The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 13, 2020; 11:00 a.m.
Dear People of Ascension,

Last week, we received a pastoral letter from Bishop Dietsche, reflecting on what it means to be the church as we enter the fall of this extraordinary year. As he says, it is a new season in our life together as we continue to face the powerful challenges COVID-19 and seeking Racial Justice. It is a wise and caring document, including some important information as well as perspective. I commend it to you; you can read it here in its entirety.

I am away from New York this week, and though I will be accessible in an emergency I will have a limited work schedule- and some time for pond swimming, long walks in the woods with Finn and time with friends. I will return to the office on Tuesday, September 15. One of the pieces of Bishop Dietsche's letter that touches me is his words about the time he and his wife spent in their cabin in the Catskills this summer, partly with their beloved grandchildren. "In a world that seems to have come undone", he says, this time reminds him of what he loves, and what enlarges, moves and makes him a better person.

May you too have such reminders, in this and every season.


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 and enter the meeting ID: 929-205-6099 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.

Worship Service
All gather online

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

Gregorian Chant

#416 For the beauty of the earth (Lucerna Laudoniae)
Please join in the singing of the hymn.
For the beauty of the earth,
for the beauty of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies,
Christ our God, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flower,
sun and moon, and stars of light,

For the joy of ear and eye,
for the heart and mind’s delight,
for the mystic harmony
linking sense to sound and sight,
For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth, and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild,

For the Church which evermore
lifteth holy hands above,
offering up on every shore
thy pure sacrifice of love,

For each perfect gift of thine
to the world so freely given,
faith and hope and love divine,
peace on earth and joy in heaven,

Presider Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
People And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day
O God, because without you we are not able to please you, mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Lessons
Reader: James Amodeo

The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

Alleluia! When Israel came out of Egypt, *
the house of Jacob from a people of strange speech,
Judah became God’s sanctuary *
and Israel God’s dominion.
The sea beheld it and fled; *
Jordan turned and went back.
The mountains skipped like rams, *
and the little hills like young sheep.
What ailed you, O sea, that you fled; *
O Jordan, that you turned back?
You mountains, that you skipped like rams; *
you little hills, like young sheep?
Tremble, O earth, at the presence of God, *
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
Who turned the hard rock into a pool of water *
and flint-stone into a flowing spring.

Reader: Janet Fisher

Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand. Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God. We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God." So then, each of us will be accountable to God.
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Matthew

Peter came and said to Jesus, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
The Rev. Meredith Ward, Deacon
Cantate Domino
Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612)
Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, and bless his name: announce his salvation from day to day.
Announce among the nations his glory, and his wonders to all peoples.
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, Lisa, Kelly, Kathy, Michele, Jeannie, Abe, Peggy, Seth, Lauretta, Jacob, Joyce, Anne, Danne, Shawn, and Susanne. 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 Lebanon and Belarus, and those affected by hurricane Laura, the fires in California and the Pacific Northwest. We pray for all laboring to end ​racism and white supremacy and establish racial justice in our country. 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, and Terese, for all whose labor supports our common life, sometimes at the risk of their own lives; for those developing treatment and a vaccine, and 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 Daniel Nickolich, Yolande Robbins, Anthony McClain, Elizabeth Ortiz, Ann Mugavero, and Helen Crothers. 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.
#559 Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us (Dulce carmen)
Please join in the singing of the hymn.
Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us
o’er the world’s tempestuous sea;
guard us, guide us, keep us, feed us,
for we have no help but thee,
yet possessing every blessing,
if our God our Father be.

Savior, breathe forgiveness o’er us;
all our weakness thou dost know;
thou didst tread this earth before us;
thou didst feel its keenest woe;
yet unfearing, persevering,
to thy passion thou didst go.

Spirit of our God, descending,
fill our hearts with heavenly joy;
love with every passion blending,
pleasure that can never cloy;
thus provided, pardoned, guided,
nothing can our peace destroy.

The people respond
Thanks be to God.
Please 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
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 Art Show! This Sunday, September 13 - Our next artists forum will be this Sunday, September 13. Three of our talented parishioners, Garrett Dangler, Jeanette Shields, and Matt Vermedahl, have offered to share some of their artwork with us in small groups during coffee hour. The artworks they present may have been done during this time of quarantine — or may not. After a general coffee hour time, we will be sorted into three breakout rooms, one for each artist. After 10 minutes, the artists will move to a different room, and then they will move a 3rd time. That way, all participants can interact with each of the 3 artists.
“Loving God, who has filled the world with beauty. Open our eyes to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works!” BCP
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.
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 and discussion. Click here to join. To call in (voice, no camera), dial 929-205-6099; the meeting ID is 770 597 201.
Ordination of Meredith Ward- God willing, our beloved Deacon Meredith Ward will be ordained to the priesthood at 10:30 a.m., on September 19, 2020. It has been a special joy to experience her ministry among us during this time of online worship!

The Ordination will be livestreamed by the diocese. Check their websites and Facebook on the day of for links. As we get more information we will post it here.

