A reminder that Ascension's Parish Offices will be CLOSED on Monday, September 2, 2019 in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
September 1st
Ascension fresco from Crkva svete Marije
(Chapel of St. Mary) in Oprtalj, Croatia.
Photo by C. and J. Peterson, August 2019

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 + August 28, 2019

From the Rector
Also From the Rector
Upcoming Mass Commemorations
Coffee Hour Hospitality
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word


"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers,
for thereby some have entertained angels unawares ."
   - Hebrews 13:2
Dear people of Ascension,
     We can all recount, I imagine, a memorable first visit to a church. It may have also been our last visit because we felt so awkward or out-of-place that we never returned. Or that first visit may have been a portal into a longtime, meaningful commitment to a community of faith. Imagine if, in coming weeks, a dozen souls were to have a first visit to Ascension that was of this second type.
     OK, so that may be a stretch. Many of us may agree that newcomer welcoming is not our strong suit as a parish. Many of us might also agree that the future of the parish may require us to pull together to become more welcoming. Those who study these things all agree that it's a good thing for the clergy to welcome guests at some point during worship. The same authors suggest that the members must find ways to express the same welcome-before, during and after worship services.
     Apropos of Ascension, a number of articles on churches and welcoming that I've recently read point out that a congregation's welcome begins in its parking lot. These articles all assume that volunteer members of the parish are in the lot to indicate to visitors where they should park and answer their questions about the church entrance and more. Hmmm.
     Maybe we're not ready for a 'parking lot ministry.' (Or are we?) At minimum, I hope you may be willing to be on the lookout for guests and to extend the kind of welcome you yourself might like to receive. All the better if you can also imagine and suggest to me one small improvement in our welcoming to which you may be willing and able to make a commitment.



One source of thoughts and suggestions about welcoming that I recently explored was a cache of four separate articles, all on church welcoming, from Christianity Today (via a Google search). To be sure, what amounts to good newcomer welcoming varies by culture and religious tradition and more, but what amounts to a warm and meaningful (and non-threatening) welcome tends to be more universal. You may read the CT articles for yourself here.

Coffee hour, is, of course, often a critical testing ground for newcomers ... Vestry members Enrique Vilaseco and DiAnne Walsh ask for your attention in a related feature below. Please don't just scroll past it! Your help is genuinely needed.
The Diocese of Chicago Annual Convention will take place November 15-16. Your opportunities to take part include not only serving as a delegate from Ascension but also making yourself available to serve in the leadership of the diocese-Standing Committee, Bishop and Trustees, Deputies and Alternates to the 2021 General Convention of the Episcopal Church and the (St. James') Cathedral Chapter. You may view a description of the diocesan-elective offices here. Talk to me about serving as a delegate from Ascension or about the diocesan leadership opportunities.

2018 Diocesan Convention delegates from Ascension
included Ken Kelling, Marilyn Evans, James Baran and Fr. Bob Petite

I have some difficult news to report regarding Bazelais Suy , former language student of Sr. Barbara, regular at mass, a Haitian citizen who aspired to college studies here in Chicago. In his own words by email yesterday ...

Hi Rev F. Patrick,
How are you doing? I hope you are well in Jesus name. Thank you for your efforts in my concerns. Unfortunately, I didn't receive the F1 Visa and my B2 visa  is cancelled by the US EMBASSY. Now I can't travel to the US. Please Share this message with the Sisters and friends of the Ascension Church for me.
Thanks again for your time spent!
Best regards,
Please keep Bazelais in prayers, especially for clarity of direction and resources to attain his goals. His email address, if you wish to contact him, is suy.bazelais61@gmail.com.

Who knew that there is a World Day of Prayer for Creation within the Anglican Communion ? Not me. but Cheryl Peterson has drawn my attention to it. We will certainly, at minimum, include a prayer on Sunday for our stewardship of 'this fragile earth, our island home' (as the mostly-neglected Eucharistic Prayer C puts it). Cheryl's query leads me to again wonder how we might together make some small difference in at least one matter of cultural, national or global concern. I welcome your thoughts ... as well as your prayers.

Call them The Seersuckers? A number of you answered the call in last week's newsletter and showed up in at least one article of seersucker clothing on Sunday. Here's a gathering of some or most of those Seersuckers who convened in the narthex after the Solemn High Mass. I for one appreciated the lighter moment!

