The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
August 30, 2020; 11:00 a.m.
Dear People of Ascension,

In the next few months, Ascension will join with other communities of faith and advocacy organizations in an initiative led by Trinity, Wall St. and Union Theological Seminary called "Just Re-entry". It seeks to break the cycle of incarceration and chronic homelessness that impacts some 15,000-20,000 New Yorkers each year, 80% of whom are people of color. 

Our advocacy will focus on critical resources that people leaving jail need to survive, and actions that can be taken by the Mayor, at relatively low cost to the city budget, to secure stable, decent housing for formerly incarcerated people. These are the goals of the campaign:

  • Provide safety for people released from incarceration during COVID-19 by providing them with valid identification, an effective healthcare transition that allows people to immediately access the care and medication they are already entitled to, and coronavirus testing.
  • Ensure that justice-involved individuals have stable homes by ending permanent exclusions from government-supported housing and discrimination in the private market, fixing the rental assistance voucher system, and leveraging public funds to create new housing to meet their needs. 
  • Develop a coordinated reentry system that works across government agencies and is held accountable to the well-being and whole dignity of each person so that this will not happen again, neither during national crises nor the everyday crises that families in our communities endure.

Please let me know if you would like to get involved in this campaign. In this week that has been so full of devastating news about the persistent racism in our criminal justice system, and the policies that limit and thwart Black lives. I find myself asking what I can do, here and now. There will- and must- be many responses- but for New Yorkers, this is one. I am grateful.


How to Join the Service
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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

#401 The God of Abraham praise (Leoni)
Please join in the singing of the hymn.
The God of Abraham praise,
who reigns enthroned above;
Ancient of everlasting days,
and God of love;
the Lord, the great I AM,
by earth and heaven confessed:
we bow and bless the sacred Name
for ever blest.

He by himself hath sworn:
we on his oath depend;
we shall, on eagle-wings upborne,
to heaven ascend:
we shall behold his face,
we shall his power adore,
and sing the wonders of his grace
for evermore.

There dwells the Lord, our King,
the Lord, our Righteousness,
triumphant o’er the world and sin,
the Prince of Peace;
on Zion’s sacred height
his kingdom he maintains,
and, glorious with his saints in light,
for ever reigns.

The God who reigns on high
the great archangels sing,
and “Holy, holy, holy,” cry,
“Almighty King!
Who was, and is, the same,
and evermore shall be:
eternal Father, great I AM,
we worship thee.”

The whole triumphant host
give thanks to God on high;
“Hail, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!”
they ever cry;
hail, Abraham’s Lord divine!
With heaven our songs we raise;
all might and majesty are thine,
and endless praise.

Presider Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
People And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day
Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lessons
Reader: Sarah Standing

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.” But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’“ God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: This is my name forever, and this my title for all generations.

Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c (St. Helena Psalter)

We give you thanks, O God, and call upon your Name; *
we make known your deeds among the peoples.
We sing to you; we sing your praise *
and speak of all your marvelous works.
We glory in your holy Name; *
let the hearts of those who seek you rejoice.
We search for you and your strength; *
we continually seek your face.
We remember the marvels you have done, *
the wonders and the judgments of your mouth.
O offspring of Abraham, your servant, *
O children of Jacob, the chosen ones.
Israel came into Egypt, *
and Jacob became a sojourner in the land of Ham.
You made your people exceedingly fruitful; *
you made them stronger than their enemies;
Whose heart you turned, so that they hated your people, *
and dealt unjustly with your servants.
You sent Moses your servant, *
and Aaron whom you had chosen. Alleluia.

