Weekly Ascension Schedule
for the (stay-at-home) time being

8:30 a.m. Morning Prayer via Zoom
9:00 a.m. Mass via Facebook LIVE
10:15 a.m. Scripture reflection via Zoom
See text below for May 10
11:00 a.m. Virtual Coffee Hour via Zoom

6:10 p.m. Evening Prayer via Zoom

6:30 p.m. Low Mass via Facebook LIVE
Today, 5/6: Wednesday in Week of Easter 4

Note: The Thursday Noon conversations are being suspended for now.
Dear friends,

The Ascension Choir that you normally see and hear each week is a tight-knit group of professionals. They make the majority or entirety of their livelihoods from musical endeavors.

During this time of shelter-in-place, our choir members have lost some or all of their employment and income. Given the inherent dangers of communal singing in the midst of a pandemic, they aren’t sure when their normal lives will resume, if ever. A number of our singers, for instance, have regularly performed with the Ravinia Festival and/or Grant Park Music Festival. Both have been entirely canceled for the summer of 2020.

When COVID first appeared in the news, I had every expectation that we would be careful and it would pass. Of course, every week, and sometimes more often, we receive new information, often presenting more and new challenges. We went from concerns about the common cup one week to a complete shutdown the next. To say that this has disrupted our routine is an almost comical understatement.

It is my hope that we -- choir and congregation -- will find ways to assemble before long. Until then I intend to share a regular column for TWAA. My aim will be to pass along stories, recordings, and interviews to keep us in virtual contact.

If there is something specific that you would like to see or hear, let me know. I’ll do my best to oblige. In the meantime, I hope you are staying safe and healthy.


PS A best way to keep in touch with me at this time is by way of my Ascension email . Feel free to contact me.
" How long, O Lord ?"

Dear people of Ascension,

Today's message from our Choirmaster is timely and emblematic ... and saddening. Some of you will have already come across articles suggesting that singing, and singing in groups, increases the risk of virus transmission. It's only one of the many features of life together in the church that will have to be addressed before we again gather together here at LaSalle and Elm.

Yesterday, Governor Pritzker released Restore Illinois: A Public Health Approach to Safely Reopen Our State . Bishop Lee has consistently indicated his resolve to comply with the state's guidance in these matters. (I share his view and commitment.) In a mid-day Zoom call today (Wednesday), the bishop announced further steps in the formation of a diocesan task force to provide uniform guidance and protocols for the re-opening of churches. Although the governor's new guidance allows for gatherings in churches of not more than 10 persons, the bishop has asked that we continue to refrain from all gatherings until his task force issues its own corresponding report and guidance. He asked us to be patient: " It may be sooner, but please don't expect anything until the end of May."

Translating the governor's and bishop's guidance into our own parochial circumstances will require our own dedicated leadership, reviews and changes. I'm grateful that the Wardens and Vestry members were already anticipating this at our April 25 Vestry meeting. We will be forming our own task force soon, and I welcome your thoughts as we prepare to form it.

Meanwhile, thank you for your patience, your virtual participation and your prayers.

Fr. Raymond +

PS Feel free to send me an email to share your thoughts, ask a question or check in. I’ll do my best to get back to you timely … and with gratitude. Share a best number if you’d prefer a phone conversation to email.

Many resources related to Covid-19 responses are being compiled and regularly updated on the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago website . I can also provide you with a link to any of the bishop's weekly Zoom conversations with/for clergy and parish leaders ... although today's conversation has yet to be posted.

