The celebration continues for our new ministry with The Reverend Elizabeth G. Maxwell, installed as the twelfth Rector of The Church of the Ascension. On the evening of May 13, 2015, hundreds gathered in the church for her installation by the The Rt. Rev. Andrew M.L. Dietsche, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. The procession included the vestry, search committee, church staff, clergy friends and colleagues, and the Ascension choir.
For the Induction service representatives of the congregation and the clergy of the diocese presented Mother Liz with gifts as symbols of the ministries of the church: “a Bible from the Sunday School, a vessel of baptismal water from the Bishop, a clerical stole from the acolytes and lectors, pantry food and tutoring books from Ascension Outreach, a book of prayer for spiritual formation from the prayer group, olive oil for healing, a hymnal companion from the choir, a pineapple as a sign of our hospitality and fellowship, blueprints for building stewardship, the canons for diocesan ministry, a book of sacred poetry for interfaith worship, a Canterbury T-shirt for student ministry, a statue of St. Fiacre for the care of our gardens, a tray of cups symbolizing our welcome for newcomers, neighbors and Pride marchers whom we welcome every June with water, bread and wine from the Altar Guild, and a key to the “the church of the open door.”
The sermon was delivered by The Rev. Elizabeth A. Sherman, Rector, St. Francis’ Church, San Francisco and the Gospeller was The Rev. Edwin Chinery, Assisting Priest at Ascension. Jubilant and beautiful music was provided by Dr. Dennis Keene, organist and choir master, who conducted the Ascension choir. The service was followed by an exuberant and festive reception in the Parish Hall.