Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
Independence Day
"O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!"
  - Langston Hughes, "Let America Be America Again"

Dear People of Ascension,

On this 4th of July weekend, what is America to you?

Is it a dream of democracy and inclusion- e pluribus unum- out of many one?

Is it a complex history, marred by white supremacy and greed?

Is it the place, the people, the extended family where you belong?

Is it the wondrous natural beauty of oceans and mountains, forests, fields and deserts?

Is it a country in trouble, splintered by potentially irreconcilable differences?

Is it a land of immigrants, with the hope of welcome for all and a gorgeous mosaic of diversity?

Is it an identity you are not sure you want to claim at all?

As Christians, we pray for our country, but we must not make an idol of it. We may love our nation as we love our families, but we must not ignore its failings. We seek to learn and tell the truth about our history and our present. We are called to contribute to our common life, care for the poor, do justice and love mercy, welcome the stranger and love our enemies.

Perhaps this Independence Day, along with barbecues and much awaited gatherings with friends, we might reflect on the question of what this country is for us- and on the challenge of Langston Hughes' commitment that "America will be."

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


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.
Please be Alert!

Online phishing emails are becoming more and more rampant these days and the church is not exempt from vulnerability. Please read our notice below in the announcement for ways to protect yourself and others.
Prelude Music
William Selby
Worship With Us
Introit and Bell
America by Walt Whitman
Please join in the singing as you are able.
#529 - McKee; In Christ there is no east or west
In Christ there is no east or west,
In him no south or north,
But one great fellowship of love
Throughout the whole wide earth.

Join hands, disciples of the faith,
Whate'er your race may be!
Who serve my Father as his child
Is surely kin to me.

In Christ now meet both east and west,
In him meet south and north,
All Christly souls are one in him
Throughout the whole wide earth.
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
O God, you have taught us to keep all your commandments by loving you and our neighbor: Grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to you with our whole heart, and united to one another with pure affection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Liturgy of the Word
Reader: David Cholcher

The Lord said to me: O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants are impudent and stubborn. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the Lord God.” Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a prophet among them.

Psalm 123   (St Helena Psalter)

To you I lift up my eyes, *
   to you enthroned in the heavens.
As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, *
   and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the Holy One our God, *
   until God shows us mercy.
Have mercy upon us, O God, have mercy, *
   for we have had more than enough of contempt,
Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich, *
   and of the derision of the proud.

Reader: John Gibson

I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. And I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows— was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.

Jesus came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
The Rev. Elizabeth G. Maxwell
My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
Virgil Thomson
My Shepherd will supply my need, Jehovah is His name;
In pastures fresh He makes me feed, Beside the living stream.
He brings my wandering spirit back When I forsake His ways,
And leads me, for His mercy’s sake, In paths of truth and grace.

When I walk through the shades of death Thy presence is my stay;
One word of Thy supporting breath Drives all my fears away.
Thy hand, in sight of all my foes, Doth still my table spread;
My cup with blessings overflows, Thine oil anoints my head.

The sure provisions of my God Attend me all my days;
O may Thy house be my abode, And all my work be praise!
There would I find a settled rest, While others go and come;
No more a stranger, nor a guest, But like a child at home.
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.


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, especially Scarlett, Madonna, Trudie, Nancy, Anna, Sarah, Endine, Terese, and AJ, for 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.


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, Suzanne, Nancy, Sonia, Seely, Katherine, Elizabeth, and Anne. Give them courage and hope in their distress, and bless those who minister to them.


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. We pray especially for those seeking to end white supremacy and establish racial justice.


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.


We remember with thanksgiving all who have died in Christ, especially Wayne Smith, Cristena Rubio, Curtis Kekahbah, and Jason Kazor. 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.


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.
#610 Lord, whose love through humble service
Lord, whose love through humble service
bore the weight of human need,
who upon the cross, forsaken,
offered mercy’s perfect deed,
we, your servants, bring the worship
not of voice alone, but heart,
consecrating to your purpose
every gift that you impart.

