This Week at Ascension + April 7, 2021

"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." - Psalm 96
Wednesday in Easter Week
April 7

6:30 p.m. Live-streamed Mass

Image: Road to Emmaus, J. Kirk Richards

The Second Sunday of Easter, April 11

9:30 a.m. - Morming Prayer via ZOOM
10:00 a.m. Live-streamed Mass

11:15 p.m. Virtual Coffee Hour via ZOOM

Image: Doubting Thomas, mural in a series at Njase School, Choma, Zambia

Note: After clicking on the link, you will be able to see how many spots, if any, are still available for a particular mass.

When you register online, you will be sent an email confirming your online registration. This same link will also have a
Please note: if you have not yet taken part in an in-person mass, please click here to see some basic information that you will want to know before registering, upon arrival and during and after the mass.

From the Rector
 Highs and Lows
Dear people of Ascension,

When our children were younger, Brooke and I often asked them at the diner table to answer two questions: "What was a high point of your day?" And "What was a low point?" We were aiming to cultivate both thoughtful reflection and disciplined listening.

This memory came to mind on Monday as I sent an email to a number of souls who were most involved in our Holy Week and Easter liturgies. In essence, I was asking them, "What were your highs and lows?"

My own high point last week was no one moment but the continuous awareness of and gratitude for the faith, gifts and intentions of a dozen or so people who gave so much and collaborated so well from beginning to end as we made our way through the rigorous schedule of detail-intensive liturgies.

My low point was also diffuse. Throughout the week I felt nagged by the thought that what we were doing can't be indefinitely sustained. Pandemic has required us to rely on fewer souls for more time and talent. But in addition, some systems in place for years are no longer working and are not likely to be put back together in the old way. A few key people who have always given many, many hours of time and knowledge and heavy lifting during Holy Week are no longer available.

I pray that sharing my 'low' won't undermine the 'high.' But with Holy Week and Easter Day now past, and with the pandemic conceivably winding down, I'm wondering what can and will be sustained. How we will know how much we can do? Who will decide? I'm hoping, of course, for new souls to step up and infuse new enthusiasm. And of course I'm praying to lead, along with you, in such a way that we'll be blessed with more highs than lows.

Also from the Rector
A 'Hi' and a 'High'
I was grateful to receive the following note yesterday (from a good soul who lives elsewhere and attends another parish). I hope some may find it of interest as we begin to consider the potential reach and impact of our new technologies.

Dear Patrick+,
Our parish's technology was sadly not working Saturday evening, so I went to one of my favorite parishes, Church of the Ascension (Washington National Cathedral is another favorite) and joined your Great Vigil of Easter. It was very moving, particularly The Litany of the Saints, which, being a lower Episcopalian, I had not experienced before. Enthusiastically calling for the various saints to "Pray for us!" reinforced the presence of the cloud of witnesses (of which I will be a part one day) and how Jesus and they watch over us. I related this at our Bible study this morning. Your new various camera angles are great and the audio was excellent throughout.
Thank you and Easter blessings, 
And Another Low Point ...
Although every service from Palm Sunday through the second mass on Easter Day was filled up online (by way of pre-registration), we had quite a few spots available at every Holy Week liturgy. This means that we had quite a few no-shows and that some persons who would like to have joined us and were unable could have been here ... if others had cancelled their registrations. Please remember to go back into your confirmation email and cancel your registration if you are unable to join us so that others who would like to attend may do so. Thank you.
And One More: A Low AND High Point
For a variety of reasons, including fewer contributions and the ongoing pandemic, this didn't seem the year for an over-the-top extravagant show of flowers. Add to that (we learned the hard way) the general scarcity of flowers available for purchase. Even so, a devoted crew -- Claire Greene, Carol Noren, and Ellie and Joshua Simpson -- devoted time and creativity to flower-beautify the Church and convey that unmistakable 'It's Easter!' feel. Thanks to Dr. Noren for the photos.
Late Notice! The March 7 Ordination of David Knox as (transitional) Deacon, at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Springfield, IL, by the Rt. Rev. Daniel Martins, Bishop of Springfield. Here are a few photos just shared with me in the past few days by Deacon Knox; a recording of the ordination liturgy may be viewed here. And a note to us is ... here:

