A Newsletter of

Church of the Ascension

and Saint Agnes

for Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Readings for Second Sunday in Lent

In Case You Missed Us on Sunday...

Grace Gives us God’s Love Already Victorious

First Sunday of Lent


A true story with which some of you may be familiar….

103 years ago, 1921, Betty June Thornburg was born in Battle Creek, Michigan. Abandoned by her father at a very young age, she learned, via telegram, in 1937, that he had committed suicide.

Betty’s earliest memory: breaking spontaneously into song at age three, to distract a drunken man threatening to assault her mother at the “Blind Pig”, her mothers’ pub. At age nine, Betty quit school to sing on street corners, to raise money. Her mother was an alcoholic. One evening, at a Charlie Chaplin silent film with her mother, she thought, “I will be a star and my mother will stop drinking.”

1950: Betty Hutton, as she was known on stage and in film, got the starring role in Annie Get Your Gun, replacing Judy Garland. Success, but a challenging road lay ahead. 

1967, life unraveled: fired by Paramount Pictures, death of her manager, death of her mother in a fire, bankruptcy. 1969: death of her dear friend, Garland, of a drug overdose. 1970: loss of her singing voice, nervous breakdown, attempted suicide. 1971: at age 50, four failed marriages, a wrecked career, and homeless. “All she had was a shopping bag with a few things in it” said the executor of her estate. Worth $10 million at one point, broke and broken.

Click HERE to continue reading Fr. Dominique's sermon

Promises Made and Promises Fulfilled


Lenten: a journey of faith, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the promises made to us by God. One reason this can be challenging is that we find ourselves in a culture that often places its “faith” in self, having us believe that we are masters of our own destiny. The words of Ralph Waldo Emerson capture such thinking well: The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.

In contrast, St. Paul speaks of divine, Christian faith, which turns us towards an Other. As he says in this Sunday’s second reading (Romans 4:13-25), we

share the faith of Abraham in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist…Hoping against hope.

Beyond the scientifically verifiable and the emotionally felt, beyond our selves, thanks to faith, we touch a transcendent God, Who loves us and Who is closer than anything we can verify or feel, including ourselves. And, in such intimate relationship, we can have the utmost confidence—as did Abraham, who did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.

We are the people of God’s faithful presence and God’s promises. Sometimes, we struggle to believe because there is no proof and no emotion. And then, somehow, if we let our hearts be quiet, and we whisper a little trust, something surfaces in us, and we sense that we are not alone.

Trusting in the Lord and His promises with you,

The Rev. Dominique Peridans

Lenten co-sojourner

Soup and Scripture and Sharing...

Beginning THIS Wednesday at 6:30 PM (in the parish house dining room) Failitated by Mark Witte, seminarian intern

Join us again on

  • February 28
  • March 6

This Sunday...

Breakfast of Champions for Seniors

9:00 AM

(in the social hall)

Download our Lenten Flyer
Click HERE to join Hope Delivers EVERY Thursday in Lent

Thursdays @ 7:30 PM (via Zoom)

Hope Delivers: Bible Fellowship

Download 40 Ideas for a Holy Lent


Scan the QR code below to have one idea sent to you each day during Lent.


Holy Eucharist is now celebrated in the Lady Chapel

at 6:00 PM on Wednesdays and 8:00 AM on Sundays