The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
The Prophet Habakkuk,
engraving,  published by Galle, early 17th c.

7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer

8:00 a.m. Low Mass (Rite I)

Nursery available, 8:45 a.m.

9:00 a.m. Sung Mass

11:00 a.m. 
Solemn High Mass

This Week at Ascension + October 2, 2019

From the Rector
Also from the Rector
Michaelmas Reception
Flower Sign-up
Open House Chicago
Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings: Oct 9th
Info for Coffee Hour Sponsors
Upcoming Mass Commemorations
Ascension Book Group: Oct 6th
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word


Young People
"What should young people do with their lives today?
Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is
to create stable communities in which the terrible
disease of loneliness can be cured ."
Dear people of Ascension,
   Our Sunday evening Michaelmas Celebration yielded many lovely moments worth. My thanks to all of you who have checked in and shared your appreciation for diverse highlights: musical, liturgical, gastronomic and social.
   One of the evening's many blessings for me was captured (by Ken Kelling) in the photo shared here: Young people! Those pictured here are all college students, chatting it up with the bishop. A number of other younger souls were also present.
Joshua, Allie, unknown guest, Jameson and + Bishop Lee
   Those shown here and others partly caught my attention because they'd also been here for the morning's Solemn High Mass. Several lingered at coffee hour, still animatedly talking after most had gone. Then they returned to share in the Michaelmas Celebration.
   This letter is partly addressed to the young people.(Who's young? Well, if asked to draw a line I'd say under 40. But it's a wiggly line, isn't it?) I mainly want you to know that I know you're here, and I'm grateful. I'd like to be better at welcoming you. I'd appreciate a group conversation sometime soon. How we can better help you to meet and be nourished by Christ here? Can you help me to create opportunities for at least occasional, more intentional fellowship? Please share your ideas, hopes and questions with me.
     I'm also addressing this to those who are older. Yes, of course I value you, too! I know how many of you also committed your entire Sunday here and did so much of the heavy lifting. And so many of you have been doing the same for years, decades. Thank you. And I wonder if you have also noticed the uptick in participation by younger folk at Ascension. Please be curious. Take time to introduce yourself. Ask questions. And continue to pray for all the Church.

Our recognition of David Schrader as Organist Emeritus was one of several meaningful features of our Michaelmas Celebration. My thanks to the Wardens' for their comments at the presentation and, of course, to David. I believe we didn't provide an opportunity to view the recognition memento with which David was presented. Here are two photos. The engraving on the back includes a carved feature from our pipe organ and, around the perimeter, notes from the Bach composition that David played Sunday for the re-dedication recital. (The musically astute will see one wrong note and will be able to guess why it is out of place!) My thanks to Mary Beth Hwang for her professional design expertise!

Many of your sent pictures from Sunday's celebration - thank you! All that are shown in this newsletter were taken by parishioners. There are many more, but we've not yet been able to sort them all out. We'll try to put something together for next week's issue.

Did you remember that Kuni also made his 'Run for the Pantry' on Sunday? AND he finished in time to take part in our 11am Solemn High Mass. AND he returned for the Michaelmas Celebration, after which he posed for this photo. My thanks to Kuni and to those of you who made gifts or pledges to support the pantry. With the matching challenge gift, we raised over $1000. It's not to late to make a gift. In fact you can contribute to the food pantry year-round. Just write 'food pantry' in your check memo, or you may also give through our website.
And now looking forward to a busy October ...
Yes, we will share the rosary on Sunday, the first Sunday of the month, following the Solemn High Mass. Newcomers are always welcome. If you're curious and would like to take part but have questions please ask me or George Pineda or others who gravitate to the Mary shrine.
No, we will NOT share Evensong and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament on Sunday, October 6 . Whether right or wrong, it was a calculation that a number of us made months ago.  It seemed best to 'put all of our incense in one thurible' for the Michaelmas Celebration. Monthly Evensong and Benediction for this year will begin November 3, the Solemnity of All Saints.         I look forward to seeing you there.

Can you help serve coffee to Chicago Marathon observers and cheer-ers who will line the LaSalle sidewalk early on Sunday October 13? Or do you have another idea about how we at Ascension can extend hospitality and 'be seen' that morning. If so, Vestry members Amber Zelazny and Ken Kelling would love to hear from you and will be grateful for your showing up and helping out - assuming that you yourself are not running ...

