Christ the King
Last Sunday after Pentecost
November 22, 2020
Dear People of Ascension,

Tonight, I am pondering the small owl with the mighty name, Rockefeller. You have doubtless read about him and seen the pictures: he was discovered in the somewhat scraggly tree brought from upstate for Christmas at Rockefeller Center. He had been folded tight in the branches by mistake, and travelled many miles over three days without food or water. When the tiny Saw-whet owl (smallest of the owl species in our region) was discovered as the tree was unwrapped, he was disoriented- but in the pictures his eyes are fierce and bright. Apparently he is recovering well in the wildlife center to which he was taken, "gorging on mice" according to the news reports. He will soon be released back into the wild. Saw-whet owls are migratory, so it is believed he will make a good adjustment to his new home.

This will be a hard Thanksgiving for many of us, coming close to the end of a hard, hard year. We may grieve lives, livelihood or dreams lost. We may be missing family and friends, from whom the pandemic keeps us apart. We care for one another in Covid time by staying separate, and it is the right thing to do, but it is strange and sad. 

Perhaps this is a time to notice small, surprising gifts. The tiny, scrappy, Saw-whet owl delights me. I hope he is a harbinger of new possibilities emerging against all odds, out of disorientation and loss. He reminds me that the world is full of more wonders than I know, odd and hard and fierce and sweet.

May we all find wonders, and gratitude, in these challenging days. I am surely grateful to be on this journey with you all!

Happy thanksgiving-

How to Join the Service
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Organ Prelude
10:50 a.m.
Grand Dialogue in C

Louis Marchand (1669-1732)
Worship Service
11:00 a.m.
All gather online

The service begins with the sound of a bell
and your microphones will be muted.

Gradual chant on a theme by John Coltrane

Please join in the singing of the hymn.
#292 O Jesus, crowned with all renown (Kingsfold)
O Jesus, crowned with all renown,
since thou the earth hast trod,
thou reignest and by thee come down
henceforth the gifts of God.
Thine is the health and thine the wealth
that in our halls abound,
and thine the beauty and the joy
with which the years are crowned.

Lord, in their change, let frost and heat,
and winds and dews be given;
all fostering power, all influence sweet,
breathe from the bounteous heaven.
Attemper fair with gentle air
the sunshine and the rain,
that kindly earth with timely birth
may yield her fruits again:

that we may feed the poor aright,
and, gathering round thy throne,
here, in the holy angels’ sight,
repay thee of thine own:
That we may praise thee all our days,
and with the Father’s Name,
and with the Holy Spirit’s gifts,
the Savior’s love proclaim.

Presider Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
People And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Lessons
Reader: Vin Knight

Thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice. Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.

May all lands be joyful before you, O God, *
serve with gladness
and come before your presence with a song.
For we know that you are God; *
you yourself have made us, and we are yours;
we are your people and the sheep of your pasture.
We shall enter your gates with thanksgiving,
go into your courts with praise, *
give thanks to you and call upon your Name.
For you are good;
your mercy is everlasting; *
and your faithfulness endures from age to age.

Reader: Kyle Cheseborough

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Matthew

Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The Rev. Elizabeth G. Maxwell
Let all Mortal Flesh

Gustav Holst (1874-1934)
Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly-minded,
For with blessing in his hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.
King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth he stood
Lord of lords, in human vesture -
In the Body and the Blood -
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.
Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of Light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.
At his feet the six-winged seraph;
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the Presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry,
Alleluia, alleluia,
Alleluia, Lord most high. Amen.
Prayer Over the Pledge Cards

Let us pray. God of Abundance, you have created us in your image and invited us to share with you in your creative, reconciling work. On this ingathering day, we offer you our financial commitments to the ministry of Ascension. These gifts represent the work of our hands and the passion of our hearts. We offer them in gratitude for your boundless gifts to us. As we seek to follow your Son our Savior Jesus Christ and give our whole lives to your service, let these tokens of who we are and what we have help us along the way. Help us to know you better through the grace of giving: to your Church, each other, and the world around us. Bless these gifts that they may bless others through your Church’s ministry, and so that we may be transformed in trust, joy and service in Christ’s name. In that holy name we pray. Amen.
Prayers of the People - New Zealand Prayer Book, Second Form

Please send your own prayers through the chat function on Zoom, and the leader will read them at the end of the intercessions.
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.


