The rector writes: “This Sunday, as part of our liturgy, we will thank and celebrate all the volunteers who participate in Ascension’s groups, programs and ministries. Many of those who give their time and energy are parishioners; others are not but enjoy the opportunity for service and camaraderie Ascension offers them. All are part of our community.” Also this Sunday, the Inquirer’s Class for those wanting to learn more about joining our parish and the Episcopal Church will meet following the 11 am service, as part of their preparation to confirmation or reception by the bishop on Ascension Day, Thursday, May 18.
The rector writes: “This Sunday, we will celebrate Earth Day at Ascension, with special prayers in our liturgy and a forum following the 11 am service. For me, the antidote to hopelessness and overwhelm is often taking small (and sometimes not so small) actions to address a problem, continuing consistently over time and doing it with others.” Also this week: the first inquirer’s class for those interested in being confirmed by Bishop Glasspool on Ascension Day; a blood drive held by our friends at Grace Church; a lunchtime gathering on Wednesday; and a Spring Gardening and Gathering party next Saturday!
From the organist & choirmaster: “Since our choir is off this Sunday for a well-deserved rest, we have scheduled a special solo, the famous bass aria from Handel’s Messiah, ‘The Trumpet Shall Sound.’ Our fabulous Jason Eck will sing it, and will do the entire recitative and full version of this iconic aria. This will be a treat for all. Organ music will include colorful pieces of François Couperin and ‘The Rejoicing’ from Handel’s Water Music.”
This week, the rector shares Mary Oliver’s “The Poet Thinks About the Donkey,” reflecting on one of the least considered characters in the Palm Sunday story. On Sunday morning at the 11 am service, we will have the Liturgy of the Palms (including a procession with hymn through the neighboring streets Greenwich Village) and the dramatic reading of Matthew’s account of Jesus’ Passion. And Sunday begins our parish’s collective observance of Holy Week: the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, and the Great Vigil at the tomb, all in hope of the Resurrection. Join us!
The rector writes: “This Saturday, March 25, at noon at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Bishop Dietsche has invited all members of the Diocese of New York to a solemn Service of Apology for slavery and its aftermaths in our diocese and communities. I hope that all of you who are able will participate, either in person or online. This is part of an ongoing process that our church has embarked on: to grapple with the horror and impact of 400 hundred years of racist dehumanization, exploitation and violence from before the founding of our country until the present day. It is vital for our souls, and for our life together.”
This week, the rector reflects on grace and shares a poem by Denise Levertov to expand our imagination about what grace might be. Also: the parish’s Lenten book study continues (Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginners Guide to Holy Week, by Amy-Jill Levine) and there is one slot remaining for the March 28 house eucharist, plus much more going on as we approach Holy Week!
This week, the rector gives an update on the Fifth Avenue bell tower restoration: “This coming Monday, March 13, scaffolding will begin to go up in our front garden, and if permit filing and other preparations go as planned, actual construction work will begin about two weeks later.” Also: the clergy will offer prayers for healing, laying on of hands and anointing to all who desire them as part of Sunday’s 11 am Eucharist.
The rector writes: “I am deeply grateful that we are able to journey through Lent together in person this year. Although much of our Lenten observance often focuses on individual practices (and fruitfully so), we are also invited to communal disciplines and learning — to be renewed as a body. It is a gift to share our Lenten journey in all these ways, and we grow as a parish as we walk with one another in this season of repentance, reflection and renewal.”
Things certainly don’t slow down around here for Lent — in fact, they tend to pick up: the Lenten devotional; house Eucharists; a special book study; a “Lent Quiet Morning” at the church with the Rev. Micah Bucey of Judson Memorial; a special day of service for Haiti at Bon Samaritan in the Bronx…. Check out our newsletter and see what speaks to you for your journey toward the Easter Resurrection.