Sunday, January 19
 Second Sunday after the Epiphany

St. Peter and St. Andrew, Israhel van Meckenem, engraving ca. 1485, British Museum

7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. Said Mass (Rite I)

Nursery available 8:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

9:00 a.m. Sung Mass
11:00 a.m. Solemn High Mass

Join us for fellowship
in Wheeler Hall after every Mass.


This Week at Ascension + January 15, 2020

From the Rector
Also from the Rector
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word


Serving and leading at the altar
"Management is doing things right;
leadership is doing the right things ."
     - Peter Drucker
"See everything,
overlook a great deal,
change a little ."
     - Pope John XXIII
Dear people of Ascension, 
     Back in mid-November, I wrote about pending transitions in our worship ministries leadership. Head acolyte Jim Lo Bello was anticipating a surgery and a lengthy leave from the parish. Mary Beth Hwang had agreed to break new ground in the role of Verger. 
    With Jim's surgery date now, finally, scheduled for early February, we have been blessed with more time than we had anticipated to prepare for change. Mary Beth and Jim have forged a hard-working and meaningful partnership. I've sensed good awareness and support from others. 
    In hopes of continuing a positive transition, I've invited all who take part in any worship ministry to join me this evening for Evening Prayer and mass followed by dinner and conversation. Our aim will partly be fellowship, but also an opportunity to ask questions and identify areas for better training, collaboration or communications. 
     If you imagine you should have received an invitation for this evening but have not, forgive my error and please do join us. And don't fret if you can't be here. It's become clear that there are and will be many more and new opportunities to be present and to serve for the good of the whole. 


Yes, but what do I mean by 'worship ministries'? In the event that I should clarify, I consider worship ministries to be every endeavor that contributes to worshiping God in the beauty of holiness. It includes clergy and laity, those at the altar during a liturgy as well as readers (lectors and intercessors), those who lead the rosary, ushers, the flower guild, sacristans and others whom, in haste, I've failed to include here. I might even go so far to include coffee hour hospitality! A personal priority for 2020 is finding more effective ways to welcome, involve, orient and train newcomers in worship ministries. Please direct your interest or questions to Verger Hwang, the ministry coordinator (if known) or me.
January 26 Annual Meeting Notes - Please heed!       
            9:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
            10:00 a.m. Solemn High Mass
            12:00 p.m. Annual Meeting with light meal -
St. Michael's Hall
* The meeting is a public meeting, open to all. Voting Members are especially encouraged to participate. I will ask Vestry members to circulate with a Voting Member list this coming Sunday to make sure we have correct information.
At this meeting, the Vestry will ask the congregation to approve two bylaws amendments, one having to do with filling Vestry vacancies when they arise in between Annual Meetings, the other having to do with Vestry member absenteeism and related protocols. Information on these two proposed amendments may be found here .
* The nomination period for Warden and Vestry Members is now closed, per provisions of our bylaws. The bylaws provide for additional nominations from the floor at the Annual Meeting.
* Voting Members who wish to be placed on a special ballot for election of Three Ascension Delegates (and an alternate) to take part in the June 2020 election of the XIII Bishop of the Diocese of Chicago, please share with me your name, a photo, and a 150 word statement about qualities you feel are paramount for our next bishop and why you feel well-qualified to represent the people of Ascension. I'll appreciate having your material by this Friday, January 17. 
* Brooke Raymond has kindly agreed to orchestrate hospitality for the Annual Meeting and some additional souls have agreed to help. If there are additional needs, I'll convey them in next week's newsletter.
Please keep in prayers Ascension parishioners Kelly Colomberti, Marlea Edinger and Cheryl Peterson, taking part today and tomorrow in the conference at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, titled 'Ministry for the Common Good .' The introduction to the conference begins with questions that I've heard in other context from a number of you over the past year:
What does Christian service for the common good look like?
How can Christians love the world as God loved the world?
What do we need to know and do in order to seek peace in our contexts? 
What are your answers? What are our answers?

