Dear People of Ascension,

As we mark Indigenous People's Day this weekend, I offer you this wonderful poem by Joy Harjo, our Poet Laureate, for your reflection. May we consider what we need to do to heal ourselves in relation to our ancestors, those who come after us, the earth and all who share it with us. What do we already know? And what do we need to learn?



For Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in its Human Feet
- by Joy Harjo
Put down that bag of potato chips, that white bread, that bottle of pop.
Turn off that cellphone, computer, and remote control.
Open the door, then close it behind you.
Take a breath offered by friendly winds.
     They travel the earth gathering essences of plants to clean.
Give it back with gratitude.
If you sing it will give your spirit lift to fly to the stars’ ears and back.
Acknowledge this earth who has cared for you since you were
     a dream planting itself precisely within your parents’ desire.
Let your moccasin feet take you to the encampment of the guardians
     who have known you before time, who will be there after time.
     They sit before the fire that has been there without time.
Let the earth stabilize your postcolonial insecure jitters.
Be respectful of the small insects, birds and animal people who accompany you.
     Ask their forgiveness for the harm we humans have brought down upon them.
Don’t worry.
The heart knows the way though there may be high-rises,
     interstates, checkpoints, armed soldiers, massacres, wars,
     and those who will despise you because they despise themselves.
The journey might take you a few hours, a day, a year,
     a few years, a hundred, a thousand or even more.
Watch your mind.
     Without training it might run away and leave your heart for the
     immense human feast set by the thieves of time.
Do not hold regrets.
When you find your way to the circle, to the fire kept burning
     by the keepers of your soul, you will be welcomed.
You must clean yourself with cedar, sage, or other healing plant.
Cut the ties you have to failure and shame.
Let go the pain you are holding in your mind,
     your shoulders, your heart, all the way to your feet.
     Let go the pain of your ancestors to make way for those who are heading in our direction.
Ask for forgiveness.
Call upon the help of those who love you.
     These helpers take many forms: animal, element, bird, angel, saint, stone, or ancestor.
Call your spirit back.
     It may be caught in corners and creases of shame, judgment, and human abuse.
You must call in a way that your spirit will want to return.
Speak to it as you would to a beloved child.
Welcome your spirit back from its wandering.
     It may return in pieces, in tatters. Gather them together.
     They will be happy to be found after being lost for so long.
Your spirit will need to sleep awhile after it is bathed and given clean clothes.
Now you can have a party.
     Invite everyone you know who loves and supports you.
     Keep room for those who have no place else to go.
Make a giveaway, and remember, keep the speeches short.
Then, you must do this: help the next person find their way through the dark.
Services at Church of the Ascension
Join Us!
A Note About Prayers - For our Zoom participants, in order for us to collect your prayer intentions, please put them in the Zoom chat after the service has started and before the end of the sermon.
Sunday Services
Holy Eucharist - in the Church - 9:00 a.m.

Holy Eucharist with Music - in the Church - 11:00 a.m.
Iced tea and lemonade in the front garden following the service
Livestream Service via Zoom at 11:00 a.m.
How to join the livestream service:

From your computer, laptop, pad, smart phone, or other device, click this link:

If you do not have a device with a camera, you can still join with your phone by dialing the following number: 929-205-6099, and enter the meeting ID: 322 793 633.
Lights! Camera!... An Update on Livestreaming.
First off, a HUGE thank you to our interim tech team (Jacob Scott, Zennie Trieu, Eve Beglarian, and Steve Hubbard)! They have been invaluable in keeping us online while we wait for all the pieces to come together for our Local Live broadcasting. And thank you for your patience as we've worked through sound, logistics and wifi issues.

Here's where we are and where we're heading. The cabling is currently being installed. Once that's in place, the team from Local Live will install the cameras and show us what to do on our end. Then we should be good to go!
Weekday Services
Wednesday Evening Eucharist - in the Church; 6:00 p.m.
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.
Prayer & Meditation - Every Weekday starting at Noon
The Church is open for prayer and meditation every weekday; Monday through Friday, Noon to 3:00 p.m. Open Church will begin with Noonday Prayer, led by Brother Andrew, OSF.
Indigenous Peoples' Day - The Church and Parish Office will be closed on Monday, October 11, for Indigenous Peoples' Day.
harvest J Fisher
Harvest Dinner, Wednesday, October 27, 7 pm – You are invited to join us on Zoom this year for our virtual Harvest Dinner. The variants are just a little too much for us to work around for this historically close-contact affair. Instead, we will be following last year’s Ascension Dinner Theater format. Please join us for dinner (with food you’re your own kitchen). We will enjoy a thoughtful, enlightening and sometimes silly evening. 

