Sunday, February 9
The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. Said Mass (Rite I)

Nursery available 8:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Jesus Teaching, illuminated manuscript, Michael Gionnot, 1474, National Library of France

9:00 a.m. Sung Mass
11:00 a.m. Solemn High Mass
Gabriel Jackson (b. 1962) Edinburgh Mass (2001)
(Ascension premiere)

Join us for Coffee Hour in Wheeler Hall following every Mass.

This Week at Ascension + February 6, 2020

From the Rector
Also from the Rector
Last Sunday's Sermon
Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings
Missing a scarf?
Upcoming Mass Commemorations
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word


Old and New for Lent
Jesus said, " No one puts new wine into old wineskins;
otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost,
and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins."
   - Mark 2:22

"If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old."
   - Peter Drucker
Dear people of Ascension,
     We all prize, I gather, the familiarity of Lent and its rites and practices. We look forward to being summoned to 'self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial...' Ash Wednesday, with that invitation and with its Imposition of Ashes, is three weeks from today.
     Two features of Lent will be notably different at Ascension this year, one by choice and one due to circumstances. Though mindful of tradition and aware of trade-offs, I have chosen to move our main Lenten program to mid-day on Sundays, following the Solemn High Mass. Among other things, I hope those of you who find it difficult to return to the church on weekday evenings may be able and will choose to take part. 
Over the next three Sundays please remember
to bring palms that you may have at home or elsewhere from past years' Palm Sunday processions. We will burn them on the eve of
Ash Wednesday for the ashes to be used in the Ash Wednesday liturgies.
Two features of the Lenten program will be comfortably familiar: a simple meal (subject to your help) and traditional Lenten topics. Please click on the email link under my signature below if you can help with a meal! More information on the programs, about which I am becoming quite excited, will be shared in the coming few weeks' newsletters and Sunday bulletins.
     The circumstantial feature of Lent that will be notably different this year is the absence of Head Acolyte and Sunday hospitality anchor Jim Lo Bello. I'm guessing that Jim's absence, even though we've seen it coming, will be more of a shock to the system than we anticipate. I also believe that good will arise to the extent that you and I recognize and step up to resulting needs and opportunities, a few of which are named below.
     I'll be grateful to God and you if your Lenten practices this year include a willingness to try something new and finding at least one way to serve and be a blessing to others here.

With regard to Jim Lo Bello, Part I. Jim's surgeon reported a positive outcome following surgery on Jim's foot yesterday. Pending a physical therapy evaluation, Jim will be home sometime today. With regard to the many of you who may want to know how to be of support, please click here for some specific suggestions.
With regard to Jim Lo Bello, Part II. Two areas of service where Jim has played central roles and where help will be needed in coming months and beyond are as follows:

+ Coffee Hour hospitality following the 11am Solemn High Mass. Arguably, we haven't made much headway on this. Newly-elected Warden Cheryl Peterson and I are hoping to convene a planning meeting with some of you soon. Meanwhile, please consider a) putting your name on the coffee hour sign-up sheet in Wheeler Hall, b) spontaneously helping when you observe that there's a need ... as is the case most Sundays, and/or c) contacting Vestry member Enrique Vilaseco to convey your willingness to help or to ask questions.

+ Worship Ministers are needed, particularly in a few key areas. An example is the one or two servers needed for the every-Friday Evening Stations of the Cross and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament during Lent. (Jim Lo Bello has often served alone, but it is, in fact, a two-person ministry, four if you count the organist and priest.) There are also other Sunday and weekday opportunities. Contact Mary Beth Hwang or me.

With regard to Lenten programs, I am certainly willing to offer an additional Lenten program on Wednesday evenings, per parish tradition. To do so, I would like to know of at least five of you who are both interested and willing to share in designing the program and offering meals. 
Some of you are familiar with and take part in placing a Communion host in a silver ciborium in the narthex prior to the start of the Sunday Solemn High Mass. As suggested by a number of you, I am suspending the practice during this time of uncertainty about the coronavirus and other illnesses particularly prevalent in winter. I will evaluate the practice again after Easter. As background: this practices dates from a time, I believe, when only some persons in a congregation intended to receive the Sacrament. The number of hosts consecrated would correlate with the number of persons anticipating Communion. Separately, many continue to find the practice to be devotionally meaningful in anticipation of the mass. I certainly feel some regret about this decision, and I welcome any related comments or questions.
Coronavirus and Communion is the name I gave to a related feature in the January 22 newsletter and January 26 Sunday bulletin. If you missed it and are curious, you may read the feature by clicking here.

