Illuminated manuscript, Italy, c. 1500,
British Library

The 5th Sunday of Easter
Sunday, May 19

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
Healey Willan (1880-1968)
Missa brevis #5 in F# minor (1935)

Jesus said, "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."  John 13:34-35

This Week at Ascension + May 15, 2019


From the Rector
Also From the Rector
Last Sunday's Sermon
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word


On our knees - or not

Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee,
   And kneel before the Lord our maker.
     - Psalm 95
Dear people of Ascension,

     I give you a new commandment ... that you only genuflect or kneel when you can reasonably do so - when you will not put yourself (or others) at risk, when doing so results in more devotion than pain.
     I give you a new commandment ... that you worship knowing that your heart is known to God, even if your knees will no longer - or cannot for now - cooperate with your holy intentions.
     I give you a new commandment ... that you keep the focus on your own devotion and how you can best express it and not become distracted by the postures of others or worry about how they see you.
     The message of this letter was partly prompted by a notice with a similar theme that I recently read on the website for Church of the Advent, Boston. The Interim Rector there apparently has bad knees. His inability to genuflect at the altar was initially problematic. Changes had to be made. I respect how the matter was forthrightly addressed.
     Then - true story - one of our own regular ministers here at Ascension's altar was injured and required medical care after too much genuflecting and kneeling during Holy Week. That individual is only one of many of us who are ageing and who must concede that the knees aren't what they used to be.
     In coming weeks I'll be working with our clergy, Head Acolyte Jim LoBello and others to develop some new reasonable protocols for postures of all ministers at the altar. But this consideration is also germaine to those of you who only come to the altar for communion and are otherwise in the pews.
     Let us worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness - and with those postures that allow us to best continue doing so.


Good news/bad news on the financial front ...

The Good News! In response to the Organ Renovation Capital Campaign, we've so far received pledges of $17,650 (toward the Phase II total cost of $40,000). This is a promising initial response. Your Wardens and Vestry members join me in asking for your commitments soon if you are able. Organist David White also welcomes your questions and conversation about the project. You may view an invitation to and information about the campaign, with a pledge card on the last page of the document, here. Thank you.

The Bad News ...
Treasurer Susan Schlough reports that, as of the end of April, pledge and plate giving for the year is 18% below what we reasonably budgeted. This is of particular concern because giving during the summer months (June-September) tends to sag in many churches. If you've fallen behind on your giving (as my own household had) and are able to catch up in May (as Brooke and I have done) - thank you! If you haven't yet made a pledge for 2019 and are able to do so, thank you. You may make a pledge by filling out the card linked here or by way of a confidential email to our parish treasurer, Susan Schlough.

The Cycle of Life ...

Please join me in giving thanks to God and welcoming  Jolene Walsh Juskiewicz , born May 8 in New York City to  Courtney Walsh and Michael Juskiewicz . Ascension parishioners DiAnne and Jim Walsh are the newly minted grandparents. Please join in prayers for all.

Congratulations to Jame 'Woody' Abbott and to his parents, Ascension parishioners Andy Abbott and Susan Schlough. Woody will be receiving his PhD in a graduation ceremony at Yale University this coming Monday, May 20. Woody's personal website conveys a lot of information on his endeavors as 'sociologist, writer and programmer.'

We've received news of the death on Monday in Evanston of former Ascension member Robert 'Bob' Boyle. I was able to speak this morning with his husband, Lawrence 'Mac' Detmer, who sometimes joined Bob in worship here at Ascension. I will be visiting with Mac later today and will pass on news of any plans for a funeral or memorial service, here or elsewhere.

We have also been told of the death of occasional parishioner John Phillips.
John died in Mexico on Thursday, May 9th. Please keep his wife Mary and other family and friends in prayer. 

