The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 22nd
The letter V depicting the Prophet Amos,
miniature from the Bible of Souvigny, 12th cent.

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 18, 2019

From David Knox
From the Rector
Kuni runs Chicago Half Marathon
Upcoming Commemorations
Third Saturday Rosary
From the Dio. Convention Nominations Committee
COA participating in Open House Chicago
Ascension Book Group
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word


I am happy to be back in the Ascension family for this academic year. Ascension was my church home from 1991 to 2000, from the time I graduated from Wheaton College, through medical school at UIC and residency and Cook County Hospital.

I have been living in Mattoon-Charleston in Central Illinois, and working as a  pediatrician with the Carle healthcare organization. My home parish is Trinity Episcopal Church, Mattoon, Illinois, Diocese of Springfield.

In 2015 after several years of spiritual unrest, after a period of intense personal discernment, I perceived the Lord's call to prepare for ministry as a priest in the Episcopal church. With the support of my priest and my parish, and the approval of my bishop, I enrolled at Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Fall 2018, for a 3 year course of study towards an M. Div. degree, and the necessary accompanying formation.

Part of that formation is a Supervised Practice of Ministry (SPM) which is what brings me to Ascension for this year. The purpose is to come alongside a mentor (Father Raymond) and learn-by-doing the work of a parish priest: preaching, teaching, pastoral care, governance (vestry), and time management. Much as my patients taught me and trained me, I hope the Ascension family will contribute in a significant way to the type of minister God is preparing me to be.

I want to serve you in any way that I can. I will mostly be available on Sundays. My special interests are preaching, discipleship and spiritual growth, and Christian family life across the life span. I look forward to getting to know each of you better. Please feel free to contact me. You can follow my Facebook page: My Heart's desire (@davidknoxMHD) or email me (, or text me (217-725-1361).


Fr. Raymond is away this week celebrating the life of his mother, Loisjean Raymond Simmons, with Brooke, his children and his siblings. A memorial service for his mother will take place over the weekend in California.

Fr. Raymond's sermon from Sunday, September 15th may be read here.


On Sunday, September 29, Kunitoshi 'Kuni' Sakai will take part in the Chicago Half Marathon & 5KRun.  He is inviting Ascension parishioners and friends to sponsor his run to raise money for our food pantry. One parish household has issued a $500 challenge commitment and will donate $1 for every $1 given by parishioners up to $500, in the hopes of raising at least $1000 for the pantry. Go Kuni!

Please sign up in Wheeler Hall, or write and mail or deliver a check with '5K/pantry' in the memo line, or send an email with information about your intended gift to .  100% of gifts will benefit the food pantry.


Please keep in prayers the Revs. Anna Broadbent and Shawn Evelyn, preparing for the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, in Los Angeles, on Friday, September 20.
Congratulations to Courtney (Walsh) and her husband Michael on their marriage. The couple is pictured here with their daughter, Jolene.
Jim Walsh, aka the proud Father of the Bride, escorts his daughter.


Wednesday, September 18th
Commemoration of Edward Bouverie P usey
6:10 p.m. Evening Prayer
6:30 p.m. Said Mass

Saturday, September 21st
St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
9:30 p.m. Morning Prayer
10:00 p.m. Healing Mass

The third-Saturday-of-the-month Rosary will be shared immediately following the 10:00 a.m. Mass for Healing this Saturday, September 21st.


The Nominations Committee for the 182nd Diocesan Convention is  encouraging clergy and members of their parishes to consider running for an elective office at the Convention: Standing Committee, Bishop and Trustees, or Deputy to the General Convention which will be in Baltimore June 30- July 9, 2021.  Nominations are due September 30, 2019.

Robert Purcell, a lay member at St. Philip's Palatine and a member of the committee, would be happy to answer any questions. You may contact him at 312 656-7462 (cell) or by email at

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 22, 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

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. 

During a recent visit to our cathedral, I was quite taken by the current art exhibit at St. James Commons. Below is the descriptive information About the artist and his work. I'm partly sharing it in hopes that some of you may have a chance to stop in and view it when you're in the area.
- Fr. Raymond +

The Work of Daniel Spencer
The Artist
Since he was seventeen years old, Daniel has been in prison for all but three years of his life. He is now 54. He has never been in a gallery or visited a museum. His only exposure to art has been a set of old encyclopedias in the prison library, as well as news stories seen on television. The library once had an art history book, but it was taken away because it contained nudes. Daniel has said that by recreating a painting by a master he gets to feel what they did when they were painting the original, that while working he feels as though he is in the same physical place where they were standing. In those moments he is no longer behind bars but is free. Daniel says that he spends as much time as is allowed looking at the image of the painting found in the library, trying to remember as much detail of it as possible, before going back to his cell and drawing and painting as quickly as possible before the memory fades. He does this as many times as necessary to get the painting finished.

