The Church of the Ascension

in the City of New York
12 West 11th Street, New York, NY 10011

Anna & Simeon by Laura James


With certitude

Simeon opened

ancient arms

to infant light.


before the cross, the tomb

and the new life,

he knew

new life.

What depth

of faith he drew on,

turning illumined

towards deep night.

~ Denise Levertov

Dear People of Ascension,

One of the lovely things about the story of the Presentation is the interplay of different generations. The infant Jesus, child of Promise, is brought to the temple by his parents with all their hopes and anxieties. There they encounter wise elders, Simeon and Anna, who have watched and waited their whole lives for the sign of God’s healing and liberation. 

Levertov’s poem reflects on Simeon’s faith as he welcomes the “infant light” in his “ancient arms”, expressing the fulfillment of his heart’s desire, ready to depart in peace, “illumined towards deep night.” His blessing, and his cautionary words to Mary, “a sword will pierce your own soul too”, amaze the young parents. I have always wished we had words from Anna the prophet as well. We are told she was 84 years old- a woman of powerful prayer and spontaneous, exuberant praise.

How do these characters play in your life and in your own inner world? The brand new life, Mary and Joseph who must bear the suffering and joy of love, the elders who speak of hope fulfilled and have learned to trust and let go in the dark? Wherever we find ourselves in the story, may we be present to God, who meets us there, and present to one another.



Services at Church of the Ascension

Regular Service Schedule

9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist (Side Altar)
11:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist w/ Music
(Church & Livestream)
6:00 p.m. Meditation & Sacrament (Church)

6:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist (Church)

Evening Prayer Every Weekday Evening

via Zoom

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 880 1981 1224.

How to Watch Online

This Sunday's forum will feature Cindy McCloskey, our candidate for the diaconate. One aspect of formation for ordained ministers is to get feedback on sermons from congregations during their training. Cindy is preaching this Sunday, so let's please help her out! We will gather to talk about the sermon and give her constructive feedback and kudos! Thank you Cindy! We are looking forward to hearing your words this Sunday.

Prayers! Did you know you can submit your prayer requests online? Go to and type in your prayer request. Be sure to add them. Requests submitted by noon on Thursday will be included in the Sunday bulletin. (Any requests after that will be included in the following Sunday bulletin.)
A Prayer for Spiritual Communion

If you are attending any of our services online, we invite you to use this prayer at communion.

In union, O Lord, with your faithful people at every altar of your Church, where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I desire to offer to you praise and thanksgiving. I remember your death, Lord Christ; I proclaim your resurrection; I await your coming in glory. Since I cannot receive you today in the Sacrament of your Body and Blood, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. Cleanse and strengthen me with your grace, Lord Jesus, and let me never be separated from you. May I live in you, and you in me, in this life and in the life to come. Amen.
Open Church Schedule
Open Church - Mondays through Fridays, Noon to 3pm. If you would like to volunteer for this ministry, please contact Gretchen Dumler or contact the church office ( or 212-254-8620.

Annual Meeting Matters...

Thank you to all who attended and participated in this year's Annual Meeting! Please welcome the newly elected members:


David Cholcher

Vestry Members:

Sabra Brock, Zachariah Hennessey, Gale Lynch, Richard Mitchell, and Phoebe Norcross

Download a copy of the Annual Report here.

Installation of the 17th Bishop of NY

All Invited!

The Installation of the 17th Bishop of New York

Saturday, February 10th at 11:00am

(please arrive by 10:30). 

Join us at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (1047 Amsterdam Avenue) for the installation of the Rt. Rev. Matthew Heyd as our 17th Bishop. The service will celebrate the life of the Diocese of New York and the church's mission to heal the world. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. A reception will follow the service. You can indicate that you plan to attend here. Childcare for children (ages 3-10) of clergy and service participants (including choir members and others processing) will be provided. You can sign up here.


Absalom Jones

Blessed Absalom Jones Celebration - Saturday, February 3 at 10:30 a.m. in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (also streamed lived on the Cathedral YouTube Channel).

To Register your participation or make a donation to the Absalom Jones Fund for HBCUs, please click here.

Making our Language More Inclusive- In 2018, General Convention authorized modest changes in the Eucharistic liturgies of the Book of Common Prayer in order to make the language for both God and humanity more gender inclusive. We will be using these adapted texts. You may or may not notice any changes, and some of us have been making changes on our own for quite a while. We welcome your comments about how this changes any of your perceptions and prayers.

People Who Lunch- This Wednesday, February 7 at 12:30 p.m. Are you at home during the day or working near the church? Please join us for lunch (usually on the first Wednesday of every month) for some simple food and good conversation. Please let us know you are coming so we know how much food to prepare! (You are also welcome to bring your own lunch if you prefer; we will have coffee, tea and water on hand.) We hope to see you there!

Lenten House Eucharists – Take advantage of a long held Lenten tradition at Ascension and sign up to attend a House Eucharist in the home of parishioners. The dates are:

Wednesday, February 28

Friday, March 8

Thursday, March 14

Monday, March 18

Tuesday, March 19

The sign-up board is in the Parish Hall each Sunday during Coffee Hour. For more info, email Sibyl Piccone at

The Sacralization of Nature in German Romantic Painting -- with Dennis Raverty, Ph.D., Art Historian The 19th c. Romantics elevated landscape painting from the minor art form it had been up to that point, to the bearer of the kind of serious and sublime content that had formerly been reserved for biblical or mythological subjects alone. No art better embodies the mystical season of Epiphany, which comes to a climax with the Gospel reading of the story of the Transfiguration next Sunday. Unfortunately, because technical problems beset two of my previous slide lectures at Ascension, this presentation will only be offered live and there will be no hybrid Zoom broadcast.

