The Third Sunday In Lent
March 15, 2020

7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. Said Mass Rite I

Nursery Available from 8:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

9:00 a.m. Sung Mass
11:00 a.m. Solemn High Mass

Join us for fellowship in Wheeler Hall
after each Mass.
Cristo y la samaritana, Duccio di Buoninsegna,
1310 – 1311, Temple y oro sobre tabla,
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Got questions?
How can these things be ?”
    - Nicodemus; John 3:9
Where do you get that living water ?”
    - The Samaritan woman-at-the-well; John 4:11
“… we have heard for ourselves,
      and we know that this is truly
      the Savior of the world .” 
          - Samaritan townspeople; John 4:42

Dear people of Ascension,
    We encounter them, every three years, as they encounter Jesus:
 ✢ Nicodemus, ‘a leader of the Jews.’
 ✢ An unnamed Samaritan woman (the “woman at the well’).
 ✢ An unnamed blind man.
 ✢ Lazarus, and his sisters.
    Their stories, uniquely lengthy and personal, comprise the appointed readings from the Gospel of John for the second through fifth Sundays in Lent this year. Their thoughts, emotions, cares and motives are illuminated for us by ‘ the true light, which enlightens everyone .’ (John 1:9)
    All four of these stories include questions, and all include these words: “ Jesus answered …” Hmm. Get this: of the 56 times in all four gospels that “ Jesus answered…” 39 are found in the Gospel of John – more than twice as many times as in all other gospels combined.
    The gospel writer clearly wants us to see and know that Jesus is The Answer, definitively, cosmically. The author also tells these stories to compel our look at and questions about our own thoughts, emotions, cares and motives. I wonder: If John had included your story or mine in his gospel, what would our questions have been? How might Jesus have answered?
The painting depicts the encounter that we will hear in the coming Sunday’s gospel, of the Samaritan woman with Jesus at the well. It is one in a larger series sometimes called the Jesus Mafa Project. The collection represents a 1970s endeavor by Christian artists of the Mafa peoples of Camaroon to create more culturally meaningful images from the gospels.

With regard to the Covid-19 virus and our responses …
Yesterday I solicited counsel from our Wardens, Vestry members and a number of other parish lay leaders. A few suggested that any new precautionary measures only feed into and foment hysteria. Others suggested extreme sanitizing and other new safety measures. For now I feel that we continue to keep to the most viable possible middle ground.
Later today I will be on a related call with Bishop Lee and other Deans from throughout our diocese. I don’t yet know exactly what will be covered in the call. It may be that the bishop will ask us to follow the lead of other ecclesiastical leaders by withholding the chalice from the People for now.
Present responses and protocols specific to Ascension are linked from the home page on our website and may be viewed by clicking here. These will be updated as the Wardens and I feel may be appropriate and/or as directed by Bishop Lee.
Please pray , and consider praying for people and concerns that may not at first come to mind – not only those who have died and fallen ill but those whose livelihoods are already being affected and those whose work requires constant public contact, researchers, your own relatives or neighbors who live alone, and needs as you alone may see them.
Upcoming Confirmations and Baptisms
Confirmation preparation will get underway beginning Sunday, March 22 , anticipating Confirmations during Bishop Lee’s Ascension Day Visitation, May 21.  Seminarian David Knox has developed a series of presentations and conversations arising from the Catechism in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer (pp. 845-862). Classes will meet 9:45-10:45 a.m. in the parish library each Sunday from March 22-April 17, except for Easter Day (April 12). Please read the letter and additional information from David from the February 12 newsletter here . And please contact David as soon as possible with questions and to join the several souls who have already indicated interest.
Thanks be to God! One adult newcomer has inquired about baptism at the Easter Vigil, Saturday evening, April 11. Other possible baptism dates before summer include Ascension Day, May 21 (7pm Solemn High Mass, Bishop’s Visitation) and the Feast of Pentecost, Sunday, May 31 (could baptize at 9am or 11am). Please contact me or any other member of our parish clergy if interested.
Your Wardens and Vestry Members join me in inviting all interested Ascension members to share in wide-ranging conversation about our parish’s identity and mission, to be included in the Vestry’s Saturday, March 21, meeting, 1:00 p.m. in the parish library. I’ll provide further information next week but am informing you now of the time, place and focus. Hope you’ll plan to join us.
I am Patrick is the name of a docu-drama brought to my attention by Ascensionite Richard Laibly. The film will show at a number of theaters, locally and beyond, on March 17-18 only. Click here to view the film’s dedicated website, find movie times and places, see a trailer, and more.
Clare writes: The late medieval Church restricted women from priesthood, the altar, and other sacred spaces; women's devotion and spirituality was lived out in the home and the convent. In private, practices of imagination and image flourished: women developed elaborate meditations and artistic practices that brought them close to the Body of Christ and the Virgin Mother. This presentation will grapple with the centrality of image to early women's spiritual practices, before leading listeners in a brief Lenten image meditation and discussion exploring the gendered life of imagination, icons and iconoclasm.