As her sponsoring parish, we would like to give her the priestly vestments for this occasion (and beyond): a white chasuble and stole. If you would like to contribute to this gift, please do so either online via, or send a check to the Church of the Ascension with "Meredith ordination gift" in the memo line (address it to Mother Liz's attention at the church office). Thank you!
Our Diocesan Convention Roll-out Meetings are every Wednesday evening, 5pm - 6pm, from September 9 through October 28. To attend the Zoom presentations go to The Convention Day Bishops’ Addresses/Elections/Resolutions/Budget) will be Saturday, November 7 - Zoom details will follow;

Rollout Meeting Schedule:
Sept. 16 - Episcopal Charities
Sept. 23 - Congregational Development/Leadership Development
Sept. 30 - Social Concerns/Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Oct. 7 - 2021 Budget
Oct. 14 - Global Mission/Anti-Racism
Oct. 21 - Christian Formation/Ecumenical and Interfaith
Oct. 28 - Reparations
(Nov. 4) - (Reserved for possible additional Zoom meeting)
Have you completed the census?  At this point, 57% of New Yorkers have completed the census, compared to approximately 64.5% of the nation. While NYC has closed the gap significantly in relation to the nation’s response in 2010, we are still nearly 8% below the national average and we have just under a month to encourage everyone to complete the census and avoid a massive undercount before September 30th. Billions of dollars in funding for our hospitals, health care, schools, public housing and so much more depend on every New Yorker completing the census. Please fill it out even if you are not currently in NYC, and encourage your friends and family to do the same. You can fill out the census here.
Are you interested in confirmation, or being received into the Episcopal church? In his pastoral letter, Bishop Dietsche indicates that there may be an opportunity for some small group confirmations this fall in different regions of the Diocese. If you would like to prepare to deepen your Christian commitment in this way, or if you are interested in learning more about the Episcopal church, please speak to Mother Liz.
Episcopal Charities Sunday, September 20th - Our parish will join with others around the diocese to support Episcopal Charities Sunday,a special collection on behalf of feeding programs funded by Episcopal Charities.Now,more than ever, these programs need our support.Throughout the diocese, unemployment–and underemployment–have dramatically increased the number of people struggling with food insecurity.Even without the added pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic, close to one million people in the diocese struggle to put food on the table.We ask that you please prayerfully consider making a donation to support Episcopal Charities Sunday by donating at and be sure to let them know you are a member of our parish in the notes area. There will be a special video about this collection in our virtual service on the 20th. (If you wish to pay by check to the church, be sure to indicate in the memo field that it is for Episcopal Charities.)
The next meeting of the Racial Justice Discussion group will be Thursday, September 24th. More information will be provided later... stay tuned! Click here for the Zoom meeting link.
No election would be possible without the poll workers who set up and take down polling sites, check in and assist voters. Many of those who have worked the polls in the past are over sixty and will not be doing so this year due to the risks of Covid-19 for that age group. If you are healthy, able, and feel secure working at a polling site, please consider applying to be a poll worker to ensure that polling sites run smoothly in this era defining election.

If you are in New York State you can apply directly here:

If you live outside of New York you can find out how to apply in your state here:

If you would like to be in contact with other Ascensionites who are working the polls, please contact Elizabeth Adams. And thank you!
Episcopal Relief and Development
Hurricane Laura & Beirut

Please give today to our Hurricane Relief Fund and help our partners and dioceses reach vulnerable communities devastated by Hurricane Laura and other Gulf Coast storms. As we continue to assess ongoing needs in impacted areas, your urgent gift will enable us to respond now — and in the long run to aid in recovery.
Episcopal Relief & Development, in collaboration with the Anglican Alliance, is in discussion to accompany the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem & the Middle East to provide humanitarian assistance in response to the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. Please pray for everyone impacted by this crisis. To support Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the explosion and other international disasters, please consider making a donation by clicking the link above.
The New York Haiti Project - School is Open in Haiti!

St. Luke's Episcopal School in Martel, Haiti has reopened! After four months of shutdown due to civil unrest, and almost six months of shutdown due to coronavirus, the school is fully reopened. Click here to read Fr. Sam's full letter and t find out how you can donate t support the New York Haiti Project.
Stanley Weinberg's article, A Psychotherapist's Response to the Pandemic, will appear in the Fall issue of The Episcopal New Yorker. You can read the article here. To link to the Episcopal New Yorker, click here.
Help for job seekers available- Long-time choir member Deb Feldman is cofounder at Gray Scalable, an HR and Recruiting consultancy to tech startups, based in Flatiron. Deb is offering job search advice and interview practice for Ascension parishioners who have been furloughed or laid off as a result of Covid-19. This is offered remotely via Zoom and free of charge - however, spots are limited, and offered on a first come, first served basis. Please email if you're interested.
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.
From Your Vestry

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 – September 13
Church Service (Zoom) 11:00 a.m.
Artists' Forum & Coffee Hour (Zoom) following the 11:00 service
Meditation with Prayers and Music (Available on our Facebook page)

Monday – September 14
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 – September 15
Reopening Task Force (Zoom) 4:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
EfM (Zoom) 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday – September 16
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Vestry Meeting (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.

Thursday – September 17
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Friday – September 18
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – September 19
Food Pantry (12 West 11th St.) 8:30 a.m.
Please speak to Fr. Ed regarding volunteer opportunities or private needs
Rehearsal for Sunday Service (Zoom) 2:00 p.m.

Sunday – September 20
Church Service (Zoom) 11:00 a.m.

Meditation with Prayers and Music (Available on our Facebook page)

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