Wednesday, February 13th
6:10 p.m. Evening Prayer
6:30 p.m. Said Mass
followed by dinner

The Commemoration 
of Absalom Jones

Sunday, February 17
The Sixth Sunday
after the Epiphany

7:30am Morning Prayer 
8am Said Mass  (Rite I)
9am Sung Mass 
11am Choral Mass 
Baldassare Galuppi
(1706-1785) Missa in C

This Week at Ascension + February 13, 2019


From the Rector
Also From the Rector
Ascension Connections
Baroque Ensemble Concert
Ascension Book Group
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word


The Sanctuary Lamp

"Thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee
pure oil ... for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always."
     - Exodus 27:20

Dear People of Ascension,

The tradition of a sanctuary lamp is ancient. The last chapters of the Book of Exodus convey the Lord's directions to Moses for the building of a mobile holy place that will travel with the Israelites in the wilderness. A lamp is to burn continually outside the holy of holies, indicating God's presence in that place and with His people.

In some Christian traditions, including our own, a sanctuary lamp burns continually. The lamp is always placed with specific reference to the reserved sacrament-consecrated bread (and sometimes wine) from the Eucharist. The light signifies and reminds us of Christ's presence with us in the Church.

Our own sanctuary lamp at Ascension is magnificent! It's of beautiful design and perfectly proportioned for our sanctuary and with reference to the Tabernacle, in the center of the high altar, where the Blessed Sacrament is kept. The lamp is a memorial, a 1912 gift to the church in remembrance of Elizabeth Whittaker McMurray.

Keepers of our sanctuary lamp have been lamenting since I came to Ascension that it needs refinishing. What better time, we recently reasoned, than during our present sanctuary construction project. Also, may I add a pastoral-liturgical spin? It's this: In these weeks 'after the Epiphany,' we are summoned to reflect on and renew our own lights that we may better represent in word and deed the Light of the world.

Sorry to say we may be using a mobile lamp of our own for a week or two after we return to the church. The sanctuary lamp refinishing project is being carried out painstakingly ... and more slowly than we anticipated. And we're a bit over budget. Please let me know if you'd like to make a gift toward the $1,250 cost-a nice opportunity to let your light shine!


Please click anywhere here if you want to see more information on the Sanctuary Lamp project.

The Commemoration of Absalom Jones takes place today, February 13. It's a commemoration unique to the calendar of the Episcopal Church. Absalom Jones was the first African-American ordained in our church - deacon in 1796, priest in 1802 - but only after a great deal of resistance and challenge. He was, for instance, denied the opportunity to study at General Seminary in New York City, from which I earned my own MDiv in 1987.

Jones' commemoration invites us to take stock of those we include and exclude from our fellowship and ministries in the church. And of course all of faithful conscience are compelled to wonder about the ongoing manifestations of racism in our culture and in our own local relationships, politics and economies. I've often used the image to the left below in conjunction with communications about Absalom Jones, but I recently came across the edgier image in the center, by a young artist, Christopher Taylor. Another of Taylor's works, at the right below, is titled The Young Savior: Modern Day Jesus as a Black Boy.
By the time this newsletter goes out, you'll have missed the 12:05 p.m. mass and the Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings fellowship that followed. But you are welcomed to share in Evening Prayer at 6:10 p.m. and the 6:30 p.m. mass at which the Rev. Anna Broadbent will preside and share a homily. Dinner and fellowship will follow.

Don't worry, it's dark brown -the paint color selected for the large wall over the sanctuary arch. I couldn't seem to muster any zeal from others for seriously considering other options. Some of you know that exact color-matching is difficult, but most of us, I believe and pray, won't see much if any difference in that wall color from what was there before. The fresh coat of paint will look great!

In other construction news ... We are beginning to believe it may be possible for us to be back in the church in time for services on Sunday, February 28. We should know for sure in time for announcement in next week's newsletter.

A contract to repair the damaged top of the high altar spire has been signed. No forecast yet, though, on completion date. The contract also includes a cleaning of the entire reredos from top to bottom.
The first meeting of the 2019 Vestry will take place Tuesday, February 19, at 7:00 p.m. in the parish library. All Vestry meetings are open to all interested persons. Please let me or the wardens know well in advance of any meeting if you have a matter to bring before the Vestry.

My sermon from this past Sunday, February 10
, may be viewed here.

Support our parish artists!

Maestro Enrique Vilaseco has shared information about a variety of upcoming events, including a February 19 Baroque Viol Concert. You'll see the poster below and can read about other Stevenson High School music matters in a longer document here.

