebrew nor Latin has the sound of “ch” used in English words like “church,” and therefore a name in the Bible with a “CH” in it should always be pronounced in English with a “K” sound or a German “CH” sound, unless the name has been thoroughly assimilated into English (like “Rachel”, for example). The three sons are thought of as ancestors of the inhabitants of the thee continents known to the ancients: Asia, Africa, and Europe.
(11) A common Christian usage, going back to the Apostle Paul (see 1 Corinthians 15:20-22,45-49), is to contrast Adam and Christ, or to call Christ the new Adam. The old Adam is the beginning of the fallen and wounded race of humanity; the new Adam is the beginning of the restored and healed race. What Adam did, Christ has undone. Hence the common supposition in poetry that the Cross was cut from the wood of the Forbidden Tree that once stood in the Garden of Eden, and that the hill of Calvary (“Skull Hill”) where Christ was crucified was so called because that was where Adam was buried.



[Now this bell tolling softly for another, says to me, Thou must die.]

Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill as that he know not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me and see my state may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that.
The church is catholic, universal, so are all her actions; all that she does, belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action concerns me; for that child is thereby connected to that body which is my head too, and ingrafted into that body whereof I am a member. And when she buries a man, that action concerns me: all mankind is of one author and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated. God employs  several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God’s hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie open to one another.
As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come, so this bell calls us all; but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness.
There was a contention as far as a suit (in which piety and dignity, religion and estimation, were mingled) which of the religious orders should ring to prayers first in the morning; and it was determined that they should ring first that rose earliest. If we understand aright the dignity of this bell that tolls for our evening prayer, we would be glad to make it ours by rising early, in that application, that it might be ours as well as his whose indeed it is. The bell doth toll for him that thinks it doth; and though it intermit again, yet from that minute that that occasion wrought upon him, he is united to God. Who casts not up his eye to the sun when it rises? but who takes off his eye from a comet when that breaks out? Who bends not his ear to any bell which upon any occasion rings? but who can remove it from that bell which is passing a piece of himself out of this world?
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were. Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
Neither can we call this a begging of misery or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbors. Truly it were an excusable covetousness if we did; for affliction is a treasure, and scarcely any man hath enough of it. No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and ripened by it and made fit for God by that affliction. If a man carry treasure in bullion, or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current money, his treasure will not defray him as he travels. Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it. Another man may be sick too, and sick unto death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels as gold in a mine and be no use to him; but this bell that tells me of his affliction digs out and applies that gold to me, if by this consideration of another’s danger I take mine own into contemplation and so secure myself by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security.


31 Mar 2011


Today we will celebrate Holy Eucharist as we celebrate the life and witness of Blessed John Donne, priest, poet, and preacher.  The liturgy will last approximately 30 minutes.


We will continue our lenten journey through the wilderness this evening with a discussion led by Dcn. Chris Herman.  We will meet at the church building tonight.  Tonights theme is “The Journey.”

Please Keep Will Herman in Your Prayers

William’s headache has become much worse  and we are taking him to the ER where they’ll administer an IV medication that will hopefully help.   Please pray for him today.

Dcn Chris

Employment Opportunity

Employment Opportunity…Director of Special Education

Full-time position immediately available:

Special Education Director – Dayton Christian School System

This position directs and coordinates special education programs in the Dayton Christian School System to teach students with cognitive or physical disabilities. Formulates policies and procedures for new or revised programs or activities, such as screening, placement, education, and training of students. The ideal candidate would meet the following spiritual, educational, experience, and performance requirements:

1. Spiritual – Is a born-again believer in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8) and agrees with the DCSS Statement of Faith, mission and vision. Has a commitment to a Christ centered lifestyle.
2. Educational
– Masters Degree in Education or a special education related area is desired. Licensed by the State of Ohio in Education preferably a license as an intervention specialist.
3. Experience – Candidate must have 3 years related experience in special education or inclusion classroom teacher. Previous experience within a Christian school is a plus.
4. Performance – Candidate should be able to provide a record of significant, successful achievements in prior position(s).

