Grace and peace to you my family in Christ,
What if the difference between someone who has faith and someone who doesn’t is not circumstances so much as it is perspective?
I ask this question because as a pastor I sometimes worry that people’s faith gets battered by dealing with difficult circumstances. But then what happens is that it causes them to go through those difficult times without a gift that would give them so much comfort and strength…their faith.
This week’s story is a story of an “Israelite in whom there is no deceit,” Nathaniel. He is a wonderful but maybe cynical young man who is given the gift of a change of perspective by Jesus, and it changes his life. Let’s talk more about this at worship this weekend!
New Member Class is this Sunday
Would you like to take another step in your spiritual journey with God and our church? If so, we would like to invite you to be a part of our next New Member class, Sunday, January 14, from 12-2:30 PM in the church Library.
Lunch will be provided. The class focuses on the basics of the Christian faith and on the ministry of Ascension. There will be an opportunity to ask any questions that you might have and to get to know others.
Adult Ed for Jan. 14 at 10:30
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On Monday, January 15, 2024, the nation honors the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Since 1983, this national holiday honors the legacy of Dr King, focuses on the issue of civil rights, highlights the use of nonviolence to promote change and calls people into public service.
Dr King was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, GA. He was an American Baptist minister and one of the most prominent leaders in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.
Come to learn, remember, and appreciate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sunday, January 14, 2024 in the library at 10:30 AM. Dr. Louise Evenson will present some highlights in the life of Dr. King as we remember his contribution to civil rights.
This class will focus on four key locations of the civil rights movement including Montgomery, Selma, and Birmingham, AL and Memphis, TN. In each of these locations, there were significant events in the civil rights movement of the 1950’s and1960’s. Dr. King played a key role as the leader in this non-violent and faith-based movement and at these locations.
“Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As we look back on the Christmas season, we want to thank you, dear Ascension family, for all your recent expressions of love and appreciation to your pastors and our staff. We thank God for each of you and your partnership in the ministry of Jesus, as the Spirit leads us all!
Keep our church leadership in prayer as we seek God’s guidance in finding a new full-time associate pastor and a new full-time youth director. Thank you!
In the meantime, Pastor Tim will be taking on more responsibilities including teaching Confirmation on Thursdays (he’s looking forward to teaching the Bible with them) and Pastor Steve will do more as well in this interim time. Our most important work weekdays are our visits with you, so don’t hesitate to call, email, or ask for a visit. Pastoral care is a priority!
Today we are praying for two members having surgery, for one near the end of his life, for those healing from recent surgeries, for those elders who no longer can drive, and for all who come to our food pantry.
Thank you for your prayers for our synod, ELCA, and all our local and global partners in ministry, for peace in our world.
Learn about LWR Activities in Current Global Crisis Spots
You are Invited to Lunch and a Presentation by Pastor Lisa Kipp of Lutheran World Relief in the Bethlehem Room, Friday, January 26, noon-1:30.
If you are a quilter or kit maker, or a compassionate person about humanitarian challenges around the world, this is for you!
Pastor Kipp will share updates about what LWR is doing in Gaza, Ukraine and other areas around the world.
About Rev. Lisa Kipp
Rev. Lisa Kipp serves as the Director of Congregational Engagement at Lutheran World Relief. In her role, she leads a team that connects congregations across the United States with LWR’s work of bringing lifesaving aid and long-term hope to our most vulnerable neighbors around the world. As part of this work, she also oversees Lutheran World Relief’s Quilt and Kit Ministry, a program that has been a part of the fabric of thousands of Lutheran congregations for over 75 years. Prior to this role, Rev. Kipp served an ELCA congregation in Rochester, MN, for nearly twenty years. She continues to live in Rochester with her husband and three sons.
About Lutheran World Relief
Affirming God’s love for all people, Lutheran World Relief works with Lutherans and partners around the world to end poverty, injustice and human suffering. Founded by Lutherans in the United States at the end of World War II, LWR tackles global poverty by helping people adapt to the challenges that threaten their livelihoods and well-being. They provide aid in emergencies and help families restore their lives. They partner with local leaders to grow rural economies and build healthy communities, breaking the cycle of poverty so our neighbors all around the world can thrive.
