The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 15th
Woodcut, Grant Hardy

7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer

8:00 a.m. Low Mass (Rite I)

Nursery available, 8:45 a.m.

9:00 a.m. Sung Mass

11:00 a.m. Solemn High Mass

This Week at Ascension + September 11, 2019

From the Rector
Also From the Rector
COA participating in Open House Chicago
Ascension Book Group
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word


Organist Emeritus
" Organ playing is the manifestation of a will filled with the vision of eternity ."
     - Charles Marie Widor
Dear People of Ascension,
     Momentum is building as plans for our September 29 Michaelmas Celebration get more and more interesting. We can look forward together to an increasing number of delightful and edifying moments.
     Of special note in the past few days: David Schrader has agreed to receive from us (collectively) the title of Organist Emeritus. To an already elaborate Choral Evensong, with Bishop Lee presiding, we'll add a moment to formally recognize David and his legacy here and beyond and to express our gratitude for his ongoing presence at Ascension.
     Of course there's a considerable buzz 'out there' about the Michaelmas Celebration in general and David Schrader's recital in particular. Just yesterday, organists from two other parishes checked in with me by email:
" I definitely have September 29 on my calendar, and I have actively been promoting it [in the parish] and to my organ students. I look forward to reconnecting ... at this celebratory event ."
" I do plan to be there on the 29th - I made our carillonneur change her concert from the 29th to the 22nd so I could be there. Wouldn't miss it ... David has many fans over here who will love to know about it ."
     Without diminishing the shimmering and well-deserved light on and around David Schrader, here or anywhere, please join me in also lighting a few sparklers and waving them around for Organist David White. (Make them Roman candles if you wish.) The idea of a Schrader recital on Michaelmas began with David White. He's selflessly worked behind the scenes in a dozen ways and for countless hours to contribute to other parts of the Michaelmas Celebration and above all to make sure our newly renovated Schlicker-Schrader pipe organ has a stunning debut.

     Let's pull out all the stops.


As for the pipe organ itself ... This week we've gladly seen a steady stream of technicians, installers and heavy lifters from Berghaus Organ Builders. They are putting in full days to re-install the nearly 500 reed pipes, replace the recently failed electronics system and more. They report that they are hopeful but not yet certain that the organ will remain in service for this coming Sunday and the next. The photo shows Joe Poland, project mastermind and supervisor, with the old electronics (left) and the new (on the right).

Let's call it a No-Coffee Hour  this Sunday ... and maybe going forward, due to lack of parishioner sign-ups. Don't think I don't value coffee hour; I join those who sometimes call it the 8th sacrament. But in order for it to take place, we need to share the necessary hospitality and responsibilities. I'll be as pleased as anyone if this turns out to be fake news because one or more of you in fact step up on Sunday. Thanks for considering it.

A New Season for Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings is in the works, thanks to Cheryl Peterson and others.  Mark your calendars for October 9 . As you'll recall, the fellowship begins with the Noon (12:05 p.m.) mass on the second Wednesday of the month and moves into lunch and conversation in Michael Hall. Look for more information in coming weeks.
On this 18 th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks , please pause to remember in prayer those who died, those who continue to live with the trauma and anxiety and for peace among the nations. I've included a related article in today's Last Word.
Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn
but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the
strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that
all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of
Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and
glory, now and for ever. Amen.

The Bishop Search Committee is hosting listening sessions for clergy this week, including one at Atonement, Chicago, that I attended this morning. The session was expertly facilitated by the Rev. Kimberly Jackson of the Diocese of Atlanta, serving as consultant to the diocesan search and standing committees. We were reminded that the election of the bishop has been set for June 20, 2020, with a consecration envisioned in January 2021. 

The clergy listening session was held in Church of the Atonement's Montgomery Hall.

Seminarian David Knox joins me, I imagine, in thanking those who took part in the two community conversations following both the 9am and 11am masses this past Sunday. Parishioners expressed interest in a wide range of topics: Bible study ('end times' and more), issues of aging and care for the elderly in our own parish and beyond, more committed and long-lasting spiritual formation (such as Education for Ministry - 'EFM'), better understanding of the Eucharist and our Anglo-Catholic expressions of it in theology, liturgy and personal piety. David and I are now working on a field work agreement and in coming weeks will be turning ideas into programs and dates. Feel free to contact David or me if you wish to follow up on Sunday's conversations. 
Most of you heard Mother Joy Roger's poignant sermon at the 9am and 11am masses this past Sunday. The homily I offered at the 8am mass may be read here.

