Worship:

Saturday 6 PM

Sunday 9 and 10:30 AM

This Week At Ascension

Called to create opportunities for all people to become devoted followers of Christ

December 17, 2023

Third Sunday In Advent

Grace and peace to you my family in Christ,

In our reading for today, John the Baptist repeatedly insists that he “is not the Christ.”

Instead, he is the one who is sent to proclaim the “one who stands among us whom we do not know.”

How do we get to know this One who stands among us?

How can we open our eyes and see?

How can we make our lives open to His coming to us at all times?

It starts with being still and knowing that He is God.

Blessings,

  

Christmas is coming soon! Here’s a look at the special goings-on this week at Ascension.

Come Celebrate Jesus’ Birth with Our Ascension Students

Don’t miss the Ascension Lutheran School Christmas Program—Friday, December 15 at 6 PM.

Cowboy Christmas

If you’ve been to one of these services before, you know how special cowboy Christmas worship can be. There’s music and surprises from Country Spirit & friends that’ll make you feel like you’re out under a blanket of stars by a campfire, feeling mighty close to God. Wear your Western clothes if you like. Afterward, enjoy Nancy Lee’s legendary Dutch oven cobbler.  Use this QR code or visit our ALCTO.org signups page to sign up for cobbler. Dec. 16 at 6 PM

Special Musical Presentation by Our Chancel Choir

MINI CANTATA, ‘THE INFANT CHILD’

by Dietrich Buxtehude (1639-1707)

This Sunday, December 17, our Chancel Choir, led by Wyant Morton, will offer a mini cantata with piano and strings at the 9 AM service. This is “The Infant Child” by Dietrich Buxtehude. Described as charming and joyful, it is one of the composer’s most popular and most frequently performed pieces.

This is an excellent opportunity to invite friends to come share a wonderful choral Christmas music experience at our worship service!

Sing In The Holidays:

 It doesn’t get more Christmasy than caroling to bring holiday cheer to those who can’t make it to church. Sing! Hang out with friends! Have fun! This Sunday (12/17) we will meet at 3 PM at the Ascension bus in the big parking lot and go visit Hillcrest Royale and Royal Oaks Inn, and a couple of other places! Anyone who wants to can come! Bring your pals. Here’s a photo from last year’s caroling.

Farewell Gathering for Pastor Julie

This Sunday (12/17) on the west patio after services, we’ll have a chance to celebrate Pastor Julie’s ministry here at Ascension and offer her best wishes for the future. Treats will be served after each service. Please join us in praying for Pastor Julie as she finishes her ministry with us on Dec. 29.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

PRAYER: We give you thanks for the ministry of Pastor Julie among the people of God here at Ascension Church and School. You watch over our going out and our coming in: bless this time of ending and beginning. You surround your people in every time and place: keep us close in your love. Help Pastor Julie and Brannon and all of us to live with courage and gladness in the future you give to us.  As Pastor Julie has been a blessing to us, so now send her forth to be a blessing to others; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

 

Let’s Celebrate Christ’s Birth Together

Ascension will have five services on Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec. 24, beginning at 3 PM and continuing every two hours through 11 PM. (Please note: there are no regular services Saturday, Dec. 23, or Sunday morning of  Christmas Eve.) Special family services will be held at 3 and 5 PM.

Traditional services are scheduled for 7 and 9 PM, while a candlelight communion service will be held at 11 PM.

On Christmas Day, come join us for Christmas Morning Worship with Holy Communion at 9:30 AM.

Last Call for Poinsettia Dedications

Would you like to dedicate a poinsettia plant for the sanctuary in honor of, or in memory of family members or other loved ones? Please use a flower envelope from the pew rack and write what you want to say. Place in offering box or return to office by Dec. 17.

Dedications will be published online and in print. Donations are $10 this year.

 

Yes, Christmas is this close already! Here is the schedule for the last 10 days:

December 15 (Friday) – 6 PM School Christmas Program, “Glorious Night”

December 16 (Saturday) – 6 PM Cowboy Christmas Worship Service 

December 17 (Sunday) – 9 AM, Choir sings Mini Cantata, ‘The Infant Child’; 3-5 PM Caroling (Meet at the bus in the big parking lot!)