Clare Kemmerer is a fourth-year undergraduate at the University of Chicago, where she studies Art History & Religious Studies. Her research focuses on the visual culture of medieval convents, with a particular emphasis on private devotional practices, textiles, and the socio-political climate of the Lueneberg Heath.
All programs take place in St. Michael Hall and
begin with a simple soup lunch at 12:45 p.m.
Sunday, March 22, the Fourth Sunday in Lent …
Following their attendance at the Ministry for the Common Good conference, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, Kelly Colomberti, Marlea Edinger and Cheryl Peterson were inspired to compile a Lenten Devotional Booklet for the Ascension Congregation. The hope is that the devotions will inspire a new spirit of connection between the Ascension and its urban Chicago neighborhood. Copies of the booklet may be found in the Narthex. You may also find the booklet here.

A Lenten Retreat is being offered at Church of the Atonement, Chicago, on
March 14 (Saturday) - Praying with John Donne and George Herbert
(Dr. Barbara Newman)
The Retreat starts at 11:00 a.m. If you are interested in attending, please contact by 9:00 a.m. on Friday, March 13th

Wednesday, March 11
Lenten Feria
Evening Prayer, 6:10 p.m.
Said Mass, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 14
Lenten Feria
Morning Prayer, 9:30 a.m.
Healing Mass, 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, March 18
Commemoration of Saint Joseph
Evening Prayer, 6:10 p.m.
Said Mass, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 25
The Annunciation of Our Lord
Evening Prayer, 6:10 p.m.
Said Mass, 6:30 p.m.

During the months of February and March the Ascension Book group is reading East of Eden (1952) by John Steinbeck (1902-1968). East of Eden is the sweeping tale of two families, the Hamilton and the Trask families. In his journal Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book”, and it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of the two families whose several generations reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. This is both a family saga and a modern retelling of the Book of Genesis. The Ascension Book group will meet to discuss Parts Three and Four of East of Eden in Wheeler Hall on Sunday, April 5 at 1:00 p.m. after the coffee hour. Refreshments will be provided. For any questions, please contact Ken Kelling at (773) 853-2337.
John Steinbeck: East of Eden
Penguin Books ISBN 978-0142004234

The schedule of Sunday Readings, Celebrants, Preachers, Lectors, Acolytes, Ushers, Hymnody, Choral and Organ Repertoire for  Sunday, March 15, 2020   may be found by clicking here . More information on the Choral repertoire  may be found by clicking here . The Clergy Rota  for this week's and upcoming masses  may be found here .

Please remember these people in your daily prayers
Geoffrey Wainwright, Charley Taylor, August 'Augie' Alonzo, Ted Long, Jim Berger, Ethel Martin, Yuka Asai, Dean Pineda, Carnola Malone, Charlene MacDougal, Jack Johnston, Patricia Johnston, Stewart Marks, Char Yurema, Bob Sparacio, Canon Edgar Wells, Nicholas Carl, Joshua, Ellie, Catriana Patriarca, Carmen Castro, Mary Drell, Jim Lo Bello, Judy Cook, Steve Waltz, Lillian Alexander, John Mulcare, Mary Lou Devens, Ted Jennings

During this time of transition , the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Chicago asks for prayers for the church, our diocese, our clergy and lay leaders, our retiring bishop, and those who may be discerning a call to become the Thirteenth Bishop of Chicago.

P rayers for the departed
Chris Marston, uncle of John West

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.
An admittedly somber (dismal?) offering below, but not altogether off the mark for Lent I suppose. In any case, a glance at the clock just now informs me that it’s later than I thought!   pr+
   It Is Later Than You Think
                     by Robert Service

Lone amid the café’s cheer,
Sad of heart am I to-night;
Dolefully I drink my beer,
But no single line I write.
There’s the wretched rent to pay,
Yet I glower at pen and ink:
Oh, inspire me, Muse, I pray,
It is later than you think!

Hello! there’s a pregnant phrase.
Bravo! let me write it down;
Hold it with a hopeful gaze,
Gauge it with a fretful frown;
Tune it to my lyric lyre ...   
Ah! upon starvation’s brink,
How the words are dark and dire:
It is later than you think.

Weigh them well .... Behold yon band,
Students drinking by the door,
Madly merry,  bock  in hand,
Saucers stacked to mark their score.
Get you gone, you jolly scamps;
Let your parting glasses clink;
Seek your long neglected lamps:
It is later than you think.

Look again: yon dainty blonde,
All allure and golden grace,
Oh so willing to respond
Should you turn a smiling face.
Play your part, poor pretty doll;
Feast and frolic, pose and prink;
There’s the Morgue to end it all,
And it’s later than you think.

Yon’s a playwright — mark his face,
Puffed and purple, tense and tired;
Pasha-like he holds his place,
Hated, envied and admired.
How you gobble life, my friend;
Wine, and woman soft and pink!
Well, each tether has its end:
Sir, it’s later than you think.

See yon living scarecrow pass
With a wild and wolfish stare
At each empty absinthe glass,
As if he saw Heaven there.
Poor damned wretch, to end your pain
There is still the Greater Drink.
Yonder waits the sanguine Seine ...
It is later than you think.

Lastly, you who read; aye, you
Who this very line may scan:
Think of all you planned to do ...   
Have you done the best you can?
See! the tavern lights are low;
Black’s the night, and how you shrink!
God! and is it time to go?
Ah! the clock is always slow;
It is later than you think;
Sadly later than you think;
Far, far later than you think.

    from The Best of Robert Service (1953)
Tavern Scene, the Brunswick Monogramist, ca. 1540, Staatliche Museen, Berlin
The Very Rev. Patrick Raymond, Rector

Susan Schlough, Treasurer

Br. Nathanael Deward Rahm BSG, Parish Office