Church of the Ascension has been selected to participate in Open House Chicago (OHC), a yearly event that is sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) where buildings that would otherwise be unavailable to visit are open to the public.  It's a two-day event, Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 20. The hours are 10:00 to 5:00 both days. More information may be found at .
It is hoped that our participation in this event will stimulate interest in Ascension and give us a chance to welcome visitors that might not otherwise set foot in the door. It's enjoyable for both visitors and hosts. There are numerous opportunities for parishioners to participate and we do need your help! It's your chance to make a real, substantial contribution to the life of the Ascension family. Your OHC committee members will be approaching you, so be ready! Thanks.
OHC Committee
Cynthia Perrizo, Chair
Kelly Colomberti
Jay Jacot
Carol Norén

For September the Ascension Book Group will read  The Future Home of the Living God (2017) by Louise Erdrich (b. 1954). Native American author, Louise Erdrich, paints a startling portrait of a young woman fighting for her life and her unborn child against oppressive forces that manifest in the wake of a cataclysmic event. The Ascension Book Group will meet to discuss this book on Sunday, October 6 after the coffee hour at 1:00 p.m. in Wheeler Hall. Refreshments will be served. For questions or information contact Ken Kelling at (773) 853-2337 or
[The Future Home of the Living God
Harper ISBN 978-0062694058]

The schedule of Sunday Readings, Celebrants, Preachers, Lectors, Acolytes, Ushers, Hymnody, Choral and Organ Repertoire for  Sunday, September 15, 2019  may be found by clicking here . More information on the Choral repertoire may be found by clicking here .


Please remember these people in your daily prayers
Geoffrey Wainwright, Fr. John Graham, Dorothy Murray, 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, Pablo Illás, Doreen Finn, Don Wilber, Jacob Potter, Nathan, Monica, Jim, March Kimmel, Cat Dean, Jim Walsh, Larry & Kathy Fox

Prayers for the departed
For the victims of the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, in a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, PA and for the deceased first-responders.

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them. May their souls 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. 

As many of you must also be, I'm mindful that today is the 18th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. I found the following article (at , with no author attribution) to be both relevant and meaningful for ongoing reflection, and I hope it may be the same for some of you. - Fr. Raymond +
The 9/11 terrorist attacks brought on feelings of anxiety and vulnerability as many Americans had their sense of safety and comfort threatened. Given the traumatic nature of 9/11, it's not surprising that this event would also test people's religious beliefs.

A group of researchers affiliated with the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University and the Veterans Administration Boston Healthcare System surveyed a large number of people who had lost a loved one during the 9/11 attacks. About a quarter had lost a child, relative, or spouse, and most people had lost someone as a result of them being near the World Trade Center or in lower Manhattan during the terrorist attacks.

The primary findings of the study can be summarized by the following:
  • Most of the people in the study felt their religion to be just as important after the 9/11 terrorist attacks as it was before the attacks.
  • About a tenth of people said religion became more important after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It seems that some people may have relied on their religious beliefs in an attempt to make sense of the terrorist attacks or gain comfort in response to their loss.
  • Another tenth said that religion became less important to them after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This was particularly the case for people who lost a child during the attacks. These people may have become disillusioned or may have begun to question aspects of their faith after the terrorist attacks.
  • People who said their religious beliefs were less important following the event were more likely to experience complicated grief, have major depression and develop PTSD. On the other hand, people who said their religious beliefs were more important after 9/11 didn't seem to increase or decrease the risk for these problems.
Your Religious Beliefs and Recovering From a Traumatic Event
Let's explore what these findings mean for you if you've experienced trauma. When faced with a major traumatic event, such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it's natural to struggle with how to make sense of that event. This is especially going to be the case if you lost a loved one during that event.
Unfortunately, struggling with your religious beliefs following a traumatic event can have a big impact on how well you adjust to that traumatic event. 
Relying on and strengthening religious beliefs is one way people may choose to cope with a traumatic event and unexpected loss. Religion and spirituality can help some people adjust and recover from a traumatic event.
However, it's important to note that religion is not the only way to recover from such an event. A number of other factors have been found to be associated with recovery from a traumatic event. You may want to explore:
  • Seeking out social support
  • Helping others
  • Using healthy coping strategies
  • Seeking out therapy 
How you cope with a traumatic event and the loss of a loved one is a very personal experience. It's very important that you find the strategy that works best for you.
If you lost a loved one as a result of 9/11, there are several websites that provide helpful information on coping and recovery, such as the September 11th Families' Association and the Families of September 11th.

Night at the 9/11 Memorial, South Tower pool illuminated. Photo: Jin Lee.

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office