Apart & Together:
Intermittent Glimpses from Ascension
Update for Saturday, March 21
Bishop orders church premises to be vacated
effective 5pm today
Live Mass via Facebook Live TODAY at 4 pm
for the Fourth Sunday in Lent
Dear People of Ascension,

Last night, Friday, Bishop Lee updated his directives in response to Covid-19 circumstances and has indicated that no persons, including clergy, should be on church premises for any reason beginning this evening in conjunction with Governor Pritzker's guidelines and directives for Illinois' general public.

'Live mass' for the Fourth Sunday in Lent will be at or close to 4 pm this afternoon via our Facebook page. Due to the change indicated above, the live mass that had been scheduled for tomorrow morning will instead be live-streamed this afternoon at 4 or soon thereafter. Don't count on a fine sermon!

I'm not all that sophisticated about Facebook but I do not believe that you need to have a Facebook account yourself to view the live stream here. I may be terribly mistaken, but I believe that ....

I must sign off now, in order to prepare the mass. Below is yesterday's Apart and Together, unchanged, for any of you who missed it.

Bless you,

Patrick +

Suspension to Continue 'beyond Easter' Bishop Lee has extended the suspension of in-person church worship and all other gatherings until 'beyond Easter.' (Bishop Budde of Washington has already indicated 'May 16' (at least). You may read a number of our Bishop's Covid-19-related messages at the bottom of the homepage for the Diocese of Chicago.

Worship & Music 

+ Look for another live streamed mass via Facebook Live now at 4 pm Saturday the 21st for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 22. (The video will also be viewable anytime thereafter. I hope it will be on or only a click or so away from our Facebook home page, which may be found by clicking here.

+ A beautiful Stations of the Cross liturgy was created yesterday with help from Br. Nathanael Rahm and incorporating images from the Stations at Ascension. Organist David White and Ascension choir Mezzo Soprano Cassidy Smith and I recorded the service (with proper ‘social distancing’) yesterday evening. You will be able to see it here at our Ascension YouTube channel ... if it ever completes downloading!

+ Br. Michael-Francis Smith, OSB , has asked me to invite you to his home altar and chapel for the Daily Office, and in particular Morning Prayer. I will create a link to his live feed from our own Facebook page when I solve a number of other technology issues, but for now you may link to the House of Initia Nova - Chicago Facebook live feed by clicking here.

+ The Wardens and I will soon be forming a Holy Week and Easter Worship Planning Team. No remote foot-washing, I'm guessing, but how will we gather and make sense of and be blessed by what we cling to and profess in our Holy Week and Easter liturgies?

+ Our musicians are very eager to contribute their gifts at this time. Other than the 'Stations' recording mentioned above (my thanks to Benjamin for arranging for Cassidy Smith to take part as well)

You can probably now see our life feed webcam of the Ascension nave and altar if you're able to read this newsletter online. Thanks to Verger Mary Beth Hwang for working hard over the past few days to make this happen. We are not quite sure about 'continuous.' It may take a few tries to work out some bugs. See the larger image below, or just click here to go to the live feed from our Youtube channel.

Pastoral Care

I've been doing my best to make contact with at least a few of you every day, and I know many of you are also reaching out to others. Although I won't publish my cell phone number here online, I welcome any member to call it ... ask around; a lot of people have it.  

Your Survey Responses - or NOT

My thanks to those of you who responded to the survey I circulated earlier this week. Sadly, I didn't know that Survey Monkey's 'free' survey feature limited responses to 40 -- so I don't know how many more of you may have wanted to use the survey after we quickly hit the limit. Stay tuned on what if any further surveying may follow, and know that I plan to take a closer look at those 40 results later today.

Vestry Meeting -- with God's help

We'll hold a Vestry meeting tomorrow, Saturday, March 21, starting at 1 pm. I'm not at all confident that I've sufficiently mastered the Meet feature of G Suite, but in theory all Vestry meetings are open to all, so if you'd like to take part, pay attention: please send an email only to this address -- connect@ascensionchicago.org -- with 'Vestry Meeting' in the subject line by 12:30 p.m. tomorrow. If I don't connect with you, please don't take it personally. If I do connect ... thanks be to God!

With prayers, gratitude and hope,

Patrick +

Thanks to Sexton George Panice for continuing to work on projects around Ascension. This week he completely re-built these two garden benches! And this photo shows the only time I've seen him sitting down since I don't know when. - Fr. Raymond +