The Seventh Sunday
Of Easter
Dear People of Ascension,

Every year on Ascension Day I am reminded anew that we are on the Diocesan cycle of prayer on our particular Feast. The Canon for Pastoral Care, the Rev. K. Jeanne Person, usually posts the intercessions for the day on Facebook, and tags the clergy and some other leaders with a mention of her prayers for us. "Lovely to pray for you," she says.

It is lovely to be prayed for, and humbling too, to remember how connected we are, and how sustained by the intercessions of people we may or may not know. Ascension Day, and the Sunday that follows it, remind us of Jesus' prayers for the first disciples and for us: that we may be one, even as Jesus and the God he calls "Abba" are one. In the lectionary we also hear Paul's prayer for the church at Ephesus: "that with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know the hope to which God has called you, what are the riches of God's glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of God's power for us who believe...".

For me, these prayers are a call to the deepest truth of who we are (and are to become) in the Ascended Christ, worth meditating on, and opening our hearts to. Do you feel the strength and comfort of the prayers of others, across time and space? This Ascensiontide, what are your prayers for yourselves, for our church and for the world God loves so much?

With my own prayers for you, always-

Liz
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Prelude Music
Aria in F
George Frideric Handel
Worship With Us
Introit and Bell
Gregorian Chant
Welcome
Hymn
Please join in the singing as you are able.
#495 Hail, thou once despisèd Jesus
In Babilone
Hail, thou once despisèd Jesus!
Hail, thou Galilean King!
Thou didst suffer to release us;
thou didst free salvation bring.
Hail, thou universal Savior,
bearer of our sin and shame!
By thy merit we find favor:
life is given through thy Name

Paschal Lamb, by God appointed,
all our sins on thee were laid:
by almighty love anointed,
thou hast full atonement made.
All thy people are forgiven
through the virtue of thy blood:
opened is the gate of heaven,
reconciled are we with God.
Jesus, hail! enthroned in glory,
there for ever to abide;
all the heavenly hosts adore thee,
seated at thy Father’s side.
There for sinners thou art pleading:
there thou dost our place prepare;
ever for us interceding,
till in glory we appear.

Worship, honor, power, and blessing
thou art worthy to receive;
highest praises, without ceasing,
right it is for us to give.
Help, ye bright angelic spirits,
all your noblest anthems raise;
help to sing our Savior’s merits,
help to chant Emmanuel’s praise!
Opening Acclamation
Celebrant:   Alleluia. Christ is risen.
People:   The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Collect of the Day
O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
The Liturgy of the Word
Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Reader: Stanley Weinberg

In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) and said, "Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus-- for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry. So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us-- one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection." So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed and said, "Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place." And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

Psalm 1    (St. Helena Psalter)

Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked, *
    nor lingered in the way of sinners,
    nor sat in the seats of the scornful!
Their delight is in the law of the Holy One, *
    and they meditate on that law day and night.
They are like trees planted by streams of water,
bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither; *
    everything they do shall prosper.
It is not so with the wicked; *
    they are like chaff which the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright when judgment comes, *
    nor the sinner in the council of the righteous;
For the Holy One knows the way of the righteous, *
    but the way of the wicked is doomed.


1 John 5:9-13
Reader: Linda Brandt

If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
John 17:6-19

Jesus prayed for his disciples, “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.”
Sermon
The Rev. Sam Owen
Anthem
Draw us in the Spirit’s Tether
Harold Friedell (1880-1956)
Draw us in the Spirit’s tether;
For when humbly, in thy name,
Two or three are met together,
Thou art in the midst of them:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Touch we now thy garment’s hem.
As the brethren used to gather
in the name of Christ to sup,
Then with thanks to God the Father
break the bread and bless the cup,
Alleluia! Alleluia! So knit our friendship up.
All our meals and all our living
make as sacraments of thee
That by caring, helping, giving,
we may true disciples be.
Alleluia! Alleluia! We will serve thee faithfully.
Prayers of the People
Form IV
Leader Let us pray for the Church and for the world.
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. We pray for Michael our Presiding Bishop, for Andrew, Allen and Mary our own Bishops.
Silence

Leader Lord, in your mercy
People Hear our prayer.

Leader Guide the people of this land, and of all the nations, in the ways of justice and peace, especially Joe our President, Andrew our Governor, and Bill our Mayor; that we may honor one another and serve the common good. We pray for the people of Haiti and the ministry of the New York Haiti Project.
Silence

Leader Lord, in your mercy
People Hear our prayer.

Leader 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.
Silence

Leader Lord, in your mercy
People Hear our prayer.

Leader 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. We pray for all affected by COVID-19: for the frightened and the sick, for the dying and those who mourn; for all who have lost jobs and livelihood as a result of this pandemic; 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 and distributing vaccines, for those charged with making decisions about public health and public policy.
Silence

Leader Lord, in your mercy
People Hear our prayer.

Leader We pray for all working to end racism and white supremacy and to establish racial justice in our land.
Silence

Leader Lord, in your mercy
People Hear our prayer.

Leader Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit, especially Robert, Ed, Janet, Ellen, Joseph, Brielle, Lucas, Holly, Allejandro and Jesus, Nancy, Barbara, Dorothy, Stewart, Patricia, Judith, Hannah, Jurek, Alice, Michael, Stephen, Kenneth, Lalitha, Lacksman, Shirley, Donna, Harold, Elizabeth, Katherine, and Curtis and Mary Fi; give them courage and hope in their troubles, and bring them the joy of your salvation.
Silence

Leader Lord, in your mercy
People Hear our prayer.

