Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Dear People of Ascension,

This Sunday, September 5, marks the last of our 11 am services to be fully online. As we transition away from Zoom church as our primary liturgical expression, I give thanks for the amazing gift of presence that I discovered there: the intimacy, simplicity and directness we have shared. I have come to know some of you much better because our faithful community has sojourned through the many phases of the pandemic together. I have developed a profound appreciation for my dear clergy colleagues, John Thompson our zoom wizard, Jeffrey Johnson with his introits and bell, Dr. Keene and our indomitable singers and all who together have helped open up a surprising, Spirit-filled space online. I never imagined such a thing before March of 2020.

Even as I look forward very much to the experiences of physical in person worship- all that cannot be communicated or enacted through a Zoom screen- I want to hold on to the learnings of this time. I don't want to "go back to normal", but forward as God calls us in the work of justice and love. Perhaps one of the things we have learned is how to improvise and hold each other tenderly as we move into still more unknown territory by the leading of God's Spirit.

I will be writing to you early next week about detailed plans for gathering in person, and I look forward very much to seeing many of you on September 12. We will continue to maintain online worship (albeit in a different form) for those who are not comfortable or able to participate in person. But for now, I invite you to reflect on what we have experienced, let go, and discovered in our Zoom sojourn. May God continue to bless and guide us as we move into the next chapter of our life together.

Liz
How to Join the Service
From your computer, laptop, pad, smart phone, or other device, click this link:

or

If you do not have a device with a camera, you can still join with your phone by dialing the following number: 929-205-6099, and enter the meeting ID: 322 793 633.

All of our online services, with their links, can be found on our public calendar, and are listed below.
Click this link to read up on some best practices for Zoom meetings.
Prelude Music
Tune and Air
Henry Purcell
Worship With Us
Introit and Bell
Chant after Sacred Harp
Welcome
Hymn
Please join in the singing as you are able.
#493 O for a thousand tongues to sing
Azmon
O for a thousand tongues to sing
my dear Redeemer’s praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim
and spread through all the earth
abroad the honors of thy Name.

Jesus! the Name that charms our fears
and bids our sorrows cease;
’tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’tis life and health and peace.
He speaks; and, listening to his voice,
new life the dead receive,
the mournful broken hearts rejoice,
the humble poor believe.

Hear him, ye deaf; ye voiceless ones,
your loosened tongues employ;
ye blind, behold, your Savior comes;
and leap, ye lame, for joy!

Glory to God and praise and love
be now and ever given
by saints below and saints above,
the Church in earth and heaven.
Opening Acclamation
Celebrant:   Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
People:   And blessed be God's kingdom, now and for ever. Amen
Collect of the Day
Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Liturgy of the Word
Reader: Eve Beglarian

Say to those who are of a fearful heart, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.’ Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water.

Psalm 146    (St. Helena Psalter)

Alleluia! Praise God, O my soul! *
   I will praise God as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, *
   for there is no help in them.
When they breathe their last, they return to earth, *
   and in that day their thoughts perish.
Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help, *
   whose hope is in their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them; *
   whose promise abides for ever;
Who gives justice to those who are oppressed *
   and food to those who hunger.
God sets the prisoners free
and opens the eyes of the blind; *
   God lifts up those who are bowed down;
The Most High loves the righteous;
the Most High cares for the stranger; *
   God sustains the orphan and widow,
   but frustrates the way of the wicked.
God shall reign for ever, *
   your God, O Zion, throughout all generations. Alleluia!

Reader: Stanley Weinberg

My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you? You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.

Jesus set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
Sermon
The Rev. Elizabeth G. Maxwell
Anthem
Rejoice in the Lord Always
Anonymous 16th Century English
Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice.
Let your softness be known unto all men:
the Lord is even at hand.
Be careful for nothing: but in all prayer and supplication,
let your petitions be manifest unto God with giving of thanks.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding
keep your hearts and minds, through Christ Jesu.
Amen.
Prayers of the People
New Zealand Prayer Book
God of heaven and earth, through Jesus Christ you promise to hear us when we pray to you in faith with thanksgiving.

