THIS WEEK AT ASCENSION + February 3, 2021
"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." - Psalm 96
Wednesday, February 3

Candlemas, or
The Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

Morning Prayer, 8:00 a.m.
Evening Prayer, 6:00 p.m.
Mass with organ, motet, hymn, 6:30 p.m.

Click to take part VIA ZOOM or VIA FACEBOOK LIVE

Image: From the Grisaille Book of Hours, in the collection of the Walters Museum, Baltimore
Sunday, February 7
The Fifth Sunday after
The Epiphany

9:30 a.m. - Morning Prayer
10:00 a.m. - Live-Streamed Mass with hymn(s), organ, and choir motet
11:05 a.m. - Virtual Coffee Hour

Click to take part VIA ZOOM

Image: The Healing of the Mother-in-Law of Saint Peter, late 1650s, Rembrandt van Rijn (1609–1669),
the Frick Collection, New York
Racial Equity and Reconciliation Roundtables:
Where we've been, where we hope to go
Led by Vestry member and convener Enrique Vilaseco.
Please join us during our virtual coffee hour Sunday the 7th, to begin shortly after the end of the 10:00 a.m. mass. Plans for next steps in this important conversation will depend in part on parishioners' responses and questions on Sunday.

Click here to read the related report that Enrique provided for Ascension's 2020 Annual Report (and to be reminded of the name of the mystery woman in the photo here ...). Also, please mark your calendars for the following Sunday ...

Sunday, February 14, Deacon Charles Farrell will review our pantry ministry, share his ideas for 'PANTRY@ASCENSION' and welcome parishioner comments and questions. Look for more information in next week's newsletter.
Masses,  Daily Offices & Fellowship remain online/virtual only at this time.
Connection information and links are below.

Please see information below about returning to in-person worship starting Sunday, February 14
From the Senior Warden
Greetings! What a joy it was to have over 65 members and friends participating in the Ascension Annual Meeting last Sunday. I'm not sure that I have ever before had to scroll to a 2nd screen gallery view during a Zoom meeting. Thank you to all who attended and, especially, to Fr. Raymond, Gary Alexander, and MaryBeth Hwang who coordinated the agenda and the amazing technology! Special thanks as well to our Treasurer, Susan Schlough. Many of you have since remarked on her concise but clear and informative financial report.

During the meeting, we heard several reports related to Ascension activities in 2020. These highlighted parts of our program and mission that have changed significantly during the pandemic (think about our choir offerings, our food pantry, our traditional hospitality and receptions). But we also learned of new initiatives that have taken root and grown at this strange time---the Reconciliation Roundtable, the enhanced presence of our worship offerings through Facebook, Zoom, and SoundCloud, the Lenten educational forum organized by our young adults. These are all exciting and positive events that have expanded and enriched our vision for the future.

Please remember to join our coffee hour discussions upcoming these next two weeks (Feb. 7 and 14) as we form our programs and outreach for 2021. Enrique Vilaseco will lead a discussion on reconciliation this coming Sunday, and Deacon Charles Farrell will discuss the food pantry on Feb. 14. Join us and contribute your ideas at 11:15.

Cheryl Peterson, Sr. Warden
From the Rector
Big news with regard to returning to in-person worship

Within an hour after the end of our Sunday Annual Meeting, I received word from Courtney Reid, Director of Operations for the Diocese of Chicago, giving a green light for City of Chicago Episcopal parishes to return to limited in-person worship. You may read Rev. Reid's letter to clergy and lay leaders here. Here's what you should know with regard to our plans at Ascension:
  • Cheryl Peterson and Ken Kelling (our 2021 Wardens) and I have consulted and agreed to aim for limited reopening for Sunday masses only on Sunday February 14 and thereafter. We are partly delaying due to extreme weather forecast for this weekend and to give ample time to mobilize the volunteer help that will be needed to re-open.
  • Any reopening will be with the same pre-registration, numbers restrictions and safety measures that we were practicing for the 10 Sundays we were blessed with in-person worship last fall (September to November).
  • We will continue to live-stream both Sunday and Wednesday evening masses.
  • The time or times for Sunday masses has not been decided. Please stay up to date with information provided in this weekly newsletter.

The remainder of my reporting today follows up on
our positive Sunday Annual Meeting ...
Thanks to all who joined me in greeting and briefly hearing from Meghan Murphy-Gill at our Annual Meeting. Meghan is a Candidate for Holy Orders in our diocese, sponsored by St. Augustine's Church, Wilmette, and awaiting ordination as 'transitional' deacon and, later, priest. Our wardens and I and others have had some positive preliminary conversations with Meghan about welcoming her to share her ministry as deacon here at Ascension. I'll share more information when we have a more specific plan in place.
Toward the end of our Annual meeting we also heard from Fr. Sam Portaro, longtime chaplain at Brent House (at the University of Chicago) and now retired, living nearby and assisting at St. Chrystostom's Church on North Dearborn Parkway. Fr. Portaro hopes to begin a conversation with us about sharing connections, relationships and outreach ministries in our shared near-north neighborhoods. Please let me know if you are interested in taking some leadership in a conversation of this nature. Father Portaro looked quite casual when he addressed us on Sunday! The more formal photo here is the best I could find on short notice online.

