Please note:

All online connections for this evening's Low Mass
and on Sunday, June 21, will be via Zoom .

This evening, June 17:
Evening Prayer 6:00 p.m., Low Mass 6:30 p.m.

Please note the new starting time -- 6:00 p.m. -- for Evening Prayer.

3rd Sunday after Pentecost June 21

8:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
9:00 a.m. Live-Streamed Mass
10:15 a.m. Scripture Reflection
11:00 a.m. Virtual Coffee Hour

(See connection information below.)

Lost, woodcut by Herefordshire artist Jonathan Heale
From the rector and two lovely greetings
Dear people of Ascension,

Two lovely greetings arrived here yesterday. Both are addressed to all at Ascension. The first came via email from Christopher Poore, who joined us two years ago and who has now left us in anticipation of starting MDiv studies in the fall at Virginia Theological Seminary. The other note, handwritten, came in the mail from longtime member and acolyte Ricardo 'Ricky' Avila. These messages outshine, I feel, any primary message I'd offer today and may be a welcome diversion from my recently repeating themes. If you'd like to respond to Christopher or Ricardo and don't otherwise know how to do so, please contact with church office .

From Christopher Poore

Dear Ascension Friends,

Under different circumstances, this would have been my last Sunday celebrating Solemn High Mass with you before I moved back home to Galesburg. Since we are still not able to gather in person, I wanted to take a moment to say “good bye” via our newsletter. My heart is very full of emotions—full of gratitude for each of you, and full of sadness that I can’t show my love for you all face to face.

From the moment I stepped into our church, I sensed that this place would be a refuge of beauty for me and my wife Gina. I badly needed that refuge—a place to re-imagine God’s overflowing kindness and light. Such a refuge doesn’t just happen. It is built through the loving dedication of each of you. Whether you are someone who prepares meals for the hungry, sings in the choir loft, leads the Daily Office, offers the gift of conversation during coffee hour, or unleashes the subtle theophany of a human face in silent prayer—I want to say thank you for making Ascension possible.

All my love,
Rector's note: I'm partly remembering Christopher now for leading our first Lenten program this year, only two weeks before stay-at-home directives began. He faithfully served at the altar, had begun to train new acolyte-recruits and actively invited and welcomed many other young adults to 'come and see' Ascension. - Fr. Raymond +

Rector's note:

Looking for photos of Ricardo, I saw that I have quite a few -- all of them taken in the church narthex following various Solemn High Masses. In all of them Ricardo is in his familiar, faithful, long-held role as acolyte.

- Fr. Raymond +
More from the Rector
Yes, but when will we be back in the church?!
A number of you have shared with me how you were delighted or moved (or both) on Sunday, when the Zoom spotlight allowed you to see the Ascension sanctuary and altar for the first time in months. Thanks be to God.
I made an exception to our present restrictions due to Corpus Christi and Benediction, and I'm glad I did so. I also must sadly convey that we won't have a similar opportunity for at least several weeks, perhaps significantly longer. The task force I've described in recent weeks continues to convene. We hope to make an initial report available to the Vestry for its June 27 meeting. I am envisioning that the Wardens and I will want to issue a clear communique by mail sometime thereafter. Meanwhile, thank you and bless you for your patience, perseverance and prayers.
Yes, YOU can help with our virtual worship

Offer flowers: Maybe you have noticed that we are regularly providing flowers for the altar at masses. Your thanksgiving or memorial along with a gift for flowers would be greatly appreciated ... and might be meaningful for you as well. Contact Br. Nathanael if interested.

Lectors, Intercessors and Adept Zoomers are needed for our virtual liturgies. The 'Zoomer' role would involve hosting the Zoom session in such a way that souls in disparate locations are all coordinated, taking part and featured at the right times. Training can be provided! Contact our Virtual Verger, Mary Beth Hwang.

When the church doors are once again opened , we will also need additional volunteer help, to share in assuring a safe environment for all taking part. Look for further information in weeks to come.

