2012 Dayton Deanery Lenten Series

“A Journey into the Unknown”




The story of Lent is the story of a journey: a journey with Jesus and his disciples to Jerusalem.  We know the outcome of that journey, but those first disciples did not.  For them, it was a journey into the unknown.


Our lives, too, are journeys into the unknown.  In this year’s Dayton Deanery Lenten Series, we will have an opportunity to explore our journeys, as a church and as individuals.


As we have done in past years, we will gather at a different church on each of the first five Tuesday evenings in Lent.  We begin with a simple dinner together from 6:00 until 6:45.  Then participants will be invited to choose from the two different “tracks” for this year.  These discussions will take place from 6:45 until 8:00.


The first track explores the journey into the unknown taken by the early church, as that journey is reflected in the Acts of the Apostles.  The second track draws on insights from the book Edge of the Known World: Prayer and PTSD to reflect on how we, as individuals, can journey into and through the unknown, and even tragic, times in our lives.  Below is a brief description of each track.



Dates and locations:             February 28, Christ Church Dayton

                                                March 6, St. Paul’s

                                                March 13, St. Christopher’s

                                                March 20, St. George’s

                                                March 27, St. Andrew’s

[To find the location and contact information for all the churches, please visit https://stmarksdayton.org/church/dayton-deanery-locate-a-parish.html .  Click on the church’s name, and you will be connected to that church’s web site.]




Track One:       “Revitalizing the Church in a Season of Uncertainty: A study and reflection on the Book of Acts” led by the Revs. Benjamin Philips and Benjamin  E.K. Speare-Hardy II


Jesus promised to build his Church, to sustain it, and to bring it to completion and fullness. Yet throughout the centuries the Church has faced all manner of difficult and challenging times, both internally and externally, and our time is no exception. One of the hallmarks of revitalizing the Church’s life is its ability to look back and rediscover its roots and reconnect with God ‘in the beginning.’


This series will explore questions like what was the focus of the work of the Apostles and what were some of the key characteristics of the first Christians. Our aim will be not to seek exact replication of the Apostolic age or the Early Church (rarely a fruitful or successful venture), but rather by spending time looking at their lives and what God was doing in that early generation we will gain insight into our own day and age, inspiration for the road ahead, and instruction on the work to be done.



Track Two:        “On the Edge of the Known World” led by Karen Ander Francis

Loss of a job, an auto accident, death of a loved one, a natural disaster, divorce—such  events take us to the edge of our known world as we know it. Life will never be the same as it was before the tragedy. Our faith is often challenged as we struggle to cope with the changes and make sense of the event. Prayer changes; even our relationship with God is tested.


In this series participants will explore the process of spiritual recovery that accompanies personal loss, as new meaning emerges from the tragedy through uncommon ways of prayer.


Karen Ander Francis is a member of Christ Episcopal Church whose memoir, On the Edge of the Known World: Prayer and PTSD, has recently been published. She holds a master’s degree in spiritual psychology and has been a spiritual director for 20 years.