Dear People of Ascension.

It’s ten days prior to publication of this piece, as I sit and reflect. Aside from the scriptures of the day I’m writing for, my most immediate reference material is Mother Liz’s heartfelt message of Sunday May 29, in which she shared both pain and wisdom in the aftermath of unfathomable back-to-back tragedies in Buffalo and Uvalde. Yesterday, in Tulsa Oklahoma, there was another horrific slaughter in a hospital – the twentieth mass shooting since Uvalde. Twenty. In about a week. The two hundred and twenty-third this year – and it occurred on the 101st anniversary of one of the worst episodes of racial violence in our nation’s history. Our nation. What does that even mean anymore?

I started trying to draw comfort and strength from today’s portion of Paul’s letter to the Romans. But I confess that suffering being what produces endurance wasn’t very helpful. Maybe another time. I’m not even sure how I feel, in this moment, about the notion of hope not disappointing us. The only thing that seems at all helpful in this passage, at this time in the life of the world, is the part about God’s love being poured into our hearts. Because, while it’s really difficult to even imagine helpful action steps, let alone the coming together of opposing socio-political camps, I feel most certain that the best of what we hope to bring about, must indeed proceed from hearts that are full of God’s love and, even more, a cultivated awareness and acceptance of that love.

That cultivation is like prayer. It happens in many and various ways. All kinds of decisions, day to day. Choices, about how to spend time, energy, money, etc. I sometimes feel that the powers and principalities of this world prefer us to be overwhelmed into non-action. But we don’t have to be. Learning and leaning in can help.

And there’s more – for heart and hope.

LEANING INTO DARKNESS by Velma Frye and Macrina Wiederkehr

Draw me into the depths.
Take me down to the holy darkness to Love’s roots.
I lean into that darkness,
The darkness that surrounds me,
This nurturing room for my restless spirit.
Let me borrow your eyes, Beloved.
Then I shall see in the dark, though for answers I do not look.
It is enough to wait,
To wait in the holy darkness,
This nurturing womb for Love’s yearning.
Listening to the sound of silence,
And leaning into the song of darkness, I wait for You.
Waiting with purpose for who I will become,
Waiting without agenda for things I cannot change,
I become one with the One I love,
For I have seen too many stars,
Too many stars to let the darkness overwhelm me.
I keep vigil:
with my heart’s eternal questions, and with my deep longings.
with those places in my being where the light has grown dim.
with those whose hearts are tired, & with those whose hope is lost.
for those who sleep and for those who cannot rest.
for those with fearful hearts, and for those whose hearts are angry.
for those whose courage is waning and for those whose strength is growing.
for those who suffer, and for those who keep vigil.
I keep vigil. I keep vigil. I keep vigil. I keep vigil,
For I have seen too many stars,
Too many stars to let the darkness overwhelm me
How to Watch Our Live Stream Services
Zoom Services are discontinued as of this Sunday.
You can still join us online at the link below.
Since the majority of online parishioners access our services via our Local Live link, and since our Zoom host has graduated NYU and returning to Arkansas, we are replacing the Zoom Sunday service with the Local Live livestream.
Sunday coffee hour and Evening Prayer will still continue on Zoom.
How to Watch Our On Line Services
From your computer, laptop, pad, smart phone, or other device, click this link:

After the service (approximately 12:30), join our online Coffee Hour at:
Looking Ahead:
Summer Service Time Changes
Summer Service Changes- July and August- Starting on Sunday, July 3 and continuing through Sunday, September 4, Ascension will have only one Sunday morning service which will be at 10 am in the church. We will not move into the parish hall this year. This is so we can still include those who worship with us via livestream and be at least a little cooler in the hot months. We also look forward to the opportunity to bring folks who worship at 11 together with those who normally attend the 9 am, as well as continuing our outdoor coffee hours in our summer garden.

The Sunday evening service will continue as usual at 6 pm every week except June 26, when the Pride parade makes getting into the church (to say nothing of sitting in contemplative silence) nearly impossible.
How to Add Prayer Requests Online for Sunday Service - Go to and type in your prayer request. Be sure to add them before the end of the sermon.
Please join us for Coffee Hour after the service!

Please join us for coffee hour in in the front garden (weather permitting.)
If you watched us via Zoom, then just remain online (or grab a cup of coffee first!) If you watched via the webcast, grab that coffee and click the link.

A Prayer for Spiritual Communion

If you are attending any of our services online, we invite you to use this prayer at communion.

In union, O Lord, with your faithful people at every altar of your Church, where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I desire to offer to you praise and thanksgiving. I remember your death, Lord Christ; I proclaim your resurrection; I await your coming in glory. Since I cannot receive you today in the Sacrament of your Body and Blood, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. Cleanse and strengthen me with your grace, Lord Jesus, and let me never be separated from you. May I live in you, and you in me, in this life and in the life to come. Amen.
Regular Service Schedule

9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist (Side Altar)
11:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist w/ Music
(Church & Livestream)
(10:00 am from 7/3--9/4)
6:00 p.m. Meditation & Sacrament (Church)

6:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist (Church)
Evening Prayer Every Weekday Evening
via Zoom

Join us each weeknight at 5:30
for Evening Prayer & discussion.

