THIS WEEK AT ASCENSION + October 28, 2020
"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." - Psalm 96

You will be able to see how many spots, if any, are still available.

A note on HOW TO CANCEL may be found in conjunction with the information below for the coming Sunday.

The full schedule for Sunday, including virtual worship and connections,
may be found below.
Rector's Newsletter Preview
Please take note and heed as appropriate ...
  • Deacon Arceneaux's election muse and pastoral invitation.

  • New reduced attendance limit for in-person worship, effective immediately.

  • November 13 Chicago Deaneries conversation with bishop candidates.

  • How/where to hear the Choir of the Ascension.

  • Planning for holiday worship.

  • And more ...
This evening, October 28
Commemoration of
St. Simon & St. Jude, Apostles

Evening Prayer 6:00 p.m.
Low Mass, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 1 + All Saints' Day

Virtual and In-Person Schedule
with links for virtual worship and in-person reservations

Virtual Worship & Fellowship
8:30 a.m. - Morning Prayer
9:00 a.m. - Live-Streamed Mass
10:15 a.m. - Virtual Coffee Hour

11:00 a.m. In-Person Mass - Reservation Required: Click here

Image: Communion of Saints, by Philippine artist Notitzki Tremonto

NOTE: If you need to CANCEL your reservation:
CLICK the link above. CLICK on the pink text "you have registered for this event." You will be given the option "Remove Registration." CLICK on that option and your reservation is removed.

From Deacon George Arceneaux
An Election Muse & Pastoral Invitation

Dear Ascension friends,

The presidential election is now only seven days out. My stress level is rising as it nears. The polls and podcasts that I follow, as well as ongoing pandemic isolation, may be adding to my stress and anxiety. Whatever your politics, you may also be preoccupied and troubled.

Part of me is tempted to dismiss my fears, and the fears of others, with platitudes: “Things will be alright.” Or “Don’t worry, God is in control.” Another part of me conjures up apocalyptic scenarios that feed the anxiety. What will happen to health care? Civil rights? Foreign policy?

Amidst all this, a gospel-grounded message of Dietrich Bonhoeffer has helped to ground me. Preaching in a similarly troubled time, he said, “The overcoming of fear – that is what we are proclaiming here. The Bible, the gospel, Christ, the church, the faith – all are one great battle cry against fear in the lives of human beings.” Bonhoeffer recalls the apostles in a boat, caught in a storm, and crying out, “Lord save us! We are perishing!”

Bonhoeffer interprets the moment as follows: “That was fear all right, but it was faith in the midst of fear, because it knew where help comes from, the only place.” His sermon partly comes to mind, I suppose, because those apostles were together in the boat – as we are in a parish community. And Jesus can continue to calm us, even if not always the threatening storms about us.

Please know that there’s room in my boat if you want to sit alongside as we ride out this election storm -- together. Be in touch if you may find some calm by sharing your thoughts, questions or anxieties. I know Father Raymond and other parish clergy are also available. 

