Thanksgiving Community Meal, Sunday, November 18
Please see more information below.

The Temple in Jerusalem, from the "Postilla Litteralis (Literal Commentary)" of Nicholas of Lyra, ca. 1450-1475, in the collection of The Met, New York.
Sunday, November 18

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 

Mass for Four Voices
Antonio de Cabezón (1510-1566) 

"Jesus said, 'If   anyone says to you at that time, 'Look! Here is the Messiah!' or 'Look! There he is!'--do not believe it.'" - Mark 13:21

This Week at Ascension + November 14 , 2018


Organ Project Update
From the Rector
Financial Stewardship Updates
Work Day Thank You
2019 Holy Land Pilgrimage, anyone?
Help us by using your Facebook Posts
Ascension Book Group: November
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word


Sliders aren't always from White Castle

Dear music-loving members of Ascension,
Greetings! You may have already seen (via our social media) the photo below of the three excellent craftsmen from Berghaus Organ Builders and the two comparison photos: a dusty slider motor headed for retirement next to a shiny, high-tech new one awaiting installation.
Phase I of the large-scale refurbishment project to keep The Schrader Pipe Organ in top shape is nearing completion! The motors shown in the photos control and move the mechanical sliders, allowing wind to flow to and through the various ranks of pipes. Our sliders were encrusted with 50 years' worth of dirt and grime. Working against all the accretions, many of the motors were overheating. Moving parts were seizing. Plastic housings were melting. The more we've seen the more amazed we are that they were still working at all!
Nearly all pipes in each of the organ's three main keyboard divisions have, over the past three weeks, been removed, carefully cleaned and systematically stored. After the sliders have been cleaned and regulated and new motors installed, the pipes are returned home. I've worked with the Berghaus craftsmen to maintain a schedule that has allowed the instrument to be viable for Sundays and holy days ... not to mention last Saturday's wedding.
The result? A newly silent and efficient stop action. The prior "THWUMP!" when a stop was called upon is now a whisper. I'm no longer wincing and wondering: "Will that rank play or not?!" Phase I will be completed in time for our Thanksgiving Day Mass and the Feast of Christ the King, November 25.
On behalf of all Ascension musicians, allow me to thank our Rector and Vestry, the experts at Berghaus Organ and all of you for your unwavering support of fine music at the corner of LaSalle & Elm! Cheers!
    - David White, Organist


Regarding the organ project ...
  • My thanks to David White for his update, above. Seeing his gratitude and enthusiasm has been one of the best features of this project to date for me!
  • Phase I is nearing completion, as David mentioned; Phase II will take place in 2019, likely starting after Corpus Christi, and after an opportunity for parishioner contributions to a related capital campaign. Please see me sooner if you would like to make an end-of-year gift now!
  • One of the old slider motors will be on display in Wheeler Hall for awhile, for those interested.

Annual Diocese of Chicago Convention, This Friday and Saturday, November 16 & 17. Please join me in thanking James Baran, Marilyn Evans and Ken Kelling for serving as our parish delegates this year. It doesn't look as if this will be a momentous convention, but I'm personally looking forward to hearing from this year's keynote speaker: nationally known journalist and former member of St. James' Cathedral Ray Suarez. Click here for comprehensive convention information from our diocesans website.

Regarding our Community Thanksgiving Meal this coming Sunday, November 18: YES!
  • YES! We're mostly in good shape for volunteers - thanks to those of you taking part.
  • YES! As of now we need a few more volunteers ... To be exact: two table hosts and a few more folks to help with clean-up (mostly schlepping and scraping dishes).
  • YES! If you wish to be a guest at the meal, please take part.
Buildings and Grounds Updates
  • Cement-work has been underway the past two weeks. Look for newly poured surfaces for the accessible ramp outside the parish house door in the garden and the portion of the sidewalk public sidewalk outside the garden gate. Uneven surfaces between cement sections throughout the Our Lady of Victory Garden have been smoothed - a great safety improvement for all of us - and the rectory basement stairwell, at risk of collapse, is being rebuilt.
  • Plans are coming together for a major project inside the church in early 2019 - tuckpointing of the brick arch in the sanctuary and replastering/repainting of the wall over the arch, all the way to the peak. More information will be shared as the project nears.

Plan to join us Thanksgiving Day for Morning Prayer at 9:30 a.m. and Sung Mass at 10:00 a.m. The Thanksgiving altar image is from Christ and St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Norfolk, Virginia.