A Tip from the Ascension Security Taskforce: Many people have been suffering from respiratory diseases this winter. If you are one of them, make sure that you:

  • Do not store your toothbrush in a cabinet and make sure that it is not close to someone else's toothbrush.
  • Do change your toothbrush to a new one when your illness ends.
  • Do run the dishwasher daily when someone in the household is sick, even if the dishwasher is not full.
  • Do change your pillowcase and towels frequently.
  • Do wipe your doorknobs and faucets with a bleach solution frequently especially if there are other people in the household.

A Time for Giving - In NYC last year 120,000 children were homeless. This does not include all of the migrant children NYC received in the past year. Most of these students do not have warm clothing to wear. Our Crafters Guild has made 132 items to donate to an elementary school in the East Village which has a large group of students who live in shelters. Now we have also been asked to donate to a high school in downtown Manhattan. Since the need for winter outerwear is great, we are asking for you to help us provide these children with hats, scarves or gloves. The age range of all these students is from 5-18 with high schoolers wearing adult sizes. So open your heart and make a child a little warmer this winter. If you can help, please bring your donation to the parish hall where it can be deposited into a large bin for distribution.

Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper - Tuesday, February 13, 6:30 pm. Join us for our Mardi Gras feast! Be sure to bring your palms from last year, and after the festivities we will burn them to make ashes for Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday Services, February 14:

Ash Wednesday liturgy at:

8:00 a.m.

!2 Noon

7:00 p.m. with full choir at 7:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. service will be livestreamed at

Ashes imposed at the front gate throughout the day from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m

Lenten Devotional Books - The 2024 Lenten devotional will be available next Sunday, February 11. Please take the opportunity to pick up your copy and use it as a daily reader during the Lenten season. The devotional is made up of 40 personal reflections from members of the parish and clergy at Ascension. Suggested donation: $5, or more if you are so moved, to help defray the costs to produce it. 

Support Church of the Ascension
Easy Way to Give & Support Church of the Ascension! Your generous gift is a meaningful way to support the mission and ministries of Church of the Ascension. Your contributions play a crucial role in maintaining the church's facilities, supporting religious education, organizing charitable initiatives, and supporting our sense of community. Use this QR code to make a one-time or recurring gift to the church... It's quick and easy. Your generosity and kindness are deeply appreciated!

Please note that to pay your pledge, please continue using Abundant (

The long-awaited repairs to the wood and brownstone of our Fifth Avenue tower are proceeding right on schedule and, unbelievably after all the years of studying and planning, the work is due to be generally finished by the winter. This means that payments to the architects and contractor are coming due, starting now. The Church of the Ascension is the recipient of a $300,000 matching grant from the Manton Foundation. The key word here is “matching.” And our generous donors have indeed pledged to match the grant. In general, the wardens and vestry requested pledges that could be paid in full by the first quarter 2024. Now would be a good time to complete the payment of your pledge. Remember, when you pay by check to put “Tower Brownstone” in the memo line. If you pay through Abundant, select Manton matching grant” from the drop-down menu. Finally, if you have not pledged, we hope you will consider a gift. The Manton match and pledge payments do not cover the entire cost of the job. With this work on the tower, our Fifth Avenue façade is gradually being restored to its 1841 look and our garden and entrance are becoming safer places to enjoy.

This Week at Ascension

Sunday – February 4

Holy Eucharist (Church) 9:00 a.m.

Holy Eucharist w/ Music (Church & Live Stream) 11:00 a.m.

In person and online (

Join us for Coffee Hour following the Service

Ascension Forum (Hybrid) after 11:00 service

Meditation & Sacrament (Church) 6:00 p.m.

Monday – February 5

Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.

Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Lectionary Bible Study (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday – February 6

Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.

Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday – February 7

People Who Lunch (Parish Hall) 12:30 p.m.

Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.

Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Holy Eucharist (Church) 6:00 p.m.

Building & Grounds (Hybrid) 6:45 p.m.

Thursday – February 8

Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.

Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Friday – February 9

Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.

Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – February 10

Installation of 17th Bishop of New York (Cathedral of St. John the Divine) 11:00 a.m.

The Food Pantry operates on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month. For assistance or to volunteer, please contact Fr. Ed (fatherchinery or Amy Shaw (

Sunday – February 11

Holy Eucharist (Church) 9:00 a.m.

Holy Eucharist w/ Music (Church & Live Stream) 11:00 a.m.

In person and online (

Join us for Coffee Hour following the Service

Ascension Forum after 11:00 service (This forum will not be livestreamed)

Meditation & Sacrament (Church) 6:00 p.m.

In this time of seasonal weather changes, as happens every year, we are all becoming more mindful of even small changes in how we feel. As such, we ask that you give careful consideration to public health best-practices. And in light of the increase in Covid infection rates, please feel free to use a mask when you attend worship services, particularly if you could be considered at higher risk of infection.

If you have any question, or need assistance of any kind, please don’t hesitate to contact the parish office or your clergy members. Remember, we’re better together! Because together we can and do make a difference!

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
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