Dear People of Ascension,

Thank you for the amazing outpouring of love and creativity celebrating our past five years together last Sunday. I am hard to surprise, but I had no idea something was in the works. I loved seeing all your signs, as well as all your beloved faces. (If you have not yet sent me a picture of your sign, I would love to have one. Even with Janet’s photos, I can’t read all of them through the Zoom windows.) Thanks also for your warm words, and for the generous donations to my discretionary fund which have begun to arrive in the mail. In these times, there is so much need, and I am honored and grateful to be able to respond with even small gifts of support and care in the name of Ascension.

I want to remind you that the liturgy we shared together on the Eve of the Ascension, 2015 was not only my institution as your rector, but also a celebration of our new ministry. We have faced many challenges together, including the challenges of this extraordinary time. We have also been blessed with abundant grace, to grow in love and witness as priest and people, Christ’s body in this place and time. Thank you for all your support for me as your rector, and also for Mihret and me as a family (always, including Finn).

I am very grateful to our wardens Maurice and Isabel, to John Thompson and Lisa Dunn for helping to make last Sunday’s celebration happen, to my clergy colleagues Fr. Ed and Mtr. Posey for the joy of sharing ministry with them. And I am grateful to and for all of you, dear people of Ascension, for your open hearts, your generous spirits, your beautiful music, your devoted work, your whimsy, and your deep and inquiring faith. I look forward to seeing what else the Spirit has in store for us together in this place.

Much love,

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.
The Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 17, 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

Hymn (#657) Hyfrydol
Love divine
Please join in the singing of the hymn.
Love Divine, all love excelling,
Joy of heav’n, to earth come down;
Fix in us Thy humble dwelling,
All Thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, Thou art all compassion;
Pure, unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation,
Enter every trembling heart.

Come, Almighty, to deliver,
Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return, and never,
Never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray, and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.
Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory
Till with Thee we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love and praise.
Easter Acclamation

Presider Alleluia. Christ is Risen
People The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Collect of the Day

O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Reader: Barbara Matovu

Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

Psalm 66:7-18 (St. Helena Psalter)

Bless our God, you peoples; *
let the sound of praise be heard;
God holds our souls in life, *
and will not allow our feet to slip.
For you, O God, have proved us; *
you have tried us just as silver is tried.
You brought us into the snare *
and laid heavy burdens upon our backs.
You let enemies ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water, *
but you brought us out into a place of refreshment.
I will enter your house with burnt-offerings
and will pay you my vows, *
which I promised with my lips
and spoke with my mouth when I was in trouble.
I will offer you sacrifices of fat beasts
with the smoke of rams; *
I will give you oxen and goats.
Come and listen, all you who fear God, *
and I will tell you what God has done for me.
I called out to God with my mouth, *
and high praise was on my tongue.
If I had found evil in my heart, *
God would not have heard me;
But in truth God has heard me *
and has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, who has not rejected my prayer, *
whose love has not been withheld from me.

2nd Reading - 1 Peter 3:13-22
Reader: Janet Sygar

Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God's will, than to suffer for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you-- not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ
According to John

Jesus said, ”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
The Rev. Edwin Chinery
If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments
Thomas Tallis (1505-1585)
The Prayers of the People - Form IV

Please send your own prayers through the chat function on Zoom, and the leader will read them at the end of the intercessions.

Deacon or other leader

Let us pray for the Church and for the world.
We pray for Michael, our Presiding Bishop; Andrew, Allen and Mary, our bishops, and for all people of faith in this community, especially the Church of the Ascension. Grant, Almighty God, that all who confess your Name may be united in your truth, live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world.


Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Guide the people of this land, and of all the nations, in the ways of justice and peace; that we may honor one another and serve the common good.


Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Give us all a reverence for the earth as your own creation, that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to your honor and glory.


Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Bless all whose lives are closely linked with ours, and grant that we may serve Christ in them, and love one another as he loves us.


Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit; give them courage and hope in their troubles, and bring them the joy of your salvation. We pray especially for 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, Michael, Alice, Stacey, Michael, Jonathan, Christopher, Susan and family, Rod, Reuben, Jane, Gillian, Erika, Robert, Raffaele, Norma, David and family, Camden, Lisa, and Annabelle.


Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

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, for those developing treatment and a vaccine, and for those charged with making decisions about public health and public policy.


Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We commend to your mercy all who have died, especially James Hubbard, Craig Daniel, Robert Paul Hill, Jane and Herb Boutot, Donald L. Cholcher, Jerry Rice, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, William Henry Marquess, and Amy Spencer, that your will for them may be fulfilled; and we pray that we may share with all your saints in your eternal kingdom.


Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

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.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

The presider 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.
Easter Blessing

The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.
Hymn (#210) Ellacombe
The day of resurrection
Please join in the singing of the hymn.
The day of resurrection!
Earth, tell it out abroad;
the passover of gladness,
the passover of God.
From death to life eternal,
from earth unto the sky,
our Christ hath brought us over,
with hymns of victory.

Our hearts be pure from evil,
that we may see aright
the Lord in rays eternal
of resurrection light;
and listening to his accents,
may hear, so calm and plain,
his own "All hail!" and, hearing,
may raise the victor strain.
Now let the heavens be joyful!
Let earth the song begin!
The round world keep high triumph,
and all that is therein!
Let all things seen and unseen
their notes in gladness blend,
for Christ the Lord hath risen,
our joy that hath no end.
Easter Dismissal

The people respond
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.
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! This Sunday we will experiment with small groups (in Zoom breakout rooms) to allow us more substantive conversation. We'll explain how to do this after the service on Sunday!
We offer you this form for your prayers in this time of global crisis and personal anxiety, adapted from the Prayers of the People used at Washington Cathedral on Sunday, March 15, the first Sunday after our church suspended in person services.
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.
Feast of the Ascension! Thursday, May 21; 6:00 p.m. Please join us for our patronal feast with some special music... AND our guest preacher: The Rt. Rev. Allen K. Shin, Suffragan Bishop of New York.

Join us via Zoom:

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
The Vestry will meet Wednesday, May 20. Click here to see the proposed agenda for the meeting.
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.
Theological Reflection - Click here to access Deacon Meredith Ward's slide presentation on Theological Reflection.
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 – May 17
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)

Monday – May 187
Evening Prayer ( Zoom); 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday – May 19
Evening Prayer ( Zoom); 5:30 p.m.
EFM (Zoom); 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday – May 20
Evening Prayer ( Zoom); 5:30 p.m.
Vestry Meeting (Zoom); 6:45 p.m.

Thursday – May 21
Feast of the Ascension
Ascension Day Service; Guest preacher: The Rt. Rev. Allen K. Shin ( Zoom); 6:00 p.m.

Friday – May 22
Evening Prayer ( Zoom); 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – May 23
Rehearsal for Sunday Service (Zoom) 2:00 p.m.

Sunday – May 24
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