Please note the NEW TIME for all Evening Prayer services: 6:00 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Z The 2020 Ascension peony crop seems to have largely come and gone during my recent travels. This one remaining beauty
was spied yesterday morning.
It's not exactly Noah after the Flood, but ...
... just before our flood of change and stay-at-home confinement began in March, I introduced you to Noah Riggenbach. He was then planning to launch his Moody Bible Institute senior internship -- interviewing members of Ascension about interests, questions and hopes about adult education and spiritual/theological formation.
Noah can't graduate without your help! He needs to complete his internship. I've given Noah a list of members whom I believe he should contact, a mix of longtime and newer members. But he would be thrilled to hear from anyone who has thoughts to share. You may reach him by email, , or phone, (815) 842-7250.
Would it be too tacky to say that we have a chance to be Noah's rainbow? Yes, no doubt. Even so, please be of help to Noah if you can.
UPDATED June 17th Guidelines from the Bishop's Task Force for Re-Entering our Church Buildings have been shared with all diocesan clergy and congregations. You may read all or parts of the document by clicking here. Our own Ascension task force is now translating the guidance from the diocese into our own place and circumstances. Our parish task force members include Mary Beth Hwang, Patrick Johnston, Carol Noren, Br. Nathanael Rahm, BSG, and Benjamin Rivera , also the Wardens and me. We anticipate reaching out to others for counsel and assistance with regard to numerous matters. Please share your interests or questions.
Dear friends,

As we move into the summer, I would like to thank our choir members for all they have done this season, both in person and remotely. I would also like to thank you—the congregation, Vestry, and Wardens—for your understanding and forbearance as we’ve done our best to navigate these completely uncharted waters. I am looking forward to being with everyone again when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, I thought you might like to hear from our wonderful singers! I will be publishing these short “interviews” one at a time over the next several weeks. I hope you enjoy them!


This Week's Featured Chorister:
Enrico Bellomo, tenor

Year of my first service at Ascension:
way back in 2006 (can't believe it has been so long)

One or two of my favorite Mass settings/motets that I’ve sung at Ascension:
It is so difficult to choose just one mass setting with such rich repertoire throughout the years, but for some reason, whenever I sing or hear  Missa Brevis , by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, it immediately transports me, no matter where I am, back to the choir loft at Church of the Ascension.
One of my favorite things about singing at Ascension is:
My favorite thing about singing at Ascension is the recognition of the ability of music to turn the thoughts of worshipers toward God. "Music was made to serve a holy purpose, to lift the thoughts to that which is pure, noble, and elevating, and to awaken in the soul devotion and gratitude to God" (Patriarchs and Prophets 594.2). What an awesome opportunity and responsibility that is! The level of commitment to this cause is evident each time we meet.

What else do I do outside of Ascension?  
My day job at ImmunityBio, Inc., involves shifting the paradigm of cancer detection and treatment in the search for a cure. Recently, our team has shifted focus to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. When I'm not working or singing, I am exercising, cooking, or eating (mostly eating).
Ascension Connections
(with your click and God's help)
Weekly Ascension Schedule
for the (stay-at-home) time being
All connections are via Zoom (click here)
except for Morning Prayer, via Facebook (click here).

8:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
9:00 a.m. Mass
10:15 a.m. Scripture reflection
11:00 a.m. Virtual Coffee Hour

6:10 p.m. Evening Prayer via Zoom

6:30 p.m. Low Mass
Musical offering for Corpus Christi

The Daily Offices
Join us for Morning Prayer, Mondays through Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. on Facebook Live. We've created  a dedicated group as part of Ascension's Facebook page here  where you can find these videos. (Or navigate from the Ascension Facebook page by clicking on "Groups" at the left side of the screen.) Pray with us while watching live or while visiting the videos later. If, having seen these, you find that you'd like to officiate, please reach out to Br. Jonathan Wheat, SMJ (pictured here) or MB Hwang .
Evening Prayer via Zoom
Mondays-Fridays, 6:00 p.m.
Please note the addition of
Evening Prayer on Fridays!