Dear Ascension Family, I thank the Lord for role Ascension played in my life in my first years as an Episcopalian, and I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be with for my seminary field work in 2019-2020. Thanks be to God, I was ordained to the transitional diaconate on March 7, 2021. Ascension is, and will remain, in my prayers. Please keep me in yours. May the Lord give us peace and joy this Easter season.  - Deacon David.
Reminders: Bishop Anderson House workshops and more

An Advanced Care Planning workshop will be offered twice in coming weeks by Bishop Anderson House, an Episcopal chaplaincy ministry based at RUSH medical center. The workshops will be led by 'BAH' Director Father Tommy Rogers and will focus on information in the widely-used Five Wishes booklet: April 10, 10-11 a.m. and April 15, 7-8 p.m. More workshop information may be found be clicking a few tabs at the Bishop Anderson House website, here.

Preparing for Christian Death and Burial is a document that I authored (last revised in 2018). It's one way for you to convey additional information/wishes to loved ones and/or clergy and others. You may view this document here.

Providing information to your church can be a gift to all when the time comes to answer critical questions about your wishes--whether by way of the forms above or another means. Please consider sharing your related information so that it may be put in a confidential file here at Ascension. Contact Br. Nathanael in the parish office about how to do so.

Holy Week and Easter Sermons

Fr. Gary Lawler's sermon for Wednesday in Holy Week may be read here.

Deacon Meghan Murphy-Gill's sermon for Maundy Thursday may be read here.

Fr. Patrick Raymond's Good Friday sermon

Fr. George Arceneaux's sermon for the Great Vigil of Easter may be read here.

Fr. Patrick Raymond's sermon for Easter Day may be read here.

Organ Repertoire for the Second Sunday of Easter, April 11
Prelude and Fugue, op 16, no. 3
Clara Schumann (1819-1896)
At the Offertory

Grand Choeur pour O filii et filiæ
Jean-François Dandrieu (1682-1738)

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!
Choir of the Ascension:
Now on Soundcloud!
Please visit SoundCloud and listen to our playlist! There are currently 40 tracks, and several more will be added each month.

Benjamin Rivera, Choirmaster
Other than for urgent or essential matters or for brief personal devotion in the church, visits to Ascension are presently to be avoided. Any (other) visit should be arranged in advance with Br. Nathanael Rahm. Thank you for your understanding.
Due to COVID-19, Church of the Ascension’s Treasurer and Bookkeeper are limiting the amount of time they spend working in the parish offices. All checks received at Ascension via the United States Postal Service, not always a reliable service in our area, will be bank deposited approximately every 4-6 weeks. You may contact the Treasurer by email anytime at 
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
Yes, but I still haven't Zoomed ...
For the Novice, Newbie, or tech-challenged: It may be easier than you know. We've simplified instructions on the sheet that you can view by clicking here. Please know that you can block your camera (and don't need one to start with), and you could join our Scripture study or Virtual Coffee Hour, for instance, without having to say a word. Give it a try.
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, Dean Pineda, David Byerly,
Bonnie Joseph, Steven Wallis, Sarah Ponder, Paula Budzban, Taffy Wehe, Neil, Carnola Malone, Rocky Ermilio, Catriana Patriarcha, Charley Taylor, Richard Laibly, Marvin Files
Birthdays: Victor Lofgreen, 4/4; Grace Raymond, 4/7; John Smolinski, 4/8; Kay Trotter, 4/10
Anniversaries: Lindsay & Joel Hammer, marriage, 4/7/2018 (COA)
Requiescat in pace: Charles Clifton Eden, Priest, 4/8/2009; Thomas Kelly Rogers, Priest, 4/9/1983; Mary Lillian Grimm, 4/9/2008; Alice Lord Wheeler, Benefactor, 4/10/1896; Maria Devens, 4/10/2013

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