No Healing Mass this Saturday
See more below.

The Last Sunday after Pentecost:
The Feast of Christ the King

Christ, Savior of the world with cherubim , engraving, Peter Paul Rubens (1596-1659) collection of the Rijksmuseum, Netherlands

7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer

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

N ursery available, 8:45 a.m.

9:00 a.m. Sung Mass

11:00 a.m.  Solemn High Mass

This Week at Ascension + November 20, 2019

Why Ascension?
From the Rector
Community Harvest Meal
Also from the Rector
Advent Lessons and Carols Reception
Upcoming at the Ascension
Ascension Book Group
Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word


Amber Salley Zelazny
Worshiping and serving at Ascension since 2016

Amber and family
Why don't I just go to brunch on Sunday mornings?
I am a cradle Episcopalian and have attended services for as long as I can remember. Throughout my life I always appreciated that anytime I went to an Episcopal church the service was always the same - I knew what to expect. As I became a young adult, church services were a place where I could take a break from the stress of life and fall back into a familiar routine. In my early 20's a friend asked "Why do you go to church" and I said "Because in a world of constant change it is the only thing in my life that stays the same." Going to church helps me re-center and recharge.

Dear People of Ascension,

When people ask YOU why you go to church, what do you tell them? When they ask WHERE you go to church, what are the reasons you give for being a part of Ascension? Most of us have a great deal of pride in being a part of this unique and wonderful parish and feel blessed to worship here week by week. We hope that your appreciation and love for this parish and its traditions will inspire you to pledge so we can continue to build on that legacy. If you haven't already done so, please fill out and return your pledge card. You can also pledge by sending a confidential email to the treasurer at

David Reeves and Gary Alexander, Stewardship Co-Chairs

An update on pledges may be found below.
Thank you to all who have taken part so far.


Praying for Donald and Nancy

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility , provide for the common defence , promote the general Welfare , and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity , do ordain  and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
   - Preamble to the United States Constitution

"What are kingdoms without justice? They're just gangs of bandits."
       - Augustine of Hippo,  City of God
Dear People of Ascension,
     Whatever your politics, you may agree that the more perfect Union envisioned in the Preamble to our nation's Constitution presently seems elusive. Union suggests finding common ground among those of opposing convictions. Seeking common ground is an apostasy, though, for most of the loudest voices in our present milieu.
     Matters of common ground between our Christian faith and our politics may, or should, be on the minds of many of us at this time. I have no easy answers here. I do believe that, like it or not, political matters are inseparable from religion. Consider the implications of Christ the King, title of the feast we will celebrate on Sunday. Or ponder so many of the Old Testament texts that we hear Sunday after Sunday. How often do they shine light on the plights of the marginalized and condemn those who are religious and in a position to make a difference but fail to do so?
     I'm not here endorsing any party, platform or policy. I do hope that you think deeply about how your political life - active or inert, loud or silent - is informed and shaped by your faith.
     The politics and religion quandary also comes to mind in conjunction with the present impeachment imbroglio, its import and how to pray about it. I gave this letter the provocative title, Praying for Donald and Nancy, thinking of the teaching of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44) Whomever you imagine the enemy to be, try praying for her or him for a few days. Whatever the apparent outcomes in Washington, notice if, by way of your prayers, a hint of some more perfect union between heaven and earth begins to form in you.

Salvator Mundi , by Leonardo da Vinci, ca. 1500. The restored painting sold in 2017 for 450.3 million dollars ...

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


We are looking forward to our Fall Harvest Meal , which will be in St. Michael's Hall this Sunday, November 24, 2019, immediately after the Solemn High Mass. We are "staffed" for the day. If you wish to contribute financial support for the event, please write a check to the Church and indicate in the memo line "Thanksgiving Dinner Fund." If you are a volunteer already, please be sure to wear comfortable shoes this Sunday!  If you have any questions, send a note to James Baran ( ) or David Robertson ( ).
James may be reached via Text Message as well on 773-895-0749. 

This coming Saturday, November 23, Part I
We will have no Mass for Healing this coming Saturday, partly due to the fact that most clergy will be at our diocesan convention and others I contacted are otherwise unavailable. Morning Prayer will, however, be offered on Saturday, at 9:30 a.m. (the new regular time).

This coming Saturday, November 23, Part II
Memorial service for Donnie Richmond. As indicated in the flyer here, Donnie Richmond's family has decided to hold his memorial service at the church where more of his family members have a closer connection. (I did offer both masses for the repose of his soul here at Ascension last Wednesday, after learning of his death on Tuesday, November 12.) For those interested, Carol Nor é n has offered to coordinate Saturday rides from Ascension to Metropolitan Memorial Baptist Church. Please contact Carol directly if interested.

Upcoming seasonal opportunities are featured in a section of the newsletter below. Please note in particular the information regarding the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Saturday evening, December 7, and the Advent Quiet Morning, to be led by seminarian David Knox, Saturday, December 15.

Also: Can you help with the hanging of garlands and wreaths to prepare the church interior for Advent? Please contact George Pineda for opportunities and times on Friday, November 29 and Saturday, November 30.

