Dear People of Ascension,

The 4th Sunday of Advent draws our attention to Mary, and especially to her revolutionary song of hope. Here is a meditation on the Magnificat that has moved me over the years, from Night Visions, by artist and poet Jan Richardson.

"...The powerful brought down from their thrones! The lowly raised up! The hungry filled with good things! The rich sent away empty! But Mary sings about these things as if they have already happened! A tiny child in her womb and God has transformed the world? What sort of outrageous hope is this?

"Mary knows in her soul, in her womb, that radical hope is found at the boundary where the outrageous gives way to the possible. A child given to her aged kinswoman? The courage to say yes to Gabriel's invitation to her..? Well, then God might as well have turned the world into one where all things are possible! Even justice. Even freedom.

"Mary knows that some things are so outrageous that sometimes we have to talk about them as if they have already happened in order to believe they could ever come about. And so if we believe that God has brought justice to the world, we live that justice and we share in making the world more just...

"Hope starts small...but it feeds on outrageous possibilities. It beckons us to step out with the belief that the action we take will not only bear fruit but that in taking it we have already made a difference in the world... The hope of God contains the promise that we will be fed, even if we never see the fruit of our hope-filled actions."

May our hope be nourished by courageous action and by the outrageous love of God, this Advent and always.

Wild blessings,

Art credit: Rev Lauren Wright Pittman 
Services at Church of the Ascension
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New Way to Watch our Online Services:
How to Add Prayer Requests Online for Sunday Service - Go to and type in your prayer request. Be sure to add them before the end of the sermon.
Sunday Services
Holy Eucharist - in the Church - 9:00 a.m.

Holy Eucharist with Music - in the Church - 11:00 a.m.
Join us after the service in our new tent for
coffee and tea in the front garden

Meditation & Sacrament - in the Church - 6:00 p.m.
Livestream Service via Zoom at 11:00 a.m.
How to join the livestream service:

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Please note this is a new way to watch our services!
Weekday Services
Wednesday Night Service - Holy Eucharist
6:00 p.m. in the Church
Evening Prayer Every Weekday Evening via Zoom
Join us each weeknight at 5:30 for Evening Prayer & discussion. Click this link to join: To call in (voice, no camera), dial 929-205-6099; the meeting ID is 770 597 201.
Prayer & Meditation - Every Weekday starting at Noon
The Church is open for prayer and meditation every weekday; Monday through Friday, Noon to 3:00 p.m. Open Church will begin with Noonday Prayer, led by Brother Andrew, OSF.
Christmas at Ascension
Christmas Eve*
Family Service, 5:00 p.m.
Prelude Music for Christmas, 9:30 p.m.
& Festival Eucharist, 10:00 p.m.

Christmas Day
Holy Eucharist & Hymns; 11:00 a.m.

1st Sunday after Christmas, Dec. 26
Holy Eucharist, 9:00 a.m.
Lessons and Carols, 11:00 a.m.

* Reservations are required for all Christmas Eve services:
Our pews seat up to 4 adults, and you can register with other family members or friends.