Click this link to join:
To call in (voice, no camera), dial 929-205-6099; the meeting ID is 770 597 201.
Open Church Schedule
Open Church - Mondays through Fridays, Noon to 3pm. If you would like to volunteer for this ministry, please contact Gretchen Dumler or contact the church office ( or 212-254-8620
Safety Protocols for indoors services:
Masks must be worn at all times while indoors
Vaccination is strongly encouraged.
Everyone serving at the altar, choir members, and all volunteers are required to be vaccinated.
The Rector is on sabbatical from June 6 through July 5. For all pastoral needs, please contact Fr. Ed ( or Mother Posey (, or call the church office at 212-254-8620
Women’s Spirituality Group, Thursday, June 9; 6:30pm - Those who identify as women, of all ages and stages of life are invited to participate in this monthly roundtable of topics spiritual and worldly. This month, we will discuss women in the Bible. We will gather on Thursday, June 9 at 6:30 via zoom. Interested? Contact Shana Kaplanov ( to be added to our email list.
Stacey Carpenter joins us this Sunday as our Deacon and preacher. Come hear her and welcome her home!
Our Pantry Needs Volunteers - Since March 2020 our pantry program has enjoyed the robust participation of highly committed volunteers. We anticipate this will remain the case for the foreseeable future. Could you spare a couple of hours that morning? We begin at 8am and work until around 9:45am. Please consider joining us. It’s a very enjoyable and fulfilling time of service and fellowship. If you are feeling moved to join us, or have any questions, please let Fr. Ed know. (
Many thanks! 
Helping Ukraine - Here are two ways you can help with the crisis in Ukraine:

Support the Parish! Please check us out at to find out how easy and secure it is to give, whether to the offering plate, in honor or memoriam of a loved one, or for paying your pledge to support Ascension.

Our parish can only continue its mission and ministry because of the generosity of parishioners, visitors, and friends of the parish and we are working hard to make our online giving as easy and seamless as possible. (If you experience any issues with giving online, please email

You can pledge online at or by downloading the Abundant app for iOS or Android. When donating, please choose whichever purpose you intend for your contribution. These categories change as we update them during the year:
  • Offering Plate
  • Stewardship Pledge
  • Altar Flowers
  • Rector's Fund
  • Memorial Gift
  • Haiti Project
New! Electronic Credit Card Receipts - Do you pay your pledge with your credit card? If so, you will now be receiving a receipt from the bookkeeper via email or text message on your phone. This is not spam or phishing. If you have any questions, please call the church office at 212-254-8620
Cyber Attack Alerts!

The news has reported heightened security alerts for possible computer hacks from Russia. For your personal systems and accounts, the absolute best protection falls to you. Here are some excellent ways you can secure your systems:

  • Create strong passwords (10 to 15 characters, containing upper & lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.)
  • Use separate passwords for each account.
  • Use two-factor authentification on all your accounts.

Please know, the parish leadership will never ask you to send money or purchase gift cards to help out in a need.

If you received a phishing message, do not reply, just delete it or move it to your spam folder.

How to recognize Phishing –The first thing you’ll notice is that it doesn’t “sound” like the person you know. Their phrasing and choice of words are just a little “off”. Second, if you look closely at the sender’s actual email address or phone number it will be something strange and will not be any contact information you know for this person. What to do? The most important thing is do not reply. The best thing to do is to delete it or move it to your junk/spam folder. If you receive a Phishing text or email feel free to let the parish administrator know (212-254-8620 or Check out for more tips.
Monday Evening Lectionary Bible Study -- Join us Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. This is an opportunity to read and discuss the readings for the upcoming Sunday. If you are interested in joining, please contact Sibyl Piccone.
This Week at Ascension
Anyone entering the church must wear a mask. Please utilize the hand sanitizer stations.
Sunday – June 12- Trinity Sunday
Holy Eucharist (Side Altar) 9:00 a.m.
Festal Eucharist w/ Music; (Church & Live Stream) 11:00 a.m.
In person and online ( 
Join us for Coffee Hour following the Service 
Meditation & Sacrament (Church) 6:00 p.m.

Monday – June 13
Church and Parish Office closed for Memorial Day
Lectionary Bible Study (Zoom) 6:30 p.m. If interested, please contact Sibyl Piccone
Finance Committee (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday – June 14
Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday –June 15
Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Holy Eucharist (Church) 6:00 p.m.
Vestry (Zoom) 6:45 p.m.

Thursday –June 16
Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Racial Justice Discussion Group (Z00m) 6:30 p.m.

Friday – June 17
Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – June 18
Food Panty (12 West 11th St.) 8:30 a.m.
The Food Pantry meets the 1st & 3rd Saturdays of the month. For assistance or to volunteer, please contact Fr. Ed at ( 

Sunday – June 19
Holy Eucharist (Side Altar) 9:00 a.m.
Festal Eucharist w/ Music; (Church & Live Stream) 11:00 a.m.
In person and online ( 
Join us for Coffee Hour following the Service 
Meditation & Sacrament (Church) 6:00 p.m.

If you need information to connect to one of our Zoom events please call the church office at 212-254-8620 or email us at
Contact us
The Church of the Ascension -- Fifth Avenue and Tenth Street
212-254-8620 | |