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The Day of Pentecost: Whitsunday
June 9

  Detail from the Holy Spirit window at Church of the Ascension, Chicago

7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer;  8:00 a.m. Low Mass (Rite I)
8:45 a.m. Nursery care begins;  9:00 a.m. Sung Mass
11:00 a.m. Procession & Solemn High Mass
Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) Berliner Messe

3:30 p.m. Organ Recital by David White
4:00 p.m. Choral Evensong & Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

This Week at Ascension + June 5, 2019

From the Rector
Also From the Rector
My First Biretta!
Last Chance for LUMA Tour
Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings
Ascension Book Group: June
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word

Dear people of Ascension,
     Merriam-Webster reminds us that the word catholic can mean 'broad in sympathies, tastes or interests.' This meaning comes to mind as I consider features of this newsletter and the diverse commitments of Ascension parishioners. 
      In the past week Ascension members joined me at a memorial service in Evanston where we were introduced to and heard from a Threshold Singers group. Others joined me Sunday afternoon for a Union of Black Episcopalians Evensong at St. Thomas Church, self-described on its website as 'the Mother Church of African American Episcopalians in the Diocese of Chicago.'
     Invitations for the coming weekend include a Saturday tour of the Loyola University Museum of Art, an invitation to tour and experience Brent House, the Episcopal chaplaincy at the University of Chicago and, of course, the Feast of Pentecost, with the afternoon David White organ recital, Choral Evensong and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
Conclusion of the June 2 Choral Evensong  at
St. Thomas' Church, Chicago
     There's enough diversity in these experiences and invitations to lead me to wonder about the relationship between being Anglo-Catholic, on the one hand, and, on the other, catholic in the sense of broad ... sympathies, tastes or interests.' Being Anglo-Catholic arguably means preserving the rites and norms of a narrower tradition. Being 'catholic' can arguably suggest moving beyond one's familiar and cherished world, even allowing one's faith to be informed and transformed by the unfamiliar faith of others.
     I suppose I'm trying to pry the lid off of something here that's too complex and nuanced for a brief pastoral letter. But this is more than filler or idle conjecture. I do believe there are implications for our identity and faith here at Ascension. How can we be both more informed about and enriched by our own rich traditions and also more and more expansive - catholic - in our experiences, vision and practice of our faith?

Some of you no doubt know of our longstanding Ascension connection to Brent House, the Episcopal ministry at the University of Chicago. Just in my few years here, we've been enriched by the participation at Ascension of numerous Brent House residents. Now we're all invited to take part in an open house there, this coming Sunday, June 9. Brent House Chaplain Stacy Alan writes, " Join us for a chance to meet friends of Brent House, old and new. Good food (as always) and good company (guaranteed)! All are welcome, even if you're not an alum!" Sadly, this open house conflicts with our own organ recital, Evensong and Benediction here in the parish. I won't be able to be at Brent House, but perhaps there are some of you who wouldn't be coming here in the afternoon anyway and who may appreciate the good Brent House vibe and fellowship.
Thanks to those of you who have been asking, 'Where's Brooke?' (my wife). Seems it may be good to provide an answer for all and to give you a brief update on our family - particularly because we are literally all over the map. Brooke will be spending most or all of the summer in St. George, Utah, with our daughter Grace, who's recently turned 16 and who will be taking musical theater courses there at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts . Grace has also started a job as junior wrangler there - working with horses and other animals used in the live professional theater. Our son Owen, who turned 20 this past Saturday, is finishing his sophomore year at the University of Santa Cruz and will soon be off on a five-week research project in Okinawa, with a research program called the Okinawa Memory Initiative . Son Eliot, our oldest (22), has recently launched his own media consulting company, Ventana Creative , based in LA for now. As one example of his diverse work: later in June he'll be videographer for Christian rock artist Chris Tomlin  during a week-long tour in Israel.
I'm grateful to Organist David White for welcoming the American Guild of Organists to hold organist certification exams here at Ascension. The candidates used the organ yesterday, and are again today, to prepare the exams here tomorrow. The exams are being organized through Stephen Buzard, Organist and Choirmaster at St. James Cathedral. Feel free to inquire of David if you're curious to know more.
For thanksgivings and prayers
Shawn Evelyn (known to some of us at Ascension as fiancée of Mother Anna Broadbent) will be one of ten candidates to be ordained Deacon in the Diocese of Los Angeles this coming Saturday, June 8.