Calling all authors and composers

Ascension is blessed with an abundance of gifted people with publications in their respective fields. As part of our record-keeping, we would like to make note of your accomplishments. If you have had any work of yours published --book, article, music, prayer, poetry, etc., we would be grateful if you would donate a copy for the Ascension archives. If you wish to attach a brief autobiographical statement and/or notes about your work, that would be welcome, too. Together we can continue compiling the history of Ascension and its people.

Carol Noren, archivist

February-March-April 2021 issues of the Forward Day by Day devotionals are now available. Please contact the Parish Office. We have a limited supply of both the regular and large print booklets.
Organ Repertoire for Wednesday, Feb. 3
Nunc dimittis [1911]
Charles Wood (1866-1926)
Hymn at the Offertory
Toccata improvvisata on Edmonton
David White (b. 1959)

Organ Repertoire for Sunday, Feb. 7
Suite No. 1 [ca. 1942]
II-III Air and Fughetta
Florence Beatrice Price (1887-1953)
Hymn at the Offertory
Suite No. 1 [ca. 1942]
IV Toccato
Florence Beatrice Price
Choir of the Ascension:
Now on Soundcloud!
Please visit SoundCloud and listen to our playlist! There are currently 40 tracks, and several more will be added each month.

Benjamin Rivera, Choirmaster
Reminder: All In-Person Worship and Gatherings at Ascension (and at all parishes in the Diocese of Chicago) were suspended again as of Monday, November 16.

Our Interim Sunday and Weekday Worship Schedule and Connections are as follows:

All masses live-streamed from the church.

9:30 a.m. Morning Prayer—Zoom
10:00 a.m. Mass—Zoom & Facebook Live
11:00 a.m. Coffee Hour—Zoom
Weekday Mass: Wednesday Evenings
6:30 p.m.—Zoom & Facebook Live

Daily Offices continue as before:

Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. Monday-Saturday—Facebook Live
9:30 a.m. Sunday—Zoom
Evening Prayer
6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday—Zoom


Candlemas (observed), Wednesday, February 3

More information will be provided as these dates and opportunities near.
Other than for urgent or essential matters or for brief personal devotion in the church, visits to Ascension are presently to be avoided. Any (other) visit should be arranged in advance with Br. Nathanael Rahm. Thank you for your understanding.
Due to COVID-19, Church of the Ascension’s Treasurer and Bookkeeper are limiting the amount of time they spend working in the parish offices. All checks received at Ascension via the United States Postal Service, not always a reliable service in our area, will be bank deposited approximately every 4-6 weeks. You may contact the Treasurer by email anytime at 
Ascension Connections
(with your click and God's help)
Meeting ID:
792 031 7452
Password: 1133
Join-by-Phone Option: (312) 626-6799

Weekly Ascension Schedule

For connections:
via Zoom (click here)
except for Morning Prayer,
via Facebook (click here).

9:30 a.m. Virtual Morning Prayer
10:00 a.m. Live-Streamed Mass
11:00 a.m. Virtual Coffee Hour

6:00 p.m. Evening Prayer via Zoom

6:30 p.m. Low Mass
Yes, but I still haven't Zoomed ...
For the Novice, Newbie, or tech-challenged: It may be easier than you know. We've simplified instructions on the sheet that you can view by clicking here. Please know that you can block your camera (and don't need one to start with), and you could join our Scripture study or Virtual Coffee Hour, for instance, without having to say a word. Give it a try.
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: August 'Augie' Alonzo, Jim Berger, Ethel Martin, Dean Pineda, David Byerly, Bonnie Joseph, Diane Burnett, Steven Wallis, Sarah Ponder, Paula Budzban, Taffy Wehe, Neil, Canola Malone, Br. Jonathan Wheat, Rocky Ermilio, Catriana Patriarcha
Requiescat in pace:
Joan Gerwe Laibly, aunt of Richard Laibly
Charlene MacDougal, wife of Gary MacDougal, 1/10/2021
Lawrence E. Gehrke, 1/31/2008
Kiyomi Kakiuchi, 2/4/2020
Robert Jeffrey Arnold, 2/6/2018

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them;
May their souls and the souls of all the departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

The Last Word
My thanks to Fr. Bob Petite and seminarian Bonnie Scott for serving as co-chaplains for our annual meeting. Fr. Petite opened the meeting with a prayer that I'm now sharing below. He explained that it comes from the Prayer for the Parish in the Prayer Book for the Anglican Church of Canada. I was particularly taken by the line, "Guard from forgetfulness of thee those who are strong and prosperous." - Fr. Raymond +
O God the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of the faithful: Sanctify this parish by your abiding presence. Bless those who minister in holy things. Enlighten the minds of your people more and more with the light of the everlasting Gospel. Bring your people to the knowledge of God our Saviour; and those who are walking in the way of life, keep steadfast unto the end. Give patience to the sick and afflicted, and renew them in body and soul. Guard from forgetfulness of you those who are strong and prosperous. Increase in us your manifold gifts of grace, and make us all to be fruitful in good works; O blessed Spirit, who with the Father and the Son together we worship and glorify, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Very Rev. Patrick Raymond, Rector

Susan Schlough, Treasurer

Br. Nathanael Deward Rahm BSG, Parish Office