2020 Pledge Update. Our Wadens, Vestry Members and Treasurer join me, I'm sure, in thanking all who have so far made 2020 pledges. Discouragement reigned last Saturday when Treasurer Susan Schlough reported to the Vestry that only 13 pledges had been received to date. Earlier today, however, she reported that we now have 31 pledges in hand, including five new and eight that are increases over 2019 pledges. Total pledged thus far: $56,889. You may view, download and print the 2020 pledge card here or send a confidential email with your pledge information directly to the Treasurer . Thank you for your responses.
My thanks in advance to our delegates to the Diocese of Chicago annual Convention, Friday and Saturday, November 22-23 . Lay delegates include Mary Beth Hwang (who agreed to this service a few months ago, before her Verger role materialized), Jay Jacot and Ken Kelling, and, along with me, as clergy, Father Bob Petite and Deacon Charles Farrell. I'm guessing that this will be a relatively quiet convention; all eyes are on the special June 2020 Convention to elect the Thirteenth Bishop of the Diocese of Chicago. Material for this week's Convention is well organized on our diocesan website and may be viewed by clicking here .
Directory Updates are Important! Accurate information that you provide ...
   ... allows us to keep in touch with you.
   ... is critical for our membership lists in preparation for our January 2020 annual meeting.
   ... helps us prepare an accurate annual 'parochial report,' as required by church canons.
   ... will help others stay in touch with you by way of a new 2020 parish directory.
Vestry member Ken Kelling will soon be organizing Sunday morning parish directory updates. You may skip uncertainty, though, by just sending any new information to Br. Nathanael in the parish office.

The Vestry intends to take a look at our Bylaws with an eye to any revisions that should be proposed to the congregation at the January 26, 2020, Annual Meeting. No major overhaul here, just a review to make sure the bylaws are properly serving the workings of the congregation and in compliance with laws and canons. You may view the bylaws, approved by the congregation in 2017, here. Any comments or questions may be directed to Vestry member Amber Zelazny.

Knox College Professor and Poet Gina Franco will read and discuss poetry from her latest collection, The Accidental, Saturday the 23rd, 3:00 p.m. at the Seminary Coop Bookstore, Hyde Park . Dr. Franco is better known to some of us at Ascension as Gina and as beloved of Christopher Poore. I'm sharing this here after hearing of the opportunity (without having been asked). Time and space permitting, I'm generally happy to share performances and other cultural events in which those close to Ascension are directly involved.

My sermon from this past Sunday, November 17,  may be found here .


A Festive Reception is being planned after the 4 p.m. Advent Lessons and Carols service on December 1st.  Helpers are needed for set up and clean up as well as some goodies to be used for the reception.  The reception is being coordinated by Marilyn Evans and David Reeves.  If you can help in any way please contact Marilyn at or David at


Wednesday, November 20th
Commemoration of
Edmund, King of East Anglia

6:10 p.m. Evening Prayer
6:30 p.m. Said Mass

For November, the Ascension Book Group will continue reading two novels by Early American author Charles Brockden Brown contained in the collection  Three Gothic Novels: Arthur Mervyn (1799); and  Edgar Huntly (1800) . Charles Brockden Brown has often been referred to as America's first novelist and America's first full-time writer. Among scholars of Early American literature, it is well known that Brown was both heavily influenced by, as well as reciprocally a heavy influence upon the English writers associated with Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Mary Shelley's  Frankenstein , or The Modern Prometheus was directly influenced by the novels of Brown. The Ascension Book Group will meet to discuss these two novels of Charles Brockden Brown in Wheeler Hall on Sunday, December 8 at 1:00 p.m. after the Coffee Hour. Refreshments will be provided. For any questions please contact Ken Kelling at (773) 853-2337 or .   Three Gothic Novels  Library of America, No. 103 - ISBN 978-1883011574

"Let every heart prepare Him room" will be the theme of "Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings" on  Wednesday, December 11, 2019 .  During Advent, it is easy to become preoccupied with shopping, decorating, making special foods, and other activities -- but how do we prepare our hearts for the mystery of the Incarnation?  After a traditional smörgåsbord lunch prepared by Carol Noren, you are invited to share a seasonal practice you have adopted and/or recommend that draws you closer to the manger where "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us."  Please join us --and bring a friend!-- for mass at 12:05, followed by the meal and program.


The schedule of Sunday Readings, Celebrants, Preachers, Lectors, Acolytes, Ushers, Hymnody, Choral and Organ Repertoire for  Sunday, November 24, 2019  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, Fr. John Graham, 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, Doreen Finn, Monica, Jim Lo Bello, Jack Johnston, Patricia Johnston, Andy, Jim Walsh, Char Yurema, Stewart Marks, Ronn Garton, Vanessa Rogers

Prayers for the departed
Prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of  Donnie Richmond
Prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of  Marie Wolfe

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. 

Apropos of the politics and religion theme and in anticipation of Christ the King Sunday, take note of one of today's Daily Office readings, from the Revelation to St. John. The version of the appointed reading below is edited-I cut 13 verses and added six . - Fr. Raymond +
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

'See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.'

And the one who was seated on the throne said, 'See, I am making all things new.' Also he said, 'Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.' Then he said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.'

I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day-and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honour of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practises abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Image: Early 15 th century image of Jerusalem as a walled city besieged by crusaders, included as an illustration in an article titled  The Jerusalem Labrynth: Lose Yourself, by George Prochnik, from the Spring 2013 issue of Cabinet magazine .

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office