This Week at Ascension + November 10, 2021

"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." - Psalm 96
"We should talk … about Writing Spiritually"
This evening, 5:15 - 5:55 p.m. via Zoom, with Mtr. Murphy-Gill
See additional information below.
This evening:
Wednesday, November 10
Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome

5:15 p.m. "We should talk ...

6:00 p.m. Evening Prayer via ZOOM
6:30 p.m. In-person & Live-streamed Mass

Image: Fresco, St. Maria Antiqua Church, Rome

Sunday, November 14

Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost
9:30 a.m. - Morning Prayer via ZOOM
10:00 a.m. In-person &
Live-streamed "9am Style" Sung Mass

Image: St Michael the Archangel window in the Ascension nave.
From the Rector
All Saints & Advent
Dear people of Ascension,

A main focus of my message today will be what lies ahead for us in Advent. As a preview, much of it is promising! But first please join me in looking back at and giving thanks for the meaningful and enriching rites of this past weekend.

Andrew Smith (second from left, below) and Ellie and Joshua Simpson (on the right) were Confirmed on Saturday, November 6, by Bishop Chilton Knudsen. In the 'regional/diocesan confirmation opportunity' at St. John the Evangelist Church, Flossmoor, Ascension's three Confirmands were the most presented by any parish. Special thanks to Ken Kelling (also pictured) and to Mother Murphy-Gill and others who offered support in various ways, including preparation of the Confirmands.
All three of our Confirmands served at the altar for our celebration of the Solemnity of All Saints, Sunday, November 7. The liturgy included the Baptisms of Alexander Rao, Anna Rao, Gabrielle Whitley, and Janna Derington. Including them in the procession for the Litany of Saints and presenting them to you to 'welcome the newly baptized' at the front of the nave were high points for me. Thanks to those who met with, listened to and shared their own faith with the candidates and to all of you who participated so robustly in the Baptism rite.
And now for some of what we can look forward to in coming weeks:

Thanksgiving Day Masses will be offered on Wednesday evening, November 24, 6:30 p.m., and on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 10:00 a.m. (with hymns).

On the First Sunday of Advent, November 28, we will be blessed to welcome (back) Joshua Heath as guest preacher. (For mass times in Advent, see below ...)

Advent Lessons & Carols will be offered on the Second Sunday of Advent, December 5, at 4:00 p.m.

Christmas mass times will likely be familiar but will be communicated when I can compare notes with others and confirm plans.

Adding a second Sunday Mass starting Advent I seems likely at this point. Below are the results of the 39 responses to the survey that I included in the last two newsletters. (For an image with slightly better resolution, click here.)
A large majority of those who responded favor masses at 9 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. We should be cautious in interpreting this result, however. Having dug into more detail, I believe it suggests that some who chose this option want a shorter mass at an earlier time and some mainly want the Solemn High Mass restored to 11:00 a.m.

If I've not made it clear, I am not proposing or wanting to permanently eliminate the schedule or forms of the mass on Sundays that we shared prior to the pandemic. I'm quite sure, however, that we are not yet prepared to return to it. Some of my present leadership aims are to:

  • Continue to navigate through the pandemic and significant changes safely and as well as possible with available human, spiritual and emotional resources.

  • To assume and own my responsibility as rector for final decisions while also summoning the best wisdom of our staff, lay leaders and all interested parishioners.

Your voice with regard to these matters may be heard a number of ways:

  • Share in the 'We Should Talk' opportunity on Wednesday, November 17, at 5:15 p.m. via Zoom. (Look for more information in next week's newsletter.)

  • Show up via Zoom for the Thursday, November 18, Vestry meeting. I'll include a related agenda item early in the meeting.

  • Share your thoughts with the Wardens, Vestry members or me by phone or email.

To share something, for your consideration of my evolving thoughts and instincts:

  • I continue to be inclined to (re)introduce a second Sunday mass, and I continue to believe that 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. are likely the best times.

  • I continue to imagine a Rite I mass at 9:00 a.m.

  • Organist David White and I have spoken about including some music, without however, all that was typical in the pre-pandemic 9:00 a.m. sung mass.