Still your children wander homeless;
still the hungry cry for bread;
still the captives long for freedom;
still in grief we mourn our dead.
As, O Lord, your deep compassion
healed the sick and freed the soul,
use the love your Spirit kindles
still to save and make us whole.
As we worship, grant us vision,
till your love’s revealing light,
in its height and depth and greatness,
dawns upon our quickened sight,
making known the needs and burdens
your compassion bids us bear,
stirring us to tireless striving,
your abundant life to share.

Called by worship to your service,
forth in your dear name we go,
to the child, the youth, the agèd
love in living deeds to show;
hope and health, good will and comfort,
counsel, aid, and peace we give,
that your servants, Lord, in freedom
may your mercy know and live.
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!
The Church Cracked Open - our forum series - will conclude on Sundays, July 18 & 25.. This Sunday, June 20. This new book is a gift to the Episcopal Church in this particular historical moment, and we encourage everyone to read and participate! it is widely available from Church Publishing and from Amazon.
Support Your Parish!
Go to to give online
Please check us out at 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
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.
In-Person Services
& Open Church
In-Person Sunday Morning Eucharist, 9:00 a.m. We will have in-person Holy Eucharist at 9:00 a.m. in the church. To reserve a seat, please click the button to the left, or visit us at If you have problems making a reservation, please contact the church office.
In-Person Midweek Eucharist - We are celebrating the Eucharist in person on Wednesday evenings. To reserve a seat, please click the button to the left, or visit us at If you have problems making a reservation, please contact the church office.
Tuesdays and Fridays - The Church is open from prayer and meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Racial Justice Discussion Presents, Thursday, July 8, 6:30 p.m.:
Vicksburg Project

Sites of famous battles are often memorialized by statues of men, by memoirs of commanders, by street names honoring generals. But war impacts everyone, male and female, black and white, soldiers and civilians. The Vicksburg Project looks at the storied Civil War town from the eyes of women and gender-complex people, black and white, from the time of the Civil War, and every fifty years thereafter, in an attempt to understand where we have been and where we are going.

Collaborators Karen Kandel, Mallory Catlett, and our own Eve Beglarian will present excerpts of the work in progress (scheduled to premiere at Mabou Mines in New York in Spring 2022) and lead a discussion around the issues it raises.
or Dial by your location
    +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
    +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
    +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
    +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
    +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
    +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 993 3293 9318
Racial Justice Discussion Group... Of Interest: Books, Seminars, Meetings, Etc...

Voices Heard - A Diocese Explores Pathways Toward Reparations. A series of panel discussions sponsored by the Reparations Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. Click here for more information.

  • The Awakening of Unwoke People, July 6
  • Rectors of Color, July 20

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: To call in (voice, no camera), dial 929-205-6099; the meeting ID is 770 597 201.
This Week at Ascension
Sunday – July 4  Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
In-Person Holy Eucharist (Church) 9:00 a.m. (Reservations)
Sunday Service, (Zoom) 11:00 a.m.
Coffee Hour & Forum (following the 11:00 service)
Meditation with Prayers and Music (Available on our Facebook page)

Monday – July 5
Church and Office Closed in honor of Independence Day
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m. 
Lectionary Bible Study (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.
(Speak to Sibyl Piccone if you are interested in this group)

Tuesday – July 6
Church open from prayer and meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Reopening Taskforce (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday – July 7
Building and Grounds (Zoom) 12 Noon
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Midweek Eucharist (Reservations) 6:00 p.m.
Needlecraft Guild (Zoom) 6:30 p.m
Thursday – July 8
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Racial Justice Discussion Group (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.

Friday – July 9
Church open from prayer and meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – July 10

Sunday – July 11  Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
In-Person Holy Eucharist (Church) 9:00 a.m. (Reservations)
Sunday Service, (Zoom) 11:00 a.m.
Coffee Hour & Forum (following the 11:00 service)
Meditation with Prayers and Music (Available on our Facebook page)

* 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
Contact us
The Church of the Ascension -- Fifth Avenue and Tenth Street
212-254-8620 | |
We are working from home, but we will respond to emails and phone calls