" Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness ." - Psalm 96

Commemoration of Priscilla & Aquila,
Companions of St. Paul

This evening, July 8

Evening Prayer 6:00 p.m.
* note the new starting time *
Low Mass, 6:30 p.m.

Via Zoom, connect below

6th Sunday after Pentecost July 12

8:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
9:00 a.m. Live-Streamed Mass
10:15 a.m. Conversations with Noah Riggenbach (see below)
11:00 a.m. Virtual Coffee Hour
and spiritual formation conversation

(See connection information below.)

The Sower (after Millet),
Vincent Van Gogh, 1889
From the Rector
Dear people of Ascension,

    If there’s one message I feel compelled to share in this newsletter, it’s about YOU — you, the people of Ascension, individually and collectively. And the message is this: The timing, safety, success and meaningfulness of our returning to in-person worship will partly, and perhaps largely, depend on YOU. I’m not aiming to shame here. Or to diminish my responsibilities or those of our paid staff. Just stating what’s become increasingly clear, to me and to others.
     We’ll need help, quite a bit of it, not only to reopen the church on our first Sunday back but to do so routinely going forward after that. Some help will take new forms. Volunteer cleaners, for example, will contribute to ensuring a safe environment, running through checklists following each mass. We’ll need ‘Tech Ministers’ to (unobtrusively) run, orchestrate and troubleshoot our ongoing online connections. 
     Thankfully, you’ve already given us a head start. Sixty-one of you have, so far, responded to our recent survey. Thirty one of you gave your names. Twenty three of you who gave your names indicated a willingness to help in one or more roles. Four of you are relative newcomers.
     Even if you are unable to volunteer, or for whatever reason can’t, we’ll all be able to help in other ways: by staging informed, by knowing and respecting the protocols that will support a safe environment, and by monitoring our expectations. Weeping and gnashing of teeth will likely result if we compare the masses as we’ll first be able to offer them with anything that has gone before.
More information may be found below. My special thanks to those of you who have been or will be able to say yes to actively helping as we resume and renew in-person worship at Ascension.

Patrick +

Also from the Rector
Steps toward returning to in-person worship
+ Our task force continues to meet at least three times per month. Members are taking on individual projects in between meetings.

+ The task force will soon be forming a number of working teams to take concrete steps toward re-opening readiness. The teams include:

  • Liturgy/Music/Sacristies
  • Ushers/Greeters/Protocols
  • Technology/Virtual Connections
  • Sanitation/Cleaning Teams
  • Communications
+ Many of the 63 people who responded to our June 24 survey indicated their willingness to help but did not share their names! If you are in this anonymous category, PLEASE send an email to Br. Nathanael Rahm in the parish and tell us how you can help .

+ Yes, we are still aiming to return to in-person worship by mid-August, subject to confidence that we are adequately prepared.

+ No, we can't control things that we can't control. If pandemic conditions continue to worsen and if directed by the bishop, mayor and/or governor, opening may be delayed, or, after opening, reversed.
Ongoing Conversations about Theology
with Noah Riggenbach, Sundays at 10:15 a.m.
July 12 - Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi
This Latin phrase has circulated among Christians since the late 4th century and, loosely translated, means ' the law of prayer is the law of belief.' The words invite Christians to contemplate, in particular, how our forms of worship, prayer and music both reveal and shape our theology -- our understanding of God, self and vocation, our work in the world.
July 19 - Where is God in Pandemic ?
We naturally wonder if, where or how God is with us in global circumstances like the present. In addition to wondering about the nature or presence of God, we may wonder about how to understand and practice our Christian faith -- our worship, fellowship and mission -- amidst so much disruption and uncertainty.

July 12 - Being Christ's voice and hands in the world. Noah will revisit questions he posed in our first gathering on July 5. How do we better connect our theology (ortho- doxy, the doctrines we share) with the actual practices of our faith (ortho- praxy). What conclusions might we reach with regard to our witness together as a parish in response to present troubles, concerns and questions?

PS If you'd like to be in touch with Noah, link here to his email .
Congratulations, Elizabeth 'Ellie' Roberts and Joshua Simpson
Being more or less continuously quarantined since mid-March at Joshua's parents' home in Western Massachusetts, they've had plenty of time to live in close quarters, observe, pray, and reach the conclusion that they should marry! They'll be joined in a civil ceremony July 15 and look forward to the Church's blessing and the sacrament of marriage to be celebrated at Ascension at a date to be determined, in December or January.
In case you've misssed this ...
Remembering Father Gregory Norris
XIV Rector of Church of the Ascension
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 Finance@AscensionChicago.org .  
Thanks be to God!
(and Virtual Verger MB Hwang)
The Ascension nave/sanctuary
webcam is now live again.

Thanks for your patience as we adjust some features in coming days.

