Dear People of Ascension,

A few days ago, clergy and lay leaders received a letter about reopening our churches from Bishop Dietsche, attached here. I commend it to you. It amplifies many of the thoughts that your wardens and I have about reopening Ascension, and its tone- valuing both keeping each other safe and our desire to be together- is pastoral and clear. Even for churches that are moving to reopen, he asks that we continue online worship as our primary service, and gives guidelines for communion, distancing, singing and cleaning practices for both hands and buildings.

One of the points the bishop makes is something we have also discovered here: our worship life has been different during this difficult season, but it has been vibrant and nurturing nonetheless. The Spirit is at work, and I for one feel that we are growing as a community in ways we may not yet fully understand.

I have been thinking about how this LGBTQ Pride Sunday will be different from our usual exuberant Ascension observance, with our beloved water table service complete with a slice of lemon. We will spend some time at our forum after church this Sunday exploring what we are learning about Pride in these times. Here too, the Spirit is at work. I hope that this strange season will also offer us new insights into the blessing and gifts of LGBTQ people in our Ascension community and beyond, and into the interconnections of all our freedoms and all our struggles throughout the whole human family. On this Sunday, I am grateful beyond measure for the presence and ministries of the LGBTQ members of the Church of the Ascension.

God bless you all!

How to Join the Service
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All of our online services, with their links, can be found on our public calendar, and are listed below.
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The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Worship Service
June 14, 2020; 11:00 a.m.
All gather online

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

Gregorian Chant

#594 - God of grace and God of glory ( Cwm Rhondda )

Please join in the singing of the hymn.
God of grace and God of glory,
on thy people pour thy power;
crown thine ancient Church’s story;
bring her bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
for the facing of this hour.

Lo! the hosts of evil round us
scorn thy Christ, assail his ways!
From the fears that long have bound us
free our hearts to faith and praise:
grant us wisdom, grant us courage
for the living of these days.
Cure thy children’s warring madness,
bend our pride to thy control;
shame our wanton, selfish gladness,
rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal.

Save us from weak resignation
to the evils we deplore;
let the gift of thy salvation
be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
serving thee whom we adore.

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 God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Collect for the observance of LGBTQ Pride

Gracious and loving God, you made all of humankind in your image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: in this month of LGBTQ Pride, we remember our forebears who stood up against police violence at The Stonewall Inn over 50 years ago this weekend. We pray for those who have suffered and died because of their all-encompassing humanity. Help us to overcome our anger and our fear of those whose lives move beyond our binary definitions, and those who embrace the diversity and vastness of God’s love; draw us closer to the mystery and complexity of your infinite creativity in those you have created, and teach us to look upon all of God's children with love and compassion, that all may live in safety and in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Reader: David Cholcher

God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together. When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

Psalm 13 (St. Helena Psalter)

How long, O God?
Will you forget me for ever; *
how long will you hide your face from me?
How long shall I have perplexity in my mind,
and grief in my heart, day after day; *
how long shall my enemy triumph over me?
Look upon me and answer me, O God; *
give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death;
Lest my enemies say they have prevailed over me, *
and my foes rejoice that I have fallen.
But I put my trust in your mercy; *
my heart is joyful because of your saving help.
I will sing to the Holy One, who has dealt with me richly; *
I will praise the Name of God Most High.

Reader: Sabra Brock

Do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification. When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Matthew

Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple-- truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”
The Rev. Elizabeth G. Maxwell

He’s got the whole world in his hand
Arranged by Moses Hogan
Moses Hogan Singers
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. ​On this Pride Sunday, we give special thanks for the lives and ministries of the LGBTQ members of the Church of the Ascension. 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, Jorge, Nancy, Barbara, Dorothy, Stewart, Patricia, Judith, Marco, Tina, Hannah, Jurek, Alice, Stacy and Jonathan, Michael, Bob, Lisa, Peter, Lisa, Caroline, Bryan, Richard, Barbara, Kate, and Edita. 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 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 Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Eugene Clark, Jamel Floyd, Rosalind Susan Weight, Rayshard Brooks, the Rev. Edgar Wells, Richard Lopez, and Adelaide Richter. 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.
#609 - Where cross the crowded ways of life ( Gardiner )

Please join in the singing of the hymn.
Where cross the crowded ways of life,
where sound the cries of race and clan,
above the noise of selfish strife,
we hear thy voice, O Son of Man.

In haunts of wretchedness and need,
on shadowed thresholds dark with fears,
from paths where hide the lures of greed,
we catch the vision of thy tears.