Do you have a photo or two (or three) to share about your past year’s pandemic experience? Please send them to Rachel at This photo compilation was so popular last year - please contribute! Also, if you would like to share a limerick, please send it to Rachel.

We very much look forward to so much fun the night of October 27th. This will certainly be a not-to-miss affair!
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.
Next Racial Justice Group meeting Thursday, October 28 at 6:30 pm. For the next two months, we will read and discuss Clint Smith's How the Word is Passed: a Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America. In a review of the book earlier this year in the NY Times, Julian Lucas writes, "Gregarious, learned and engagingly open-minded, the book meets America where it is on the subject- which is to say, all over the place. Beginning in his hometown, New Orleans, Smith visits nine places that memorialize or distort their link to the legacy of slavery, from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello to the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan. He skillfully braids interviews with scholarship and personal observation, asking, 'How different might our country look if all of us fully understood what had happened here?'" Please join us for what will surely be a lively conversation! For October 28, please read the prologue and the first four chapters.
Support the Parish! Please check us out at to find out how easy and secure it is. Click the envelope on the right to go the Ascension Website for more information and to give, whether a one-time donation, pledge payment, or make a new pledge.

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 Abundant Giving, please email us at

A Note about Using Abundant Giving: When you donate and pledge through the Abundant Giving app or go through the website, you need to direct your donation to the correct category. There are multiple categories to choose from:
  • Offering Plate
  • Stewardship Pledge 2021
  • Rector's Fund
  • Memorial Gift
These categories change as we update categories during the year. (An example would be when we delete the Easter flowers category after Easter and add Christmas flowers for the weeks leading up to Christmas.)

To donate through your app or the website, click the link above. The next screen will prompt you: "How Much Do You Want To Give?" Next to that, is a drop-down list of categories. Offering plate is always listed first. Click on the little arrow and the list will appear. Click on which ever category you want your donation to be credited. It is important to identify which category you are donating to so that your year end statement will be correct.

You should have received your year-end statement for 2020. Please review it carefully and contact the parish office immediately if there are any issues.
New York Haiti Project - Earthquake Near Martel - You can donate directly to Fr. Phanord to help the church, school, and people in Martel via Zelle at Or you can send a check to New York Haiti Project, 1858 Hunt Avenue, Bronx, NY 10462.

Letter from the Bishop - An Appeal for Haiti -- In addition to giving options above, you can also give via Episcopal Relief and Development or directly through the Diocese. You can also send a donation to the Diocese of New York, designated for Haiti relief*, at 1047 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025.
The community of Martel is rebuilding and the construction resumes on the school expansion. The earthquake happened less than a month ago, and the people are already rebounding. Click here to read Fr. Sam's update.
Episcopal Relief and Development - Hurricane Ida Assistance. - You can help those affected by Ida is through supporting Episcopal Relief and Development's Hurricane Relief fund. To donate now, please click here. And now, New Yorkers have had our own experiences with Hurricane Ida - stay tuned for ways to address local issues.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry highlights ways to help Afghan refugees through Episcopal Migration Ministries. As Episcopalians, as followers of Jesus, as people of faith, we mourn the recent loss of life in Afghanistan, the ongoing chaos and instability, and the risk that many Afghans face, in particular women and girls. Click here to watch the Presiding Bishop's address and to read more.
This Week at Ascension
Sunday – October 10– Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
Holy Eucharist (Church) 9:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist w/ Music (Church) 11:00 a.m.
(Live Stream of the service will be available)
Lemonade and Iced Tea (Front Garden) following the service

Monday – October 11
Church & Parish Office closed for Indigenous People’s Day

Tuesday – October 12
Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
EfM (Parish Hall/Zoom) 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday – October 13
Finance Committee Meeting (Zoom) 11:30 a.m.
Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Midweek Eucharist (Church) 6:00 p.m.

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

Friday – October 15
Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – October 16
Food Pantry (12 West 11th Street) 8:30 a.m.
If you are in need or would like to volunteer, contact Fr. Ed.

Sunday – October 17– Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost
Holy Eucharist (Church) 9:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist w/ Music (Church) 11:00 a.m.
(Live Stream of the service will be available)
Lemonade and Iced Tea (Front Garden) following the service

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 | |
We are working from home, but we will respond to emails and phone calls