The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Oct 11, 2020; 11:00 a.m.
Dear People of Ascension,

This past Tuesday, the church was open for prayer and meditation from noon-3pm, the first time our building was open to the public since mid-March. About 20 people participated (both parishioners and neighbors), and it is such a joy to offer the hospitality of our sacred space, with its beauty, quiet, changing light and the sense of having been prayed in over so many years. Our intention is to open the church every Tuesday and Friday from 12-3. Our garden is now open every day, a green oasis on our corner of 5th Ave..

Our sexton staff have been hard at work cleaning and preparing the church to open safely. They are also on hand to answer questions and make sure we follow public health guidelines. Visitors need to wear a face covering, sanitize their hands and provide contact tracing information. Alternate pews are open, so that appropriate distance is kept.

At our forum this Sunday after the 11 am service, we will talk more about our plans for gradual reopening, even as we maintain our online Zoom services. The next stage will be a small weekday celebration of the Eucharist, following diocesan safety guidelines, which we hope to start by the end of this month. Please, if you have not already done so fill out the survey to let us know what time you would be most likely to attend.

Decisions about reopening are challenging, as we balance safety concerns, pastoral needs, the desire to gather in person, differing tolerances to risk, discovering unexpected learnings and gifts during these difficult times, as well as caring for the vitality of the whole community. I know that not everyone will be happy with every choice we make, but we do want to hear your thoughts and concerns. I am grateful for the prayerful wisdom and creativity of the task force on reopening: Ed Chinery, John Grimes, Steve Hubbard, Andrew Jones, Dennis Keene, Scarlett Murphy, Tom Rice, Kate Rutherford, Isabel Spencer, Madonna Stack-Barker, John Thompson, Matt Vermedahl, and me. Please do not hesitate to share your ideas with any one of us.

I hope you will join us for the forum on Sunday- and if you are able, stop by to enjoy the church and the garden during open hours


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

#573 Father eternal, Ruler of creation (Langham)
Please join in the singing of the hymn.
Father eternal, Ruler of creation,
Spirit of life, which moved ere form was made,
through the thick darkness covering every nation,
light to our blindness, O be thou our aid:

thy kingdom come, O Lord,
thy will be done.

Races and peoples, lo, we stand divided,
and, sharing not our griefs, no joy can share;
by wars and tumults love is mocked, derided;
his saving cross no nation yet will bear:
Envious of heart, blind-eyed, with tongues confounded,
nation by nation still goes unforgiven,
in wrath and fear, by jealousies surrounded,
building proud towers which shall not reach to heaven:

Lust of possession worketh desolations;
there is no meekness in the powers of earth;
led by no star, the rulers of the nations
still fail to bring us to the blissful birth:

How shall we love thee, holy hidden Being,
if we love not the world which thou hast made?
Bind us in thine own love for better seeing
thy Word made flesh, and in a manger laid:

Presider Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
People And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day
Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; 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: Eve Beglarian

When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” Aaron said to them, “Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from them, formed it in a mold, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a festival to the Lord.” They rose early the next day, and offered burnt offerings and brought sacrifices of well-being; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel. The Lord said to Moses, “Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.” But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’” And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23 (St. Helena Psalter)

Alleluia! Give thanks, for the Holy One is good; *
   God’s mercy endures for ever.
Who can declare the mighty acts of God *
   or show forth rightful praise?
Happy are they who act with justice *
   and always do what is right!
Remember me, O God, with the favor you have for your people, *
   and visit me with your saving help;
That I may see the prosperity of your elect
and be glad with the gladness of your people, *
   that I may glory with your inheritance.
We have sinned as our forebears did; *
   we have done wrong and dealt wickedly.
Israel made a bull-calf at Horeb *
   and worshiped a molten image;
And so they exchanged their Glory *
   for the image of an ox that feeds on grass.
They forgot you, their Savior, *
   who had done great things in Egypt,
Wonderful deeds in the land of Ham, *
   and fearful things at the Red Sea.
So you would have destroyed them,
had not Moses your chosen stood before you in the breach, *
   to turn away your wrath from consuming them.

Reader: Robin Clements

My brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved. I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Matthew

Once more Jesus spoke to the people in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”
The Rev. Elizabeth G. Maxwell
Sitivit Anima Mea
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594)
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, Shawn, Susanne, Sherry, David, Seth, Tom, Mike, Jennifer, Liz, and Abigail. 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 Armenia, those affected by hurricane Delta, and by 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. We pray for all seeking elective office, for all who vote, and for the integrity of our electoral process. 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, Terese, and AJ, for all whose labor supports our common life; for those developing treatment and a vaccine, 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 Helen Crothers, Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, Brendan M. Burns, and the more that 200,000 Americans who have died of COVID-19, as well as others around the world. 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.
#318 Here, O my Lord, I see thee face to face (Nyack)
Please join in the singing of the hymn.
Here, O my Lord, I see thee face to face;
here would I touch and handle things unseen;
here grasp with firmer hand eternal grace,
and all my weariness upon thee lean.

