Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
November 11, 2020
Dear People of Ascension,

The theme of this year's stewardship campaign is "Be Thou My Vision", taken from the the beloved Irish hymn. 

As we move towards the ingathering and blessing of pledges next Sunday (November 22), and as we ponder what it means to be faithful stewards in so many dimensions of our lives, its imagery is rich and evocative. How do you keep God in your vision? Where do you see the divine in your daily life? What is your vision of God, and God's purpose for you, for us? What helps you see clearly? The hymn writer says that God is not only the object but the enabler of our vision: "waking or sleeping, thy presence my light."

The text goes on to speak of God as the poet's greatest treasure- "my wisdom, my true word"- and even more, as the very source, companion and strength of his/her life: "thou in me dwelling, and I one with thee." In the end, "when I reach heaven's joys", and all along the way, the hymn sings of a union of deep love, calling God "heart of my heart, whatever befall." Finally it returns to the original prayer, trusting in the One to whom we belong,from whom all blessings come: "still be my vision, O ruler of all."

It's almost a cliche by now to say we live in unprecedented, uncertain times- from the racing pandemic to economic uncertainty to ecological crisis to stark political divisions. May the vision of God's love give us clarity about the stewardship we are called to in this moment, and may we be comforted, strengthened and held close by the divine heart of our hearts in all the seasons of our lives.

Liz
How to Join the 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 and enter the meeting ID: 929-205-6099 Meeting ID: 322 793 633

All of our online services, with their links, can be found on our public calendar, and are listed below.
Click this link to read up on some best practices for Zoom meetings.
Organ Prelude
10:55 a.m.
Choral
Joseph Jongen
Worship Service
11:00 a.m.
All gather online

The service begins with the sound of a bell
and your microphones will be muted.

Introit
Gregorian Chant

Welcome
Hymn
Please join in the singing of the hymn.
#601 O day of God, draw nigh (St. Michael)
O day of God, draw nigh
in beauty and in power,
come with thy timeless judgment now
to match our present hour.

Bring to our troubled minds,
uncertain and afraid,
the quiet of a steadfast faith,
calm of a call obeyed.

Bring justice to our land,
that all may dwell secure,
and finely build for days to come
foundations that endure.

Bring to our world of strife
thy sovereign word of peace,
that war may haunt the earth no more
and desolation cease.

O day of God, draw nigh
as at creation’s birth,
let there be light again, and set
thy judgments in the earth.
Acclamation

Presider Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
People And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lessons
Reader: Linda Brandt

The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, after Ehud died. So the Lord sold them into the hand of King Jabin of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; the commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-ha-goiim. Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help; for he had nine hundred chariots of iron, and had oppressed the Israelites cruelly twenty years. At that time Deborah, a prophetess, wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the Israelites came up to her for judgment. She sent and summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you, ‘Go, take position at Mount Tabor, bringing ten thousand from the tribe of Naphtali and the tribe of Zebulun. I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the Wadi Kishon with his chariots and his troops; and I will give him into your hand.’”

Psalm 123 (St. Helena Psalter)

To you I lift up my eyes, *
   to you enthroned in the heavens.
As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, *
   and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the Holy One our God, *
   until God shows us mercy.
Have mercy upon us, O God, have mercy, *
   for we have had more than enough of contempt,
Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich, *
   and of the derision of the proud.

Reader: Susie Braden

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober; for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Matthew

Jesus said, “It is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
Sermon
The Rev. Posey Krakowsky
Anthem
Precious Lord
Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993)
Arr. By Jack Shrader
Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I'm tired, I’m weak, I’m lone
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home.
When my way grows drear precious Lord linger near
When my light is almost gone
Hear my cry, hear my call
Hold my hand lest I fall
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home.
Prayers of the People - New Zealand Prayer Book, Second Form

Please send your own prayers through the chat function on Zoom, and the leader will read them at the end of the intercessions.
 
God of heaven and earth, through Jesus Christ you promise to hear us when we pray to you in faith with thanksgiving.

