Tonight !  Clam Chowder with
Tossed Green Salad &  
Lenten Program.
Vegetarian lentil-squash soup option available.

6:10 pm Evening Prayer;  6:30 pm Low Mass
7:15 pm Meal & Program in  St. Michael Hall, ending by 8:45 pm.
More information below.

Christ: anointed by Woman,
Book of Hours, Avignon, France, 1485-90

Sunday, April 7
The Fifth Sunday in Lent
 7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. Low Mass (Rite I)
9:00 a.m. Sung Mass
11:00 a.m. Solemn High Mass
David White (b. 1959)
Missa brevis (2017)

Organ Recital by David White at 3:30 p.m. followed by Evensong and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

" Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet,
and wiped them with her hair.
The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. "
 John 12:3


This Week at Ascension + April 3, 2019


From the Rector
Also From the Rector
Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings
Ascension Connections
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
Holy Week and Easter Schedule
The Last Word


A little bit different
"A lot of little boys and girls are out there watching us tonight, and
they're seeing the beginning of something, well, a little bit different ,"
   - from the acceptance speech of mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot, April 2, 2019.
"...while it may be true we took different paths to get here,
     tonight is about the path forward ."
     - from candidate Toni Preckwinkle's concession speech, April 2, 2019
"See, I am doing a new thing!
   Now it springs up; do you not perceive it
      - Isaiah 43:13a
Dear people of Ascension,
   This letter may be about women in positions of authority and influence - mayors and priests come to mind. Or it may be about change and how we respond to it. Or maybe both.  In any case, most of you who have remarked to me about the momentum of our welcoming women priests have been encouraging. Only one member who has communicated with me expressed dismay, but did so thoughtfully and respectfully.
   Four different women have recently presided here at a total of five weekday masses. I asked Vestry members on Saturday about the timing for a woman to celebrate the mass on a Sunday. The prevailing view was that I shouldn't dawdle and a Sunday during Eastertide would be appropriate.
   One Vestry member also sensitively advised that I have over-communicated about this. Perhaps so. Communicating change can be a guessing game. In this case I missed a critical distinction-between Ascension's legacy voice on ordained women and the faith of most of you who are present, active members.
Today's Last Word remembers the extraordinary life and witness of Li Tim Oi, first woman priest in the Anglican Communion, ordained in China, 1945. .
   Asking Mother Eileen Shanley-Roberts to be with us this evening may have qualified as over-communicating. I did want to signal my intent to continue moving ahead with the Vestry's January 2019 resolution. Inviting her was also a pastoral decision. Tonight I partly hope to expand the conversation that I began with the Vestry, to hear from more of you about how to best move ahead.
   When mayor-elect Lightfoot spoke last night about "the beginning of something ... a little bit different," I believe she did so tongue in cheek. Some changes are a little bit different; some are a lot different. Some are rocky; some smooth. Pray with me, please, for change at Ascension at the right pace, at the right time, and for the highest good of our faith and witness.


Tonight's Lenten Program: "The Ministry of Ordained Women: Past, Present, Future," led by the Rev. Eileen Shanley-Roberts . Adequate information already provided above.
Next Week, April 10:
" Speaking Love's Name: Being Gay and the Anglo-Catholic Christian " Assisting Ascension priest Fr. Robert Petite and parishioner and Junior Warden Gary Alexander will encourage safe and open conversation about the legacy of gay men and their faith and ministries at Ascension and, more broadly, in Anglo-Catholic tradition. They will share some of their own experiences, perceptions and questions and welcome yours. We will also examine the realities and impacts of changing LGBTQ culture, including issues such as same-sex marriage directly related to the church.

If you arrive after the end of the Mass for any of our Wednesday evening Lenten Programs , please go through the garden to the parish house doors and ring the doorbell.

Please take out your calendars and make a plan now to join us for Holy Week and Easter worship. The full schedule is found toward the bottom of this newsletter (and will of course be moved up in the queue next week).