Here would I feed upon the Bread of God;
here drink with thee the royal Wine of heaven;
here would I lay aside each earthly load,
here taste afresh the calm of sin forgiven.
I have no help but thine; nor do I need
another arm save thine to lean upon;
it is enough, my Lord, enough indeed;
my strength is in thy might, thy might alone.

Mine is the sin, but thine the righteousness;
mine is the guilt, but thine the cleansing Blood.
Here is my robe, my refuge, and my peace;
thy Blood, thy righteousness, O Lord, my God.

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!
Forum on Reopening - This Sunday, October 11- Please join the reopening task force on Sunday for a conversation about reopening the church. We are proceeding in stages, and will talk about what has already happened, what we plan to do next and what questions we are still working through. Meanwhile, please fill out the survey about weekday services if you have not already done so! It is very short, and we need it to meet the needs of our community for in person worship as effectively as we can.

Big reopening news: the church has opened for prayer and meditation on Tuesdays and Fridays from 12-3 pm. Masks, contact information and use of hand sanitizer is required for all guests. We are very excited about opening our space again. The garden is open every day from 9-5, and is a lovely place to enjoy quiet and the beauty of creation.
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 Group: Walking (or Phoning) your Talk

Participate with hundreds of other Episcopalians in an exclusive online event as
Ibram X. Kendi,
author of
How to Be An Antiracist
discusses his journey of discovery, answers your questions, and reflects on the nationwide movement toward antiracism that his writings have helped to fuel.
Registration is required. We are not sure what the cut-off date or number of participants may be, so if you are interested, please register early.

Click here to read the online flyer.
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:
Oct. 14 - Global Mission/Anti-Racism
Oct. 21 - Christian Formation/Ecumenical and Interfaith
Oct. 28 - Reparations
(Nov. 4) - (Reserved for possible additional Zoom meeting)
Sunday Paper Junior - The lectionary, our yearly schedule of Bible readings, carries us through Jesus’s life and teachings. The Church of The Ascension subscribes to the Sunday Paper Junior and we offer it to you and your family as a fun, creative way to study the lessons each week. Click here to access this week's paper. Please feel free to print out the pages each week and use as you desire. Check out this section each week for the current Sunday Paper Junior!
Resistance Cinema is Back! Tuesday, October 13, 7:00 p.m. We’ve missed you very much and now we’re back to offer a place for you to learn and grow - all from the comfort of your own home. We’ll be screening segments of the 2016 film “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy”, and follow with 20-30 minutes of discussion. Click here to join us on Zoom. The meeting ID is 924 7625 4274; Passcode: 203980.
General Convention Task Force Survey - The Task Force on Theology of Social Justice Advocacy invites Episcopalians to participate in a survey, “Social Justice and the Episcopal Church: A Call for Stories”. The members of the Task Force would like to gather stories and deeper perspectives to support their work on behalf of the Church and invite Episcopalians to consider sharing their experience by completing the survey, Click the link to read more about it an to take the survey. Deadline, November 5
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.
Early Voting in NYC - New York voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Saturday, October 24, 2020 to Sunday, November 1, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.

What to bring
  • If you've voted in New York before, you don't need to provide ID to vote.
  • If you're a first-time voter who registered by mail, and didn't provide a copy of your ID with your registration, you may need to show ID to vote. Acceptable forms include: a current and valid photo ID; or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.
  • Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide ID, you will be able to vote an affidavit ballot.

For a list of dates, times and locations, go to
From the Vestry:

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.
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 – October 11
Church Service (Zoom) 11:00 a.m.
Ascension Forum - Reopening Updates (Zoom)_
Meditation with Prayers and Music (Available on our Facebook page)

Monday – October 12
Office Closed for Indigenous People's 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 – October 13
Church Open for Prayer and Meditation* (Church) 12 noon - 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
EfM (Zoom) 6:00 p.m.
Resistance Cinema (Zoom) 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday – October 14
Finance Committee Meeting (Zoom) 11:30 p.m.
Diocesan Convention Rollout Meeting (Zoom) 5:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Thursday – October 15
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Friday – October 16
Church Open for Prayer and Meditation* (Church) 12 noon - 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – October 17
Food Pantry (12 West 11th Street) 8:00 a.m.
Rehearsal for Sunday Service (Zoom) 2:00 p.m.

Sunday – October 18
Church Service (Zoom) 11:00 a.m.
Stewardship Forum (Zoom)
Meditation with Prayers and Music (Available on our Facebook page)

* Anyone entering the church must wear a mask, maintain appropriate physical distance, utilize the hand sanitizer stations, and provide contact tracing information. Anyone with a temperature of 99.9 or over will not be admitted and will be instructed to quarantine and contact their doctor.

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