Some excellent photos of our All Saints Sunday Stevenson High School Baroque Ensemble guests were taken by Ken Kelling and may be viewed by way of the link here. Pictured is one of the student musicians playing the amazing 14-stringed instrument known as a theorbo.
Join me in congratulations and prayers for Copeland Johnston, recently ordained transitional Deacon in Utah. He recently wrote to me, in part: "After one has worshiped and worked at Church of the Ascension the heart is tethered there forever.  I went to Seabury-Western from 2003-2006 and for all three of those years I was Ascension's seminarian.  The norm for students at that time was to spend one semester in "field ed", but Fr. Fertig very generously treated me as his field ed student for my entire academic career.  Thanks to his tutelage, and the loving guidance of many other sages of the parish, my formation was enhanced through the rich sacramental life one can only find in the Anglo-Catholic tradition ...Thanks be to God, I was ordained to the transitional diaconate by the Bishop of Utah, Scott B. Hayashi, on October 20, 2018 at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark.

Join me in congratulations and prayers for Alison "Allie" Metcalf and Jackson "Jack" McLarty,
joined in Holy Matrimony -- complete with bagpipes -- here at Ascension this past Saturday, November 10. Allie is a former member of Ascension and the couple now lives in Los Angeles. 

My sermon from this past Sunday may be found by clicking here.

Pledges reported to the Vestry this past Saturday: 27 pledges, $42,564 pledged.  Thanks to those who have pledged.
If you've not yet pledged, we'll be grateful to hear from you. You may download a pledge card here OR send a confidential email to the Treasurer here. We'd like to wrap up the pledge commitments by Sunday, November 25, after which Vestry members will be calling those from whom we've not heard.
Thanks to those who have recently made Sunday remarks in conjunction with our 2019 financial stewardship ministry and appeal: Ken Kelling, Patrick Johnston and Barbara Susman. From Barbara's remarks this past Sunday:
"Giving is a celebration of thankfulness: thankfulness to God for what He hath given; our thankfulness and rejoicing in the abundance of what we have - no matter how much or how little; thankfulness for the church, that like our Lord it stands like one of those pillars in our lives , here every Sunday - and here through its Pastor and people throughout the week."


Thanks to all of you ( Carol, Rachel, Jim, George, and Jim)  for your help on Saturday.  It was a small crew, but we got some good things accomplished in terms of winterizing the garden and cleaning up some of the flower vases in the sacristy area. (View additional photos here.) And I want to say a special thank you to Jim Lenz who could not attend on Saturday but who did some work on Thursday.  He has offered to assist with additional cleanup in the garden as the cold temperatures continue to freeze the plants and lead to their demise.  George and Marco will blow some leaves which means that we don't need to rake quite so many over the next few weeks.  And we are also thankful for the crew of workers who spent this past week repairing our outside cement ramp and stairway as well as grinding down the cement walkways in the garden to make them easier to navigate.  This will help especially when winter weather makes this area more treacherous.   

The flower committee will be working to "green" the church for Advent on December 8th, so anyone who wants to come out that day and help will be most welcome.  In addition to the church interior, we will be hanging wreaths outside on the church doors, around the fountain area, and on the gates leading into the garden, convent, and rectory.   - Cheryl Peterson


We have been asked to share an upcoming opportunity for pilgrimage to the Holy Land with our Bishop, the Right Reverend Jeffrey Lee and our Cathedral Dean, the Very Reverend Dominic Barrington. Our own Father Petite took part in the same (or very similar) pilgrimage in May 2017. He has describe it as a profoundly meaningful trip, and he would no doubt be pleased to speak with anyone interested in the upcoming pilgrimage. You may view the full length booklet, with detailed information by clicking here


We at Church of the Ascension are coming into a very busy season, and request your help with Facebook. Please "share" our posts to your Timeline.
In addition, please remember to "check in" each Sunday or when attending a Church of the Ascension event. When the church posts events, please say "you are going." ~ DiAnne Walsh


For November the Ascension Book Group will be reading
Thomas Wingfold, Curate (1876) by George MacDonald (1824-1905).  


The  Sunday Lectionary readings Schedules of Acolytes, Lectors & Ushers as well as Hymnody, Motets and Organ Voluntaries for  Sunday, November 18, 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, Charlene MacDougal, Fr. John Graham, Dorothy Murray, Mary Lou Devens, Doreen Finn, Ronna Case, Michael Milano, Thomas Holden, Brenton Boitse, Charley Taylor, Marlea Edinger, David Belding, Jr., August 'Augie' Alonzo, Ann Halikas, Helena Wilson, Emily Cole, Mthr. Judith Marie OSA, Burton Nelson, Fr. Richard Daly, Kenvert Samuel, Carnola Malone.

Prayers for the departed
Prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of  Herbert London .

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. 

