Today, Wednesday, August 22
Quee nship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Evening Prayer, 6:10 p.m.   +   Said Mass, 6:30 p.m.

  Sunday, August 26
The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Detail from 'The Supper at Emmaus,' Rembrandt van Rijn, 1654, Rijksmuseum, Netherlands  

7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. Said Mass (Rite I)
9:00 a.m. Sung Mass
11:00 a.m. Solemn High Mass

on Peter answered Jesus, 
'Lord, to whom can we go?  You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God .'"      -  John 6:69

This Week at Ascension

August 22, 2018


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


'Father D'

Ye blessed souls at rest, who ran this earthly race
and now, from sin released, behold the Savior's face,
God's praises sound, as in his sight with sweet delight ye do abound.
                    -- Hymn 625, text by Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

Dear people of Ascension,

So many of us continue to absorb the news and reality of Father Jim Dunkerley's death, early last Thursday morning. An email from one Ascension member included only the hymn stanza shown above and: " Praying for ... all who mourn."

In addition to this and other hymn texts and scriptures that have come to my own heart and mind, I've also recalled a line from a Joni Mitchell song: " Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone ..." Only, in this case, I do believe that many of us did know the spirit and gifts that Father Dunkerley shared with so many, and often we  did share and show our appreciation. 

When I began my ministry here in January 2016, Bishop Lee and I discussed the continuing role that we both hoped Father D might have here. As an aside, the bishop said, " Jim is a priest's priest. There are so few like him left these days." 

That remark was emblematic of the appreciation that so many of Father D's colleagues shared. Hoping for your edification, I'm taking the liberty of sharing (to the right) impromptu thoughts from three colleagues, all responding to a group text I initiated on Saturday to clergy form St. James' Cathedral, St. Peter's and Atonement, where Father D's ministry endured and blessed so many.

A Requiem will likely take place at the Church of the Atonement, Chicago, at a time and date still to be determined. As we await that news, please keep in prayers Father Dunkerley's longtime partner Salvatore 'Sal' Martinez and Father D's four siblings and their families in England. And please know of my gratitude for the faith you've shown at this time, including by way of the simple shrine, shown below, that was created in the narthex for all who came to mass this past Sunday. 


Father Dunkerley's unexpected death may nudge some of us to make sure that our own end-of-life plans are thorough, up-to-date and well communicated, as appropriate, to our loved ones, clergy and others of whom we may have expectations. To assist you in addressing some of the basics, I've ordered a number of copies of the widely used 'Five Wishes' document. Look for a copy in the narthex or ask in the parish office or find further online information about Five Wishes here. Sometime soon I will again provide some additional information and resources that I included in a recent newsletter.

Please save these dates!

Tuesday, September 11, 7:00 p.m.
Installation of Mother Erika Takacs as 1 1th Rector of Church of the Atonement, Chicago 

Sunday, September 30
Solemnity of Michaelmas
3:30 p.m. Organ Recital
   (David White, Organist)
4:00 p.m. Choral Evensong and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
4:45 p.m. Chicago North Deanery Festive Reception and Welcome of Mother Takacs
Many of you will recognize Bazelais Suy from mass on Sundays or from the front  hallway of the parish house, where he frequently works on improving his English with Sister Barbara, OSA. Bazelais was working on computer sciences certifications in Port au Prince, Haiti, in January, 2010, when his school collapsed on him and fellow teachers and students in the massive Haiti earthquake. With his present student visa, he'd like to continue his studies, and I've agreed on his behalf to ask if there are some from Ascension who may be willing to help me raise a little over $400 for his fall semester tuition at the City Colleges of Chicago. Gifts made to my discretionary fund will be paid only directly to City Colleges. If you'd like to view a late-2010 ABC news story about Bazelais' courageous recovery from his earthquake-related spinal injury, click here. Whether or not you can help out, thank you for keeping Bazelais in prayer and please greet him when you see him around.
 "Thanks for your kind hospitality ..."

Behold the message left for  us on the church fridge by some of the leaders and members of the    kids theater troupe who used St. Michael Hall and our kitchen throughout last week for a summer theater camp. I've been told that their lively Friday evening performance was taped but that it's not yet downloaded. The kind sign will have to be our reminder for now.

Congratulations to Ascension Choirmaster Benjamin Rivera for the positive mention in the over-the-top Tribune review of the Grant Park Music Festival's season finale, Carmina Burana. A number of Ascension members, gathered by Junior Warden Cynthia Perrizo, were present for the Friday concert that was reviewed. 

