Friends in Christ,
I wonder: Where will you see the face of Jesus this Thanksgiving?
In a child playing, a person hurting, or if it’s a hard day for you, perhaps in someone who reaches out to you.
In our gospel reading this weekend, Jesus talks to two groups of people and neither one realizes that they have seen Jesus in everyday people in need!
So may each of us look a little closer this year, and may we see Jesus around the Thanksgiving table in loved ones, but also hard-to-love ones and in faces where we would not expect to see Him.
In gratitude for all the ways you are the hands and feet of Jesus,
Happy Thanksgiving, Ascension!
In case you missed the posts from Pastor Steve and Community Concerns leader Chris Daleiden, here is a recap of some of our Ascension volunteers doing what they do best: sharing the love of Jesus Christ in the world.
From Pastor Steve: Thank you to our young children at our Ascension school for making over 100 Thanksgiving Day cards for some of our oldest members! Our Senior Adult Ministries Team leads Christian Life Hours (hymns, prayers, devotions, and Christian encouragement) at five senior living places in town and it was a joy to hand deliver these cards. Let us know if you’d like to serve in this way. Blessed to be a blessing!
Join us for Lefse Making December 1 and 2
Once again we will be making lefse, the much loved traditional Norwegian flatbread, on Friday, December 1 from 5 pm – 8 pm and again on Saturday, December 2 from 10 am – 2 pm, and then selling it on Sunday, December 3 at church and Hanging of the Greens.
All proceeds will go to the high school youth group, and any middle schoolers who help can also earn money to go toward their high school youth accounts.
We are behind budget expectations. This is a good time to close the gap. Click HERE for giving page.
Adult Education for December 3:
The History and Origins of Christmas
Dec. 3, Lisa Buono, Founding Dean of the School for Professional and Continuing Studies at Cal Lutheran, will introduce us to a two-part on-line lecture series that we will be viewing during the month of December. Dr. Buono will include information about how to sign up for this lecture as well as other interesting learning opportunities. After that initial introduction, participants are urged to view the sessions at their convenience from their own home computer.
Ostensibly, Christmas is celebrated annually as the birth of Jesus. Nevertheless, Jesus was likely born in the spring, not the winter, considering that the Christian Scriptures describe shepherds pasturing their flocks at the time. So, where, then, does Christmas originate? And how did it come to be connected with Christianity and Jesus? Additionally, from where did so many of these Christmas traditions develop? This two-part lecture will consider the historical basis of the Christmas holiday and how it developed over time.
Taught by Jason Hensley, PhD. through California Lutheran University’s Lifelong Learning Fifty and Better Series.
Simple Greetings Offer Hope
Ascension, with congregations near Chicago and in Baltimore, will serve as Regional Partner Hubs with LIRS for the ministry “Hope for the Holidays,” one that we participated in last year with letter-writing and Christmas greetings to children and families in immigrant detention centers.
Our job as a Hub is to do four things: Receive the cards; Screen the cards (no envelopes, check messages); Repackage the cards (in packs of 50); Send the cards (to one of the area immigration detention centers).
Last year Ascension processed about 3,000 cards.
The deadline for us to send the cards to the centers is Dec. 12.
If you’d like to help sort and send the cards, we are meeting on Monday, Dec. 11, from 6:00 to 8:00pm in Founders Hall!
If you’d like to write some cards, instructions are given at Hope for the Holidays .
Simply drop them off at the church office, without envelopes, by Dec. 10. Only use your first name and no address.
Thank you for helping us spread the good word about this outstanding ministry to bring hope and joy, in Jesus’ name, to the children and families in our country’s immigrant detention centers.
And Thank You for your prayers and participation. — Pastor Steve and your Global Ministries Team
A good place to volunteer!
Pastors visit Conejo Free Clinic
Last week, your pastors and Chris Daleiden (who leads our Community Concerns Team) greatly appreciated our tour of the amazing Conejo Free Clinic, at 80 E. Hillcrest.
We were invited by Ascension’s Debbie Kahn who is their Medical Operations Manager. (In the photo she is next to Pastor Tim.) Kim DeBroux, next to Pastor Julie, is the Executive Director.
The clinic’s all-volunteer team of over 100 medical, dental and legal professionals provide free services for low income and uninsured residents of Ventura County and North Los Angeles County. Find out more HERE
Ascension will definitely be keeping this wonderful community service in our prayers and support, and we encourage more volunteers to serve there. Blessed to be a blessing!