Pondering the current pipe organ renovation and the legacy of organ music here at Ascension led me to the following article by Australian organist and music professor Theo van Wyk. Many Ascensionites won't find any new information here but may enjoy a refreshingly light-hearted review of popular pipe organ (and organist! And pipe organ music!) perceptions.
Author van Wyk references the visual and musical use of pipe organs in horror movies! His observation resulted in a search that also led me to a fabulous overview of the same, The pipe organ on film, by composer and organist John Karl Kirten, that you, also, may check out by way of a click here .
- Fr. Raymond +

The pipe organ - more than just a church instrument

By Theo van Wyk, 2017

Unlike most musical instruments, the pipe organ is commonly defined by the place where it's often played: church. And people seem to think of organists as reclusive creatures in the lofts of basilicas and cathedrals.

The pipe organ is a musical instrument that creates sound by pushing air under pressure through pipes which corresponds to a particular keyboard called a manual. The pipes are placed in specific formations called ranks, each containing the same sound character.
Pipe organs have a variety of pipe ranks of different tone, pitch, and volume that can be used on its own or in combination. For an instrument to qualify as a pipe organ, it should have at least one manual and one rank of pipes. In larger instruments it can have as many as seven manuals and hundreds of pipe ranks. Most organs have a pedal board which is operated by the feet, based on the same sound-producing principle as the manuals.
As an organist myself, I have come across many preconceptions and questions about the instrument.
Some people think it suitable only for playing hymns or "old" music, boring stuff devoid of much artistic merit. In fact, the repertoire spans most music genres, from capricious preludes and fugues to jazz inspired pieces.
Organ music has even ventured into alternative rock. The Swedish organist Anna von Hausswolff, for example, creates a magical effect in a contemporary style with drum kit, electric guitars and all.
Other than church, the organ is often perceived as belonging in horror movies. This is the legacy of Hollywood productions of the early 20th century. The Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (BWV 565) by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) frequently suffers this association. For some, this music now conjures up the cliche of the haunted castle in moonlight. Outside, werewolves howl. Inside, in a cavernous, smoke-filled room, the petrifying silhouette of a blood-thirsty Count Dracula performs a Transylvanian polytonal death march on a three-manual organ (one with three rows of keyboards).
Yet the organ is capable of producing some of the most celestial and soothing harmonies, as well as triumphant proclamations.

Durable and complex

As long as organs have existed - 500 years - composers have been writing for them, in every conceivable style.
A well built pipe organ is an exceptionally durable instrument, unlike the electronic and digital versions. With biannual tuning, regular maintenance and re-leathering every 50 years, it could last for centuries. This work gets done by a number of pipe organ builders around the world.
The world's oldest functioning and playable organ is in the Basilica of Valère in Sion, Switzerland. This astonishing instrument dates from about 1435. This instrument would have been brought to Valère at the expense of Guillaume de Rarogne, a powerful figure who ended up as the bishop of Sion. It still has most of its original case and a few pipes. The rest have been replaced or altered in restorations, the most recent in 1954.
Until the Industrial Revolution, the organ and the clock were the world's two most intricate and complex human-made artefacts.
Looking at the front of a pipe organ, one sees only the relatively small number of pipes in the façade. The bulk of the pipework is usually found behind this decorative part. For instance, the world's largest organ, in the Boardwalk Hall Auditorium in Atlantic City, New Jersey (USA), has 33,114 pipes, only a few of them in the façade. Some façade pipes are only there for aesthetic effect and are referred to as "dummies". Pipes are generally made from an alloy of tin and lead.

Range of sounds

A common misconception is that the organ is only capable of playing loudly. It can easily be played more softly by using "Venetian swell shutters". These are separate boxes of pipes, opened and closed by a pedal to decrease the volume. The organ can also play quietly by employing fewer registers or "stops".
The stops are used to stop the air from flowing through the pipes. As explained by the organ specialist website Nazard, "The stops are part of the action that controls which pipes are allowed to speak and which are to remain silent."
Conversely, by "pulling out all the stops", one can increase the volume. This technique of manipulating sound debunks the notion that the organ's sonic properties are expressionless in comparison to those of the early piano, the pianoforte.
People sometimes ask whether only old people play the organ. Definitely not. Many organists start learning while very young.
It helps if their feet can reach the pedal board. Any performer needs to use the feet as a "third hand". These pedals are usually to produce the low-pitched notes.
So, the next time you see or hear a pipe organ, remember that this instrument is more than a box of whistles high up in a dusty loft. And please don't mention Count Dracula.

Dating from around 1400, the pipe organ in the Valère Castle (or Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral Notre Dame), Sion, Switzerland, is widely believed to be the oldest still-playing pipe organ in the world. The Freiburg painter Peter Maggenberg decorated the folding doors between 1434-1437.

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office