Parishioner Gary MacDougal's OpEd on Chicago gun violence, recently published in the Wall Street Journal,  may not reflect all views of all Ascension members and readers, but we should all be so engaged in this and other critical issues in our neighborhoods, city and nation. (For those unaware, there were four gun deaths within two blocks of Ascension in 2017.) And regardless of personal convictions, let us join in prayer for all who die by gun violence, for the grieving and the wounded, for all in law enforcement, and for all entrusted with the increasingly complex questions and responsibilities related to law. Above: The Chicago Tribune's most current information on shooting victims from this past Sunday, August 19.
Deacon Anna Broadbent's sermon from this past Sunday (at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.) may be viewed by clicking anywhere here.

PS Brother Nathanael is away from the parish office this week, taking part in the annual Summer Convocation of the Brotherhood of St. Gregory. Please pray for the brothers ... and blame any newsletter errors on the rector!

Info. about the  Sunday Lectionary readings , Schedules of Acolytes, Lectors & Ushers as well as Hymnody, Motets and Organ Voluntaries for  Sunday, August 26, 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, Ted Jennings, Michael Milano, Thomas Holden, Judy Cook, Kuni Sakai, Bob Scogin, Brenton Boitse, Charley Taylor, Cynthia Floria, Charlotte, Marlea Edinger, Enrique Vilaseco, David Belding, Jr., Sal Martinez, August 'Augie' Alonzo.

Prayers for the departed
Prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of The Very Rev. James H. Dunkerley , who died in his sleep on August 16, 2018.
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 most recent ( August 8)  Summer e-newsletter from the Diocese of Chicago
may be found here.


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. 

I can't think of a more appropriate Last Word today than a portion of a homily that Father Dunkerley preached here at ascension in June of 2017. As some of you will know, he didn't always write out the texts of his energetic, faithful messages. I know I could find other full texts if I searched, but the sermon portion below is from the only complete sermon I could find on the computer in the curate's office here at Ascension! - Father Raymond

Jesus said, 'Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. ' - Matthew 11:28-30
.... In these words, unique to Matthew, Jesus extends an invitation to " all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens ."  Here Jesus reaches out to all who are burdened by the oppressive demands of scribes and Pharisees-and beyond, to us and to our burdens.
In contrast to these burdens, a response to Jesus' call will bring them rest and salvation. In contrast to the cost of discipleship about which we heard in Chapter 10, Jesus here offers the promise of the gentleness of his call. Although Jesus does not diminish the weight of accountability to God, he will remain with us and sustain us as we carry out his mission.
In a sense, we are all weary and overburdened. In our depths lies hidden a poverty which, because it frightens us, oppresses us and drags us down. In the words of this passage, Christ welcomes us in our vulnerability and does not seem to be afraid of it. " Come to me ," he says, and later on in Matthew he will say " Let the little children come to me, for the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like them ." (Matthew 19:14)
Jesus seems to want to teach us to offer this inner poverty to God. It is God alone who can cover it with the right garment. Accepting our inadequacies, Christ takes upon himself what hurts us in ourselves.
And Jesus' proposal goes even further: our shoulders do not remain empty for long. Once we have entrusted our burden to him he gives us another one, which seems even heavier.  Jesus calls this new load a yoke, the name of the large piece of wood which connects two oxen to each other to plow or to tow something.
We are thus brought from solitary effort to a common effort.  Becoming an ox with Christ is a striking image. It recalls the image used by the prophet Isaiah, that of a suffering servant burdened with the faults of others.
Working in tandem, making a joint effort: this gesture is what connects us to God.  Not only is God unafraid of our poverty, but in addition he invites us to undertake with him the greater work he is accomplishing in the world, to liberate by bearing the burdens of others, especially the self-imposed burdens that are sometimes borne out of self-contempt.
This task is not one that we can achieve by ourselves. If I try to carry myself, often I will simply become a caricature of myself, so caught up in my own preoccupations that I forget everybody else or, even worse, become a burden to them.  Listen to Jesus' word: we are called rather to divest ourselves of our own worries, to accept Christ's concern, and in the place of our worries to take upon ourselves a burden that, paradoxically, lightens our load.
This exchange recalls the very significance of Jesus' life.  In the first centuries, people dared to express it like this: Christ clothed himself with our humanity in order to clothe us with his divinity.  In this way, he turns us into royalty who have nothing greater to do than to carry the burdens of the little ones.
Let us then offer our shoulders so that others are no longer victims of themselves.  This a royal service, the beginning of the great liberation. It is the coming of the KINDOM OF GOD. Amen.

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office