I look forward to the annual Diocese of Chicago Men's Retreat this coming Friday and Saturday
and am also grateful for those from Ascension also taking part. Jim Lenz has been going on the retreat for many years. He and I will be joined by others who are new to the retreat and newer to Ascension: Joey Keegin, Christopher Poore, William Pounds and Br. Jonathan Wheat.
An upcoming concert series for Chicago Acappella will be led by our Choirmaster, Benjamin Rivera,
just one of his many other music leadership commitments in Chicago and beyond. The four Fiesta Coral Mexicana concerts will be performed in four area locations starting this coming Sunday, February 9. Other dates are February 15, 21 and 23: " Baroque masterworks, familiar melodies, and stunning new works will shine a light on the wide and varied musical world of Mexico ." More information may be found here on the Chicago Acappella website.
A few Annual Meeting loose ends ...
+ I love this photo of LaVerne Rolle Saunders, serving as Thurifer. But at our annual meeting she agreed to serve in another role, that of Parliamentarian. After hitting the Send button on last week's newsletter, I realized I'd failed to include her in my thanks. Thank you, Laverne!
+ Our By-Laws have been revised according to our actions at the annual meeting. Those wanting to view them may click here. The revisions as incorporated are also now shown, as Appendix B, in their draft form with explanatory material.

Our next gathering is scheduled for Wednesday, February 12th at 12:35 p.m. We are going to "rush the season" a bit and enjoy a festive Mardi Gras lunch prepared by DiAnne Walsh and Cheryl Peterson.  The menu includes: Southern style jambalaya over rice (tasty but not spicy); scalloped spinach casserole; cole slaw; French bread; and crostoli pastries for dessert (an Italian specialty for Carnevale).  Be sure to bring your appetite and invite a friend to join us for the weekday mass at 12:05, lunch following!

Those of you who are native Illinoisans will recognize February 12 as Abraham Lincoln's birthday!  Since February seems to be a month when we celebrate our presidents as well as Black History Month, we are asking that you bring a favorite quote or saying that is meaningful to you from one of these historical perspectives.  Many presidents and many African-American leaders have spoken powerfully to our need to love God and to honor our national motto of "One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all."  May blessings accompany our prayerful discussion.   
Anyone missing a Michael Kohr's scarf.
One was left behind at Sunday's annual meeting. If it's yours, please call and leave a message at the parish office: (312) 664-1271. Thanks.

February 5, 2020
Commemoration of
The Martyrs of Japan
Evening Prayer, 6:10 p.m.
Said Mass, 6:30 p.m.

February 8, 2020
Votive of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Morning Prayer, 9:30 a.m.
Healing Mass, 10:00 a.m.
During the months of February and March the Ascension Book group is reading "East of Eden" (1952) by John Steinbeck (1902-1968). "East of Eden" is the sweeping tale of two families, the Hamilton and the Trask families.  In his journal Steinbeck called "East of Eden" "the first book", and it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth.  Set in the rich farmland of California's Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of the two families whose several generations reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.  This is both a family saga and a modern retelling of the Book of Genesis. The Ascension Book group will meet to discuss Part One and Part Two of "East of Eden" in Wheeler Hall on Sunday, February 16 at 1:00 p.m. after the coffee hour.  Refreshments will be provided.  For any questions, please contact Ken Kelling at (773) 853-2337.
John Steinbeck:  East of Eden
Penguin Books  ISBN 978-0142004234  

The schedule of Sunday Readings, Celebrants, Preachers, Lectors, Acolytes, Ushers, Hymnody, Choral and Organ Repertoire for  Sunday, February 9, 2020  may be found by clicking here . More information on the Choral repertoire may be found by clicking here . The Clergy Rota for this week's and upcoming masses may be found here.


Please remember these people in your daily prayers
Geoffrey Wainwright, Mary Lou Devens, Charley Taylor, August 'Augie' Alonzo, Ted Long, Jim Berger, Ethel Martin, Yuka Asai, Dean Pineda, Bazelais Suy, Carnola Malone, Charlene MacDougal, Jim Lo Bello, Jack Johnston, Patricia Johnston, Stewart Marks, Char Yurema, Bob Sparacio, Jonathan Jacobs, Canon Edgar Wells, Nicholas Carl, Joshua, Ellie, Catriana Patriarca, Carmen Castro, Mary Drell

Prayers for the departed
Kiyomi Kakiuchi,  aunt of Kuni Sakai 
Jasper B. Sanfilippo,  friend of Charlene and Gary MacDougal

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. 

My thanks to all who made our celebration of the Feast of the Presentation so meaningful, and all who afterward expressed their gratitude. Due to my own liturgical priorities during Sunday's Procession, I was unable to adequately take to heart the processional hymn text but was blessed to subsequently open the Hymnal and contemplate it. May your own visitation, or re-visitation, of it be a blessing.        - Fr. Raymond +
O Zion, open wide thy gates,
let symbols disappear;
a priest and victim, both in one,
the Truth himself, is here.
Aware of hidden deity,
the lowly Virgin brings
her newborn babe, with two young doves,
The Shrine of Mary following organ recital, Evensong and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, February 2, 2020
her humble offerings.
The aged Simeon sees at last
his Lord, so long desired,
and Anna welcomes Israel's hope,
with holy rapture fired.
But silent knelt the mother blest
of the yet silent Word,
and pondering all things in her heart,
with speechless praise adored.
All glory to the Father be,
all glory to the Son,
all glory, Holy Ghost, to thee,
while endless ages run.
- Hymn 257,  Edmonton , The Hymnal 1982
Words: Jean Baptiste de SanteĆ¼il (1630-1697),
transl. Edward Caswall (1814-1878)

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office