I owe some thank you notes to those of you who contributed to the restoration of our six historic brass candlesticks . If you have never seen them all together before (as in the top photo), it's because three had been so badly damaged that they were taken out of circulation. Also, we normally only use them two at a time on the freestanding altar. The extensive restoration was recently completed by Baroque Silversmith, Skokie. Special thanks to Mike Vales for shuttling the candlesticks back and forth and keeping the project moving forward. Feel free to come up into the sanctuary sometime and appreciate the fine work.

Please keep in prayers the People of Church of the Advent, Boston, and their Rector-elect, the Rev. Douglas Anderson, who will begin his ministry at Advent on the Feast of the Presentation, February 2. Interestingly, Fr. Anderson has been serving since 2004 as Rector of St. James', Texarkana, Texas ... where our former assisting priest Fr. Richard Daly began serving on the staff a year ago, and will now be priest-in-charge following the departure of the Rector.


January 15, 2020
Paul of Thebes, the First Hermit

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

The schedule of Sunday Readings, Celebrants, Preachers, Lectors, Acolytes, Ushers, Hymnody, Choral and Organ Repertoire for  Sunday, January 19, 2020  may be found by clicking here . More information on the Choral repertoire may be found by clicking here . The Clergy Rota for this week's and upcoming masses may be found here.


Please remember these people in your daily prayers
Geoffrey Wainwright, Fr. John Graham, Mary Lou Devens, Michael Milano, Charley Taylor, August 'Augie' Alonzo, Ted Long, Jim Berger, Ethel Martin, Yuka Asai, Dean Pineda, Bazelais Suy, Carnola Malone, Charlene MacDougal, Monica, Jim Lo Bello, Jack Johnston, Patricia Johnston, Stewart Marks, Char Yurema, Ronn Garton, Vanessa Rogers, Bob Sparacio, Jonathan Jacobs, Canon Edgar Wells, Nicholas Carl,  Joshua and Ellie, Judy Cook, Fr. Andrew Harmon Bro

For all participating in the Ministry for the Common Good Conference, especially Kelly, Marlea and Cheryl

Prayers for the departed

Rest eternal grant unto him, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


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. 

Anticipating our worship ministries gathering this evening, I've been contemplating our fundamental aspirations in worship. An introduction to Anglo Catholic worship from the website of St. Barnabas' Church, Victoria, British Columbia, re-states what many of us take for granted but may remind us of what we are seeking to offer and sustain 'to the praise and glory of God's name, both for our benefit and that of all His holy Church.'   - Fr. Raymond +
"The gift of the [Anglo Catholic] movement was and remains the intention to reach back into the spiritual gifts of the past in a way that allows them to breathe new life into the church and world of the present.  The Anglo-Catholic witness is alive to the unfathomable mystery of God; and the ungraspable riches of God's grace.  Therefore, Anglo-Catholicism has always been a counter-cultural movement.  It is and has always been a protest against the forces of industrialism and consumerism that make human beings small; and against everything that destroys the beauty of God's image alive in every one of God's creatures.
"In the Anglo-Catholic worship and practice of this inheritance, we are helped to see the whole world as 'sacrament,' as an epiphany of the presence of God. If only we have the eyes to see, Christ gives himself to us everywhere and in every thing.  This protest, this counter-cultural spirit, this openness to the mystery of God, this relinquishing of our anxiety-driven need to master all things - quietens us, so that God might be present for us.  This counter-cultural thread is what makes worship at St. Barnabas at first so strange, and later begins to work God's 'metanoia' (repentance) in us - literally, the embracing of thoughts beyond our present limitations, opening us up to possibility beyond merely human possibility.
"Anglo-Catholic Worship is about listening and responding to the grace of God.  Listening and responding are not sequential acts, but one simultaneous act 'of praise and thanksgiving.'  We sing and pray, receive God's word and sacrament, cross ourselves amidst rising incense.  All of these are ways of listening; all of them are ways of responding.
"Thus as we worship, we engage the whole of ourselves - body, mind, and spirit.  We use gesture (genuflection, bowing, crossing ourselves), we engage our senses (music, incense, holy water, bells, candles, vestments), we are challenged by thoughtful preaching, we raise our voices in hymnody and in considered prayer.  We welcome periods of silence."

Ascension's original high altar, in St. Faith's Chapel (now Michael Hall), 1880s. The altar was on the south end of the chapel, where the doors into the kitchen and parish house are now located. 

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office