Gary Alexander is presently Nicola, and will remain so for a few weeks more, in nearby Shaw Chicago's production of George Bernard Shaw'ls Arms and the Man, 'one of his most scintillating romantic comedies ...' Read more here.

If you're an artist who would like to share your work with others at Ascension , let us know and we'll do our best within reason to share what we can.


Thank you from Ascension Connections

The Ascension Connections team would like to thank all who shared their thoughts, after the coffee hours on February 10, about possible Ascension Connections activities. We are now tabulating the results and penciling in dates. We will keep you "connected".

Cynthia Perrizo & Kelly Colomberti & you!

Stevenson High School's Baroque Ensemble, under the direction of Ascension parishioner Enrique Vilaseco, will perform Tuesday, February 19th at 7pm in the Recital Hall of Stevenson High School (1 Stevenson Dr. Lincolnshire, IL 60069.) Funds raised at this concert will benefit their upcoming trip to New Mexico to perform with Rachel Barton Pine. They recently performed at Ascension and were well received. If you are not able to attend the concert but would still like to make a donation of support, checks may be sent to:  Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Attn: Enrique Vilaseco,  1 Stevenson Dr, Lincolnshire, IL 60069.  More information from Enrique about their New Mexico trip may be found at the links below.

Vilaseco to Lead Presentation With Noted Violinist Rachel Barton Pine
Orchestra Director Enrique Vilaseco will present with award-winning violinist Rachel Barton Pine at the American String Teachers Assoc. conference next month in Albuquerque, NM. The pair will lead a session on " Baroque for Beginners and Beyond " on Friday, March 8. Pine's latest album, "Blues Dialogues," was named one of the best 10 classical music recordings of 2018 by the Chicago Tribune. She was interviewed on NPR's "All Things Considered" last month.


For February the Ascension Book Group will continue to read  The Pillars of the Earth (1989) by Ken Follett (b. 1949).  In January we read the Prologue, Parts I and II. For February we are reading Parts III and VI.  This sweeping epic is set in the tumultuous era of 12th Century England, the narrative concerns the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge. ... 


The  Sunday Lectionary readings Schedules of Acolytes, Lectors & Ushers as well as Hymnody, Motets and Organ Voluntaries for  Sunday, February 17, 2019  may be found by clicking  here The Lector's Pronunciation Guide may be found here .


Please remember these people in your daily prayers
Geoffrey Wainwright, Fr. John Graham, Dorothy Murray, Mary Lou Devens, Michael Milano, Thomas Holden, Brenton Boitse, Charley Taylor, August 'Augie' Alonzo, Kenvert Samuel, Ted Long, Jim Berger, Ethel Martin, Rachel Barton Pine, Demos Kukeas, Norb Bragiel, Yuka Asai, Dean Pineda, Fred Malek, Chris Marston, Pastor Fred Overdier
Prayers for the departed
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.

The Approved Minutes of Vestry meetings are now available online to parishioners who request the link.  If you would like Internet access to the Approved Vestry Minutes, please email the  Church Office and request the link. 
Once you access the web page, you can read all recent Approved Vestry Minutes.  In addition, if you click on the subscribe button at the top right, you will be given email notice whenever a new set of Approved Minutes is added. 

A prayer of Absalom Jones, offered at a meeting of the Vestry of St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, February 11, 1808.

Oh thou God of all the nations upon the earth! We thank thee, that thou art no respecter of persons, and that thou hast made of one blood all nations of men. We thank thee, that thou hast appeared, in the fullness of time, in behalf of the nation from which most of the worshiping people, now before thee, are descended. We thank thee, that the sun of righteousness has at last shed his morning beams upon them. Rend thy heavens, O Lord, and come down upon the earth; and grant that the mountains, which now obstruct the perfect day of thy goodness and mercy towards them, may flow down at thy presence. Send thy gospel, we beseech thee, among them. May the nations, which now sit in darkness, behold and 
rejoice in its light ....

O, hasten that glorious time, when the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea; when the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them; and, when, instead of the thorn, shall come up the fir tree, and, instead of the brier, shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name and for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off .... 

We implore thy blessing, O God, upon the President, and all who are in authority in the United States. Direct them by thy wisdom, in all their deliberations, and O save thy people from the calamities of war. Give peace in our day, we beseech thee, O thou God of peace! and grant, that this highly favoured country may continue to afford a safe and peaceful retreat from the calamities of war and slavery, for ages yet to come. We implore all these blessings and mercies, only in the name of thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. And now, O Lord, we desire, with angels and arch-angels, and all the company of heaven, ever more to praise thee, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty: the whole earth is full of thy glory. Amen.

Image: Stained glass window in St. George's Episcopal Church, Dayton, OH, crafted by Willet Stained Glass, 2000

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office