Reader: Stanley Weinberg

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Matthew

Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
Stacey Carpenter
O Sing Joyfully
Adrian Batten (1591-1637)
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, Peter, Joyce, Rod and Deanna, Alfred, Rene, Carol and Roman, Kelly, Kathy, Michele, Jeannie, Abe, Peggy, Seth, Lauretta, and Jacob. 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 Lebanon and Belarus, and those affected by hurricane Laura, the fires in California and the storm in Iowa. We pray for all laboring to end ​racism and white supremacy and establish racial justice in our country. 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, and Terese, for all whose labor supports our common life, sometimes at the risk of their own lives; for those developing treatment and a vaccine, and 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 Margaret Holton, C.T. Vivian, John Lewis, Jorge Manso, Phillip Taynton, Daniel Nickolich, Yolande Robbins, and Anthony McClain. 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.
#655 O Jesus, I have promised (Nyland)
Please join in the singing of the hymn.
O Jesus, I have promised
to serve thee to the end:
be thou for ever near me,
my Master and my friend;
I shall not fear the battle,
if thou art by my side,
nor wander from the pathway,
if thou wilt be my guide.

O let me hear thee speaking
in accents clear and still,
above the storms of passion,
the murmurs of self-will;
O speak to reassure me,
to hasten or control;
O speak, and make me
listen, thou guardian of my soul.

O Jesus, thou hast promised
to all who follow thee,
that where thou art in glory
there shall thy servant be;
and, Jesus, I have promised
to serve thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow,
my Master and my friend.

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!
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.
Delegate and Alternate for Diocesan Convention- The vestry is seeking nominations for people who want to represent Ascension at this year's Diocesan Convention! Adapted to an online format, the convention itself will be held on Saturday, November 7 via Zoom. Convention worship will be on the afternoon of Sunday, November 1 (All Saints' Day), also online. In addition, on 8 Wednesdays from September 9-october 28, there will be online meetings held from 5pm-6 pm to allow for discussion of special topics in the life of the diocese, from congregational development to reparations.

If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else, or if you have questions about this ministry, please contact Mother Liz by Sunday, August 30. The vestry will vote to elect one delegate and one alternate shortly after that.
Episcopal Relief and Development
Hurricane Laura & Beirut

Please give today to our Hurricane Relief Fund and help our partners and dioceses reach vulnerable communities devastated by Hurricane Laura and other Gulf Coast storms. As we continue to assess ongoing needs in impacted areas, your urgent gift will enable us to respond now — and in the long run to aid in recovery.
Episcopal Relief & Development, in collaboration with the Anglican Alliance, is in discussion to accompany the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem & the Middle East to provide humanitarian assistance in response to the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. Please pray for everyone impacted by this crisis. To support Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the explosion and other international disasters, please consider making a donation by clicking the link above.
The New York Haiti Project - School is Open in Haiti!

St. Luke's Episcopal School in Martel, Haiti has reopened! After four months of shutdown due to civil unrest, and almost six months of shutdown due to coronavirus, the school is fully reopened. Click here to read Fr. Sam's full letter and t find out how you can donate t support the New York Haiti Project.
Ordination Gift for Meredith Ward- God willing, our beloved Deacon Meredith Ward will be ordained to the priesthood on September 19, 2020. It has been a special joy to experience her ministry among us during this time of online worship! As her sponsoring parish, we would like to give her the priestly vestments for this occasion (and beyond): a white chasuble and stole. If you would like to contribute to this gift, please do so either online via, or send a check to the Church of the Ascension with "Meredith ordination gift" in the memo line (address it to Mother Liz's attention at the church office). Thank you!
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.
From Your Vestry

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 – August 30
Church Service (Zoom); 11:00 a.m.
Coffee Hour & Forum (Zoom) following the 11:00 service
Meditation with Prayers and Music (Available on our Facebook page)

Monday – August 31
Evening Prayer (Zoom); 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday – September 1
Evening Prayer (Zoom); 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday – September 2
Evening Prayer (Zoom); 5:30 p.m.
Building & Grounds (Zoom) 12:00 Noon
Needlecraft Guild (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.

Thursday – September 3
Evening Prayer (Zoom); 5:30 p.m.

Friday – September 4
Evening Prayer (Zoom); 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – September 5
Food Pantry (12 West 11th St.) 8:30 a.m.
Speak to Fr. Ed for.assistance or to volunteer
Rehearsal for Sunday Service (Zoom) 2:00 p.m.

Sunday – September 6
Church Service (Zoom); 11:00 a.m.
Coffee Hour & 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