The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 6, 2020; 11:00 a.m.
Dear People of Ascension,

Earlier this 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 will be away from New York this coming 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. 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

#410 Praise my soul the King of heaven (Lauda anima)
Please join in the singing of the hymn.
Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
To His feet thy tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Evermore his praises sing.
Alleluia, alleluia.
Praise the everlasting King.

Praise Him for His grace and favor
To our fathers in distress.
Praise Him still the same forever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Alleluia, alleluia.
Glorious in His faithfulness.
Fatherlike He tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame He Knows.
In His hands He gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Alleluia, alleluia.
Widely yet His mercy goes.

Angels help us to adore Him;
Ye behold Him face to face;
Sun and moon, bow down before Him,
Dwellers all in time and space.
Alleluia, alleluia.
Praise with us the God of grace.

Presider Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
People And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day
Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; 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: Liz Hill

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.

Alleluia! Sing to God a new song; *
sing praise in the congregation of the faithful.
Let the people of Israel rejoice in their Maker; *
let the children of Zion be joyful in their Monarch.
Let them praise God’s Name in the dance; *
let them sing praise with timbrel and harp.
For God takes pleasure in the people *
and adorns the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph; *
let them be joyful on their beds.
Let the praises of God be in their throat *
and a two-edged sword in their hand,
To wreak vengeance on the nations *
and punishment on the peoples;
To bind their rulers in chains *
and their nobles with links of iron;
To inflict on them the judgment decreed; *
this is glory for all God’s faithful people. Alleluia!

Reader: Janet Sygar

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Matthew

Jesus said, “If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
The Rev. Edwin Chinery
Ubi caritas
Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986)
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, Rene, Carol and Roman, Kelly, Kathy, Michele, Jeannie, Abe, Peggy, Seth, Lauretta, Jacob, Joyce, and Anne. 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 storm in Iowa. 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 Phillip Taynton, Daniel Nickolich, Yolande Robbins, Anthony McClain, Elizabeth Ortiz, and Ann Mugavero. 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.
#674 Forgive our sins as we forgive (Detroit)
Please join in the singing of the hymn.
“Forgive our sins as we forgive”
you taught us, Lord, to pray;
but you alone can grant us grace
to live the words we say.

How can your pardon reach and bless
the unforgiving heart
that broods on wrongs and will not let
old bitterness depart?
In blazing light your cross reveals
the truth we dimly knew,
how small the debts men owe to us,
how great our debt to you.

Lord, cleanse the depths within our souls,
and bid resentment cease;
then, reconciled to God and man,
our lives will spread your peace.

The people respond
Thanks be to God.
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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!
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.
Racial Justice Discussion- We will meet next Thursday, September 10, at 6:30, and will discuss the special September issue of Vanity Fair edited by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The articles are relatively short, and we will start by focusing on three of them: "A Beautiful Life", by Ta-Nehisi Coates; "Witness and Respair", by Jesmyn Ward; and an oral history, "True Stories About the Great Fire". If we have time, we will move on from there to talk about other pieces. Elizabeth Adams will lead our conversation. The magazine is widely available, and an extra copy will be available at the church from Saturday on. Please note, we are reading the September issue, which has Amy Sherald's portrait of Breonna Taylor on the cover. It is turquoise. The August issue is still in stores, and features Viola Davis on the cover.
Ascension Art Show! Sunday, September 13 - Our next artists forum will be Sunday, September 13. Three of our talented parishioners 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
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.
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.
Ordination of Meredith Ward- God willing, our beloved Deacon Meredith Ward will be ordained to the priesthood 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!
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 6
Church Service (Zoom); 11:00 a.m.
Coffee Hour & Forum (Zoom) following the 11:00 service
Meditation with Prayers and Music (Available on our Facebook page)

Monday – September 7
The Office is Closed for Labor Day
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 8
Reopening Task Force (Zoom) 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom); 5:30 p.m.
EfM (Zoom) 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday – September 9
Finance Committee Meeting (Zoom) 11:30 a.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom); 5:30 p.m.

Thursday – September 10
Evening Prayer (Zoom); 5:30 p.m.
Racial Justice Discussion (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.

Friday – September 11
Evening Prayer (Zoom); 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – September 12
Rehearsal for Sunday Service (Zoom) 2:00 p.m.

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)

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