Also on the music front, I'm grateful that David White i s offering some music recorded on Ascension's Schlicker-Schrader pipe organ. The offering for Sunday, May 3, included works of Dupre and de Grigny and may be found at our Facebook page here. The offering for Sunday, May 10, will feature David's own Fantasy, Toccata, and Fugue on Marian Themes and other works. Look for it by mid-day Sunday at our Facebook and/or YouTube accounts.
Helena Mae Wilson , mother of parishioner Jim Wilson, died this past Sunday afternoon at Jim's apartment here in Chicago. We've been praying for Helena during various seasons over the past few years. Jim recently moved her to Chicago to provide more personal care. Pray for the repose of Helena's soul and for Jim and family at this time. I was able to offer (yes, virtual) Last Rites for Helena with Jim following her death. Plans for any memorial service are pending and will likely take place at Helena's church in Olympia, Washington.
Happy 90th Birthday to Burton Nelson! Thanks to Ken Kelling and others Ken organized, Burton was serenaded, greeting and gifted (all at a distance) outside his apartment at Greenview Place, on West Melrose Street. Burton's birthday was last Friday, May 1.

If we've been missing your birthday or anniversary or if you have directory update information, please send an email to parish administrator Br. Nathanael Rahm .

In last week's 'B&G' feature, I failed to mention a number of projects being tackled by our Sexton, George Panice. He's presently working on a significant overhaul of our garden automatic sprinkler system ...
Sunday, May 10
+ A live-streamed mass at 9:00 a.m . that may be viewed at our Facebook page will be the norm for at least the next few weeks.

+ Scripture Reflection via Zoom at 10:15 a.m. From the lectionary:

+ The Virtual Coffee Hour at 11:00 a.m . could be described as an Online Wheeler Hall. Just as we have differing motives for going to coffee hour at the church, and just as we may mostly observe or actively participate there, so it has been with our virtual coffee hour the past two weeks. It’s a free-for-all, but I do moderate and do my best to give everyone who shows up a chance to speak if they wish.
Evening Prayer via Zoom
Mondays-Fridays, 6:10 p.m.
Please note the addition of
Evening Prayer on Fridays!
Wednesday Evening Mass

+ A live-streamed mass at 6:30 p.m . that may be viewed at our Facebook page .

Christus Rex , Ely Cathedral
New & Improved

This just in from Verger and Tech Maestra Mary Beth Hwang. It's a lot of detail, so slow down if you wish to better connect to others at Ascension via Zoom, or speed up if you don't want all of the detail now.

Now that we have upgraded to a paid Zoom account, anyone with a telephone can participate in Zoom meetings -- no Internet access needed!
There are two main ways a phone can help. First, if you have a phone but no Internet access, you can dial in to the meeting to participate via audio, much as you would for a traditional conference call. You won't be able to see video, of course, but you'll be able to hear people speak and be heard when you speak. Here's how:
1. Dial (312)626-6799 on your phone.
2. You will be prompted to input the meeting number and press # when done: 7920317452#
3. The system will ask for a participant ID: just ignore this, but press #. 
4. Finally, you will be asked for the meeting password: 1133#.
A phone can also help if you have a computer with Internet access but no microphone. If you are able to connect to Zoom on your computer, even if you don't have video, you can go ahead and do so to enjoy the functionality of Zoom's computer-based app. Once you have connected on the computer, you can choose "Join with Phone Audio" when prompted for audio (or click the headset/microphone icon) to use your phone as your microphone. The Zoom app will tell you what to dial: it should be very similar to the above, except that you'll input a Participant ID so that Zoom knows it's the same person on the app and on the phone.   For a detailed explanation, see this page.
Phone access to Zoom can also be helpful when you are traveling or when you do not have network access on your mobile device. There are local numbers for various locations in the United States, and even some toll numbers for those who might wish to connect while traveling abroad.
Here is the most commonly used information for connecting to our Ascension Zoom meetings:
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 792 031 7452
Password: 1133
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,7920317452#,,1#,1133# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location
       +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
       +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
       +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
       +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
       +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
       +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
       +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 792 031 7452
Password: 1133
Find your local number:  https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdrnl1LGzg
And, believe it or not, more ZOOM
Junior Warden Cheryl Peterson, who successfully hosted a 'Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings' gathering via Zoom earlier today, suggests these YouTube tutorials for those new to Zoom ...