Two long-awaited roofing replacement projects - rectory and parish house flat roof -- are now underway! The roofers are following normal safety procedures, but please do be on the lookout if you're coming or going from the church property over the next few days.
Regarding the new spring-loaded bolt on the front door of the church ... it's complicated! The feature I wrote to accompany the photo below and to explain it to those of you who need to know how it works was getting book-length ... and probably wasn't all that helpful. Please check it out soon, and if you can't figure out how to both lock and unlock it, please ask for a demo!


Our next lunch date is just a week away on Wednesday, April 10th at 12:30. Please join us beforehand for the noontime Mass! Afterwards, we will enjoy some pasta primavera, salad, grilled eggplant and zucchini, garlic bread, and strawberries. We are definitely trying to think spring!!
For our discussion, we will look at the topic of Lenten prayer. This is certainly a large and somewhat challenging topic, so I hope you will personalize it a bit by sharing the prayers or the prayer practices that are most meaningful to you during Lent. I am reading meditations by Evelyn Underhill whose editor uses this metaphor about her approach to prayer: "The fish swims in the ocean but does not create it, neither does the Christian at prayer create the life of prayer but enters into it and is invigorated by it."
Please send me your suggestions of prayers for our printed handout for the day. My email is listed below. And we will all plan to be invigorated by a little "swimming." Many blessings!

Cheryl Peterson


Parishioners who attended last Wednesday's Ascension Connections outing to the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert at the Chicago Cultural Center appear to have enjoyed themselves.

Pictured (L-R) are Cheryl Peterson, David Reeves, Cynthia Perrizo, Jay Jacot,
Robert Rarick and Fr. Gary Lawler

Our next outing will be  April 13 (Saturday) at 12:00
ShawChicago, The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N Dearborn
ShawChicago presents "The Doctor's Dilemma" directed by our Jr. Warden, Gary Alexander. The play presents some thought provoking scenarios. A discussion will follow. The Rev. Dr. Jackie Cameron who is in fact a medical doctor will share her perspective on the issues presented. If enough people sign up to attend, our group will get a discount.  So please let Cynthia Perrizo know if you plan to attend


The  Sunday Lectionary readings Schedules of Acolytes, Lectors & Ushers as well as Hymnody, Motets and Organ Voluntaries for  Sunday, April 7, 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, Pastor Fred Overdier,  Kristen Halvorsen, Helena Wilson, Denise Gordon, Vicki Giusti, Sr. Barbara Louise OSA, Bazelais Suy, Carnola Malone, Charlene MacDougal, Thom Ehlen, Mary Pascale, Frank & Annette Kuhle, Krista Delaney, Pedro Illรกs, Courtney Walsh

Prayers for the departed
Fred Malek, friend of Charlene and Gary MacDougal
Elizabeth Gottlieb, former Ascension Choir member
Jonathan Nichols,  friend of Gary Alexander

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. 


Holy Week
Sunday of the Passion:
Palm Sunday, April 14
Regular Sunday Schedule.
Maundy Thursday rehearsal following Solemn High Mass.
Maundy Thursday, Apr. 18
Liturgy at 7 pm
Good Friday, April 19
Stations of the Cross, Noon
Liturgy rehearsal 4:00 p.m.
Good Friday Liturgy at 7 pm
Holy Saturday, April 20
Liturgy in the Garden, 10 am
Vigil Rehearsal 11 am
Celebration of Easter
Great Vigil of Easter, Sat. 4/20, 8 pm
Wheeler Hall reception.
Easter Day, April 21
( No 8 am mass )
Sung Mass, 9 am
Acolyte rehearsal 10:30 am
Solemn High Mass, 11 am
A Security Guard will be on-hand for all evening liturgies.
Invite a friend!