We pray for one another, for our families and friends, through whom we learn to love and to be loved. Thank you for all who care for us. ​Give us grace to serve Christ by serving our neighbors and our community, loving others as he loves us.

Silence

Bless all whose lives are closely linked with ours, and grant that we may serve Christ in them, and love one another as he loves us. We pray for all affected by COVID-19: for the frightened and the sick, for the dying and those who mourn; for all who have lost jobs and livelihood as a result of this pandemic; for all healthcare workers and all whose labor supports our common life; for those developing and distributing vaccines, for those charged with making decisions about public health and public policy.

Silence

We thank you for the unfailing love you hold out to everyone in Jesus Christ. Comfort and heal those in sorrow, need, sickness or any other trouble, especially Robert, Ed, Janet, Ellen, Joseph, Brielle, Lucas, Holly, Allejandro and Jesus, Nancy, Barbara, Dorothy, Stewart, Patricia, Judith, Harold, Hannah, Jurek, Alice, Michael, Todd, Jeffrey, Irene, and Doug. Give them courage and hope in their distress, and bless those who minister to them.

Silence

We remember with gratitude your many gifts to us in creation and the rich heritage of this land. Help us and people everywhere to share with justice and peace the resources of the earth. Give wisdom to those in authority among us and to all leaders of the nations. Today we remember particularly the peoples of Haiti and Afghanistan, and all affected by Hurricane Ida and the fires in the west. We pray especially for those seeking to end white supremacy and establish racial justice.

Silence

We pray for your Church throughout the world, thanking you for all who serve Christ and his kingdom. By your Spirit strengthen your people for their work and witness in the world. Unite us in your truth and love, that we who confess your name may also reflect your glory.

Silence

We remember with thanksgiving all who have died in Christ, especially Patricia Chinery Whalen, Nancy Landau, Ken Biddle, Norman Inferrera, and Betty Lane. We rejoice at the faithful witness of your saints in every age, praying that we may enter with them into the unending joy of your heavenly kingdom.

Silence

Priest Merciful God, you look with compassion on all who turn to you. Hear the prayers of your people.

People Grant that what we have asked in faith we may by your grace receive; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Confession and Absolution

God of all mercy,
we confess that we have sinned against you,
opposing your will in our lives.
We have denied your goodness in each other,
in ourselves, and in the world you have created. We repent of the evil that enslaves us,
the evil we have done,
and the evil done on our behalf.
Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer

 Our Father, who art in heaven,
     hallowed be thy Name,
     thy kingdom come,
     thy will be done,
          on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us this day our daily bread.
 And forgive us our trespasses,
     as we forgive those
          who trespass against us.
 And lead us not into temptation,
     but deliver us from evil.
 For thine is the kingdom,
     and the power, and the glory,
     for ever and ever. Amen.
Announcements
Blessing
Hymn
#469 There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
St. Helena
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
like the wideness of the sea;
there’s a kindness in his justice,
which is more than liberty.
There is welcome for the sinner,
and more graces for the good;
there is mercy with the Savior;
there is healing in his blood.

There is no place where earth’s sorrows
are more felt than up in heaven;
there is no place where earth’s failings
have such kindly judgment given.
There is plentiful redemption
in the blood that has been shed;
there is joy for all the members
in the sorrows of the Head.

For the love of God is broader
than the measure of the mind;
and the heart of the Eternal
is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more faithful,
we should take him at his word;
and our life would be thanksgiving
for the goodness of the Lord.
Dismissal
The people respond:
Thanks be to God.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee, tea, or your favorite juice, grab a slice of banana bread, piece of fruit, or a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, and feel free to "hang out" with us online to chat!
Support Your Parish!
Go to ascensionnyc.org/give to give online
Please check us out at ascensionnyc.org/give to find out how easy and secure it is. Click the envelope on the right to go the Ascension Website for more information and to give, whether a one-time donation, pledge payment, or make a new pledge.

