The baptism of Kelly Columberti
at the Great Vigil of Easter, April 20, 2019

Alleluia, song of gladness,
   Voice of joy that cannot die;
Alleluia is the anthem
   Ever dear to choirs on high;
In the house of God abiding
   Thus they sing eternally.

Hymn 121, v. 1, trans. John Mason Neale (1818-1866)

Agnus Dei , oil on wood, José Campeche,
early 19th c.,  Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico

The Octave  of Easter
Sunday, April 28
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
Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612) Missa Secunda

4:00 p.m. Solemn Paschal Vespers
Evensong & Procession
with the Ascension Choir

This Week at Ascension + April 24, 2019


From the Rector: A Big Thank You, Solemn Paschal Vespers, Clergy Scheduling, Welcoming The Rev. Ben Adams, St. Anthony of Padua Food Pantry news, the Search and Nominating Committee for the 13th Bishop of the Diocese of Chicago and more,
plus these  ...

St. Mark the Evangelist, April 29
Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings, May 8
Ascension Book Group News, May 5
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word


All eggs in

Dear people of Ascension,

As I begin this weekly pastoral letter, I'm reminded of the old saying, 'Don't put all your eggs in one basket.' But I've decided to do just that. Several timely and colorful matters are competing for my - and now your - attention. I'll briefly mention each here and leave it to you to decide which you will place in the basket(s) of your own interests, responses and ministries.

+ A big thank you, first of all, to all who took part in any or all of our Holy Week and Easter liturgies. An expectant, reverent atmosphere prevailed, and among all the worship ministers a sense of attentiveness and collaboration. Thanks to several members' generosity with time, preparations and creativity, the hospitality and fellowship were fabulous. I'm grateful for the number of souls who, throughout the week and afterward, expressed their gratitude for some particularly meaningful part of the rites, a sermon, the music or the pleasant buzz in Wheeler Hall - where we ended our Easter Day festivities with a birthday cake!
+ Please share in the splendor of the Solemn Paschal Vespers , this coming Sunday, the 28th, at 4 p.m., a liturgy with origins in the grand processional liturgies of the basilicas of ancient Rome. And please note: After consulting with a number of stakeholders and sages, I have decided to cancel the first-Sunday-of-the-month Evensong and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament for May. We will ADD an Evensong and Benediction on Sunday, June 9, the Feast of Pentecost.
+ I'm presently scheduling clergy--men and women--for the Sunday and weekday masses through June. For the time being, starting today, you will be able to see what priests are presiding at Sunday masses (along with the other ministers, readings and music, always shared) in the 'This Sunday at Ascension' newsletter section below. Additionally, At this link, you can find my ongoing complete clergy schedule for Sunday and weekday masses. (Later dates are in draft form, and all assignments are always subject to changes.) Please keep the link for future reference if interested.
+ Please join me in welcoming as guest preacher this coming Sunday the Rev. Ben Adams, Campus Minister for the South Loop Campus Ministry. If you're not aware, the 'SLCM' is a vibrant shared Episcopal-Lutheran ministry strategically based at Grace Place to reach out to and serve students at the DePaul University Loop Campus as well as at Roosevelt University and Columbia College. My invitation to Ben arose shortly after the New Year, when he worshiped at a Solemn High Mass and we got to talking at the coffee hour. Although we won't also be having a student ministries forum, I know that Ben will be pleased to be in conversation and field your questions at our coffee hours.
+ Some changes are underway in our St. Anthony of Padua Food Pantry. A few months ago, Susan Schlough let me know that, after NINE YEARS of serving as the food pantry coordinator, she is hoping to step aside from that primary leadership role. I'm grateful both that Deacon Charles Farrell has agreed to lead a transition team and that Vestry members Marilyn Evans and Patrick Johnston and new parishioner Kelly Columberti have agreed to join the transition effort. You'll be hearing more about this in weeks and months ahead.
+ The Search and Nomination Committee for the 13th Bishop of the Diocese of Chicago is presently being formed. The application deadline for those interested in serving is May 6. I've been told that interested individuals should be prepared to devote an average of ten hours per week for many months ahead. The demands notwithstanding, I do believe that the overall process could benefit by representation from the congregations of our diocese that continue to be committed to Anglo-Catholic worship, traditions and piety. You may read all of the related information that's available on the diocesan website here.

Please give thanks with and pray for former Ascension parishioner Deacon Copeland Johnson , to be ordained priest this coming Saturday, April 27, by Bishop Scott Hayashi, at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark, Salt Lake City, Utah. Copeland has been called to be Rector of St. John the Baptist Church, Wausau, Wisconsin, and will begin his ministry there on Trinity Sunday, June 16.
I gather you'll agree that's a lot of eggs! Let's get crackin'.
PS My four sermons for Holy Week and Easter may be found in the following links. We are working on getting a copy of Mother Joy Rogers' Good Friday message. Look for it next week ...


Monday, April 29 + Said Mass, 6:30 p.m.
Saint Mark the Evangelist ( transferred )


Welcome Spring!!  Our next luncheon gathering will occur on Wednesday, May 8th.  After Mass at 12:00, we gather in St. Michael Hall for tasty food and topical discussion, and we hope that friends new and old will join us.  Our menu for May 8th will be a bit retro--favorites from a "few years ago." Plan to enjoy hot turkey sandwiches (with gravy, of course), dressing/stuffing, sauted green beans, cream cheese stuffed celery, and watermelon. This meal takes me back to traveling with my parents as a teenager and stopping at any variety of local diners along the highways and byways of the USA.  