  • Likely only the 11:00 a.m. Solemn High Mass would be live-streamed.

  • Morning Prayer will continue to be offered via Zoom (only, for now) on Sundays.

  • I am hoping those who favor the 9:00 a.m. mass will step up (whether newly or renewing former commitments) to help with the lay ministries appropriate to support it.

The Collect for this coming Sunday draws our attention to how we 'hear, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest ... all holy Scriptures.' Nothing I've shared here is Holy Writ, but some or many of us may wish to pray for a similar sophistication in our engagement with all of the dynamic matters I've addressed here. Bless you for your faith, interest and participation.

Writing Spiritually
We should talk ... this evening at 5:15 p.m.
with Mother Meghan Murphy-Gill
Mother Murphy-Gill was a professional writer and editor for nearly 20 years before ordination. Journalism and marketing writing once paid her bills. In recent years, writing has become a spiritual practice, a way to pray, and a way to listen for God. Join us Wednesday evening for a conversation led by Mother Murphy-Gill on the art of writing spiritually, which will include a short writing exercise to practice it yourself. Join us 5:15 - 5:55 this evening via Zoom.
Plan Ahead for
Spiritual Formation in Advent

Advent is a holy period of preparation and waiting. This year, Mother Murphy-Gill will lead us in reflection and discussion of Amy-Jill Levine’s book, Light of the Word: A Beginners Guide to Advent. Levine is a Jewish rabbi and New Testament scholar and the first Jewish person to teach at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. By way of her book, we’ll explore the stories from Scripture of Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary, the journey to Bethlehem, and the visit from the Magi and reflect on how these ancient stories inform our own lives today. Click the link above to learn more about the book.

Copies of the book will be available for $5 this coming Sunday. We don’t want financial hardship to prevent anyone from participating, so please reach out to Mother Murphy-Gill if this is the case.

Please take this one-question survey to let her know when you want to gather for Advent. 
A new opportunity for outreach and hospitality?
Last week, Mother Murphy-Gill and I spent an hour with two representatives from the Care for Friends outreach ministry/program at Church of Our Saviour, on Fullerton Parkway. The 50-years-old-and-still-growing program will need to relocate for 18 months or more as the 'COS' parish house is demolished and rebuilt, starting in March 2022. Mother Murphy-Gill and I agreed to identify those from Ascension who may be interested in exploring how some or all of Care for Friends' outreach might take place here at Ascension during the time in question. Such an invitation and arrangement will, of course, require a comprehensive plan supported by the Wardens and Vestry. If interested, contact me or Mother Murphy-Gill or speak with either of our wardens. 
Organ Repertoire for November 7, 2021
Præambulum, Fantasy,
and Fugue primi toni
Matthias Weckmann (1616-1674)
At the Entrance Procession
At the Offertory
665  MICHAEL (desc. DW)
At the Communion
At the Retiring Procession
Toccata and Canzona IV
Matthias Weckmann

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!

Between Masses, please don’t forget that The Choir of the Ascension 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, Mon-Fri,
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: The Rev. Canon Paula Clark, Andrew McLean and family, August 'Augie' Alonzo, Jim Berger, Sarah Ponder, Taffy Wehe, Beth Hall, Steven Upmeyer, Sue Lenz, Ben,
Thom Ehlen, David D. Jones, Carys and Joshua Benjamin, Mike Rieman and Alexandra Olsavsky, Heather Miller and Jeffrey O’Malley, Lawrence Cox, James Hampton and family,
Victor Robertson, Gina, Tom Baer, Ellie Klein

Birthdays: Pablo Illás, 11/10; Juan Soria, 11/13; James Jimason Robinson, 11/13
Requiescat in pace: Gustav A. Norén, 11/7/2003; C. Jeriel “Jay” Howard, 11/9/2011; Raymond A Palmer, 11/9/2011; James Avery King, 11/10/2009, Sarah Susman, 9/20/2021, Juanita Mitchell

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

The Rev. Meghan Murphy-Gill, Curate

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.