[Click to connect by email ...]
From the Rector
New reduced attendance limit for in-person worship, effective immediately. An email last night from a senior member of Bishop Lee's staff now directs that, due to rising COVID-19 cases in Cook County, attendance numbers for all Chicago Episcopal churches be reduced to no more than 25 persons in the building at any one time. To reach this number, and taking into account ministers in the sanctuary, the organist and the usher/greeter team, we will be reducing the number of available spots in the pews to 18 (as reflected in the links from this newsletter for Sunday, November 1). The letter from the Rev. Courtney Reid may be read here, and a link to a Tribune story about Governor Pritzker's related executive order may be read here.
A Conversation with our Bishop candidates on Friday, November 13, at 10:00 a.m. represents one of the next steps in the Diocese of Chicago Bishop search. The conversation noted is only one of several in which you may participate but has been specially earmarked for Chicago North Deanery and Chicago South Deanery congregations and ministries. I'll provide additional information in the next two weeks' newsletters. Meanwhile, numerous related links are provided in a feature toward the end of this newsletter. Allow me to remind you as well, that December 12 bishop electors from Ascension will include Gary Alexander, Patrick Johnston and Jay Peterson, in addition to all ordained clergy. If you have thoughts about any candidate(s) please do share them.
(Still) Planning for Holiday Masses & Outreach
I continue to have little specific information to provide with regard to either worship services or outreach commitments for Thanksgiving through Christmas. In the absence of volunteer leaders for a Thanksgiving outreach effort, the Vestry decided at its October 17 meeting to devote the related funds to the food pantry, where the needs are steadily increasing. An opportunity for an outreach project in December is still possible but would also be subject to leadership. Please contact me if your hand is raised.
Separately, I had a lengthy Zoom meeting on Tuesday with clergy and staff as well as seminarian Bonnie Scott. We all recognize that many souls will be eager to connect during the holidays and that present circumstances call for improvisation. In the coming week, I will present the same group with a draft plan for holiday masses. We hope to refine it and communicate it to you soon thereafter. Thanks again for your patience.
Collect for an Election ...
... apropos of Deacon George's muse ...

"Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." - BCP page 822
Choir of the Ascension:
Now on Soundcloud!
I will let Choirmaster Benamin Rivera give you more information another time, but you may now find some Choir of the Ascension recordings at Click here or on the image to the left. I can heartily commend the recording of Tallis' If ye love me at the top of the list!
Our All Souls Requiem Mass for all the faithful departed will be live-streamed (only) on Monday, November 2, at 6:30 p.m. (preceded by Evening Prayer, also live-streamed, at 6:00 p.m.). Those wishing for the names of the departed to be included in the necrology that will be read read at the requiem should send an email to Br. Nathanael Rahm in the parish office or call him at (312) 664-1271, no later than Noon on Thursday, October 29. Look for more information in next week's newsletter.

The Order of Worship for the All Souls Mass will be shared via a brief newsletter on Monday, November 2, by 2:00 p.m.
Daylight Savings Time ends and Standard Daylight Time begins on Sunday, November 1. Fall back an hour!
Newcomer Henri Poilevey has made a commitment to Holy Baptism on the Feast of All Saints, Sunday, November 1. Henri first came to Ascension after the New Year and had previously expressed an interest in Baptism at the Easter Vigil. Thanks be to God that he has persevered in inquiry and faith! Joey Keegin and Bonnie Scott will serve as Henri's baptism sponsors. Please note that present safe-distancing considerations will call for some changes in our usual baptism choreography -- still be worked out. Please keep Henri in your prayers.
Can you help host a virtual coffee hour? We started our Sunday virtual coffee hours almost immediately after pandemic restrictions took effect. For many, they have provided a meaningful connection opportunity at a time where meaningful connections are hard to come by. Those of us who hosted prior to the start of in-person worship are no longer able to be present or host. We'd love to identify a half dozen hosts who would serve on a rotating basis. This role is low-tech (if you are already able to Zoom) and high reward. Training is available. Please contact me or either warden.
Sunday's Organ Repertoire
Opening Voluntary 
Intermezzo  JA66  [1934]
Jehan Alain (1911-1940)
   David Schrader, Organist Emeritus

At the Communion
Improvisation on SINE NOMINE   

Closing Voluntary
Litanies JA119 [1937]
Jehan Alain
David Schrader, Organist Emeritus

I regret having to remind you that visits to Ascension, other than for urgent or essential matters or for brief personal devotion in the church, are to be avoided. Any (other) visit should be arranged in advance with Br. Nathanael Rahm Thank you for your understanding.
Due to COVID-19, Church of the Ascension’s Treasurer and Bookkeeper are limiting the amount of time they spend working in the parish offices. All checks received at Ascension via the United States Postal Service, not always a reliable service in our area, will be bank deposited approximately every 4-6 weeks. They will next be here Thursday, November 5th, for several hours beginning by 10 a.m. You may contact the Treasurer by email anytime at 
Ascension Connections
(with your click and God's help)
Meeting ID:
792 031 7452
Password: 1133
Join-by-Phone Option: (312) 626-6799

Weekly Ascension Schedule

For connections:
via Zoom (click here)
except for Morning Prayer,
via Facebook (click here).