Our parish can only continue its mission and ministry because of the generosity of parishioners, visitors, and friends of the parish and we are working hard to make our online giving as easy and seamless as possible.

(If you experience any issues with Abundant Giving, please email us at websexton@ascensionnyc.org)
A Note about Using Abundant Giving: When you donate and pledge through the Abundant Giving app or go through the website, you need to direct your donation to the correct category. There are multiple categories to choose from:
  • Offering Plate
  • Stewardship Pledge 2021
  • Sexton's Retirement Gift
  • Rector's Fund
  • Memorial Gift
These categories change as we update categories during the year. (An example would be when we delete the Easter flowers category after Easter and add Christmas flowers for the weeks leading up to Christmas.)

To donate through your app or the website, click the link above. The next screen will prompt you: "How Much Do You Want To Give?" Next to that, is a drop-down list of categories. Offering plate is always listed first. Click on the little arrow and the list will appear. Click on which ever category you want your donation to be credited. It is important to identify which category you are donating to so that your year end statement will be correct.

You should have received your year-end statement for 2020. Please review it carefully and contact the parish office immediately if there are any issues.
Services - In-Person and Zoom
& Open Church
SAVE THE DATE! Next Sunday, September 12
Return to In-Person Services, Sundays at 11:00am

We will return to in-person 11:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist with Music, next Sunday, September 12. Stay tuned for more detailed information and protocols.

Please know that we WILL continue online services!
Worship with Us!
SAVE THE DATE! Starting Sunday, September 12; 11:00 a.m. - Return to In-Person Holy Eucharist with Music, Sundays at 11:00am. Lemonade and iced tea will be served in the front garden following the service.
(LiveStream of the service will be available)

Sunday Morning In-Person Holy Eucharist, 9:00 am.

In-Person Midweek Eucharist, Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m.

Starting Tuesday, September 7- The Church is open for prayer and meditation every weekday; Monday through Friday, Noon to 3:00 p.m. Open Church will begin with Noonday Prayer, led by Brother Andrew, OSF.
9/11 20th Anniversary Remembrance, Saturday, September 11, we will have a brief service of Noonday Prayer and Reflection in memory of the 9/11 attack. The service will be at noon in the church.
Everyone entering the church must wear a mask and maintain appropriate physical distance. Please utilize the hand sanitizer stations.
Announcements
New York Haiti Project - Earthquake Near Martel - A powerful earthquake struck Haiti last month. The epicenter was located about twenty miles west of Martel. Episcopal clergy are reporting that many of the homes, churches and schools in the area were badly damaged. The home pictured here was in Les Cayes. St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Martel was damaged but it can be repaired. As you can see from the photo below, the new addition that we were building was had a bit of a setback. Thankfully there are no reports of people in Martel being hurt or killed. But people are afraid to sleep inside for fear of collapse. Over 300 people are confirmed dead in other communities.