We pray for one another, for our families and friends, through whom we learn to love and to be loved. Thank you for all who care for us. Give us grace to serve Christ by serving our neighbors and our community, loving others as he loves us.

Silence

We thank you for the unfailing love you hold out to everyone in Jesus Christ. Comfort and heal those in sorrow, need, sickness or any other trouble, especially Robert, Ed, Janet, Mary and Tom, Ellen, Joseph, Brielle, Lucas, Holly, Allejandro and Jesus, Nancy, Barbara, Dorothy, Stewart, Patricia, Judith, Marco, Tina, Hannah, Jurek, Alice, Stacy and Jonathan, Michael, Seth, Zakaria, Jocelyn, Jo, and Angie. Give them courage and hope in their distress, and bless those who minister to them.

Silence

We remember with gratitude your many gifts to us in creation and the rich heritage of this land. Help us and people everywhere to share with justice and peace the resources of the earth. We pray for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, those affected by tropical storm Eta, and by the fires in western states. We pray for all laboring to end ​racism and white supremacy and establish racial justice in our country. We pray for the integrity of our electoral process, for Donald our president, and for Joe our president-elect. Give wisdom to those in authority among us and to all leaders of the nations.

Silence

We pray for your Church throughout the world, thanking you for all who serve Christ and his kingdom. By your Spirit strengthen your people for their work and witness in the world. Unite us in your truth and love, that we who confess your name may also reflect your glory.

Silence

We pray for all affected by COVID-19: for the frightened and the sick, for the dying and those who mourn. We pray for all who have lost jobs and livelihood as a result of this pandemic. We pray for all healthcare workers, especially Scarlett, Madonna, Trudie, Nancy, Anna, Sarah, Endine, Terese, and AJ, for all whose labor supports our common life; for those developing treatment and a vaccine, for those charged with making decisions about public health and public policy and for all who are reopening, that they may care for one another in wisdom and safety.

Silence

We remember with thanksgiving all who have died in Christ and those whose faith is known to you alone, especially Jacob Matovu, in whose memory the flowers are given today, Sally Littlefield, Andrew Stegen, Lauretta Feldman, Walter Wallace, Jr., and the more that 240,000 Americans who have died of COVID-19, as well as others around the world. We rejoice at the faithful witness of your saints in every age, praying that we may enter with them into the unending joy of your heavenly kingdom.

Silence

We offer you our other prayers, and our thanksgivings for all the blessings of this life.

Prayers received on Zoom chat are read by the intercessor.

Silence

Merciful God, you look with compassion on all who turn to you. Hear the prayers of your people.

The priest adds a concluding collect.
The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
  hallowed be thy Name,
  thy kingdom come,
  thy will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
  as we forgive those
    who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
  but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
  and the power, and the glory,
  for ever and ever. Amen.
Announcements
Blessing
Hymn
Please join in the singing of the hymn.
#598 Lord Christ, when first thou cam'st to earth (Mit Freuden zart)
Lord Christ, when first thou cam’st to earth,
upon a cross they bound thee,
and mocked thy saving kingship then
by thorns with which they crowned thee;
and still our wrongs may weave thee now
new thorns to pierce that steady brow,
and robe of sorrow round thee.

O aweful Love, which found no room in life
where sin denied thee,
and, doomed to death,
must bring to doom
the powers which crucified thee,
till not a stone was left on stone,
and all those nations’ pride,
o’er thrown, went down
to dust beside thee!
New advent of the love of Christ,
shall we again refuse thee,
till in the night of hate and war
we perish as we lose thee?
From old unfaith our souls release
to seek the kingdom of they peace,
by which alone we choose thee.

