Third Annual Farmers Market Pet Blessings
See Notes Below

Sunday, October 14th

Nobleman Giving Alms to Beggar in Piazza near the Coliseum,  Conrad Martin Metz (1749-1827)

7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
8 a.m. Said Mass (Rite I)
9 a.m. Sung Mass
11 a.m. Solemn High Mass
José de Torres (c. 1670-1738)
Mass for Four Voices "ad omnem tonum" (1732)

This Week at Ascension

October 10, 2018


From the Rector
Also from the Rector
Tonight at Ascension
Ascension Book Group: October
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word


Not Good
Dear People of Ascension,
Most or all of us know the Genesis creation story well enough to know its refrain: And God saw that it was good. It wasn't until after I delivered my sermon this past Sunday that I pondered an interesting juxtaposition. Sunday's first reading began with a not good.
   Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone ... (Genesis 2:18)
Already, I'd sensed that there was something not good about my sermon. For the most part, I felt that it was thematically and interpretively sound. But an effective preacher must always go for the heart of his or her congregation. And it was on this basis that I concluded that my sermon was not good. Only fleetingly at the end of my message did I acknowledge that the large majority of Ascension's members are not married or otherwise partnered. Many have never been.
Along the same lines, the poem that I used in my sermon as a test tube for several ideas envisioned a materially comfortable wife and husband years into a marriage that's been a blessing. Without diminishing the poet or any couples who may recognize in her poem their own nuptial blessings ... well, let's face it, our pews at Ascension include very few long-married hetero couples.
At least a few questions arise from the cracked petri dish of Sunday's sermon. First: what are the experiences of and questions about being, relationships and faith that are of more relevance and interest to the majority here in our own community of faith?  Second, are your lives, dilemmas and opportunities being faithfully addressed by those of us entrusted with preaching? What's good, and not good, for you?

Many thanks to Deacon Anna Broadbent, and to Kathryn Mares, Preston Winstead and Eric Strait (accompanied by his husband Matthew) who co-led a lively roundtable this past Sunday on the experience of Millennials in Church. And thanks to the eight or so Ascension members who showed up to listen and ask questions. Senior Warden Chris Raymond will share some further information and his own personal reflection in next week's newsletter.
Dear Father D is a project envisioned by parishioner DiAnne Walsh that will require your participation by Friday November 2. DiAnne would like to gather individual memories, pictures and memorabilia into a book of love to share with Father Dunkerley's longtime partner Sal Martinez and with Father's four siblings in England. Please take part-by making use of the additional information you can view here.

Sharing Soup, Sharing Blessings got underway today, the second Wednesday of the Month, with goodwill and great Tuscan macaroni soup! Plan to join us for the next gathering on Wednesday, November 14. Further information may be found on the flyer that you can view here.
October Vestry Meeting-this Saturday, October 13, 1:15 p.m. in the parish library. This meeting will be devoted to considering a number of significant capital expenditures for (finally) repairing the arch in the church sanctuary, roof and boiler repairs and more. As always, Vestry meetings are open to all, and timely, thoughtful questions are always welcome.
Armistice Day 1918
Veteran's Day, November 11
, was previously known, as many will know, as Armistice Day, marking the day on which World War I Allies and Germany signed an armistice, or peace agreement. November 11, 2018, will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. I've been asked about ways we might mark the occasion. Choirmaster Benjamin Rivera has already scheduled Haydn's Missa in tempore belli (Mass in time of war). I welcome ideas from others-particularly from those who can participate in realizing them.
Addenda to Attendance.
Thanks to those of you who responded to the discouraging attendance data I shared here two weeks ago. Above, you'll see that I've added the attendance from the past two Sundays (total of all persons attending all services). Of note: our Michaelmas Celebration (shown in goldenrod on the chart) was a big hit. The service book indicates 124 souls present, though I heard closer to 150 from an informal source. Also of note: We held our own on 'Marathon Sunday' October 7. Thanks to all who ran their own gauntlets to get here and get home, and to Jim Lo Bello for opening the parking lot gate first thing in the morning.
My good/not good sermon from this past Sunday, may be nakedly viewed here. 


Commemoration of  
Paulinus, 1st Archbishop of York

6:10 p.m. Evening Prayer
6:30 p.m. Said Mass


For October the Ascension Book Group will read War In Heaven (1931) by Charles Walter Stansby Williams (1886-1945). Williams takes us on a 20th-century version of the Grail quest, with an Archdeacon, a Duke, an editor, the mysterious "Man in Grey", and a child playing the old Arthurian roles. Throughout, Williams reminds us that these legends ...


The  Sunday Lectionary readings Schedules of Acolytes, Lectors & Ushers as well as Hymnody, Motets and Organ Voluntaries for 
Sunday, October 14, 2018 may be found by clicking  here

The Lector's Pronunciation Guide may be found here .

Please remember these people in your daily prayers
Geoffrey Wainwright, Robert White, Charlene MacDougal, Fr. John Graham, Dorothy Murray, Mary Lou Devens, John Mulcare, Doreen Finn, Ronna Case, Michael Milano, Thomas Holden, Bob Scogin, Brenton Boitse, Charley Taylor, Marlea Edinger, David Belding, Jr., August 'Augie' Alonzo, Sal Martinez, Ann Halikas, Betty Smith, Helena Wilson, Josey Mintel, Cliff Green, Emily Cole, Sharon Pryzbocki

Prayers for the departed
Prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of The  Rev. Anthony Adducci, seminary classmate of Tim Kowalski.


The Approved Minutes of Vestry meetings are now available online to parishioners who request the link.  If you would like Internet access to the Approved Vestry Minutes, please email the  Church Office and request the link. 
Once you access the web page, you can read all recent Approved Vestry Minutes.  In addition, if you click on the subscribe button at the top right, you will be given email notice whenever a new set of Approved Minutes is added. 

A quote from my sermon on Sunday that I hope may have struck a chord with a diversity of souls (and bodies) is part of a longer muse that I hope will be found edifying. - Fr. Raymond +

Contrary to Mrs. Grundy, sex is not sin. Contrary to Hugh Hefner, it's not salvation either. Like nitroglycerin, it can be used either to blow up bridges or heal hearts.
At its roots, the hunger for food is the hunger for survival. At its roots the hunger to know a person sexually is the hunger to know and be known by that person humanly. Food without nourishment doesn't fill the bill for long, and neither does sex without humanness.
Adultery, promiscuity (either heterosexual or homosexual), masturbation-one appealing view is that anything goes as long as nobody gets hurt. The trouble is that human beings are so hopelessly psychosomatic in composition that whatever happens to the soma happens also to the psyche, and vice versa.
Who is to say who gets hurt and who doesn't get hurt, and how? Maybe the injuries are all internal. Maybe it will be years before the X rays show up anything. Maybe the only person who gets hurt is you.
In practice Jesus was notoriously soft on sexual misbehavior. Some of his best friends were hustlers. He saved the woman taken in adultery from stoning. He didn't tell the woman at the well that she ought to marry the man she was living with. Possibly he found their fresh-faced sensualities closer to loving God and humanity than the thin-lipped pieties of the Pharisees. Certainly he shared the Old Testament view that the body in all its manifestations was basically good because a good God made it.
But he also had some hard words to say about lust (Matthew 5:27-28), and told the adulterous woman to go and sin no more. When the force of a person's sexuality is centrifugal, pushing further and further away as psyches the very ones being embraced as somas, this sexuality is of the Devil. When it is centripetal, it is of God.
~ originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office