From the Choirmaster
T his Week's Featured Chorister
Tiana Sorenson, soprano
Year of my first service at Ascension :
2018, December 30th to be specific :)

One or two of my favorite Mass settings/motets that I’ve sung at Ascension :
Edinburgh Mass  by Gabriel Jackson 

One of my favorite things about singing at Ascension is :
The singing and creating music in itself, the laughs, being in good company.
I miss my fellow singers terribly.

What else do I do outside of Ascension?
Bake cookies and banana bread, and also try new plant-based recipes I find on Pinterest. :)

Next week’s Featured Chorister will be
this Sunday’s soloist, Tyler Lee
Sunday's Organ Repertoire
Opening Voluntary
O Welt, ich muß dich lassen
Opus 122, no.3;
Opus 122, no. 11
Johannes Brahm s  (1833-1897)

Offertory Hymn
Hymn 505 " O Spirit of Life "

Closing Voluntary
O Gott, du frommer Gott, op. 122, no. 7
Johannes Brahms
Ascension Connections
(with your click and God's help)
Meeting ID:
792 031 7452
Password: 1133
Join-by-Phone Option: (312) 626-6799

Weekly Ascension Schedule
for the (stay-at-home) time being
All connections are via Zoom (click here)
except for Morning Prayer, via Facebook (click here).

8:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
9:00 a.m. Mass
10:15 a.m. Scripture reflection
11:00 a.m. Virtual Coffee Hour

6:10 p.m. Evening Prayer via Zoom

6:30 p.m. Low Mass
Musical offering for Corpus Christi

The Daily Offices
Join us for Morning Prayer, Mondays through Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. on Facebook Live. We've created  a dedicated group as part of Ascension's Facebook page here  where you can find these videos. (Or navigate from the Ascension Facebook page by clicking on "Groups" at the left side of the screen.) Pray with us while watching live or while visiting the videos later. If, having seen these, you find that you'd like to officiate, please reach out to Br. Jonathan Wheat, SMJ (pictured here) or MB Hwang .
Evening Prayer via Zoom
Mondays-Fridays, 6:00 p.m.
Please note the addition of
Evening Prayer on Fridays!

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!
Ascension Prayer List as of July 8
For our individual and shared courage and wisdom in addressing matters related to race and racism and for the reconciling witness of the Church.
For our prayers : Charley Taylor, August 'Augie' Alonzo, Jim Berger, Ethel Martin, Kuni Sakai, Dean Pineda, Carnola Malone, Charlene MacDougal, Mary Drell, Jim Lo Bello, Mary Lou Devens, Marty Stenson, Donna Neglia, Jessica, Maxim, Ted Long, Ken Kelling, Beth Hall, David Byerly, Nicholas Carl, Sal Martinez, Salem, Marta Alverado, Leigh McDonald.
I n Thanksgiving :
Upcoming Birthdays : The Rev. Paul Ahn, 7/11; Ethel Martin, 7/13;, Peter Milano, 7/16;
Catherine Wilson, 7/16; Xiomara Green, 7/18
Upcoming Anniversaries : James Baran & David Robertson, marriage , 7/18/2013
Requiescat in pace : Oliver William Porter, 7/13/1999; Edward Jacobs, 7/13/2000;
Jerry Haapanen, 7/13/2017; Beatrice ‘Bea’ Haapanen, 7/16/2017; Jack Simmerling, 7/18/2013
Prayers for the departed :
Father Edwin A. ‘Gregory’ Norris, XIV Rector of Church of the Ascension
Elinor Dahmer
All who have died due to complications of COVID-19
For all law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
For all who have been unjustly killed as a result of law enforcement misconduct.

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

My message above about returning to in-person worship led me to think a lot about our expectations, which in turn led me to the simple poem below, by Kay Ryan, 14th Poet Laureate of the United states (2008-2010). The poem, in turn, led me to think of summer rains, and summer travels, including the familiar regional vacation travels that many of us have foregone this year. So I put together a little gallery of painted Midwest scenes following the poem. (Attributions are below the images; my favorite is John Lautermilch's rendering of Kansas' Flint Hills.) May you be blessed in your expectations, poetry and travels, whether real or imagined (the expectations and poems as well as the travel!).
- Fr. Raymond +


We expect rain

to animate this
creek: these rocks

to harbor gurgles,

these pebbles to

creep downstream

a little, those leaves

to circle in the
eddy, the stains

and gloss of wet.

The bed is ready

but no rain yet.
"Queen Anne Lace" (dry stream bed, clouds, tree line, cows), Chris Oousley, 2013
Dry Creek Bed, Charles Beckendorf (date unavailable)
After a rain water runs in dry creek beds in the Kansas Flint Hills., oil, plein air, Gary Walden, undated.

Evening clouds over the prairie, John Lautermilch
Door County Curvy Road to Northport Along Highway 42  is a painting by Christopher Arndt , 2014
The Very Rev. Patrick Raymond, Rector

Susan Schlough, Treasurer

Br. Nathanael Deward Rahm BSG, Parish Office