Your Generosity in Action @BethanyHouseSvc

Thanks to all of our members who were able to contribute time and money to help make the Christmas of a family of three (a mother and two daughters) a little merrier. Items purchased with your funds included a mountain bike, a Samsung tablet, a set of dishes, pots and pans, curling iron, clothes, makeup, jewelry, and toys.

We hope all of the folks that work and make their temporary home at Bethany House have a very, Merry Christmas!

Learn more about how Bethany House helps families experiencing homelessness in Cincinnati:

Bethany House sign at their new location in the Bond Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati
Staff from Bethany House with boxes of goodies and a bike from the New Church of Montgomery
Some of the clothes and gifts for our youngest recipient whose favorite color is pink

JaniceMarie, Child of God, has Transitioned

A good friend of our church has passed. JaniceMarie Echols transitioned into the heavenly light on Christmas Day, 2021. Surrounded by her family who held her with their love, her spirit left its earthly form to shine its brilliance in other ways. We will miss her immensely.

JaniceMarie Echols


JaniceMarie (née Mastantuono) Echols of West Chester, OH, transitioned December 25th, 2021. She was born on October 21, 1942, in Cleveland, OH, to the late Albert and Rose (née Sgro) Mastantuono.

Continuing to honor her life are her husband Clark, and children Janine (Todd) Moore, Mary Beth Schrudder (née Dukes), and Michael James (Angie,) brother Albert (Kathy) Mastantuono, and grandson Spencer Ryan Schrudder. She is preceded in death by her sister, Joanne Sage (née Mastantuono).

JaniceMarie’s spiritual journey took her from her Catholic upbringing, to the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Sparrowhawk Village Church, to the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch, to the Sophia Foundation. Her devotion to spiritual development included being ordained three times!

Her personality was joyful, selfless and compassionate. She had a wonderful sense of humor, a quick wit and charm. And feisty. And Italian! She looked for any excuse to proclaim her Italian heritage, many time affecting an accent!

JaniceMarie was also wise. A natural counselor whose advice was valued by all. She handled every situation as a peacemaker.

A favorite pastime these last few years was taking her grandson to Menchie’s and Starbucks. She would never use her rewards stars for herself.

She was a supporter of a great number of social justice, religious and political causes.

Her guilty pleasure was the silly personality tests on social media. And dark chocolate.

The sound of her laughter will never be forgotten.

A Celebration of her life will be held at the Glendale New Church, 845 Congress Ave, Glendale, OH 45246 on Sunday, January 9, 2022 at 1 PM.

Contributions in her memory – in lieu of flowers, please – may be made to Bethany House Services. Online at:

or by mail: Bethany House Services, 1841 Fairmount Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45214

Gift-Giving at the Holidays

This was our church’s first year “adopt(ing) a family” from Bethany House Services to provide gifts and needed items. Thanks to all who were able to participate, purchase, wrap and label gifts, and transport them, and to the kids from church posing for pictures in the warehouse receiving area.

Items purchased included silverware, shoes, gift cards, clothes and toys to bring smiles to two little ones and their mom; a family experiencing homelessness. We hope they have a Merry Christmas and feel the love we wrapped into each present.

Two kids from our congregation who helped unload the gifts.

Beloved Child of God, Dave Sprague, Enters Eternal Life


David M. Sprague, age 75, of Symmes Township, Ohio passed away peacefully in his sleep at home on May 9, 2021. He had been cared for by Heartland Hospice since October 2019 for a lengthy illness.

He is survived by his loving wife of 31 years, Cheryl Jean (nee Bush) Sprague. David leaves behind one daughter, Melanie Victoria (Robert Lee Jr.) Adams, of Deer Park, Ohio and his grandsons, Robert Lee Adams III and Theodore Cecil Adams. He was predeceased by his parents Benjamin Morgan Sprague and Ruth Anna Milton Sprague of Louisville, Kentucky and grandson Benjamin Adams.