5. Skills and Abilities – Exhibits a firm reliance on prayer; excellent verbal and written communication skills; effective listener and ability to gently resolve conflicts.

Potential Candidates are requested to fill out and return the Administrator Application on the Employment link of our website – bney.


Prayer requests


Several things are on my mind this morning:

1) My co-workers son has a job interview and she has asked for prayer for him – for his interview with Time-Warner (I forgot his first name, but his last name is Smith…)

2) that the Open House at Dayton Christian would go well this morning. The Open House is during school from 9-11 a.m.

3) that the DC play would go well this weekend. Suzie, Bob and Theresa are in the play – a stage version of Pride and Prejudice.

Thanks!! Karla




With Sr. Sarah Masterson, OSF

WHEN:    Saturday, April 9, 2011, 9:00 a.m. till 3:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Christ our Hope Anglican Church

3425 Valley Street

Dayton, OH  45424

WHAT:    A mid-Lent mini-retreat for women of all ages

There will be three teaching sessions, plus opportunity to practice what we learn.  Teaching will include Preparing Ourselves for Intercessory Prayer, Prayer for Conversions, and Healing Prayer.

WHO:      Sr. Sarah Masterson, OSF, is a gifted retreat leader and teacher.  A certified Spiritual Director, she shares her gifts of ministry, healing (both physical and inner), and teaching with the Body of Christ.  Sr. Sarah is the Mother Superior at Divine Compassion House, a convent of the Franciscan Missionaries of Divine Compassion in Lake Winona, Indiana.  The Franciscan Missionaries of Divine Compassion are a religious order of the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in North America.

COST:     The retreat is our gift to you, but a love offering will be taken for Divine Compassion House.


In order to prepare properly for lunch and for sufficient handouts for all participants, please make your reservation by emailing:



Friday, 25 Mar 11, is the Feast of the Annunication of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We will celebrate this very important feast with Holy Eucharist at 12:00 (noon). The liturgy will last approximately 30 min. “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord with with thee!”  (Friday will mark 9 months til Christmas)


Continue the amazing journey through the wilderness this evening at Family Prayer, 7:00 p.m.  Dss. Candy will lead an engaging discussion this evening.  Tonight’s topic is “Wilderness.”  I look forward to seeing you there!

Fr. Greg


Today we celebrate the memory of St. Gregory the Illuminator and Apostle to the Armenians.

The ancient kingdom of Armenia was the first country to become Christian, and it recognizes Gregory as its apostle. Armenia was a buffer state between the powerful empires of Rome and Parthia (Persia), and both of them sought to control it. Gregory was born about 257. When he was still an infant, his father assassinated the King of Parthia, and friends of the family carried Gregory away for protection to Caesarea in Cappadocia, where he was reared as a Christian. About 280 he returned to Armenia, where he was at first treated severely, but eventually by his preaching and example brought both King Tiridates and a majority of his people to the Christian faith. About 300, Gregory was consecrated the first bishop of Armenia. He died about 332. Armenian Christians to this day remember him with honor and gratitude.


Armenians were the first people to adopt Christianity as the state religion. Tertullian and Eusebius of Caesaria suggest that Christianity was practiced in Armenia as early as the 2nd century. Eusebius also mentions an exchange of letters between Jesus Christ and the Armenian king of Edessa Abkar V (the Black) (9-46 A.D). Legend claims for Armenian the graves of four apostles: Bartholomew, Simon, Thaddaeus, and Jude. It was sometime between 288 and 301 that St. Gregory the Illuminator (Grigor Loussavorich : ca. 240-332), who had been subjected to cruel tortures and incarcerated in a deep well (Khor Virab) for 13 years for refusing to participate in pagan rites, converted King Tiridates (238-314). In 302, St. Gregory was ordained bishop, and in 303 he founded the Cathedral of Etchmiadzin, near Mount Ararat, which, to this day, is the seat of the supreme patriarch or catholicos, the head of the Armenian Church. St. Gregory went on to evangelize several other Caucasian nations and baptized the kings of Iberia (Georgia), Lazes and Albania. Sometime before his death he retired to a solitary life in the wilderness. The patron saint of Armenia, he is now venerated in both the Eastern and Latin Church.