8:30 a.m. Virtual Morning Prayer
9:00 a.m. Live-Streamed Mass
10:15 a.m. Virtual Coffee Hour
11:00 a.m. in-person mass

6:10 p.m. Evening Prayer via Zoom

6:30 p.m. Low Mass
Yes, but I still haven't Zoomed ...
For the Novice, Newbie, or tech-challenged: It may be easier than you know. We've simplified instructions on the sheet that you can view by clicking here. Please know that you can block your camera (and don't need one to start with), and you could join our Scripture study or Virtual Coffee Hour, for instance, without having to say a word. Give it a try.
Please give generously as you are able.
Treasurer Susan Schlough has asked me to remind you of Ascension's ongoing expenses at this time. To the extent that you are able, payment on your pledges or the offering of Holy Day or other special gifts will be greatly appreciated. You may still write a check and mail it to the church, or online payment is possible through the buttons at various places on our website. Thank you!
For our prayers: Charley Taylor, August 'Augie' Alonzo, Jim Berger, Ethel Martin, Dean Pineda, Charlene MacDougal, Marty Stenson, David Byerly, Bonnie Joseph, Catriana Patriarca, Robert Devens, Richard Laibly, Nicholas Carl, Sara, the Howard family, John, Owen Raymond, Diane Burnett, Sandra, Rhea, Doreen Rao, Steven Wallis, Fr. Lawrence Larson

Birthdays: Cynthia Perrizo, 10/30; Fr. Robert Petite, 11/2; Olive Milewczyk, 11/3

Bishop Candidates: The Rev. Canon Paula E. Clark, The Rev. Edwin Daniel Johnson,
The Rev. Dr. Fulton L. Porter III, The Rev. Winnie Varghese

Requiescat in pace: David L. Brooks, 10/25/2008; Jean D. Gehrke, 10/26/2007;
Robert A. White, 10/27/2018; Rachael Ann Bottorff, 10/28/2012; Bradley Mott, 10/10/2020

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them;
May their souls and the souls of all the departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

In the event that you've missed XIII Bishop of Chicago candidate information ...

To read the announcement of Bishop Candidates by the Standing Committee of the diocese, click here.

To read about the canonical 'Petition Process' that provides an opportunity for additional Candidates to be considered, through Monday, October 12, click here.

To read about the four present Candidates and their impressive and diverse qualifications as presented by the Bishop Search Committee, click here.

To learn about ground already covered in the bishop search or about the upcoming Candidate Conversations or December election, click here.

Whether or not you've clicked ... please pray.

Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a bishop for this Diocese, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCP p. 818
The Last Word
A poem on the theme of elections seems right for today's Last Word. I almost did not read, and was hesitant to include, Vachel Lindsay's 2005 poem, below, because of it's title, Why I Voted the Socialist Ticket. But I did give it a chance and found it to be as or more theological than ideological. Hope it may strike a chord with some of you.
- Fr. Raymond +

I am unjust, but I can strive for justice.
My life’s unkind, but I can vote for kindness.
I, the unloving, say life should be lovely.
I, that am blind, cry out against my blindness.

Man is a curious brute—he pets his fancies—
Fighting mankind, to win sweet luxury.
So he will be, though law be clear as crystal,
Tho’ all men plan to live in harmony.

Come, let us vote against our human nature,
Crying to God in all the polling places
To heal our everlasting sinfulness
And make us sages with transfigured faces.

From Collectyed Poems, 2005, Kessinger.

Below: An unattributed photo from a Tuesday, November 27, news feature on early voting for the November 3 Presidential election.
The Very Rev. Patrick Raymond, Rector

Susan Schlough, Treasurer

Br. Nathanael Deward Rahm BSG, Parish Office