Apart & Together:
Intermittent Glimpses from Ascension
Update for Friday, March 20
Worship & Gatherings Suspended 'beyond Easter'
Worship & Music: Works in Progress
Pastoral Care
Your Survey Responses - or NOT
Vestry Meeting Saturday
Dear People of Ascension,

What will be of most benefit for most of you and the good of the whole at this time, I imagine, may be worthwhile information more than ingratiating prose. I welcome you to scan the following for what may be of most use to you and any others in your household. I'm sure I've missed, mis-ordered and misrepresented some things. Thank you in advance for your patience.

Suspension to Continue 'beyond Easter' Bishop Lee has extended the suspension of in-person church worship and all other gatherings until 'beyond Easter.' (Bishop Budde of Washington has already indicated 'May 16' (at least). You may read a number of our Bishop's Covid-19-related messages at the bottom of the homepage for the Diocese of Chicago.

Worship & Music 

+ Look for another live streamed mass via Facebook Live at 9:00 a.m. for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 22. (The video will also be viewable anytime thereafter. I hope it will be on or only a click or so away from our Facebook home page, which may be found by clicking here.

+ A beautiful Stations of the Cross liturgy was created yesterday with help from Br. Nathanael Rahm and incorporating images from the Stations at Ascension. Organist David White and Ascension choir Mezzo Soprano Cassidy Smith and I recorded the service (with proper ‘social distancing’) yesterday evening. You will be able to see it here at our Ascension YouTube channel ... if it ever completes downloading!

+ Br. Michael-Francis Smith, OSB , has asked me to invite you to his home altar and chapel for the Daily Office, and in particular Morning Prayer. I will create a link to his live feed from our own Facebook page when I solve a number of other technology issues, but for now you may link to the House of Initia Nova - Chicago Facebook live feed by clicking here.

+ The Wardens and I will soon be forming a Holy Week and Easter Worship Planning Team. No remote foot-washing, I'm guessing, but how will we gather and make sense of and be blessed by what we cling to and profess in our Holy Week and Easter liturgies?

+ Our musicians are very eager to contribute their gifts at this time. Other than the 'Stations' recording mentioned above (my thanks to Benjamin for arranging for Cassidy Smith to take part as well)

You can probably now see our life feed webcam of the Ascension nave and altar if you're able to read this newsletter online. Thanks to Verger Mary Beth Hwang for working hard over the past few days to make this happen. We are not quite sure about 'continuous.' It may take a few tries to work out some bugs. See the larger image below, or just click here to go to the live feed from our Youtube channel.

Pastoral Care

I've been doing my best to make contact with at least a few of you every day, and I know many of you are also reaching out to others. Although I won't publish my cell phone number here online, I welcome any member to call it ... ask around; a lot of people have it.  

Your Survey Responses - or NOT

My thanks to those of you who responded to the survey I circulated earlier this week. Sadly, I didn't know that Survey Monkey's 'free' survey feature limited responses to 40 -- so I don't know how many more of you may have wanted to use the survey after we quickly hit the limit. Stay tuned on what if any further surveying may follow, and know that I plan to take a closer look at those 40 results later today.

Vestry Meeting -- with God's help

We'll hold a Vestry meeting tomorrow, Saturday, March 21, starting at 1 pm. I'm not at all confident that I've sufficiently mastered the Meet feature of G Suite, but in theory all Vestry meetings are open to all, so if you'd like to take part, pay attention: please send an email only to this address -- connect@ascensionchicago.org -- with 'Vestry Meeting' in the subject line by 12:30 p.m. tomorrow. If I don't connect with you, please don't take it personally. If I do connect ... thanks be to God!

With prayers, gratitude and hope,

Patrick +

Thanks to Sexton George Panice for continuing to work on projects around Ascension. This week he completely re-built these two garden benches! And this photo shows the only time I've seen him sitting down since I don't know when. - Fr. Raymond +