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, Mary and Tom, Ellen, Joseph, Brielle, Lucas, Holly, Allejandro and Jesus, Nancy, Barbara, Dorothy, Stewart, Patricia, Judith, Marco, Tina, Hannah, Jurek, Alice, Stacy and Jonathan, Michael, Zakaria, Jocelyn, Seth, Jo, Angeline, Christopher, Len, Deanna and Rodney, and Lisa and Lucia. 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. We pray for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, those affected by hurricane Iota, and by the fires in western states. We pray for all laboring to end ​racism and white supremacy and establish racial justice in our country. We pray for the integrity of our electoral process, for Donald our president, and for Joe our president-elect. Give wisdom to those in authority among us and to all leaders of the nations.


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 pray for all affected by COVID-19: for the frightened and the sick, for the dying and those who mourn. We pray for all who have lost jobs and livelihood as a result of this pandemic. We pray 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 treatment and a vaccine, for those charged with making decisions about public health and public policy and for all who are reopening, that they may care for one another in wisdom and safety.


We remember with thanksgiving all who have died in Christ and those whose faith is known to you alone, especially Jacob Matovu, in whose memory the flowers are given today, Sally Littlefield, Andrew Stegen, Lauretta Feldman, Walter Wallace, Jr., and the more that 250,000 Americans who have died of COVID-19, as well as others around the world. 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.


We offer you our other prayers, and our thanksgivings for all the blessings of this life.

Prayers received on Zoom chat are read by the intercessor.


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

The priest adds a concluding collect.
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.
Please join in the singing of the hymn.
#494 Crown him with many crowns (Diademata)
Crown him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon his throne;
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own;
awake, my soul, and sing
of him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless King
through all eternity.

Crown him the Son of God
before the worlds began,
and ye, who tread where he hath trod,
crown him the Son of man;
who every grief hath known
that wrings the human breast,
and takes and bears them for his own,
that all in him may rest.

Crown him the Lord of life,
who triumphed o’er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save;
his glories now we sing
who died, and rose on high,
who died, eternal life to bring,
and lives that death may die.

Crown him of lords the Lord,
who over all doth reign,
who once on earth, the incarnate Word,
for ransomed sinners slain,
now lives in realms of light,
where saints with angels sing
their songs before him day and night,
their God, Redeemer, King.

Crown him the Lord of heaven,
enthroned in worlds above;
Crown him the King, to whom is given
the wondrous name of Love.
Crown him with many crowns,
as thrones before him fall,
crown him, ye kings, with many crowns,
for he is King of all.

The people respond
Thanks be to God.
The Flowers at the altar are given by James Amodeo in grateful thanksgiving for his birthday.
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Coffee Hour

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!
Ascension Forum this Sunday, November 22: What Happened at Diocesan Convention? The clergy and our lay delegate, Stanley Weinberg, will report to the parish on the experience and decisions or the recent Diocesan Convention.
For Your Daily Prayers - "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) During this time of global crisis and personal anxiety, we offer you this prayer form to include in your daily prayers.
Preparing for Advent!
Prepare ye the way for creativity (no brood of vipers invited)! Join us next Sunday, November 29, after the 11:00 service for our first forum of Advent. While we talk about the meaning of the season, come and create your own Advent wreath at home together over Zoom!

Here are some wild and crazy ideas for materials you may have at home already. This is a time to be playful and inventive, perfection definitely NOT required. We could all use a time for “sparking joy,” as Marie Kondo says. Start by gathering some candles in candle holders as the anchor for a wreath display, perhaps on a tray or in the center of a table?

What kinds of things do you have on hand to create the wreath?
  • cut out pieces from magazines as a collage?
  • some actual greens that you might have in your garden or gather on a walk (if you are currently living outside of the city (or even in the city)
  • maybe you have a jar of buttons hidden away? Might they be arranged into a wreath?
  • perhaps you would like to write scripture verses on strips of paper and arrange those as a wreath?
  • surely someone has a costume jewelry collection of pins/necklaces/baubles that could be arranged as a wreath?
  • maybe you are a knitter/crocheter and want to use yarn to create your wreath?
  • if you sew, maybe you could use fabric pieces to create the elements of your wreath
  • Ribbons/String?
  • surely there are some bakers out there who would want to make Christmas cookies and arrange those as a wreath.
  • maybe you are an artist and want to draw and/or paint your wreath?
  • maybe you are a person who collects a particular favorite thing and can use those objects for your wreath?
  • maybe you could gather photos of beloved family and friends and arrange those into a wreath?
  • maybe you have some kind of modeling clay and can use it to make a wreath?

The possibilities are endless. Please, be playful, have fun. The process is more important than perfection. Looking forward to seeing all of the creativity in action
Advent at Ascension
Advent 1, November 29:
Prepare the way!
Come and discuss the meaning of the season while we make our own Advent wreaths over Zoom

Advent 2, December 6:
A Contemplative Art Experience with John the Baptist

Advent 3, December 13:
A Contemplative Art Experience with Mary 

Advent 4, December 20:
(Watch this space for details!)