Our time together will also allow us to look at some environmental changes that have been happening recently. We will examine the Episcopal Church's Creation Care Pledge, a campaign that launched on March 29, 2019. A link to the online Pledge to Care for Creation is given below.  If you are inspired to study this before our meeting, please do so.  Otherwise, just think about one thing you (you, specifically) can do to be a better "earthkeeper."  Spring is a good time to think about our earthly home and the many blessings that nature brings to our lives!!  And hooray to those of you who celebrated Earth Day this past Monday. The website link:

With thanks and blessings,
Cheryl Peterson


For April the Ascension Book Group will read two of the plays from Four Major Plays by Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906), Ghosts (1881) and Hedda Gabler (1891).

The schedule of Sunday Readings, Celebrants, Preachers, Lectors, Acolytes, Ushers, Hymnody, Choral and Organ Repertoire for Sunday, April 28, 2019 may be found by clicking here.More information on the Choral repertoire may be found on the Ascension website:

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, Demos Kukeas, Norb Bragiel, Yuka Asai, Dean Pineda,  Kristen Halvorsen, Helena Wilson, Denise Gordon, Vicki Giusti, Bazelais Suy, Carnola Malone, Charlene MacDougal, Mary Pascale, Frank & Annette Kuhle, Krista Delaney, Pedro Illás, Courtney Walsh, Doreen Finn

Prayers for the departed
Helen McDonald-Phalanx, 4/20/2019

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. 


What happened in church on Sunday, I think

My thanks to Beau Surratt for posting this on his Facebook page this morning and to Mike Vales for spotting it and passing it along. Reader discretion advised: the following includes overtly political sentiments ...    - Fr. Raymond

Church was packed on Easter morning, brass players up in the choir loft, ladies with big hats, girls in spring dresses, and when the choir and clergy processed up the aisle, the woman swinging the censer looked like a drum major leading the team to victory, which is what Easter is about, the triumph over death. Resurrection is not something we Christians talk about in the same way we talk about our plans for summer vacation or retirement, but it is proclaimed on Easter and the hymns are quite confident (with added brass) and the rector seemed to believe in it herself and so an old writer sitting halfway back and surrounded by good singers has to think along those lines. It's right there in the Nicene Creed and in Luke's Gospel - the women come to the tomb and find the stone rolled away and the mysterious strangers say, "Why seek ye the living among the dead?"
And then, on my way back from Communion, the choir struck up a hymn, "I am the bread of life," with a rocking chorus, "And I will raise them up. And I will raise them up. And I will raise them up on the last day." As the congregation sang, a few people stood and some raised their hands in the air, a charismatic touch unusual among Anglicans, and then more people stood. I stood. I raised my right hand. I imagined my long-gone parents and brother and grandson and aunts and uncles rising from the dead and coming into radiant glory, and then I was weeping and my mouth got rubbery and I couldn't form the consonants. I stayed for the benediction, slipped out a side door onto Amsterdam Avenue, and headed home.
That's what I go to church for, to be surprised by faith and to fall apart. Without the Resurrection, Episcopalians would be just a wonderful club of very nice people with excellent taste in music and literature, but when it hits you what you've actually subscribed to, it blows the top of your head off.
This was a good thing after a few days of redactions, acts of collusion and obstruction, corruption in high places, and the president saying, in a bad moment, "Oh, my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I am flunked." Or something along those lines. The New York Times, despite being a family newspaper, decided that the Leader of the Free World deserves accurate quotation, and so printed what he said without dashes, and it was jarring to see it, over and over, except I felt that we were more flunked than he was.
Watergate was a minor traffic accident compared to this, but onward he goes with the full support of his party, and when you consider the likelihood of his re-election and what this would mean for the future of the planet Earth, as global warming continues unacknowledged for four more years and the Supreme Court is owned by originalists who will take us back to plantation days and a dozen countries decide they need nuclear arsenals of their own, it is a good time to go to church and renew your faith in a Higher Power who will not allow His Creation to be corrupted by ignorance, cruelty, and evil.
The good people of Lake Wobegon voted for Mr. Trump, just like the residents of River City bought musical instruments from Professor Harold Hill to keep their boys out of the pool hall, but if their man's secrets are revealed, they might have to think twice. He's a New Yorker who made his way up with mob connections, hung out with showgirls, was chintzy with charitable giving, and flaunted himself as Midwesterners were taught not to do. After 9/11, he boasted that his building at 40 Wall Street was now the tallest in Manhattan, this while smoke was still rising from the ruins of the World Trade Center.
But they are still backing him. My cousin, a good and intelligent man, texted me that the Mueller report was an attempted coup d'état by Hillary Clinton and top officials of the FBI. If the president declared a national emergency and called out troops to take over the Times and the Post and MSNBC and CNN, I imagine my cousin would go along with it.
So I stood weeping, singing, hand in the air, at the thought of being raised up. I'm 76. I simply cannot believe that this con man is the end of the story. I refuse to accept that.

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office