He has resided in Cincinnati since 1983. After completing the design draftsman apprentice program, he worked for General Electric in both Louisville, Kentucky and Cincinnati for 21 years, retiring in 2006. Dave served in the Army Reserves for four years while in Louisville. He enjoyed family get-togethers, pursuing a variety of spiritual paths, photography, and long drives in the country. He loved dogs, cats, smooth jazz, and playing pool, golf, and volleyball. Dave was known for his keen wit and clever sense of humor. At Southern High School in Louisville, he was proud to be captain of his golf team, lettering all four years.

Family and friends will be received from 9:30-10:30 AM on Saturday, May 15 at Tufts Schildmeyer Funeral Home, 129 N Riverside Ave, Loveland, OH 45140, where services will be held at 10:30 AM. Interment Rest Haven Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of David may be directed to Heartland Hospice, 3960 Red Bank Rd #140, Cincinnati, OH 45227 or Fresenius Medical Kidney Care, 1992 King Ave, Kings Mills, Ohio 45034

Aside: Dave is remembered fondly by many of us from when he and Cheryl were actively involved in church activities.  Dave and Cheryl were “charter members” of the weekly Friday evening Coffee and Conversation gatherings at McDonald’s in Montgomery, from before we even started meeting at McDonald’s.  I remember many deep conversations on an amazing variety of topics with Dave.  Dave was also known as a punster par excellence, always well-equipped to add to the hilarity index of the Coffee and Conversation camaraderie. 

#WeekendPlans: Brain Battles Examined

This Sunday’s topic is entitled “Brain Science & Spiritual Battlegrounds,” offered by Laity-Leader, Pete Toot. This service was originally to be offered March 3, but is taking place this Sunday, March 31, 2019.

We will be looking at how the brain deals with conflicting urges and how the idea of guardian angels and the influences of the spiritual world correspond to the organic mechanisms of how we behave.  There is this image of our conscience as little angel and devil critters standing on our shoulders whispering in our ears, on one side enticing us to do bad things and on the other suggesting that we shouldn’t. 

We will look at what 18th century “Renaissance Man” Emanuel Swedenborg, natural scientist and seer, says how we might understand this idea, and how we are indeed living in a balance between good and evil influences.  Also, we will explore how the physical world, including our brains work, and correspond to similar things and activity in the spiritual realm.  Along with Swedenborg’s ideas we will look into Dr. David Eagleman’s much more recent insights from a neuroscientist’s perspective. 

A lot of similarities emerge, not just in the way things work, but also offer new clues for energizing our conscience and nourishing our spiritual well-being.

#Angel Trivia #ThursdayThoughts

The angels in the highest heaven are in that heaven because they receive God’s love and truth directly into their hearts, or intentions, and act on it immediately and in complete innocence. They do not have to think about it and consider whether or not it is good and true. They trust in the Lord, and in everything that comes from the Lord, simply and completely–and they have a very clear and instantaneous perception of what does and does not come from the Lord. They are therefore the wisest and most powerful angels. However, at a distance they appear like little children because of their full innocence and trust in the Lord. (Compare Jesus’ saying in Matthew 18:3: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”) These angels are the beating heart of heaven. -Lee Woofenden via

Words of the Magnificat:

“My soul doth magnify the Lord.

And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”

#UpForDiscussion: Heavenly Topics, #Sunday

Join Lay-Leader, Eileen Franz, and the rest of our congregation, this weekend, as we explore the topic of government in heaven.

Wondering what that means? We will discuss it on Sunday at 11 am; 845 Congress Avenue, Glendale New Church.

Come early for goodies and coffee/tea at 10:30.


[2] The form which charity takes is so plainly visible in the next life that charity itself is that which produces the form, as well as being that which is portrayed within it. Indeed that form is such that the whole of an angel, especially the face, is so to speak charity – charity which is visible to the eye and perceptible to the mind. When it is beheld that form is one of indescribable beauty which stirs with charity the inmost life itself of the beholder’s mind. Through the beauty of that form truths of faith are displayed in a visual image from which they also are perceived. People who have lived in faith in the Lord, that is, faith that inheres in charity, in the next life become such forms, that is, forms of beauty. All angels are such forms, endlessly varying; and it is these forms that constitute heaven.~~Emanuel Swedenborg, Arcana Coelestia, n. 553 (Elliott, trans.)