Cheryl adds these remarks:

"Here are the videos that I found most helpful. I had only watched the first one when I joined Zoom for the first time. I have watched the others today. I like that Marcia speaks and moves slowly. Some folks might not know some language (i.e. basic computer terms like apps, cursor, window, etc.) but the jargon is minimal. Playing the video twice or three times allows for incremental learning if everything doesn't gel the first time." 
Please give generously as you are able.
Treasurer Susan Schlough has asked me to remind you of Ascension's ongoing expenses at this time. To the extent that you are able, payment on your pledges or the offering of Holy Day or other special gifts will be greatly appreciated. You may still write a check and mail it to the church, or online payment is possible through the buttons at various places on our website. Thank you!
For our prayers: Charley Taylor, August 'Augie' Alonzo, Jim Berger, Ethel Martin, Yuka Asai, Dean Pineda, Carnola Malone, Charlene MacDougal, Jack Johnston, Patricia Johnston, Stewart Marks, Char Yurema, Joshua, Ellie, Mary Drell, Jim Lo Bello, Steve Waltz, Mary Lou Devens, Marty Stenson, Donna Neglia, John Brower, Choy Jimenez, Steve, Peter Bergman, Catriana Patriarca, Noah and Clem.
Recent/Upcoming Birthdays/Anniversaries : Burton Nelson, 5/1; Maggie Zellers, 5/1; Anabel Finch, 5/2/2014, Robert Browning, 5/3; James Caldwell, 5/3; Claudia Vargas, 5/9; Jenna Jones 5/10; Luiza Kallembach, 5/11; Janis Anfosi, 5/13; Robert Sheridan, 5/16; Essie Echols, 5/16; Michael Clark Sr. 5/18; Carter Luery, 5/19; Dana Luery, 5/19; Kimberly Milano, 5/27; Katherine Beeken, 5/28; Jennifer Lord, 5/28; LaVerne Rollé Saunders, 5/30
Prayers for the departed :
All who have died due to complications of COVID-19, including
Herman Carrillo (and his bereaved husband Denis vanEngelsdorp)
Herman Rivera (uncle of Benjamin Rivera)
Emily Hoffman (grandmother of Elma Ling Hoffman)
Phyllis Bergman (friend of Louise Gram)
Maat Brower (and family)
Terra (cousin of James Robinson)
Rajeev Rao
Helena Wilson (mother of Jim Wilson)

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.

Forward Day by Day

The May-June-July 2020 edition of Forward Day by Day has been delivered to the church. If you'd like to receive a copy at home, please send an email to Br. Nathanael Rahm (working remotely from his home) and we will figure out how to get it to you.
I'm grateful that parishioner Carol Norén recently shared with me her discovery of a "Hymn/Prayer for during an epidemic (listed as such in Den Svenska Psalmboken 1819 ), by Christoffer Dahl (1758-1809), theology professor at Uppsala University." Carol also shared her own beautiful and meaningful translation, below. - Fr. Raymond +
Almighty God, you have dominion over life and death. We beseech you, let us not all be destroyed. Hear our cry and look upon the needs of the sick, the dying, and one another: so many we cannot number them. You who are our aid, turn away this plague.

Keep us in your care, you who love what you have created, and give comfort and strength to those whom you chasten. You who are father to the fatherless, the refuge and defender of widows, soothe the stricken and the suffering; lighten the heart of the oppressed.

Merciful God, let your consolation never be taken from the afflicted. Make us content in your will, and prepare us with your Word. Let us run our course with patience and hope, and finally, with sin’s contagion washed away, take us to abide in your arms forever, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Image below: Dream of John the Watchmaker , 1983, etching and drypoint, Dušan Kállay (Slovak, b. 1948), 
The Very Rev. Patrick Raymond, Rector

Susan Schlough, Treasurer

Br. Nathanael Deward Rahm BSG, Parish Office