St. Michael and All Angels
Patronal Feast of Church of the Ascension
St. Michael battling the devil,
tempra colors, gold and silver leaf and ink on parchment,
French ca. 1466-1470, Getty collection
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. Procession and
Solemn High Mass

3:00 p.m. David Schrader
Organ Recital

4:00 p.m. Choral Evensong
and Benediction with
Organ Rededicaiton
The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey Lee, Officiant

Festive Reception to follow

This Week at Ascension + September 25, 2019

From the Rector
Also from the Rector
Last Sunday's Sermon
Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings
Upcoming Mass Commemorations
Ascension Hosts Chicago AGO Chapter
From the Dio. Convention Nominations Committee
COA participating in Open House Chicago
Ascension Book Group
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word


St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
                   - Attributed to Pope Leo VIII, 1884
For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  
     - Ephesians 6:12
Dear people of Ascension,
   Communications with you about Michaelmas, this coming Sunday, began in August and have been plentiful. You know by now what is planned and needed. If not, look for information above and below.
   It's also true that most of my Michaelmas focus has been on the Bishop's visit, the need for help at the reception, David Schrader's recital and of course the pipe organ drama. With regard to this last matter, not only was a crisis recently averted, but Organist David White can't stop beaming. The ease and reliability of the new electro-mechanical components! The subtleties and potentials of the newly restored reed pipes!
St. Michael binding Satan , William Blake, 1805, Harvard Museums/Fogg Museum
   Worthy of our anticipation as some or all of this may be, I seem to have neglected St. Michael himself, our parish patron, the purported basis for all of this planning, pomp and pageantry. It's regrettably easy to lose track of St. Michael and all angels these days. When, after all, was the last time you mentioned an angel or demon in any conversation?
   Some Christians I've known, mainly from other traditions, see demons and angels everywhere. They spoil or redeem every human impulse and event. But angels have largely become ornaments in our culture and in the faith of most Christians I know.
   I therefore wonder about a middle view, call it a good Anglican via media, that might avoid blaming God or devils for all matters of our human will but restore a more lively sense of angels and archangels as a mortal lifeline and a more dynamic feature of our cosmologies and lives.
   Your related thoughts and questions are welcomed. And, as always, I ask for your prayers for Ascension and all who worship and serve here. Please do pray at this time in particular for the presence, assistance, guidance and intervention of angels.
Your assignments for our Michaelmas Celebration include the following:
+ Invite a friend or neighbor to join us.
+ Share in hospitality by welcoming guests. Initiate a conversation with a stranger. Invite them to come again.
+ Help out as needed with the evening reception. Contact Carol Noren or Bob Rarick in advance if you can make a commitment to a specific task. Clean up help, whether premeditated or spontaneous, is always a blessing.
+ A security officer will be on hand, as at most of our larger evening gatherings. Please help create a secure environment for all by looking out for others, going to the parking lot in groups and reporting any suspicious activity.
+ Greet Bishop Lee, but please don't monopolize his time. Give others a chance.
+ Look for a chance to thank someone: musicians, the Bishop, reception hosts Bob and Carol, or DiAnne Walsh, who won't be able to be at the reception but who has been a behind-the-scenes coordinator.

The Rev. Dr. Alonzo Pruitt has recently expressed an interest in contributing to Ascension's ministry as one of our assisting priests, and I couldn't be more pleased. A Life Professed Member of the Third Order of the Society of St. Francis, Fr. Pruitt retired from full time ministry in 2016 after more than thirty years of leading congregations in his native Chicago and in Brooklyn, New York, and Richmond, Virginia. A social worker prior to ordination, he has also served as a Chaplain in the United States Army Reserve and as a Deputy and Chief of Chaplains for the Richmond Sheriff's Office. He was a chaplain for Integrity, Chicago, and a Vice President of Recovery Ministries of The Episcopal Church. He's presently finishing a commitment as Priest-in-Charge at St. Andrew's Church, Chicago (the congregation that shares part of the St. Leonard's House campus) and will begin celebrating some of our weekday masses in December. Look for him sooner, however, as he will join the clergy in procession for our Michaelmas Evensong and Benediction. Fr. Pruitt and his wife Martha live on the near northside.
Thanks to those of you who have so far pledged $325 in support of Kuni Sakai's Run for the Pantry , also this coming Sunday! It would be great to be able to match the full $500 that has been offered as a matching grant - getting us to $1000 total in support of our main outreach ministry. You may donate now using the related feature on our website. Please indicate 'Kuni Run' or 'Food Pantry' in the memo. Thank you, Kuni, and all donors and food pantry volunteers.

Thanks as well to those who have become candlestick patrons!
If you missed my explanation and appeal in the Worship Notes on September 15, we have a set of six historic and beautiful brass candlesticks, worse for wear after 125 years or more of service. With gift commitments so far, we will be able to refinish three of the six (at $300 each). Please consider if you may also be able to help. Click here to read the interesting background. Speak to me if you are able to help or simply write a check with 'candlesticks' in the memo. Thanks for your help. 

Members of our Flower Guild welcome you to join them this evening
to discuss their ministry of praising God through the floral arrangements on the altar and at our shrines. We'll meet following the 6:30 p.m. mass tonight, and I'll be providing sandwiches. If you are unable to be with us but are interested in the Flower Guild, please contact Claire Green.