Did Martha Stewart Just Steal My Information?
Wow, Black Friday deals are so exciting! But…Friends, please be extra cautious as you shop online. I just had to cancel a credit card because I was sucked in by an online scam featuring Martha Stewart – that is, a faked audio track and video of Martha Stewart.
With AI, scammers can reach new levels of brilliance in their con games to get our information. Even yours truly, who has written about this and attended workshops. Ugh! Remember, if something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is. Keep AWARE and AWAKE to avoid fraud. – Stacy Bosco
THANK YOU, GREAT MUSIC and THANK YOU, EDITH:
Thanks to everyone who helped make last weekend’s Jens Lindemann & UCLA Brass Ensemble concert such a rich and enjoyable event. For more than a decade, the Great Music at Ascension team has helped make great music a hallmark of Ascension. This was the tenth annual Jens Lindemann concert here, and “the incomparable Edith Ott,” as Jens called her, our organist emerita and one of the founders of Great Music at Ascension, was recognized with flowers and applause. Bravo!
Jubilee’s Annual Network Council Meeting, Nov. 15, 2023
As a Jubilee congregation we participated in Jubilee’s online “annual meeting,” the Network Council meeting. We heard updates of the work (including budget), elected board members, and learned from speakers about the ongoing advocacy work of Jubilee.
Hooray for our Middle School!
Gifts of Hope 2023
Gifts of Hope Continues
There will be a Gifts of Hope table in the west narthex where donations will be received for the next two Sundays (11-26 and 12-3), from 10-10:30 AM. On Dec. 10, Gifts of Hope donations may be dropped off at Fair Trade Lane after the 9 AM worship service. Dec. 17, the GOH table will again be available, accepting donations in the west narthex.
A Note to Gifts of Hope Future Online Contributors
If you have a list of itemized gifts you plan to give: first, THANK YOU!
There is room to make a short notation on the Gifts of Hope giving page to write in where you would like your donations to go (e.g. 4 Bibles, 1 Piglet, etc.). You do have to write it in, though. Another option would be to pay online (total amount due) and then fill out one of the forms we have available (in the office, in the narthex or as a downloadable form ), and turn it in. We have had plenty of people do this. Some have paid via stock and turned the form in.
Gifts of Hope 2023 – Giving Thanks
We are so very thankful for the generosity of the Ascension Community for the many years of the Gifts of Hope Ministry.
Our friends in Tanzania have shared photos of their church in Tanzania. They have also shared with us some of the customs celebrated by their congregation. For example, families come up to the altar rail to give thanks in celebration of a momentous event in their lives – for example, the birth of a child, a bountiful harvest, a time of prosperity, an important life event. Thanks are given. A special blessing is received. At times during the year, congregation families gather outside the church, bringing with them items from their farms like firewood, bags of maize, other farm crops or farm animals. There is an auction of sorts among the congregation members; proceeds are shared as offering to the church and its ministries.
Gifts of Hope is one way our Ascension Community comes together to give thanks for important life events and for the many blessings we receive. We don’t have an auction but we come together as a community to share gifts in service to those in need locally and globally.
Wednesday Evening Advent Services
On December 6, 13 and 20, Ascension will offer Wednesday evening Advent services at 7 PM. Because of the way Advent falls on the calendar this year, there will be only three Wednesday services. Regain your focus (and peace) as we worship Jesus, the reason for the season, together.
Support Ascension Lutheran School
For 60 years, we have been dedicated to providing academic excellence through our Christ-centered teachings. Donate today and help support expenses for our continued success with our TK-8 program.
Visit our Annual Fund page or contact Principal Rich Gregory at or 805.496.2419 for more info.
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
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.
Dec 14 Christmas by the Book by Anne Marie Ryan
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.
“Come to the Waters” Advent Retreat
Saturday, December 2, 8:30 to 11:30 AM @ North Hollywood First United Methodist Church — Led by Pastor Chamie
The theme for this mini retreat is “Keep It Simple.” This is a perfect way to center yourself early in the season. In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we can too often get overwhelmed. So on this mini retreat, you will find time to breathe deep and find some quiet space. We will explore practices that help us simplify life, simplify the season, simplify our minds, and simplify our expectations. When we keep it simple, we find that we can make more room for Jesus.
Note that this is the next mini retreat offered at NoHo First UMC with Pastor Chamie. Several others are coming in 2024.
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, Julie McCain, and Steve Herder