Vestry meeting: Saturday, May 18, 1:15 p.m. in the parish library . We will be checking in with progress reports on many of the matters addressed by our Wardens in last week's newsletter. We will also have a preliminary conversation about an opportunity that may come our way to call and hire a part-time curate.
Please join me and parishioner George Pineda and others next Wednesday, May 22, to explore and discuss a revival of the Society of Mary here at AscensionWe'll begin with the usual Wednesday Evening Prayer (6:10 p.m.) and Mass (6:30 p.m.) followed by a recitation of the rosary, dinner and conversation. George will share a bit about his own devotion to Mary, after which we will be listening for your hopes and thoughts about how to restructure this ministry and fellowship and what human and spiritual resources may be available to us.
Recycling, anyone? I was pleased to learn that the May gathering of our Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings fellowship included a discussion (as part of a larger topic) or our lack of recycling at Ascension. (Our City of Chicago trash collection does not presently provide for any recycling.) I was not present for the conversation but learned that part of it focused on all of the cardboard generated by our food pantry outreach ministry - all of which is neatly broken down but all of which presently goes into the trash. I'm welcoming responses from anyone who may have an big enough vehicle and who may be willing to consider a monthly run to a recycling center. Talk to me! Thanks.
I'm grateful to Organist David White for welcoming the American Guild of Organists to hold organist certification exams here at Ascension on Tuesday, June 4. The exams are being organized through Stephen Buzard, Organist and Choirmaster at St. James Cathedral. Feel free to inquire of David if you're curious to know more.
Some of you will remember young Bradley Singer, who worshiped with us and served at the altar during his last few years as an undergraduate at DePaul University. Brad is now preparing for ordination in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, and recently sent me an update. He's presently looking forward to a 'vicarage' year of internship/ministry at Living Savior Lutheran Church, in Fairfax, Virginia and sent the photo below of all of his classmates at Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis, being sent forth all over the country for similar ministries in the coming year.

Finally ... we're presently in the heart of spring, if my tulip walk around the neighborhood at day's end yesterday was any indication. Take some time if and when you're able to get out and give thanks for God's marvelous ongoing creation. 


The sermon preached by The Rev. Anna Broadbent on the Fourth Sunday of Easter 2019 may be read here.

The schedule of Sunday Readings, Celebrants, Preachers, Lectors, Acolytes, Ushers, Hymnody, Choral and Organ Repertoire for Sunday, May 19, 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,  Brenton Boitse, Charley Taylor, August 'Augie' Alonzo, Ted Long, Jim Berger, Ethel Martin, Yuka Asai, Dean Pineda,  Helena Wilson, Bazelais Suy, Carnola Malone, Charlene  MacDougal, Pablo Ill├ís, Doreen Finn, Donald Schmidt, Richard Laibly, Marlea

Pray in thanksgiving
For the birth of  Jolene Walsh Juskiewicz  to  Courtney Walsh Michael Juskiewicz   and to  grandparents  DiAnne and Jim Walsh

Prayers for the departed
For the repose of the soul of  Robert Boyle

For the repose of the soul of John Phillips, an  occasional Ascension parishioner.
John died in Mexico on May 9, 2019. Arrangements  are unknown at this time.

For the repose of the soul of  Vicki Giusti friend of Mary Jane Kowalski

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 Most Rev. Michael Curry , Presiding Bishop, Episcopal Church

Jesus' commandment to love comes to the fore in the Gospel for this coming Sunday, the Fifth Sunday of Easter. Sunday will also mark the one year anniversary of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Below is a portion of the sermon preached at the wedding by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. He titled it 'The Power of Love.'
" There's power in love. Don't underestimate it. Don't even over-sentimentalize it. There's power, power in love.
"If you don't believe me, think about a time when you first fell in love. The whole world seemed to center around you and your beloved.
"Oh there's power, power in love. Not just in its romantic forms, but any form, any shape of love. There's a certain sense in which when you are loved, and you know it, when someone cares for you, and you know it, when you love and you show it - it actually feels right
"There is something right about it. And there's a reason for it. The reason has to do with the source. We were made by a power of love, and our lives were meant - and are meant - to be lived in that love. That's why we are here
"Ultimately, the source of love is God himself: the source of all of our lives. There's an old medieval poem that says: 'Where true love is found, God himself is there
"The New Testament says it this way: "Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God, and those who love are born of God and know God. Those who do not love do not know God. Why? For God is love.
"There's power in love. There's power in love to help and heal when nothing else can.
"There's power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will.
"There's power in love to show us the way to live. "

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office