Former Ascension member and recently ordained priest Copeland Johnston has let us know of his October 17 Installation as Rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Wausau, Wisconsin. I may be able to make the trip up for it and would be pleased to hear from anyone else who may be interested. Meanwhile, please keep Fr. Johnston, his husband Andrew, and members of his congregation in prayers.
The Vestry's September meeting will take place this Saturday, September 28 , 1:15 p.m. in the parish library. Seminarian David Knox will be joining us. Agenda items will include adult education and spiritual formation and leadership needs related to hospitality (coffee hours and special events). The schedule of Saturday 1:15 p.m. vestry meetings through January 2020 is as follows:
            October 26
            November 16
            December 14
            January 18

Important repairs and improvements funded by the Vestry at its August meeting include the following:

New high efficiency, wall-mounted air conditioning units for Wheeler Hall and the library (both operating on an outside compressor). The work will be completed by this weekend - by which time it appears we may need heat rather than air conditioning!

A new state-of-the-art heat exchanger on the roof of the parish house , to replace one that partially failed before last winter and that, in any case, uses a type of freon that will be unavailable after the end of 2019. We anticipate recouping a significant part if not all of the investment through energy savings over the next decade.

Replacement of the exterior wooden staircase that serves the third floor apartment over the rectory. The stairway also serves as a fire escape and alternative entry/exit for the second floor of the rectory. Part of the stairwell dangerously collapsed in June and further inspection revealed additional serious concerns. We're awaiting city permits before the work can begin.


The sermon by The Rt. Rev. Daniel Martins, Bishop of Springfield, delivered on Sunday, September 22, 2019 may be read here .
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, September 25th
Commemoration of Sergius,
Abbot, Monastery of the Holy Trinity, Moscow
6:10 p.m. Evening Prayer
6:30 p.m. Said Mass

Saturday, September 28th
Commemoration of Wenceslaus,
Duke of Bohemia
9:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
10:00 a.m. Healing Mass
Jay Peterson

Our parish will be the site for an American Guild of Organists choral conductors' workshop on Saturday, September 28, from 8:30-1:00. The workshop leader will be Paul French, choirmaster at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on Belmont. The workshop participants will serve as the "choir" and will hear of multiple ways for achieving success with amateur choristers. Parishioner Jay Peterson is the Chair of the event, and Ascension organist, David White, will assist.


The Nominations Committee for the 182nd Diocesan Convention is  encouraging clergy and members of their parishes to consider running for an elective office at the Convention: Standing Committee, Bishop and Trustees, or Deputy to the General Convention which will be in Baltimore June 30- July 9, 2021.  Nominations are due September 30, 2019.

Robert Purcell, a lay member at St. Philip's Palatine and a member of the committee, would be happy to answer any questions. You may contact him at 312 656-7462 (cell) or by email at

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 .
It is hoped that our participation in this event will stimulate interest in Ascension and give us a chance to welcome visitors that might not otherwise set foot in the door. It's enjoyable for both visitors and hosts. There are numerous opportunities for parishioners to participate and we do need your help! It's your chance to make a real, substantial contribution to the life of the Ascension family. Your OHC committee members will be approaching you, so be ready! Thanks.
OHC Committee
Cynthia Perrizo, Chair
Kelly Colomberti
Jay Jacot
Carol Norén

For September the Ascension Book Group will read  The Future Home of the Living God (2017) by Louise Erdrich (b. 1954). Native American author, Louise Erdrich, paints a startling portrait of a young woman fighting for her life and her unborn child against oppressive forces that manifest in the wake of a cataclysmic event. The Ascension Book Group will meet to discuss this book on 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 Future Home of the Living God
Harper ISBN 978-0062694058]

The schedule of Sunday Readings, Celebrants, Preachers, Lectors, Acolytes, Ushers, Hymnody, Choral and Organ Repertoire for  Sunday, September 29, 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, Larry & Kathy Fox

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. 

A lengthier poem, no doubt, but a worthy and thought-provoking read ...
The Hastily Assembled Angel Falls
at the Beginning of the World
Except most things weren't clouds everything there
Was clouds the hastily assembled angel
Before he knew the word  clouds was the last word
He heard the other angels shouting as
They shoved him though he after he had fallen
Too far to hear them he saw their mouths mak-
ing shapes that were not clouds and when he saw that
Thought That's  something that isn't clouds that  shouting
After I've fallen too far to hear them don't
They know  I've fallen too far to hear them now
Or are we not together now before
He knew the word in those few minutes the oth-
er angels were assembling him he named
The things he saw with words that seemed to fit them
Nothing was heavenly a few things were
Ocean and hole and monkeyapple he
Before the other angels shoved him had
Started combining words but nobody
Would name the things he saw the way he named them
And to the other angels all his naming
Was noise they shouted as they shoved him It's
All clouds what difference could it make to the angel
Built to monitor the Earth from the surface

Of the Earth what was or wasn't true in Heaven
They shoved him then they stared and then they shouted
After the disappearing figure all
The things they suddenly remembered they had
Forgotten to tell him as they were hammer-
ing him together as they hammered him
Together and behind them but above
Behind a pinkish light that was or was-

n't God pulsed like the heart of one of the creatures

God hadn't yet created though the angels
Had seen the creatures coming in the waves
Then covering the Earth the angels had
Seen them and didn't want to be assigned
To live with them and so had voted to
Build their own angel but they didn't ask
Permission first instead they built him quick-
ly and as Gabriel asked God if this

New angel could be sent instead to Earth

Fresh eyes for a fresh world the other angels
Shoved him the hastily assembled angel
From the cloud and Heaven   he   the hastily
Assembled angel could see farther than
The other angels though he couldn't under-
stand what he saw as well as the other angels
Might have and as he fell he saw their mouths mak-
ing shapes he saw the light behind them pulsing
And as he fell he watched the clouds becoming
Abstract as any other angel would
From Heaven watch a species go extinct
Even as dry land emerged from the waves below him

Fallen angel looking at a cloud,  oil on canvas, Odilon Redon, 1875

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office