Blog

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

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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Stewards in (and of) Transitions

“The truth is, if we’re really living fully into the promise of God’s kingdom, if we’re truly co-creators with God, then we’re always in transition. I, for one, am praying that our ‘transition mindset’ doesn’t fade away once our official interim period ends.” See what Meredith Ward — art gallery owner, parish vestry member, and chair of our Rector Search Committee — shared Sunday, October 26, about why she gives to Ascension. [ More → ]

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One World, One Faith, One God

“In the midst of transition (or change) the work is going to be about creation…about cooperating with God in re-creating ourselves…about becoming more fully what God calls us to be.” — Debra K Farrington, The Seasons of a Restless Heart, as quoted in Mother Shelley’s sermon on stewardship, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Read the full sermon here and learn about the parish’s plans for growth, change and ministry over the next several years. [ More → ]

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Ascension’s Twelfth Rector

It is with great pleasure that the wardens and vestry announce that we have called the Reverend Elizabeth G. Maxwell as the twelfth Rector of The Church of the Ascension in the City of New York, and that she has accepted the call. She will take up her duties on January 12, and her first …  [ More → ]

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For the Season of the Spirit

Many images, icons and paintings have tried to capture the essence of the Holy Spirit specifically from the writings of the New Testament during the Feast of Pentecost. Pentecost was not a moment and, in my opinion, it wasn’t even an event. It was an expression of the power of God meant specifically to carry the message of God to all people in all languages to all nations and tribes of the world. It was not a division of race but rather an invitation of unity: unity of faith; unity of spirit; unity of God. Paintings of this subject traditionally associate the tongues of fire with the tops of the disciples’ heads. In the May 28th issue of Christian Century there is an article on a Pentecost painting by Christian Thai artist Sawai Chinnawong.  [ More → ]

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