Any chance you may be able to step up and co-coordinate our Community Thanksgiving Meal this year? A number of past heavy-lifters need to step back but are willing to coach! We've had to cancel the meal for lack of leadership once in recent years, and the Vestry has asked not to cancel it again, at least until we make a good faith effort to ID the few key people we need to make it a GO!. Assuming we'll find those souls (you?) this year's meal will be served on Sunday, November 24.


Many thanks to all who helped with the festive Michaelmas reception last Sunday. Whether you prepared or brought food, arranged flowers, moved furniture in St. Michael Hall, served, helped with cleanup, or worked in the kitchen, we appreciate your generous participation.  You will be pleased to know that in keeping with the Episcopal Creation Care pledge, we used biodegradable plates and napkins, and recycled all cans for the event.  All leftover food was set aside for this Saturday's food pantry, given to needy neighbors living in Cabrini Green, and donated to seminary students.  Again, thank you for your part in this gala event.

DiAnne Walsh, Bob Rarick, and Carol Noren


We're trying to make flower sign ups easier with more information on one sheet
and portable to Wheeler Hall. Please check out the new format soon,
and sign up to take part if you are able.


Church of the Ascension has been selected to participate in Open House Chicago  (OHC), a yearly event that is sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) where buildings that would otherwise be unavailable to visit are open to the public.  It's a two-day event, Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 20. The hours are 10:00 to 5:00 both days. More information may be found at
Welcome to Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings 2nd edition!
Our theme for Wednesday, October 9th is "A Bountiful Harvest."  Foods featured will include items plentiful this time of year at our Division Street Farmer's Market---zucchini soup, stuffed peppers (some with meat, some vegan), corn muffins, and apple crisp. That last item, especially, qualifies as fall comfort food!!
Following the Wednesday noontime mass, we gather at 12:35 in St. Michael Hall for psalms, prayers, and stories. Our focus this time will be on the celebratory aspects of the fall harvest season. Be prepared to share an inspiring event or experience from this past summer. We will also take a few moments to remember the Feast of St. Francis on October 4th.
Invite a friend, come hungry! Contact Cheryl Peterson with any questions, 773-322-7995.
When you purchase snacks for a regular Sunday Coffee Hour, please remember to use our State Tax Exemption Certificate at the cash register. Paper copies are available in the Treasurer's mailbox or  you may print the form using this link.

Reimbursement is available for up to $20 for the 9 o'clock coffee hour and $40 for the 11 o'clock coffee hour. Submit a request form (paper copies in the Treasurer's mailbox) along with your purchase receipts.

DiAnne Walsh & Enrique Vilaseco


Wednesday, October 2nd
Commemoration of Remigius,
Bishop of Rheims (tr.)
6:10 p.m. Evening Prayer
6:30 p.m. Said Mass

Saturday, October 5th
Commemoration of Francis of Assisi ( tr. )
9:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
10:00 a.m. Healing Mass

 The Ascension Book Group will meet to discuss The Future Home of the Living God (2017) by Louise Erdrich (b. 1954) Sunday, October 6 after the coffee hour at 1:00 p.m. in Wheeler Hall. Refreshments will be served.
For questions or information contact Ken Kelling at (773) 853-2337 or

The schedule of Sunday Readings, Celebrants, Preachers, Lectors, Acolytes, Ushers, Hymnody, Choral and Organ Repertoire for  Sunday, October 6, 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, 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, Don Wilber, Jacob Potter, Nathan, Monica, Jim, March Kimmel, Jim Walsh, Donnie Richmond

Prayers for the departed
Prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Cat Dean, a friend of Gary Alexander.
Prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of James Crawford.

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. 

The following is a letter from a pastor in a non-denominational congregation in Kansas-a long, long way from Ascension, right? But if read with curiosity, those of us of any place, tradition or age may find something of value, maybe even a worthwhile take-home (or take-to-church) message. - Fr .Raymond +

An Open Letter
to all the Young People
Writing Open Letters
To the Church
by The Rev. Brian McCoskey, Pastor for Preaching and Vision,
The Seed Community Church, Wichita, Kansas

An 'open letter' is basically a way of saying, "hey everybody, this is what I think about this person / these people" without overtly saying, "hey everybody, this is what I think about this person / these people." I'm writing this open letter to all the young, restless Christians who are dissatisfied with the current state of the church.

I hope this letter doesn't come off preachy - but it might. I'm attempting to be both critical & congenial at the same time, which is hard to do. Few writers do it well. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read a few G.K. Chesterton essays. He has an uncanny ability to criticize people in the most endearing way.
Onto the letter:

Dear young Christians who are dissatisfied with the current state of the church,

1.)  Instead of complaining about a lack of 'authentic community' in the church, start modeling authentic community by example
Every church has to develop authentic community. It doesn't just appear. It has to be built - intentionally, and slowly, and often painfully. There are droves of young Christians yearning to find a church with authentic community, but few who are willing to be a part of building it.