Daniel's Department of Corrections number is 286106. It is written on his clothes, is on his nametag that must always be worn and visible. It is how he is "called out" to appointments, it is what the system has made him to be. Daniel's identification with the well-known painters whose work he emulates is a way for him to identify himself as an artist and not just as a prisoner or a number. The importance of this to him cannot be underestimated. It is what allows him to live a rather solitary life inside the prison. It is what gives him a reason for living and gives him a sense of self and personhood.

Before he came to his current prison, Daniel was in a maximum-security facility. At one point, while in solitary confinement for having started a fight with another inmate, his need to make art was so strong that he would rub soap on the walls of the cell and then draw on it with whatever implement he could improvise. He said that he had to do it, or he would have died.
The Artwork
One would imagine that a prison artist would render their paintings in the same colors that are found inside a prison: gray, off-white, and beige. Life on the inside is drab. The interiors of every space are the same as those found in factories and warehouses. On Daniel's unit, the clothing the men wear is either khaki or white. (They are issued two shirts, two pairs of trousers, four t-shirts, one sweatshirt, four pairs of briefs, four pairs of socks, white sneakers, and a jacket.) For Daniel to use such vibrant colors found in many of the works is a way for him to escape from the dreary surroundings in which he lives. He has no control over how anything appears in his real life so in his artistic life he doesn't hold back on utilizing every shade found on the color wheel. Fortunately, in the past couple of years his counselors have found ways to supply him with oil and tempura paints without running afoul of the many and ever changing rules of the prison.

Some of his work is done on "chip board," which he was able to salvage after completing a series of paintings in the chapel. The paints used on those he was able hide under his clothes and take back to his house. (The men refer to their cells as their "house" or "home.") If it weren't for the support of some of the correction officers, counselors, and the chaplain along with their ability to navigate the myriad rules of the prison, Daniel would never have been able to complete any of the work found in this show. He is grateful to them for their advocacy and encouragement over the years, which has allowed him to develop as an artist, thus giving purpose and meaning to his life.

A number the paintings found in the show are tributes to well-known works of art by famous painters. The recycled series that Danny created for this show are quite large. It was as though, knowing that they were going to be seen by people coming to the Cathedral, he was calling out, "Look! I am here! I exist!" Although he has been encouraged to draw or paint what he sees around him in prison, Daniel has resisted this because he doesn't want to make life on the inside more real than it is. He uses painting to escape and be free. When it was suggested to him that he draw a portrait of himself he replied, "How can I do that? We have no real mirrors. I don't know what I look like. I know I'm getting older, but I can't see myself age."

Daniel has rarely, if ever, signed his work. He says that the creation is what is important and not he; that the art comes through him and so therefore isn't really his. Once, when asked about what he wants more than anything else, he replied, "All I want is to disappear." His work as an artist helps him to do this; he disappears into the paintings. That is another of the reasons he rarely paints anything related to prison life. The painting of Algernon and the one of the man behind barbed wire are the only pieces in this show that express what it feels like to be imprisoned and powerless.

The cardboard on which the Recycled Series is painted are from pieces torn from boxes that were delivered to his unit. Over a period of weeks, he would fold the pieces up and surreptitiously carry them to his cell when officers supportive of his work were on duty. The paintings are reinforced in the back with pieces of tape that he collects while working in the prison library.

The newer officers, especially the cadets, are more likely to enforce the many prison rules. To have the cardboard in his cell is a violation of one of them. The officers who know him turn a blind eye. When the newer ones or cadets are on duty Daniel keeps an eye out for them and if they come down his corridor, he quickly folds the painting up and places it under his blankets so that it doesn't get confiscated.

The whimsical and humorous aspects of Daniel's personality are expressed in his use of use of cartoon characters and his construction of unique animals and beings many of which, over time, have taken on a life of their own. The brilliant-colored rabbit is named "SomeBunny" and has an entire cartoon series devoted to him that Daniel is in the process of creating. Some of his most imaginative work is with these characters that are found living within famous works of art, go on adventures in the outside world, and often dispense bits of wisdom. This is Daniel's true voice; the voice he doesn't use with the other prisoners or with the staff but is expressed through his work.

The constructions were made to fit into a business envelope. They are all created with found paper and were "cut out" by using a pencil and held together by gum, tape, or whatever sticky substance that could be found. The men are not allowed scissors or glue.

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office