Following are excerpts from a longer blog by the Rev. Dr. Anthony A. 'Tony' Hutchinson, Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Ashland, Oregon. He writes of himself, in part: "I am Anglo-Catholic in faith and churchmanship, and am committed to a welcoming Church that embodies grace in its life and practice. I was ordained and first served as a priest in Hong Kong, and later in Beijing."
Li Tim-Oi [was] the first woman to be ordained a priest in any of the churches claiming the "apostolic succession" of an historical episcopacy. I know a little bit about Li Tim-Oi because I was ordained in the same place she was made a deacon by Church of England Bishop Ronald O. Hall-St. John's Cathedral in Hong Kong .... I have often preached and celebrated at Morrison Chapel Macau, where Li Tim-Oi served for several years. 
When Li was born in Hong Kong on 5 May 1907, her father named her Tim-Oi ("Much Beloved") because he valued his daughter even if others in his patriarchal culture preferred sons. She was converted to Christianity as a student at an Anglican school, choosing as her Christian name "Florence" after Florence Nightingale, the famous 19th century English nurse known for her unselfish service.  

In 1931 at the ordination of a deaconess at St. John's, Florence heard a call to ministry for herself.  Completing 4 years of seminary in Guangzhou, and was ordained deacon on Ascension Day 1941, and given charge of an Anglican congregation in the Portuguese colony of Macau (about a four hour boat ride from Hong Kong, now an hour by jet foil).  Macau then thronged with refugees from war-torn China, as its neutrality was respected even after Hong Kong fell to the Japanese in 1942.  
Since there was no way for Anglican priests to get to Macau to serve the community there, Bishop Hall took the emergency measure of authorizing Li Tim-Oi to celebrate the Eucharist as a deacon 1942-45. Then in January1945, he asked Li to meet him in a non-occupied area of South China, where he resolved the priest shortage by ordaining her "a priest in the Church of God."
He had previously been in correspondence and conversation with his fellow Bishops back in England, who had all uniformly told him that by ordaining a woman-regardless of the circumstances and the need-he would make himself a pariah in the Church of England and would never be able to serve as a Bishop in the U.K.  One of the reasons for Hall's long tenure as Bishop in Hong Kong (30 years) was that he could not return to the U.K. except to retire ... 
The Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, otherwise a social and theological progressive for that day and age, privately expressed his divided mind on the matter: "If we could find any shadow of theological ground for the non-ordination of women I should be immensely comforted, but such arguments as I have heard on that line seem quite desperately futile."  Nonetheless, he publicly condemned the ordination: "I cannot think that in any circumstances whatever an individual Bishop has the right to take such a step which is most certainly contrary to all the laws and precedents of the Church  . . . I do profoundly deplore the action that you took and have to regard it as ultra vires [beyond your legal authority]. "
Bishop Hall knew, however, that it was God, not Ronald O. Hall, who made Tim-Oi a Priest. Later in his life, he joked that at the time of the ordination, he was tempted to give Tim-Oi a new Christian name, Cornelia, seeing her ordination as significant an increase in the scope of God's grace as the baptism of Cornelius the gentile. Consistently throughout his life, Hall said that he did not regret ordaining Tim-Oi, and indeed claimed it as one of his finest hours and greatest acts.
After the war, the controversy over Tim-Oi's ordination forced her, in the interest of preserving peace in the Church, to give up her diocesan priest's license. She declined, however, to renounce Holy Orders, since she agreed that it was God, not Bishop Hall, who had made her a Priest.  Living in Guangdong Province after the communist takeover and during the Cultural Revolution, she was persecuted bitterly, but later said that knowledge that she was a priest had sustained her during the hardest assaults of the Red Guards.  
As the example of her life worked on the Church and times changed, Tim-Oi was able to practice her priesthood again.  She was recognized as a priest again in 1971 for the Diocese of Hong Kong.  When she retired to Canada in 1981, she was appointed a non-stipendiary priest in a Toronto parish, where she spent the remainder of her life.
At the provincial synod of the Chinese Anglican Church in Shanghai in 1947, Bishop Hall had tried but failed to get retroactive approval in canon law for Li Tim-Oi's ordination. One of those attending was Gilbert Baker, who later as Hall's successor as Bishop of Hong Kong would ordain Anglicanism's first two women priests legally with the blessing of the Anglican Consultative Council, in 1971. The ordination of women as deacons, priests, and, increasingly, bishops, has now become the general norm throughout most of the Communion.   
The life and witness of Li Tim Oi are remembered on our Episcopal Church calendar on January 24, the anniversary of her ordination as priest.

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office