This Week at Ascension + March 3, 2021

"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." - Psalm 96
March 3, Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent

7:30 a.m. - Morning Prayer
6:30 p.m. Live-Streamed Mass

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:
“Come, go down to the potter’s house,
and there I will let you hear my words.” - Jeremiah 18:1
Your attention, please, for connections updates . . .
We've received a number of positive responses to our first use of our new technology on Sunday and the live-stream on YouTube. A number of you also asked about a defective microphone ... one indicator that we have room for improvement! For the time being, we will continue to use YouTube only for masses. You may get to Ascension's YouTube channel by clicking here or through a link on our website home page. We will continue to use Zoom and/or Facebook Live for the Daily Offices (see the schedule later in this newsletter). Soon we hope to offer some tours and demos of the new equipment. Stay tuned (and tuned in).
Sunday, March 7
The Third Sunday in Lent

9:30 a.m. - Morning Prayer
10:00 a.m. - In-Person &
Live-Streamed Mass with organ,
hymn improvisation and choir motet

11:15 a.m. - Virtual Coffee Hour

Image: Christ Driving the Moneychangers from the temple, Rembrandt, 1626

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

"In all that you do, you are to nourish Christ's people from the riches of his grace, and strengthen them to glorify God in this life and in the life to come."

The Liturgy for the Ordination of a Priest, BCP, page 531
Dear people of Ascension,

Never before this coming Sunday have I scheduled a Lenten program on the topic of ordination. So why now? Let me share three reasons.

First, the topic seems natural and timely in light of the ordinations this past Saturday of George Arceneaux as priest and Meghan Murphy-Gill as deacon. They’ll co-lead Sunday’s conversation with me (starting at 11:30 a.m. via Zoom). Their reflections on the day of their ordinations and/or on all that led to their ordinations will, I trust, allow us to get to know them a bit better.

Second, I've fielded a number of inquiries over the past eighteen months or so from those at Ascension curious about ordination as priest or deacon. I'm wondering if interest may be more widespread. Those of us starting the conversation Sunday will give an introduction to the ordination process in the Diocese of Chicago.

Third, although few Christians sense a call to ordination -- and of those even fewer are eventually ordained -- all Christians are called. We are all called to regularly ask the same questions of vocation: "What are my God-given gifts?" "How can I best use them to glorify God and to share in the mission and fellowship of the Church for a good that is greater than my own interests?"

Our Lenten programs are not lectures. I've called them Conversations that Matter. They rely on your listening, responses, curiosity and faith -- all of which were exemplified by those who took part in our first conversation this past Sunday. Please join the conversation this coming Sunday and/or for other upcoming conversations described below.

From Seminarian Bonnie Scott
This past Sunday, I began a conversation about Death and Dying as part of Ascension's Lenten Series. I am filled with gratitude for those of you who attended. I was wowed by how deeply you engaged, both with the material and with one another through discussion. Pease feel free to reach out to me if you would like to continue the conversation (or begin one, if you were unable to attend) . I'll greatly appreciate your questions or ruminations on such a challenging subject. 
With Gratitude, Bonnie Scott

Our Lenten Program continues ...
  • All programs are via the Ascension meeting place on Zoom.
  • Four programs are 'coffee hour conversations' on the four Sundays in March.
  • One program will take place on a Wednesday evening - March 10.
  • One program will take place on a Wednesday at Noon - March 17.
  • Keep an eye on the newsletter for any changes.

A description of the program for this coming Sunday, March 7, is included below, as are the titles and presenters' names for remaining programs. To view a one-page document with descriptions of all programs, click here.
Sunday, March 7, 11:30 a.m.
Paths to Ordination
Father George Arceneaux
Deacon Meghan Murphy-Gill
Father Patrick Raymond

The three presenters will each briefly share a few impressions of their own paths to ordination. Then we will briefly examine the theology of ordination as it arises from the Prayer Book ordination rites and introduce the actual ordination process in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. Questions and other responses will be welcomed.   
Wednesday, March 10, 7:15 p.m.
Father Sam Portaro
Father Patrick Raymond
Sunday, March 14, 11:30 a.m.
Transforming Bread and Wine
Deacon Meghan Murphy-Gill
Wednesday, March 17, Noon
How do YOU create? And why? 
Beth Hall and Father Patrick Raymond
(Image to the right Beth with husband Samuel Sommers.)