Mother Bonnie Perry , Rector of All Saints Church, Chicago, and one of our Chicago North Deanery clergy, was elected Saturday, June 1, as the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Michigan. A letter from our own Bishop Lee announcing the election may be read here.
Memorial service information for John Phillips , parishioner from Holy Comforter, Kenilworth, who often also took part at Ascension and who recently died in Mexico, is as follows: Saturday, June 29, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., Church of the Holy Comforter, 222 Kenilworth Avenue, Kenilworth, IL.

In parking lot news ... the good news is that we will have a completely resurfaced parking lot soon, and that we are paying only half the expense (the other half being paid for by Diamond Parking). The bad news is that the job has now been delayed for a second day due to rains. We will have the lot open on Sunday, regardless of progress, but please call the church or check the website for updates before otherwise driving here. Also, let me know if you have reason to park nearby while here at the church for business or ministry. I will be happy to find funds to pay your reasonable parking expenses for on-street parking or in any nearby lot or ramp (but not including towing costs if the arise!). Thank you for your patience.
My sermon for this past Sunday may be read here. I normally don't provide more than the text, but in this case a couple of related notes may be of interest, as follows:
My message began with a description of the work of Speed Leas regarding conflict in churches. Here's a link to an Alban Institute article that nicely summarizes Leas' research and theories .
I also referenced in my message the Threshold Singers who took part in Bob Boyle's memorial service in Evanston this past Friday. Parishioner Carol Noren, who was present for the memorial, suggested to me (and I agree) that it may be of interest to some to hear the song I quoted in Sunday's sermon: We're all just walking each other home. You can link to a recording here that is much like the rendition we heard last Friday .


The Rev. Dr. Sam Portaro, our guest preacher on the Feast of the Ascension, wore a biretta that evening ... for the first time ever! (He was ordained in 1975.) Thank you, Dr. Portaro, for being with us, for donning the biretta and for the excellent message, which may be read here.


Ascension Connections will take a tour of the exhibits at LUMA  (Loyola University Museum of Art) on Saturday, June 8 at 1:30 p.m. It is the last day the museum will be open to the public. The tour will be led by parishioner Marlea Edinger, who has been a docent at LUMA for twelve years.

Of particular note is the D'Arcy collection which is comprised of European art from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque eras. It is noteworthy for its special focus on three-dimensional objects.
If you wish to take the tour, meet in the first-floor lobby of the museum at 1:15 p.m.
The museum is located at 820 North Michigan Avenue .  The tour starts at 1:30 p.m.


Picnic plans are going forward!   Continue to pray for sunshine and warm weather when we meet after Mass on Wednesday, June 12th at 12:30 p.m. The plan calls for us to enjoy a pleasant time in the garden with typical picnic foods like fried chicken (from Mrs. T's), potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans, fruit salad, and chocolate cake.  Please let me know if you can bring a food item to share!!

The theme for our picnic will be "For the Beauty of the Earth."  We will share stories of our favorite trips or travels where we have formed a memory of just what the earth's beauty means to us.  Perhaps these will become the basis of our Creation Care Pledge to love God and God's creation.  

This is our last gathering until September.


For June the Ascension Book Group will read  Brideshead Revisited
(1945) by Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966). They will meet to discuss  Brideshead Revisited  on  Sunday, June 23, 2019 in Wheeler Hall after the coffee hour. For any information contact Ken Kelling at

Brideshead Revisited Back Bay Books ISBN 978-0316216456


The schedule of Sunday Readings, Celebrants, Preachers, Lectors, Acolytes, Ushers, Hymnody, Choral and Organ Repertoire for Sunday, June 9, 2019 may be found by clicking here. More information on the Choral repertoire may be found by clicking here.


