This Week at Ascension + August 25, 2021

"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." - Psalm 96
This evening, Wednesday, August 25
Commemoration of
St. Bartholomew, Apostle

6:30 p.m. In-person & Live-streamed Mass

and in-person conversation, St. Michael Hall
(see more info. below)

Image: St. Bartholomew, tempera on wood, 1350, Bartolomeo Bulgarini, Musie Capitolini, Rome

Sunday, August 29, 2021

The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

9:30 a.m. - Morning Prayer via ZOOM
10:00 a.m. In-person & Live-streamed Mass

Image: Christ disputing with the Pharisees and the Sadducees in the Temple (Getty Museum)
From the Rector

Dear people of Ascension,
A bishop from another diocese with whom I recently spoke about the ongoing impact of the pandemic on the church in general and parishes in particular said, “It’s like the blisters in our boots ruptured in the spring but even now we still have ten miles to go.” The bishop in question, if you hadn’t surmised, is an outdoors enthusiast. 

I myself am enough of a hiker to have got the point. The blisters that have accompanied the ever-lengthening pandemic path have made most of us sore, many raw and miserable. How often have we hoped that a sign ahead would announce the end of the trail? Instead the sign read: BEWARE - MORE BLISTERS AHEAD.

One thing about blisters: the more you focus on them the more of your attention and energy they consume. At some point, the blister and the pain it inflicts and the need for relief define one’s entire world.

Meanwhile, life goes on, all along the trail. Caterpillars are becoming butterflies. A clearing in the trail reveals a breathtaking vista. An ice-cold stream offers blessed relief for the feet, even if one must afterward trudge on. 
This newsletter is mainly devoted to some of the other signs of life along the trail -- not all butterflies but mostly not directly about the pandemic. For the safety of all, we’re not done with the blisters, their discomfort, and our care and treatment of them. We’ll likely remember these blisters for the rest of our lives. But I hope and pray that in times to come the year ahead will also be remembered for bright spots, meaningful worship and fellowship, and valuable lessons in faith -- some of which we could only learn by hiking this path.
Also from the Rector:
Five Signs of Life Along the Path
The Choir of the Ascension &
the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus

Yesterday (Tuesday 8/24), I received the following email from Ascension parishioner Jim Drury. In it, he encourages me to pass along and celebrate the information he shares, but his email conveys the message as well or better than I could. Thanks, Jim, for your eye, ear and caring. A few added remarks from me follow Jim's email.

Yesterday I read in the Chicago Tribune a review of the last Grant Park concert for the season. The featured work was Handel's Dettingen Te Deum, featuring long-time Ascension Choir Member David Govertson. He was highly praised for his performance in the review. You should read the review if you have not seen it.

Earlier in the week on Wednesday the Grant Parkers did Schubert's G-Major Mass; Ascension's John Orduna was one of the soloists. Indeed Ascension's choir members were the soloists for much of the season. On July 9/10 they sang the Vivaldi Gloria, where Sarah Ponder and Corinne Wallace-Crane were two of the soloists, both Ascension Choir members. On July 14th, they did Haydn's Nicolai Mass, and once again Sarah Ponder was a soloist, as was tenor Hoss Brock. Other members may have also soloed (I do not remember everyone's names).
I think this is a very remarkable achievement, and it should get some recognition in This Week at Ascension, at the very least. Would there be an outlet at the diocesan level? Or Near North News, or something similar for the Ascension neighborhood?
Jim Drury

Below, the Grant Park Symphony & Chorus and Ascension-related vocal artists.
Top row, left to right: David Govertsoon, Corrine Wallace-Crane, Hoss Brock, John Orduna.
Bottom row, left to right: Sarah Ponder Tiana Sorensen, and Ascension Choirmaster Benjamin Rivera.
In his quick email to me, above, Jim Drury mentioned only those Choir of the Ascension members who have recently been featured in Grant Park Chorus performances. Also in the Chorus (among others I've likely overlooked) is Tiana Sorensen, and Choir of the Ascension Choirmaster Benjamin Rivera. Among many other posts and achievements, Dr. Rivera has on occasion served as Guest Chorus Conductor for the Grant Park Music Festival. The full roster of the Grant Park Chorus may be viewed here. Many of us at Ascension were blessed to have a full choir for our August 15 celebration of the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary/Assumption. The full choir will next join us for the Solemnity of Michaelmas, October 3, and on Sundays thereafter. Meanwhile we are blessed each Sunday with a more modest but no less gifted Schola -- typically four voices.
- Fr. Raymond
Who would you show up to hear?
What would you show up to discuss?
Join the (continuing) conversation this evening.
A dozen souls showed up after Sunday's mass to hear and share ideas in response to the invitation from Deacon Meghan Murphy-Gill in last week's Ascension newsletter. Conversation was wide-ranging and touched on:

  • theology,
  • Anglo-Catholic identity (history and ongoing evolution thereof),
  • hands-on mission in our neighborhood and beyond,
  • LGBTQ conversations, identity and implications, and
  • newcomer welcoming and orientation.

A second conversation is planned after the mass this evening. We'll start at about 7:15 p.m. Sandwiches will be provided. We'll end by 8:15 p.m. Please join us if you can, in person or, if we can make it available, via ZOOM.

Above: some of the possible guest speakers we discussed on Sunday; l. to r.:

To read the questionnaire that Deacon Murphy-Gill circulated on Sunday (and will share this evening), click here. If you wish to fill it out and return it to her, you may do so here.
Seeking a Technology Associate
With some additional funds authorized by the Vestry in July, we are in the early stages of a search for a 'technology associate,' an individual who can operate, or share in operating, our new technology system. The system was launched and has been sustained in large part by MB Hwang and Gary Alexander. They have recently been helped by a few volunteers, including DiAnne Walsh and our Sexton, George Panice. The addition of a tech associate for around half the Sundays of the year will partly allow MB and Gary to focus on other gifts and ministry needs. (Technology was not in the original ministry description for either of them.) Feel free to check out the tech position announcement here, and please pass it along to anyone you know who may be qualified or who may 'know someone.'