Authentic community is not a church leadership initiative. It's not a program, or a campaign. It's a culture, and it doesn't grow when people talk about it - it grows when people do it. It grows when Christians walk in the Word together, confess their sins to one another, pray together, and do life together, seeking to trust Jesus together & to love the people around them together.

If you're in a church that doesn't value or push toward Gospel-centered, authentic community, then approach your leadership. If they don't listen, leave. A culture of authentic community has to be promoted & modeled by the leadership, but that's not how it flourishes. It flourishes when enough people start taking the Bible seriously and walking with each other in grace & truth.

I understand your frustration. It's valid. What's not valid is your determination to find a church where you don't have to work at building the culture of community. You have to model this if you want it to grow. If you have no intention of modeling authentic Gospel community, then don't complain about how little you see of it in the church; you're just yelling into a mirror.

2.)  Finding self-fulfillment is less important than embracing self-sacrifice
The Gospel is an 'already, but not yet' reality. Jesus has already made a way for us to be forgiven and redeemed, but He has not yet returned to fully establish His kingdom. The power of sin to condemn you has already been disarmed, but we are not yet free from the destructive presence of sin in our lives & in the world.

It seems to me that many of you are fixating on the 'already' and virtually ignoring the 'not yet'. Permanent, unwavering fulfillment is a 'not yet' reality of the Gospel. Don't waste your time looking for it here in a career, or a marriage, or your kids, or a perfect church community. You won't find it.

God has awakened you to faith in Jesus, and this mea ns you've been recruited to play a part in  bringing His kingdom . You're not on the bleachers - you're in the game - and Jesus has already laid out the game plan: " If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the Gospel's will save it. " (Mark 8:34-35)

Jesus is beckoning you to embrace self-sacrifice right now in future hope of your permanent, unwavering fulfillment. The church is not a spiritual day spa designed to take you out of the world. It's a training center designed to make you effective in the world. We should long for eternal peace - because it's coming - but not yet. Follow Jesus by embracing self-sacrifice within your church family.

3.) If you're looking for easy relationships, you're looking in the wrong place
God has made His agenda for your life pretty cut & dry: He means to form you into the image of His Son (2 Cor. 3:18). There are harmful habits you've formed, and destructive ways of thinking you've adopted, and misguided affections you've nursed in your heart that God intends to destroy. The Bible calls these things your 'idols'.

Because God loves us, He is fiercely determined to press His values into us - and He's not afraid of our kicking & screaming. He loves messy, sinful people (like you), which means He intends for you to love them too. He loves truth, which means He intends for you to love truth too. God has not provided you any safe zones; there's nowhere to hide. He will use all kinds of things to break your idols - including the church.

If you don't like the idea of God challenging you and pressing His agenda onto you, then you don't like the idea of Christianity. God isn't in the business of making you into a better you - He's making you into the image of Jesus. The parts of you that don't honor Him are going to get thrown out. He's going to use your relationships, and hardship, and your family, and your job - and certainly the church - to radically change you.

There are scads & scads of unhealthy churches you should avoid. They are unhealthy because they have wandered light years away from the Gospel. They have taken one particular sin and made it their hobby horse, or they've become a watered-down community center that teaches pragmatic life advice, or they've become a den for either angry, self-righteous folks or self-absorbed spiritualists looking for actualization.
There are also many healthy churches - but healthy doesn't mean easy or un-messy. Healthy means rooted in the Gospel. Healthy means that God is using His Word and a community of messy people to press His values into you. Don't look for easy; look for Gospel-centered.

And finally, 4.) Your thoughts on the church are pointless if you're not interested in loving the people within the church
The Apostle Paul wrote these words to a young pastor named Timothy: " The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions ." (1 Tim. 1:5-7)

It's easy to find Christians who are all about getting people to adopt their views on some issue or idea. It's hard to find Christians who are all about loving people with a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. When Christians wander away from loving people, their teaching becomes a 'vain discussion.' It's pointless. No one cares. It doesn't help anybody.

Throwing rocks at the church while you stand on the outside might help you blow off some steam, but you're wasting your time. If you're a Christian, you've been called to love messy people from a pure heart and a good conscience. If you do that, and point them to the grace & truth of Christ in the Word, then things will change for the better. If you don't want to do that, then quit writing open letters. All of us have more meaningful things to read.

The preachy preacher at The Seed

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office