First-person reports, thanks, requests and other items reflecting the day-to-day workings of life in a parish community

Message for Holy Week & Easter 2015

Every year, our liturgy invites us to walk with Jesus step by step through the last week of his life, into the mystery of death and resurrection. Through the mystical drama of worship, we participate in the enthusiasm of the crowd as Jesus enters Jerusalem in triumph, and then feel how quickly adulation turns to violence. We are washed, fed and loved in the tenderness of Jesus’ last supper. We watch with bewildered and breaking hearts as our Lord dies a criminal’s death on the cross. And we wait and wonder as he passes from death to life, to greet us with overwhelming joy on Easter morning. [ More → ]

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Where Do You Encounter God?

Where do you encounter God? For faithful Jews of Jesus’ day, and surely Jesus himself was one of them, the ultimate locus of divine/human encounter would have been the Temple in Jerusalem. Beautiful and awe-inspiring, hallowed by prayers and history, focus of the sacrifices commanded in the Torah. It was an obligation and joy to …  [ More → ]

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A Time of Unlearning

This year as part of my Lenten practice I am reading a poem every day from the book The Heart’s Time, compiled by the wonderful English liturgist Janet Morley. She says this about poetry, whether written with conscious religious intention or not: “It is common for a poem to examine something familiar in such a …  [ More → ]

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Lenten Devotional Booklet

Welcome to the 2015 Church of the Ascension Lenten Devotional. This devotional is a reprint from 2003. As you complete each day’s readings and writings, we hope you will feel encouraged to sit with God’s words and the words of our current and former fellows from Church of the Ascension. Lent is a deeply spiritual …  [ More → ]

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Advent: Holding out our hands in the dark

Whatever your opinion, or lack of one, is on the Michael Brown shooting and demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, and other cities around our nation…the real truth is that people are in pain. Deep pain. And it isn’t just this one situation. People are reacting strongly to the multitude of unprecedented situations playing out in and around our everyday lives. My personal mantra in life is “to respond, not react.” Right now, people are reacting. And I don’t think we even realize how much minor transitions and developments of life are compromising and affecting our ability to think… to grow… to embrace… to respond… to activate… or rest… in God. [ More → ]

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How are you living out God’s hope for you?

Last Sunday, I was running on empty. And then I came to church.

Mother Shelley asked how we might answer this direct question: how do you maintain your hope? My blood ran a little cold. I was exhausted by weeks of decision-making and problem-solving. Her question sounded like a riddle of faith, and I was in no mood to fail. [ More → ]

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174-year-old rectory needs more than just another coat of paint

“The electric wiring and the plumbing throughout the building date from the 1920s. The refrigerator bears a plaque noting it was made in the 1960s. Over the years, as the building served as home to Ascension rectors, relatively little was done to improve the interior beyond an occasional coat of paint. Floors are damaged, walls have cracks, and there are even remaining gas pipes from the time when gas lighting was in use, before electricity was invented and made available.” [ More → ]

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I always get back more than I give

“I was raised in the Baptist church, which has a strong emphasis on stewardship — including an open discussion of the tithe, or a gift of 10 percent of one’s income to the church. As an adult, I have tried to translate this discipline into thinking about making my church the priority for my giving.” On Sunday, November 16, John Grimes shared with fellow parishioners how what he learned in a Baptist Sunday School has informed his understanding of making a commitment to his Episcopal parish home today. [ More → ]

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Your pledge of support changes lives

Endi Singer was baptized at Ascension in April and this past summer represented our parish to the children and families of Gawaye, Tanzania, with gifts of books, soap, desks, and school uniforms. Read in her own words how she believes pledging financial support to the Church of the Ascension can change and has changed lives … including hers. [ More → ]

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What is your legacy?

Today, I want to challenge you with a question: What is your legacy here at Church of the Ascension? In the broadest definition of “legacy,” Webster’s dictionary simply says that a legacy is “something handed down from a predecessor, or from the past.” This glorious church building and the La Farge mural are the most obvious …  [ More → ]

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