Anyone entering the church must wear a mask and maintain appropriate physical distance.
Please utilize the hand sanitizer stations.
How to view our Christmas and Christmastide Services:
Go to Ascensionnyc,org/Webcasts to view all our Christmas services
(Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Christmas 1 (Lessons & Carols), and Christmas 2)
From the Vestry:
Vestry Nominations - Deadline is This Sunday! Four people are to be elected to the Ascension vestry at our annual meeting on Jan. 30, 2022. Serving on the vestry is an opportunity to provide spiritually grounded leadership, with an emphasis on our finances and our three historic properties. Members are to support the church’s mission by their actions and by regular attendance at services, including Zoom of course. If you are interested in running or wish to nominate someone, please obtain forms from the church office or from a member of the nominating committee: Isabel Spencer, Rachel Sedor, Shep Skiff, Steve Hubbard, or Joan Castagnone. Candidates must have been pledging members of the Church of the Ascension for one year prior to the meeting. Vestry members are expected to attend regular meetings, which are on the third Wednesday of every month, except August. The vestry retreat will be held Feb. 4 & 5. The deadline for nominations is December 19. For additional information, please see a committee member.
Highlights from Recent Vestry Meeting:
  • A resolution was passed to recognize Juneteenth (June 19th) as an official holiday at The Church of the Ascension.
  • A resolution was passed to change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day. In official capacity the holiday will read as Indigenous People' Day [Columbus Day] as no government has made this change. 
  • The balcony above the Parish Hall will be converted into an office space for our new business manager, Kelli Long.
Have you checked out our Advent Calendar on Facebook? Find inspiration from scripture and photos taken by our fellow parishioners at
Christmas Flower Offering - Deadline is This Sunday! Help us decorate the church for Christmas with flowers and greenery. Please submit your memorials and thanksgivings to the Parish Office (email or 212-254-8620) by Sunday , December 19. You can also go online to our Abundant Giving page to make your donation and designate your memorial names and thanksgivings.
The Roman Catholic/Episcopal dialogue subgroup of the Diocesan Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission is hosting a series of discussions on Zoom about “God’s Gift of the Eucharist” on January 11, 18, & 25 of 2022. Our own Elizabeth Adams will be hosting along with Fr. Bob Flanagan, a priest in our diocese, and Fr. Brian McWeeney of the Catholic archdiocese of New York. Please do join in this fascinating and lively discussion of the sacrament that is central to our identity as Christians. The event is free but space is limited. For information, please contact Fr. Brian at, or Fr. Robert at (
Crochet Creations by Jeannette! Hello there, Ascensioners! Jeanette Shields is offering crochet hats, scarves, sweaters, dresses, baby's clothing, and other wares. They are colorful, attractive to the eye, warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and some can be quite dramatic! Visit her website.
Monday Evening Lectionary Bible Study -- Join us Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. This is an opportunity to read and discuss the readings for the upcoming Sunday. If you are interested in joining, please contact Sibyl Piccone.
Hospitality: Warmest Greetings to one and all! We’re so happy to have returned to in-person worship on Sundays. And while we’ve obtained a tent and some heaters, which make our outdoor coffee hour quite cozy, we’re also hoping to return to a regular schedule of hospitality hosts who will help by making coffee and tea available. Maybe even some cookies on occasion! This ministry of gathering and welcoming is essential to our community, so if you are moved to serve in this way, please contact the parish office so we can plan our schedule going forward. Thank you!
Greening the Church! This Sunday December 19th, after the 11am service, we’ll be decorating the interior of the church for Christmas. If you’d like to be part of what’s sure to be a good time making our worship space beautiful for the season, grab a cup of coffee or tea and join us for an hour or so! Thanks so much!
Next Racial Justice Group meeting, Thursday, December 16 at 6:30 pm. We will finish reading Clint Smith's How the Word is Passed: a Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America. In a review of the book earlier this year in the NY Times, Julian Lucas writes, "Gregarious, learned and engagingly open-minded, the book meets America where it is on the subject- which is to say, all over the place. Beginning in his hometown, New Orleans, Smith visits nine places that memorialize or distort their link to the legacy of slavery, from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello to the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan. He skillfully braids interviews with scholarship and personal observation, asking, 'How different might our country look if all of us fully understood what had happened here?'" Please join us for what will surely be a lively conversation! For December 16, please read the remainder of the book (pages 207-290).
Support the Parish! Please check us out at to find out how easy and secure it is. Click the envelope on the right to go the Ascension Website for more information and to give, whether a one-time donation, pledge payment, or make a new pledge.

Our parish can only continue its mission and ministry because of the generosity of parishioners, visitors, and friends of the parish and we are working hard to make our online giving as easy and seamless as possible.

(If you experience any issues with Abundant Giving, please email us at

A Note about Using Abundant Giving: When you donate and pledge through the Abundant Giving app or go through the website, you need to direct your donation to the correct category. There are multiple categories to choose from:
  • Offering Plate
  • Stewardship Pledge 2021
  • Rector's Fund
  • Memorial Gift
These categories change as we update categories during the year. (An example would be when we delete the Easter flowers category after Easter and add Christmas flowers for the weeks leading up to Christmas.)

To donate through your app or the website, click the link above. The next screen will prompt you: "How Much Do You Want To Give?" Next to that, is a drop-down list of categories. Offering plate is always listed first. Click on the little arrow and the list will appear. Click on which ever category you want your donation to be credited. It is important to identify which category you are donating to so that your year end statement will be correct.
This Week at Ascension
Sunday – December 19 – Fourth Sunday of Advent
Holy Eucharist (Church) 9:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist w/ Music (Church) 11:00 a.m.
(Live Stream:
Coffee & Tea (Front Garden) following the service
Greening of the Church (Church) following the service
Meditation & Sacrament (Church) 6:00 p.m.

Monday – December 20
Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Lectionary Bible Study (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday – December 21
Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
EfM (Parish Hall/Zoom) 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday – December 22
Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Midweek Holy Eucharist (Church) 6:00 p.m.

Thursday – December 23
Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Choir Rehearsal (Parish Hall) 5:30 p.m.

Friday – December 24 – Christmas Eve
Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Family Christmas Eve (Church) 5:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Christmas Eve Festal Service (Church)
(Live Stream:
Prelude Music, 9:30 p.m.
Festal Eucharist, 10:00 p.m.

Saturday – December 25 – Christmas Day
Christmas Day Eucharist with Music (Church) 11:00 a.m.
(Live Stream:

Sunday – December 26 – First Sunday of Christmas 
Holy Eucharist (Church) 9:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist w/ Lessons & Carols (Church) 11:00 a.m.
(Live Stream: & Tea (Front Garden) following the service
Meditation & Sacrament (Church) 6:00 p.m.
Anyone entering the church must wear a mask and maintain appropriate physical distance. Please utilize the hand sanitizer stations.

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 | |