Leader We commend to your mercy all who have died, especially Barbara Baker, Ivy Alanna Coombs, Larry Gabbard, Raymond Lux, Hazel Joshua, Adam Toledo, Ma'Khai Bryant, and Andrew Brown, Jr.; that your will for them may be fulfilled; and we pray that we may share with all your saints in your eternal kingdom.
Silence

Leader Lord, in your mercy
People Hear our prayer.

Leader We offer you our other prayers and thanksgivings.
Silence

Leader Lord, in your mercy
People Hear our prayer.

The Celebrant 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.
Announcements
Blessing
Hymn
#221 O Lord Most High, eternal King
Gonfalon Royal
O Lord Most High, eternal King,
by thee redeemed thy praise we sing.
The bonds of death are burst by thee,
and grace has won the victory.

Ascending to the Father’s throne
thou claim’st the kingdom as thine own;
and angels wonder when they see
how changed is our humanity.
Be thou our joy, O Mighty Lord,
as thou wilt be our great reward;
let all our glory be in thee
both now and through eternity.

O risen Christ, ascended Lord,
all praise to thee let earth accord,
who art, while endless ages run,
with Father and with Spirit, One.
Dismissal
The people respond:
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.
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, May 16, the Rev. Sam Owen will be our guest preacher and forum leader! Fr. Sam is the Priest in Charge of the Haitian Congregation of the Good Samaritan in the Bronx, and we are delighted to welcome him back to Ascension this coming Sunday. He will preach and update us on the situation in Haiti, as well as the New York Haiti project in which we participate, and the church and school in Martel. Don't miss it!
Forum Series: The Church Cracked Open. Next Sunday, May 23, we continue our study of The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline and new Hope for Beloved Community by the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers. This new book is a gift to the Episcopal Church in this particular historical moment, and we encourage everyone to read and participate! it is widely available from Church Publishing and from Amazon.
Support Your Parish!
Go to ascensionnyc.org/give to give online
Please check us out at ascensionnyc.org/give 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 websexton@ascensionnyc.org)
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
  • Sexton's Retirement Gift
  • 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.

You should have received your year-end statement for 2020. Please review it carefully and contact the parish office immediately if there are any issues.
Midweek In-Person Services
& Open Church
In-Person Midweek Eucharist - As we cautiously reopen the church during this time of pandemic we are opening the church on Wednesday evenings for in-person Eucharist. To reserve a seat, please click the button below, or visit us at Ascensionnyc.org/Reservations/. If you have problems making a reservation, please contact the church office.
Open Church, Tuesdays & Fridays, Noon to 3. The church is open for private prayer and meditation. Attendance is limited to a maximum of 20 people at one time and all safety precautions (properly worn masks, physical distancing, hand sanitizing, and contact tracing) will be followed.
Announcements
Racial Justice group, this Thursday May 20 at 6:30- year of the us! Please join us for a performance by, and discussion with, Ascension parishioner Zennie Trieu. A NJ native and current Vermonter, Zennie Trieu is a half-Chinese, half-Vietnamese Asian American actor, writer, and NYC public school teaching artist. Her monologue, year of the us, had its virtual premiere in March of this year. The piece celebrates Lunar New Year 2021 while simultaneously confronting historical and extremely recent anti-AAPI tensions and violence. The narrative includes both uncomfortable facts about American society and unexpected personal revelations from a proud woman of color.
Len Bowman's Retirement, End of June. You are invited to contribute to a farewell gift for Len. You can do that through Abundant Giving (select "Sexton's Retirement Gift" from the Fund menu), or by sending a check to the parish office with "Sexton's retirement gift" in the memo line. Please keep Len and Sandra in your prayers in this time of transition. News is coming soon about plans for a celebration of Len and Sandra.
Confirmation/Reception Opportunity- Are you interested in being confirmed or received in the Episcopal Church? Bishop Dietsche has written that there will be three confirmations at the Cathedral this summer for those who have been waiting to take this next step in their faith. If you would like to participate, please speak with Mtr. Liz or Fr. Ed as soon as possible, so that we can prepare and plan. The services will have limited attendance and careful public health protocols. Bishops will begin their regular parish visitations in the fall, so we will have another opportunity for confirmation here at Ascension in the coming year.
From the Vestry

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 & discussion. Click this link to join: ascensionnyc.org/eveningprayer. To call in (voice, no camera), dial 929-205-6099; the meeting ID is 770 597 201.
Vaccine Registration Assistance? Do you need help scheduling your vaccine appointment? Are you a tech-savvy and patient person who would like to help register people? Please contact Madonna Stack-Barker at m.stack@rcn.com for more information.
Beware of Fraudulent Emails Purporting to be from the Ascension clergy! Several people received scam emails today pretending to be from Fr. Ed, using a Gmail account under a user name that appears to be him. Click here to read more and learn what you can do.
This Week at Ascension
Sunday – May 16 - The Seventh Sunday of Easter
Sunday Service, (Zoom) 11:00 a.m.
Coffee Hour & Forum (following the 11:00 service)
Meditation with Prayers and Music (Available on our Facebook page)

Monday – May 17
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 – May 18
Open Church* (Church) 12 Noon - 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
EfM (Zoom) 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday – May 19
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Midweek Eucharist (Reservation Required) 6:00 p.m.
Vestry Meeting (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.

Thursday – May 20
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Racial Justice Discussion Group (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.

Friday – May 21
Open Church* (Church) 12 Noon - 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – May 22
Rehearsal for Sunday Service (Zoom) 2:00 p.m.

Sunday – May 23 - The Day of Pentecost
Sunday Service, (Zoom) 11:00 a.m.
Coffee Hour & Forum (following the 11:00 service)
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 info@ascensionnyc.org
Contact us
The Church of the Ascension -- Fifth Avenue and Tenth Street
212-254-8620 | info@ascensionnyc.org | www.ascensionnyc.org
We are working from home, but we will respond to emails and phone calls