O wounded hands of Jesus,
build in us thy new creation;
our pride is dust,
our vaunt is stilled,
we wait thy revelation:
O love that triumphs over loss,
we bring our hearts
before thy cross,
to finish thy salvation.
Dismissal

The people respond
Thanks be to God.
The Flowers at the altar are given by Barbara Matovu in loving memory of Jacob Matovu.
Please support your parish!
Go to ascensionnyc.org/give to give online
Please check us out at ascensionnyc.org/give 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 websexton@ascensionnyc.org)
Coffee Hour

Pour yourself a cup of coffee, tea, or your favorite juice, grab a slice of banana bread, piece of fruit, or a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, and feel free to "hang out" with us online to chat!
Ascension Finances Forum this Sunday, November 15 - Join us as Mary Gaillard, our Treasurer, and John Grimes, Chair of our Finance Committee, lead a discussion of our finances, including how we have been impacted by the pandemic. Sunday Forum after Services, November 15 (Zoom Link)

Next Week's Forum, Sunday, November 22: What Happened at Diocesan Convention? The clergy and our lay delegate, Stanley Weinberg, will report to the parish on the experience and decisions or the recent Diocesan Convention.
For Your Daily Prayers - "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) During this time of global crisis and personal anxiety, we offer you this prayer form to include in your daily prayers.
Reserve a Spot for Midweek Eucharist!
In-Person Midweek Eucharist, Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. As we take our next step toward reopening the church during this time of pandemic we are opening the church on Wednesday evenings for in-person Eucharist. Click here to read more.
The Church is open for prayer and meditation on Tuesdays and Fridays from 12-3 pm. Masks, contact information and use of hand sanitizer is required for all guests. We are very excited about opening our space again. The garden is open every day from 9-5, and is a lovely place to enjoy quiet and the beauty of creation.
Announcements
Wednesday Evening
In-Person Eucharist, 6:00 p.m.

In the Church. Space is limited so please use the link above to make a reservation.
Sunday Meditation with Prayers & Music
is available on our
Facebook page:

Stay Connected in Prayer.
Join us each weeknight at 5:30 for Evening Prayer & discussion. Click here to join. To call in (voice, no camera), dial 929-205-6099; the meeting ID is 770 597 201.
Beware of Fraudulent Emails Purporting to be from the Ascension clergy! Several people received scam emails today pretending to be from Fr. Ed, using a Gmail account under a user name that appears to be him. Click here to read more and learn what you can do.
Racial Justice Group Meets this Thursday, November 19- Please join us at 6:30 to talk about next steps in our journey towards understanding and dismantling racism and white supremacy, and working for racial justice in our hearts, in our church and in our country. Click here to access this meeting via Zoom.
Voices of Ascension 30th Anniversary Gala! This coming Tuesday, November 17, at 7pm will be an extraordinary event! A Celebration of 30 years of music making by Voices of Ascension. It will be a 50 minute virtual celebration with videos which chronicle the amazing journey, interviews with Dennis Keene and Liz Norman, and lots of music, including the world premiere of the opening movement of Astronautica – Women in Space, a musical-video featuring the Trio Triumphatrix (with our own Hai-Ting Chinn!) Also included are special virtual videos of Duruflé’s Sanctus and Bach’s Dona Nobis Pacem. You don’t have to pay anything to watch. Just register at https://www.celebrationofvoices.org/
Upper West Side Open Hearts Initiative (UWSOHI) - Many of you will perhaps have heard or read about the ongoing controversy on the Upper West Side this summer over the city housing homeless individuals in the empty hotels in the upper 70s near Amsterdam and Broadway in order to protect them from Covid by reducing crowding in the normal shelters. The Upper West Side Open Hearts Initiative is a group that formed in that neighborhood to support the men who are housed in the hotels and to push back against the active and vocal group that is trying to remove them from the neighborhood completely.

UWSOHI is organizing an effort to help kit the men out with supplies for when they move into permanent housing. If you would like to contribute to that effort, the details of how to do so are below. You can order the wish list for one full (or parts of a) supply kit on Amazon at the link below, and it will go a long way to helping them be ready when they are assigned long term housing. A full complement of supplies cames to around $325 total.