If you would like to donate directly to Fr. Phanord to help the church, school, and people in Martel via Zelle at haitiangoodsam@gmail.com. Or you can send a check to New York Haiti Project | 1858 Hunt Avenue, Bronx, NY 10462. Click here for more information and here for a recent update.
Letter from the Bishop - An Appeal for Haiti -- Click here to read a letter from the Rt. Rev. Andrew Dietsche, Bishop of New York. In addition to giving options above, you can also give via Episcopal Relief and Development or directly through the Diocese. You can also send a donation to the Diocese of New York, designated for Haiti relief*, at 1047 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025. Above all, please pray for the Reverend Pierre André Duvert, Rector of Saint Luke’s Church in the Bronx; the Reverend Nathanael Saint-Pierre, Priest-in-Charge of Saint Augustine’s Church in Manhattan; the Reverend Sam Owen, Priest in Charge, and Deacons Adeline Smith and Wilson Estil, all of the Haitian Congregation of the Good Samaritan in the Bronx; and the Reverend Promise Atelon of Trinity Parish.
Episcopal Relief and Development - Hurricane Ida Assistance. Category 4 Hurricane Ida has made landfall in southeastern Louisiana. We don't have to guess what a storm of this size can do — we've seen it before, 16 years ago to the day when Hurricane Katrina changed this region forever. So as we help communities in Ida's path, we are urgently asking for your support. Your gift today will help the act quickly to support Episcopal dioceses across southeastern Louisiana, who have extensive experience preparing for and responding to disasters. To donate now, please click here.
And now, New Yorkers have had our own experiences with Hurricane Ida - stay tuned for ways to address local issues.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry highlights ways to help Afghan refugees through Episcopal Migration Ministries. As Episcopalians, as followers of Jesus, as people of faith, we mourn the recent loss of life in Afghanistan, the ongoing chaos and instability, and the risk that many Afghans face, in particular women and girls. Click here to watch the Presiding Bishop's address and to read more.
Stewardship Pledge Statements - Pledge statements are being mailed out and you should receive yours soon. If you don't, or if your information is incorrect, please contact the church office at 212-254-8620 or at info@ascensionnyc.org.
DON'T FALL FOR IT!

Fraudulent emails, Facebook accounts, instagram and Messenger accounts are on the rise! These annoying and scary intrusions into our lives go by many names, but most commonly they are referred to as spoofing, phishing, or cloning. They usually start out friendly enough - enough to lure you in - but sooner or later they will ask you for money.

It seems there is little you can do to stop someone from spoofing your account, but you can be smart about it if you are on the receiving end. Here are some things you should know and look out for:
  • First off, don't panic.
  • No one from the church (or Diocese, for that matter) will send you a personal message asking for money or gift cards.
  • Trust your gut! If you have even a hint that the message might be fake, don't respond.
  • Do NOT send money or gift cards.
  • If you are in doubt about the veracity of the message, contact your friend via another means (such as a phone call) to verify.
  • If it comes to you via email, always check the sender's email address - 99.99% of the time it will be some weird email address that has no association to your friend,.
  • Notify your friend who has been spoofed so they can alert others.
Sunday Meditation with Prayers & Music
is available on our
Facebook page:

Stay Connected in Prayer.
Join us each weeknight at 5:30 for Evening Prayer & discussion. Click this link to join: ascensionnyc.org/eveningprayer.
This Week at Ascension
Sunday – September 5 Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
In-Person Holy Eucharist (Parish Hall) 9:00 a.m.
Sunday Service, (Zoom) 11:00 a.m.
Coffee Hour & Forum (following the 11:00 service)
Meditation with Prayers & Music (Facebook.com/AscensionNYC)

Monday – September 6
Labor Day - Church and Parish Office Closed.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m. 

Tuesday – September 7
Church open for prayer and meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Reopening Taskforce (Zoom) 4:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday – September 8
Finance Committee (Zoom) 11:30 a.m.
Church open for prayer and meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Midweek Eucharist (Church) 6:00 p.m.

Thursday – September 9
Church open for prayer and meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Friday – September 10
Church open for prayer and meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – September 11
Acolyte Training/Review (Church) 10:00 a.m.
9/11 20th Anniversary Remembrance (Church) 12 Noon

Sunday – September 12  Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
In-Person Holy Eucharist (Church) 9:00 a.m.
In-Person Holy Eucharist w/ Music (Church) 11:00 a.m.
(Live Stream of the service will be available)
Lemonade & Iced Tea in the Front Garden following the service
Coffee Hour & Forum (following the 11:00 service)

* Anyone entering the church must wear a mask and maintain appropriate physical distance. Please utilize the hand sanitizer stations,

If you need information to connect to one of our Zoom events please call the church office at 212-254-8620 or email us at info@ascensionnyc.org
Contact us
The Church of the Ascension -- Fifth Avenue and Tenth Street
212-254-8620 | info@ascensionnyc.org | www.ascensionnyc.org
We are working from home, but we will respond to emails and phone calls