Please remember these people in your daily prayers
Geoffrey Wainwright, Fr. John Graham, Dorothy Murray, Mary Lou Devens, Michael Milano, Brenton Boitse, Charley Taylor, August 'Augie' Alonzo, Ted Long, Jim Berger, Ethel Martin, Yuka Asai, Dean Pineda, Bazelais Suy, Carnola Malone, Charlene MacDougal, Pablo Illás, Doreen Finn, Donald Schmidt, Marlea Edinger, Ted Saunders, Ann Halikas

In thanksgiving for the upcoming Diaconal Ordinations of Shawn Evelyn on June 8, 2019  in Los Angeles, CA and of Rose Cicero and Debra Lang on July 6, 2019 in Chicago. 

In thanksgiving for the election of The Rev. Bonnie A. Perry (All Saints, Chicago) as the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Michigan.

Prayers for the departed
For the victims of the mass shooting in Virginia Beach, VA

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 lector at the Sunday Evensong at St. Thomas Church read the following excerpt from a lecture given by the Rev. Pauli Murray on March 28, 1979 at the Church of the Atonement in Washington, D.C. The talk was entitled 'The Challenge of Nurturing the Christian Community in Its Diversity.' For those who don't know, among many other distinctions Murray was the first African-American woman ordained priest in the Episcopal Church (1977).

"True community is based upon equality, mutuality, and reciprocity. It affirms the richness of individual diversity as well as the common human ties that bind us together.

"The marks of a community of faith are communion, participation, mutual trust, sharing and fellowship. Making the church a more inclusive community involves transforming our imagery as well as church structure to reflect the experience of women as well as men.

"We enter into community with others based upon our new self-understanding and we struggle to transform ourselves, our church, and our society in order to actualize vision.

"In the process, we glimpse only fragmentary moments of the community that we seek and fleeting images of our authentic selves. We are held in tension between the "now" and the "not yet." We are buffeted between advancing and receding waves of fellowship and withdrawal, or reconciliation and alienation. The human lifespan is so short that we experience only tine segments of social change in a single lifetime.

"I think of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, whose entire lives were dedicated to women's suffrage but both of whom had been dead for nearly two decades or more before the Nineteenth Amendment became part of the Constitution.

"I think of President Kennedy, who initiated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 but did not live to see it enacted into law.

"I think of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who did not survive to see the partial transformation of the South and acceptance of desegregation by people today who shouted "Never!" when he was alive.

"And of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meier, who I think passionately wanted peace but died a few months before the treaty between Israel and Egypt was signed.

"I think of my own beloved aunt whose call to the ministry could not be fully consummated. The closest she came was as the wife of a priest, and she died twenty-one years before I was ordained in the same diocese where she and her husband last served.

"No one knows how the oppressed people of the earth can move together and eliminate the barriers of race, sex and class that rob human beings of their freedom, says Letty Russell, yet we believe that we are not acting out of our own power, but under the power and plan of God. And, as Dr. King once said, we can have deep faith in the future because we know that in our struggle for justice, we have "cosmic companionship."

"Dr. Rosemary Ruether's reflection on the tension between what "is" and what "will be" seems an appropriate conclusion to our discussion. She said, "To remain in this tension in fidelity is to live by faith; to keep our hope for the Kingdom in the midst of inconclusiveness and our love for the brothers and sisters in the midst of brokenness. In this faith we can also begin to celebrate now."

Thanks to Deacon Jihan Murray-Smith for serving at our Ascension Day mass. She also read the opening Collect for the UBE Evensong at St. Thomas' Church this past Sunday afternoon. Keep her in prayers, please, as she concludes her ministry at St. Chrysostom's Church, Chicago, and begins a new ministry in July at Church of the Holy Spirit, Lake Forest.

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office