Pipe Organ News in August looks something like a stock market chart this month -- wild swings, up and down. The great news this week is that the reed pipe restoration project is nearing completion. The nearly 500 pipes are in the building, some are installed, and the Berghaus team and David White are ecstatic with the results -- "better than we ever could have imagined." Now the bad news. We've had another breakdown of the instrument's electronic 'brain and nervous system' (as I think of it) that had already resulted in no organ for our Feast of the Assumption. With Vestry authorization, I've now signed a Berghaus contract to replace those parts on a hurry-up timeline that will assure a magnificent September 29 recital by David Schrader as part of our Michaelmas Celebration. I welcome you to direct your questions to any member of the Vestry, Treasurer Susan Schlough, David White or me.
Speaking of our September 29 Michaelmas Celebration, I've improved the flyer that you are no doubt wanting to share with your neighbors and friends! You can view, download, print and share it here.

Ken Kelling recently illustrated for me what it means to see something through to the end ... He'd been faithfully visiting former parishioner Thomas Holden for a number of years, at Tom's family's request assumed power of attorney for health care, after Tom's death in April arranged for a mass to be said for Tom, then drove Tom's cremated remains to Vermont, alerted and gathered Tom's remaining family and, with my blessing and guidance, offered a simple graveside committal at the Holden family plot in Burlington. Thank you and bless you, Ken. May Tom's soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

My sermon from this past Sunday, August 25, may be read here.


Tonight, August 28
Commemoration of Augustine of Hippo
Evening Prayer at 6:10 p.m.
Said Mass at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 31
Commemoration of Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne
Morning Prayer at 9:40 a.m.
Healing Mass at 10:00 a.m.


Dear Fellow Parishioners,
There are many ways that we may all make a big and recognizable difference at our parish, helping with our Sunday coffee hour is just one of those ways. We are looking for kindhearted volunteers to sign up and join the team! There will be plenty of guidance and support from those of us who are familiar with the process, so no need to stress.
Additionally, if you are great at baking or know a great baker or bakery, we would love to expand our selections during the 9:00 am and 11:00 am services on Sunday. Please know that any expenditures will be reimbursed through our church Treasurer.
The basic tasks range from making the coffee, setting out the creamer and juice and the clean-up afterwards, and there is usually help for the clean-up.

We look forward to collaborating with you on this very important part of our church tradition.

We thank you for considering this opportunity and look forward to having you join our team! 


The schedule of Sunday Readings, Celebrants, Preachers, Lectors, Acolytes, Ushers, Hymnody, Choral and Organ Repertoire for  Sunday, September 1, 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, Ted Saunders, Julie Schram, Don Wilber, Jacob Potter, Nathan, Claire, Enrique, Monica, Aleksander, Jim, Josephine Boitse, Sue Smedley, Gwendolyn, March Kimmel, Cat Dean, Fr. Robert Petite, Larry & Kathy Fox, LaVerne Saunders

Prayers for the departed
Prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Jane Thompson Roebuck.

Prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Donald Schmidt. ( Donald was a parishioner of the Ascension in the 1970's and 80's. He and his partner Jerry Manning were most recently residents of Winter Haven, Florida.)

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. 


My thanks to the Rev. Dr. Carol Norén for sharing with me the following poem. She did so shortly after Easter. I've been saving it for the season of sunflowers ...
-          Fr. Raymond +

   And that will be heaven
         by Evangeline Paterson
   and that will be heaven
as last    the first unclouded 
    to stand like the sunflower
turned full face to the sun     drenched
with light     in the still center
held     while the circling planets
hum with an utter joy
     seeing and knowing
at last     in every particle
seen and known     and not turning
     never turning away

The image shows a reconstruction of an 1888 Vincent Van Gogh painting -
Six Sunflowers or sometimes titled  Vase with Five Sunflowers - that was destroyed in Japan in 1945. The reconstruction was done by way of past written descriptions of the painting and by a black and white photo of it that was discovered in 2013 by  Martin Bailey, a curator and correspondent for The Art Newspaper.  Bailey came across the photograph while researching his book The Sunflowers are Mine: The Story of Van Gogh's Masterpiece (2013). 

Fr. Patrick Raymond,         praymond@ascensionchicago.org

Susan Schlough,                finance@ascensionchicago.org

Parish Office                      office@ascensionchicago.org