Click here to purchase portions of, or a full kit. In Amazon, when you go to shipping, select the UWS OpenHearts Housewarming option and it will be shipped to the home of the person who is doing the organizing. For privacy’s sake, you will not see that address, but it will go to them, and they will in turn take it to the Lucerne or the Belleclaire.
Is God calling YOU to run for Vestry? Are you interested in exploring your own faith leadership in the church? Serving on Vestry is an opportunity to provide spiritually grounded leadership with an emphasis on our church's finances and property management. Vestry members are baptized members of the parish who regularly attend worship and have contributed financially to Ascension regularly over the past 12 months. Vestry meets the evening of the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Please contact the Nominating Committee or Mtr Liz if you would like to discern this ministry or know someone you would like to nominate.
Blessings from the Vestry Nominating Committee:
Maurice Seaton (mjseaton@yahoo.com), Shana Kaplanov,
Rusty Moore, Terry Rogers, and Kate Rutherford
From the Vestry:

244th Diocesan Convention Report - Click here to read the texts of the Bishops' Address and Reports, Elections, Budget and more. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 244th Diocesan Convention was conducted online via Zoom on Saturday, November 7, with the exception that the bishops and other essential participants were at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, appropriately distanced from one another. A video of November 7, including the Bishops’ addresses, will be posted as soon as available here.
Sunday Paper Junior - The lectionary, our yearly schedule of Bible readings, carries us through Jesus’s life and teachings. The Church of The Ascension subscribes to the Sunday Paper Junior and we offer it to you and your family as a fun, creative way to study the lessons each week. Click here to access this week's paper. Please feel free to print out the pages each week and use as you desire. Check out this section each week for the current Sunday Paper Junior!
Subscribe to the AscensionNYC podcast and have our weekly sermons delivered to the device of your choice! While we have been posting recordings of sermons preached at Ascension services since February 2015, many have asked how they can listen to them on the go. Now you can subscribe to the AscensionNYC podcast to have the latest sermons and other audio content from the Church of the Ascension automatically downloaded to your phone, tablet or computer. Follow this link
to choose how you'd like to receive AscensionNYC in the podcast app you use; we’re being added to more and more directories each week!

You can also go to our website to listen to recent sermons by clicking here or going to our website.
Give while shopping - We all seem to be relying on online shopping more and more these days. The AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5 percent of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the nonprofit you choose. Even these small sums can add up for us. Click here to find out how.
This Week At Ascension
Sunday – November 15
Organ Prelude (Zoom) 10:55 a.m.
Church Service (Zoom) 11:00 a.m.
Ascension Forum (Zoom)
Meditation with Prayers and Music (Available on our Facebook page)

Monday – November 16
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Lectionary Bible Study (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.
(Speak to Sibyl Piccone if you are interested in this group)

Tuesday – November 17
Church Open for Prayer and Meditation* (Church) 12 noon - 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
EfM (Zoom) 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday – November 18
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Holy Eucharist (Church; In-Person) 6:00 p.m. (The Rev. Meredith Ward, Celebrant and Preacher)
(Please make your reservation with the link above)
Vestry Meeting (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.

Thursday – November 19
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Racial Justice Discussion Group (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.

Friday – November 20
Church Open for Prayer and Meditation* (Church) 12 noon - 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – November 21
Food Pantry (12 West 11th St.) 8:30 a.m.
Rehearsal for Sunday Service (Zoom) 2:00 p.m.

Sunday – November 22 - Ingathering & Blessing of Pledges
Organ Prelude (Zoom)
Church Service (Zoom) 11:00 a.m.
Ascension Forum (Zoom)
Meditation with Prayers and Music (Available on our Facebook page)

* Anyone entering the church must wear a mask, maintain appropriate physical distance, utilize the hand sanitizer stations, and provide contact tracing information. Anyone with a temperature of 99.9 or over will not be admitted and will be instructed to quarantine and contact their doctor.


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 info@ascensionnyc.org
Contact Us
The Church of the Ascension -- Fifth Avenue and Tenth Street
212-254-8620 | info@ascensionnyc.org | www.ascensionnyc.org
We are working from home, but we will respond to emails and phone calls