Advent Quiet Day 
Saturday, December 5, 11 am-2pm:
Comfort, O Comfort My People
A time of refreshment using scripture, music, art and poetry, led by the clergy
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 here to join. To call in (voice, no camera), dial 929-205-6099; the meeting ID is 770 597 201.
SUSPENDED - In-Person Midweek Eucharists and Open Church are currently suspended.

The Reopening Taskforce is following the city's guidelines for school shut downs - an infection rate of 3% over a 7-day rolling average. When the rate hits that mark, we suspend services. We've reached that point and in order to ensure everyone's health and safety we are suspending both Wednesday evening in-person Eucharist and the Tuesday & Friday Open Church. We will re-evaluate on a weekly basis, so watch this space for updates!
Thanksgiving Holiday - Church and Parish Office Closed but Praying Continues! The church and Parish Office will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 26 & 27, for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Evening Prayer (via Zoom) will still be offered at it's usual time both days.
The Next Racial Justice Group Will Meet Thursday, December 3- Please join us at 6:30 to talk about next steps in our journey towards understanding and dismantling racism and white supremacy, and working for racial justice in our hearts, in our church and in our country. Click here to access this meeting via Zoom.
Beware of Fraudulent Emails Purporting to be from the Ascension clergy! Several people received scam emails today pretending to be from Fr. Ed, using a Gmail account under a user name that appears to be him. Click here to read more and learn what you can do.
Is God calling YOU to run for Vestry? Are you interested in exploring your own faith leadership in the church? Serving on Vestry is an opportunity to provide spiritually grounded leadership with an emphasis on our church's finances and property management. Vestry members are baptized members of the parish who regularly attend worship and have contributed financially to Ascension regularly over the past 12 months. Vestry meets the evening of the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Please contact the Nominating Committee or Mtr Liz if you would like to discern this ministry or know someone you would like to nominate.
Blessings from the Vestry Nominating Committee:
Maurice Seaton (, Shana Kaplanov,
Rusty Moore, Terry Rogers, and Kate Rutherford
From the Vestry:

244th Diocesan Convention Report - Click here to read the texts of the Bishops' Address and Reports, Elections, Budget and more. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 244th Diocesan Convention was conducted online via Zoom on Saturday, November 7, with the exception that the bishops and other essential participants were at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, appropriately distanced from one another. A video of November 7, including the Bishops’ addresses, will be posted as soon as available here.
Sunday Paper Junior - The lectionary, our yearly schedule of Bible readings, carries us through Jesus’s life and teachings. The Church of The Ascension subscribes to the Sunday Paper Junior and we offer it to you and your family as a fun, creative way to study the lessons each week. Click here to access this week's paper. Please feel free to print out the pages each week and use as you desire. Check out this section each week for the current Sunday Paper Junior!
Subscribe to the AscensionNYC podcast and have our weekly sermons delivered to the device of your choice! While we have been posting recordings of sermons preached at Ascension services since February 2015, many have asked how they can listen to them on the go. Now you can subscribe to the AscensionNYC podcast to have the latest sermons and other audio content from the Church of the Ascension automatically downloaded to your phone, tablet or computer. Follow this link
to choose how you'd like to receive AscensionNYC in the podcast app you use; we’re being added to more and more directories each week!

You can also go to our website to listen to recent sermons by clicking here or going to our website.
Give while shopping - We all seem to be relying on online shopping more and more these days. The AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5 percent of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the nonprofit you choose. Even these small sums can add up for us. Click here to find out how.
This Week At Ascension
Sunday – November 22 - Ingathering & Blessing of Pledges
Organ Prelude (Zoom) 10:50 a.m.
Church Service (Zoom) 11:00 a.m.
Ascension Forum (Zoom)
Meditation with Prayers and Music (Available on our Facebook page)

Monday – November 23
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 – November 24
Finance Committee (Zoom) 4:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
EfM (Zoom) 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday – November 25
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Thursday – November 26 - Thanksgiving Day
Church and Parish Office Closed
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Friday – November 27
Church and Parish Office Closed
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – November 28
Rehearsal for Sunday Service (Zoom) 2:00 p.m.

Sunday – November 29 - First Sunday of Advent
Organ Prelude (Zoom)
Church Service (Zoom) 11:00 a.m.
Ascension Forum (Zoom)
Meditation with Prayers and Music (Available on our Facebook page)

* Anyone entering the church must wear a mask, maintain appropriate physical distance, utilize the hand sanitizer stations, and provide contact tracing information. Anyone with a temperature of 99.9 or over will not be admitted and will be instructed to quarantine and contact their doctor.

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
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We are working from home, but we will respond to emails and phone calls