Image: MB Hwang (foreground) and DiAnne Walsh operate our audio-visual/live-stream system from the Ascension loft on a recent Sunday.
News of Bazaleis Sui in Haiti
Some from Ascension will remember Bazaleis Sui, formerly a student of Sr. Barbara Louise, OSA, and a regular at Sunday mass. He mostly got around with the help of a walker due to spinal injuries sustained in the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Due to visa complications, Bazaleis returned to Haiti in January 2020. He's recently been in touch with me, both before and, I'm grateful to say, after the August 14 earthquake. Here's his most recent message, from yesterday ...

Good morning Fr. Patrick,

How are you? I hope you are well in Jesus name. We are still facing a massive challenges to give a temporary response after the Haiti's earthquake on August 14. As I tried helping vulnerable people in Lacongo, Redon, Bedard, Duroché.

Please am asking to you if possible to help us raising 1$, 5$, 10$, 20$ and 50$ through the Acenssion Church community due to continue supporting people in needs surroundings areas of Cavaillon, southern, Haiti. Needed: water items, food, hygiene items, Plastic cheets, lamps, blankets and so on.
Thanks for your collaboration!
Best regards,

I'm happy to hear from any Ascension parishioner who may wish to organize a fund raiser in response to any natural disaster or other urgent need. In the absence of an organized effort, the Episcopal Church has a strong presence throughout Haiti, and I suggest a contribution to Episcopal Relief & Development, where contributions can often be earmarked. I communicate with Bazaleis through WhatsApp and welcome inquiries about how those who know him can be in touch with Bazaleis.
- Fr. Raymond +
Organ Repertoire for August 29, 2021
Variants on St. Denio [1969]
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
At the Entrance Procession
Hymn 423  ST. DENIO
At the Offertory
Hymn 436  TRURO
At the Communion
At the Retiring Procession
Hymn 556  MARION
Toccata improvvisata on Marion
David R. White (b. 1959)

About our 2021 Repertoire
As I develop a long-range plan for repertoire each year, I choose a theme or area of emphasis, often complete works or a complete large-scale work by one composer. During 2021, organ music by women composers and African-American composers is being and will be featured in voluntaries and recitals throughout the year. There are some little-known gems waiting to be discovered, as well as music by major composers, with whom works for the organ are not generally associated. Enjoy!
From Benjamin Rivera

Dear friends,

Our vocal music has returned to its usual (pre-COVID) summer format:
-congregational Mass Ordinary, hymns, and service
-chanted propers, solos, and/or motets sung by the

If you haven’t attended a summer Mass for a while, you may not be aware that many of these Masses feature a quartet or quintet of mixed voices. We hope you’ll join us in the building, or online if you’re unable to attend in person.

Peace be with you!

Between Masses, please don’t forget that our choir has recorded upwards of 60 tracks that you can listen to anywhere you have an internet connection. They can be found here:

Ascension Connections
(with your click and God's help)
Participate in Ascension masses at our YouTube Channel. (Look for other connections options soon.)
Meeting ID:
792 031 7452
Password: 1133
Join-by-Phone Option: (312) 626-6799

Weekly Ascension Schedule

For connections:
via Zoom (click here)
except for Morning Prayer,
via Facebook (click here).

9:30 a.m. Virtual Morning Prayer
10:00 a.m. Live-Streamed Mass
11:00 a.m. Virtual Coffee Hour

6:00 p.m. Evening Prayer via Zoom

6:30 p.m. Low Mass
Please give generously as you are able.
Treasurer Susan Schlough has asked me to remind you of Ascension's ongoing expenses at this time. To the extent that you are able, payment on your pledges or the offering of Holy Day or other special gifts will be greatly appreciated. You may still write a check and mail it to the church, or online payment is possible through the buttons at various places on our website. Thank you!
For our prayers: August 'Augie' Alonzo, Jim Berger, Steven Wallis, Sarah Ponder, 
Taffy Wehe, Amy Peterson, Stephanie, Gwen Clark-Mason, The Rev. Canon Paula Clark,
Lee Gould, Maria, Beth Hall, Claire, Inez Bahena, Gina, Catherine C., Steven Upmeyer, Sue Lenz, Ted Long, Ted Saunders, Ben, Ricardo Avila, Thom Ehlen, David D. Jones
Anniversaries: Benjamin and Alexia Rivera, 8/22/2010; David White and John West, 8/23/1999 
Requiescat in pace: Dave Norén, 8/22/2010; Laurie Mezger, 8/25/1996; Bruce Anderson Young, 8/25/2004; Lois Kimani, 7/31/2021, Peter Folger Stetson, 8/2/2021; Mary Gesel, 8/8/2021

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them;
May their souls and the souls of all the departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

The Rev. Patrick Raymond, Rector

Susan Schlough, Treasurer

Br. Nathanael Deward Rahm BSG, Parish Office
Vestry of Church of the Ascension
Cheryl Peterson, Sr. Warden; Kenneth Kelling, Jr. Warden; Kelly Colomberti, Marilyn Evans, Lynette Hector, Jim Lo Bello, George Pineda, David Reeves, Samuel Sommers, Enrique Vilaseco, Amber Zelazny

Approved minutes of Vestry meetings are always available online to parishioners who request the link. If you would like Internet access to these Vestry Minutes, please email the Parish Office and request the link. Once you access the web page, you can read all recent Vestry meeting minutes.
The link remains live indefinitely. Any parishioner who has the link will not need to request a new link from month to month.