Choir of the West Heading to Ascension on February 2
Pacific Lutheran University’s Choir of the West is including Ascension in its current tour. The acclaimed group will be here February 2 at 7 PM
The Choir of the West was established in 1926 and has a long history of excellence. The choir was one of the first Lutheran college choirs to tour regionally, nationally and internationally, and has appeared at numerous prestigious choir conferences. The 2024 tour marks the first major tour in four years, and is the first under the leadership of Brian Galante, Director of Choral Studies and Associate Dean for the newly established School of Music, Theatre & Dance.
Our tour program is titled “The Gift to Sing”, taken from Damien Geter’s evocative setting of the James Weldon Johnson poem. Centered on themes of resilience, comfort, hope, renewal, and reimagining, we also feature works by Felix Mendelssohn, William Byrd, Roderick Williams, Saunder Choi, Marques L.A. Garrett, Kestutis Daugirdas, Brian Galante, Caroline Shaw, Craig Hella Johnson, Nilo Alcala, and Juris Karlsons.
To learn more about the Choir of the West or the PLU School of Music, Theatre & Dance, CLICK HERE.
Thank you, Ascension Community!
The Gifts of Hope Team is happy to report that over $87,000 has been received for this season’s Gift of Hope campaign. As happens every year, we are amazed at the generosity of our Ascension Community in supporting people who live in extreme poverty and unfavorable environments. Once again this year, over 100 individual and family contributions were given.
We distributed the lion’s share of the contributions before year-end. In order to send out all the funds, we need to bring the campaign to a close as of January 20th Please know we can continue to receive funds through the 19th both at the church office and online. Click here to read the full report.
Adult Ed Class – January 21st
Faith + Fair Trade: Mt Meru Coffee Project – Supporting Families. Growing Futures. Changing Lives.
An amazing partnership between the people of Greater Milwaukee Synod of the ELCA, the Diocese of Meru (ELCT) and coffee farmers in the Mt Meru region of Tanzania launched more than 20 years ago with this conversation between a Lutheran pastor from Wisconsin and a Tanzanian coffee farmer: “We grow coffee. You drink coffee. Would you buy your coffee from us?” The pastor’s response was “Yes”.
Can you Cook, Serve, Pack food? Volunteers Wanted!
Our tireless Community Concerns leader, Chris Daleiden, recently posted photos of Ascension’s Hot Meals Ministry in action, packaging meals for Harbor House, with Tania Disselhorst, head of our Hot Meals Ministry. More volunteers to prepare and pack food would be appreciated!
If you or someone you know could benefit from the caring, understanding and fellowship of our GriefShare support group, please consider joining, Thursdays at 1 PM. Here you will find complete information.
In Case You Missed It…
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Did you know the number one reason people go to a particular church is because of friendships? Wearing your name tag is one of the easiest ways to make a guest feel welcomed and help new and existing members become better acquainted with one another.
Wearing a name tag is an effortless way to reach out to people to just start a conversation. You never know if God puts you in a place to make a positive impact on someone. It’s a good thing to remember.
Name tags are on the magnetic white boards at one of the two church entrances. If you cannot find your name tag, please tell the church office and they will order you a new one.
Book Club Notes
The Ascension Book Club meets the 3rd Thursday of the month at 1:30 in the Bethlehem Room, in the office building. The group chooses books based on members’ interest and discussion is led by one of the members. Books vary from popular novels to nonfiction. Please feel free to join us–we are a friendly group.
Jan 18 Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
Feb 15 Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Books should be available by Libby, local library, Amazon or thriftbooks.
Zoom Class, Mini Retreat to Start the Year
Bible and Blue Zones Study via Zoom, 4 weeks on Tuesday starting Jan 16, 7:00 to 8:00 PM PST
Join Pastor Chamie via zoom on Tuesdays Jan 16, Jan 23, Jan 30, and Feb 6. The class will be exploring how the life of faith intersects with the Blue Zones. What are Blue Zones? They are places in the world where people tend to live longer and healthier. Recently, a four week Blue Zones documentary aired on Netflix. Pastor Chamie has longed followed the Blue Zones and found many lines of connection to the life of faith. One of her favorite one-line prayers is this: “Lord, teach me to live wisely and well.” For four weeks as we begin the new year, we will be students who study both the Blue Zones and the Bible as we learn to live wisely and well in 2024. Sign up here: https://www.
We pray that you may once again meet the Risen Christ through the Word and Sacrament ministry, and through the fellowship of this family of faith.
If you do not have a church home, we would like to invite you to worship with our Ascension family again.
All people who are baptized and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are welcome to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
May God bless you in your worship!
Pastors Tim Delkeskamp and Steve Herder