Sunday, March 21, 11:30 a.m.
Noah Riggenbach
From Fr. George Arceneaux + The Curate's Corner
My First Mass ... Thanks to You

Though each Sunday's mass is a celebration, the experience of celebrating my first Eucharist as a priest will remain with me the rest of my days. In the midst of life’s busyness and challenges, Sunday was a still gift to me; one conveyed by the Holy Spirit through you and through the longstanding witness of Ascension. So thank you for your continued presence here. I am eager to continue celebrating with you.

Note: the photo above was taken at St. Mark's Church, Glen Ellyn, where Fr. Arceneaux was ordained. He was vested, as shown, in the red chasuble from Ascension's Solemn vestment set.
The 'Pusey Chalice'
(an aside from the Rector)
 Only in the past year or so did I learn that we have amongst our mass vessels at Ascension one parochially called 'The Pusey Chalice.' There is no mention of this chalice in our official parish history, and still hoping to hear from anyone who can tell me the actual provenance of the chalice. There is good reason to imagine a variety of connections between Ascension and Dr./Fr. Edward Bouverie Pusey, a leading figure in the 19th century Oxford Movement that gave rise to what we now call Anglo-Catholicism. The initials EBP, though worn and faint, are etched into the base below a sole cabochon gem. Soldering inside the base suggests repair at one point. Before his first mass on Sunday, I told Fr. Arceneaux (with appropriate qualifications) of our 'Pusey Chalice' and asked if he'd find it meaningful to use it. He of course said yes and did use it. 
Calling all Inquirers, Explorers, and Catechumens
A number of my recent conversations at Ascension have led to questions about and hopes for catechism -- religious instruction -- often in Episcopal churches called an inquirers' class. It may be time for such a class! Your input will be invaluable as I and others begin to weigh interest and consider the form that an inquirers' class might take. I'll be grateful to hear from you!
Father George +
Mobile: 337-288-2277
Lenten Liturgies & Links ...

I. Rite I will be used for Sunday masses during Lent.

II. The orders of worship or bulletins for which links are provided in this newsletter may be updated after the newsletter is sent but, with God's help. are in final form by the end of the day on Thursdays at the latest.
III. The Stations of the Cross rite with mezzo-soprano Cassidy Smith and Organist David White that was recorded in Lent 2020 may be viewed and prayed here. Regrettably, for a number of reasons, we cannot presently share the traditional Lenten Friday evening Stations of the Cross and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament here at the church in person. We hope to be able to do so in coming weeks.
Organ Repertoire for Sunday, March 7
Sept Improvisations, op. 150  [1916]
 I. Molto lento
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

 At The Offertory
Phantasy: Aus tiefer Not  [1931] 
Amy Cheney Beach (1867-1944)

There is no organ postlude.

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!


A small set of keys was turned over to the church office on Ash Wednesday.
If you think that these keys might be yours, please contact the church office.
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, Ethel Martin, Dean Pineda,
David Byerly, Bonnie Joseph, Diane Burnett, Steven Wallis, Sarah Ponder, Paula Budzban, Taffy Wehe, Neil, Carnola Malone, Rocky Ermilio, Catriana Patriarcha, Charley Taylor, Richard Laibly
Birthdays: Mary Beth Hwang, 3/3; Benjamin Rivera, 3/5; Dan O’Connell, 3/6
We pray in thanksgiving for the Ordinations of The Rev. George Arceneaux IV to the Holy Priesthood, and The Rev. Meghan Murphy-Gill to the Transitional Diaconate.
Requiescat in pace: Deacon Tim Sullivan, Standish Henning

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