The cup of water given for thee
still holds the freshness of thy grace;
yet long these multitudes to see
the true compassion of thy face.

O Master, from the mountain side,
make haste to heal these hearts of pain;
among these restless throngs abide,
O tread the city’s streets again;

till all the world shall learn thy love,
and follow where thy feet have trod;
till glorious from thy heaven above,
shall come the city of our God.

The people respond
Thanks be to God.
Pride Forum this Sunday, June 28- Friends! Fill your glass with ice water and lemon slices and join us for a discussion forum after Sunday worship this Sunday. What is your experience of Pride this year? How is it impacted by physical distancing and global pandemic, reckoning with racism and white supremacy, and new adventures in Beloved community? We’ll share our stories and, in doing so, continue to heal and to grow – ourselves, and a better world!
A Collect for the observance of LGBTQ Pride - We give thanks to the Rev. Marie A Tatro for writing the Pride collect used this morning. Mother Tatro credits Vickey Gibbs for inspiration and turns of phrase in a prayer written for Transgender Day of Remembrance.
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.
Ascension Conversation on Racism

Join us next Thursday, July 2, at 6:30 p.m. as we continue the discussion on our response to racism and white supremacy. Join us via Zoom:

Meeting ID: 976 3589 1703
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. To join , follow this link: . To call in (voice, no camera), dial 929-205-6099; the meeting ID is 770 597 201.
Living With Loss - Wednesday Evenings during July - An on-line support group will be offered from 6:30-7:30 pm on Wednesday evenings during the month of July, hosted by Trinity Church Wall Street and the Psychotherapy and Spirituality Institute. Click here for details.To register, go to Please share with those who may benefit from these gatherings.
Now you can 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.
A letter to Episcopalians from Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings. The linked letter invites everyone in The Episcopal Church to participate in a survey about sexual misconduct in the denomination. You can read the letter here. Follow this link to the survey. Responses requested by: July 1, 2020
Meditation for the Wednesday of
by the Rt. Rev. Allen K. Shin
Bishop Suffragan of New York
A Letter from Stacey Carpenter - Several weeks ago Stacey Carpenter led a wonderful forum sharing with the parish some of her experiences and learnings from her first year at Seminary of the Southwest. She has also written the attached letter, telling us a bit more as well as what she is up to this summer, doing CPE in Washington state. We are so grateful that Stacey is often able to join us for church on Zoom, and she will preach at our service on July 12.
From Your Vestry

Rector's Discretionary Fund - How to give in honor of Mother Liz's fifth anniversary as Rector. You can make your donations in one of the following ways:
  • By check mailed to Church of Ascension, 12 West 11th Street, NY NY 10011. On the memo line clearly write "Mtr Liz Discretionary Fund"
  • For credit card or wire transfer donations please email the church's part-time book keeper, Laurie Ross, at email: OR call the parish office: 212-254-8620.
Mother Posey's Art Quilting Website - At last Sunday's Zoom coffee hour, some of the members of the Needlework guild asked Mother Posey to send a link to her art quilting website. You will find photographs of many of her beautiful quilts there!
Ongoing Financial Support - During this time of suspended social gatherings, we are having to be a bit creative. Since we aren’t able to pass around the offering plate at a Zoom service, here are some ways you can continue to give :
  • Mail your gift to Church or the Ascension, 12 West 11th St., NYC, NY 10011
  • Contact our bookkeeper ( to set up a one-time or recurring gift via credit card.
  • Set up a wire transfer from your bank (ACH)
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 – June 28
Church Service ( Zoom); 11:00 a.m.
Ascension Pride Forum (Zoom); following the 11:00 service
Meditation with Prayers and Music ( Available on our Facebook page)

Monday – June 22
Evening Prayer ( Zoom); 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday – June 23
Evening Prayer ( Zoom); 5:30 p.m.
Discernment Committee Meeting (Zoom); 3:00 p.m.

Wednesday – June 24
Evening Prayer ( Zoom); 5:30 p.m.
Needlecraft Guild (Zoom); 6:30 p.m.

Thursday – June 25
Evening Prayer ( Zoom); 5:30 p.m.

Friday – June 26
Evening Prayer ( Zoom); 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – June 27
Food Pantry (12 West 11th Street); 8:30 a.m.
Speak to Fr. Ed for more information
Rehearsal for Sunday Service (Zoom) 2:00 p.m.

Sunday – June 28
Church Service ( Zoom); 11:00 a.m.
Ascension Forum (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