Yes, but I still haven't Zoomed ...
For the Novice, Newbie, or tech-challenged : It may be easier than you know . We've simplified instructions on the sheet that you can view by clicking here. Please know that you can block your camera (and don't need one to start with), and you could join our Scripture study or Virtual Coffee Hour, for instance, without having to say a word. Give it a try.
Please give generously as you are able.
Treasurer Susan Schlough has asked me to remind you of Ascension's ongoing expenses at this time. To the extent that you are able, payment on your pledges or the offering of Holy Day or other special gifts will be greatly appreciated. You may still write a check and mail it to the church, or online payment is possible through the buttons at various places on our website. Thank you!
For all businesses, schools, public institutions, and especially at this time all religious congregations facing questions of opening, welcoming, timing and safety.
For our individual and shared courage and wisdom in addressing matters related to race and racism and for the reconciling witness of the Church.
For our prayers : Charley Taylor, August 'Augie' Alonzo, Jim Berger, Ethel Martin, Kuni Sakai, Dean Pineda, Carnola Malone, Charlene MacDougal, Patricia Johnston, Mary Drell, Jim Lo Bello, Mary Lou Devens, Marty Stenson, Donna Neglia, Jessica, Maxim, Ted Long, Ken Kelling, Beth Hall, David Byerly
In Thanksgiving :

  • Recent/Upcoming Birthdays: Kelly Colomberti, 6/1; Owen Raymond, 6/1; Jim Wilson, 6/2; Trevor Taylor, 6/2; Judith Cook, 6/4; Pedro Illás, 6/4; Bill Flodin, 6/11; Jim Lo Bello, 6/11; Katie DuClos, 6/12; Jim Lenz, 6/13; Fr. Gary Lawler, 6/13; Christopher McKee, 6/14; Ricardo Avila, 6/15; David Knox, 6/20; David Allen, 6/25; David Jones, 6/28; Michael Malone, 6/29
  • Anniversaries: The Rev. Carol Norén, ordination as UMC Deacon, 6/4/1974 & ordination as UMC Elder/Presbyter, 6/17/1979; Marriage of Victor & Marjorie Lofgreen, 6/20/1993; Baptism of Michael Haile Zelazny, 6/25/2017
  • Graduations: Including Christopher Poore, MA, UChicago Divinity School. 
Requiescat in pace : Fr. Edward Allan Larrabee, 10th Rector, 6/13/1924; Charles L. Mezger, 6/1996; Bp. Albert William Hillestad, 12th Rector, 6/14/2007; Carol L. DeVries, 6/14/2014; Bill Ball 6/15/2017; Emily Lodine Overgaard, 6/17/2019; Alfred John Landwer, 6/19/1987; Lorraine Leonard Burita, 6/20/2004.
Prayers for the departed :
All who have died due to complications of COVID-19
For all law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
For all who have been unjustly killed as a result of law enforcement misconduct.
   and for
The Rev. Canon Edgar F. Wells (6/7)

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Yellow lab
outside the coffee shop
by Greg Watson

The yellow lab outside the coffee shop
today cannot sit still; but instead

radiates the ever-expectant energy
of a thousand hummingbirds,

tail sweeping back and forth
across the gray, littered sidewalk.

Sits without touching the ground,
knowing that any moment

the one who matters most will emerge,
slip his worn leash from the bench

and the day will suddenly fall into
place: every sound, sight, and aroma

discovered anew, the sun thrown
everywhere at once, with a cool lake

of shadow following, following,
as if it had somewhere to go.

- from When the Music Remains. Nodin Press, 2011

Artwork : 'Max' illustration/print by Amy Giacomelli
The Very Rev. Patrick Raymond, Rector

Susan Schlough, Treasurer

Br. Nathanael Deward Rahm BSG, Parish Office