***from Armenia Online


Almighty God, whose will it is to be glorified in your saints, and who raised up your servant Gregory the Illuminator to be a light in the world, and to preach the Gospel to the people of Armenia: Shine, we pray, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may show forth your praise, who called us out of darkness into your marvelous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Today we remember Blessed James De Koven, Priest. James de Koven was born in Connecticut in 1831, ordained to the priesthood in 1855, and promptly became a professor of Church history at Nashotah House, a seminary of the Episcopal Church in Wisconsin. In 1859 he became Warden of Racine College, an Episcopal college in Racine, Wisconsin. Nashotah House was from its inception dedicated to an increased emphasis on the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and on the use of ritual practices that recognized and honored that presence. This met opposition from other Christians who were suspicious (1) of anything that suggested Roman Catholicism, (2) of anything that seemed fancy and pretentious, as opposed to the plain, blunt, simplicity that was considered to be an American virtue as well as a virtue of the New Testament Church, and (3) of anything that varied from the practices they had become used to as children. In the General Conventions of 1871 and 1874, de Koven became the chief spokesman for the “ritualists,” defending the use of candles, incense, bowing and kneeling, and the like. He reminded his hearers of the numerous assertions by prominent Anglican theologians from the Reformation on down who had taught, and the ecclesiastical courts which when the question came up had ruled, that it is Anglican belief, shared not only with Romans but with Lutherans and East Orthodox, that the presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Sacrament is a real and objective presence. However, he was eloquent and firm in saying: “The gestures and practices by which we recognize the presence of Christ do not matter. Only Christ matters.”

In 1874 he was elected Bishop of Wisconsin, and in 1875 Bishop of Illinois, but because he was “controversial” he failed both times to have his election ratified by a majority of Bishops and a majority of Standing Committees of Dioceses, as required by canon law.

He died at his college in Racine, Wisconsin, on 22 March 1879.



Almighty and everlasting God, the source and perfection of all virtues, who inspired your servant James de Koven to do what is right and to preach what is true: Grant that all ministers and stewards of your mysteries may impart to your faithful people, by word and example, the knowledge of your grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Fern Neeb passed away Wednesday

The funeral service for Fern Neeb will be Monday, March 21st at 7:30 p.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran in Kettering (901 E. Stroop Rd.).

Fr. Neeb said that his wife’s death came as a shock to him, even though she had been in the hospital. He will need help moving some things tomorrow. If you have time and are willing to help, please let Amanda know by e-mail (amanda.roberts @ or leave a message at the church (224-8555).


17 Mar 2011, St. Patrick’s Day

A Blessed St. Patrick’s Day to you all!

Holy Eucharist will be celebrated today at 12:00 (noon) in honour of St. Patrick, Bishop and Missionary of Ireland.  Mr. Jon Miller will also lead us in Evening Prayer tonight at 6 p.m.

Fr. Greg



We will celebrate Holy Eucharist at noon to commemorate the Spring/Lenten Ember Wednesday.  The liturgy will last approximately 30 minutes.  Ember Days are observed four times each year and are a time in which we gives thanks to God for the gifts of the earth, as well as pray for further vocations for the Church as we extend the Kingdom of God.


Family Prayer will be at 7 p.m. at the parish building.  We will begin our Lenten Study Series by discussing Lent as a yearly pilgrimage, and how the 40 year pilgrimage of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt to the Promised Land can be a symbol of our own spiritual journey as individuals and as a community in God.  Weekly themes will include: Forty Years, Wilderness, Time of Journey, Place of Covenant, Place of Testing, and Place of Presence.  Don’t let this travel opportunity pass you by!!!