December 18 (Monday) – 9 AM Bumblebees Christmas Program in front of ECC; Cozy Christmas (Project Linus blankets for kids in need) at school

December 19 (Tuesday) – 9 AM Honeybees & Ladybugs Program in front of ECC; Ugly Christmas Sweater Day & parade at school

December 20 (Wednesday) – 9:30 AM Threes & Fours Program in the sanctuary; Early dismissal, school Christmas break begins; Taize Advent service, 7 PM

Please note: With five Christmas Eve services Sunday PM, there will be no regular Saturday evening or Sunday morning services.

December 24 (Sunday, Christmas Eve) – Christmas Eve services, 3 PM, 5 PM, 7 PM, 9 PM, 11 PM with Holy Communion

December 25 (Monday, Christmas Day) – Christmas morning service with Holy Communion 9:30 AM

 

Get Inspired with Our Advent Devotional

Thank you, Dan Lareva, for 20 years this year of shepherding the creation of our annual Ascension Advent Devotional! 

Each year, members and the pastors of our congregation volunteer to write a devotional for the Advent season, and students from our school provide artwork. The booklet, which is a project of our Library Committee under Dan’s direction, is a wonderful vehicle for spending a little time each day thinking about Jesus and what His birth means.  You’ll be able to find the writings daily on our Facebook and Instagram pages. If there are no printed copies in the narthex, check with the office.

Don’t miss it!

The 9th Annual “Ascension Lutheran Church & Friends” Float Decorating Excursion

Save the date—and register NOW! December 30, from 4 PM until completion for Rose Parade float decorating.

Now is the time to make your plans for joining the Ascension group at this year’s Rose Parade float decorating excursion! Our fearless leader, Lauren Godfrey, provides details of this awesome event and fun volunteer opportunity. (Please let her know if you are planning to come as soon as you can — ):

Many folks have always wanted to help decorate floats for the Tournament of Roses Parade, held each year on New Year’s Day. Now’s your chance!

We’ll be using a Thrivent Action Team to bring a bus-load of volunteers to Pasadena to help the Petal Pushers decorate floats. Each year, in exchange for bringing together nearly 5000 volunteers to help decorate a warehouse full of floats, the Petal Pushers receive a substantial discount on the parade entry fee for the Lutheran Hour Ministries Float.

Our shift will be Dec. 30th from 4:00 – 12:00pm/“until completion” in Irwindale.

The theme for this year’s Rose Parade is “CELEBRATING A WORLD OF MUSIC” and the theme for the Lutheran Hour Ministries float is “Make a Joyful Noise Unto the Lord.” 

All friends – OF ALL FAITHS and whether you’re an Ascension member or not – are invited to join us!

Volunteers must be 13 years-old and over.

This is a great volunteer opportunity for seniors since there’s lots to do while sitting down; we save the scaffold climbing for the younger, more nimble folks.

NOTE: VOLUNTEERS MUST REGISTER WITH ME (NOT ON THE PP’s WEBSITE! – so If you’d like to join us, please let me know so I can let the Petal Pushers folks know how many we’ll have in our group. 

We will be meeting in the Ascension Lutheran Church parking lot at 2 PM

Don’t Miss Our School Christmas Program!

THIS Friday, Dec. 15 at 6 PM

This year’s calendar has New Year’s Eve falling on a Sunday. We kindly request that anyone who would like their contributions to be counted for this tax year, please get them in no later than Thursday, December 28. Even earlier would be appreciated! 

Yes, Jesus Loves You!

Gifts of Hope donations continue to come in!

As of December 7, our GOH total is $72,712.00! That will go a long way toward helping Friends of Fieldworkers, Harbor House, God’s Global Barnyard, ELCA World Hunger, and widows in Tanzania. Wonderful news!

Stay tuned for more updates. Dec. 17, the GOH table will again be available, accepting donations in the west narthex. You can also make donations here. 

In the meantime, here is a throwback to a past Gifts of Hope: “Jesus loves me” by the children in Burure, Zimbabwe, from our ELCA trip there in 2014.

Thank you for all your donations to Gifts of Hope since 2002! We have partnered twice with the Lutheran church in Zimbabwe and may do so again in the near future.

 

Saving Lives Together

Here is a note from Sherie DeVillers, our blood drive coordinator at Vitalant:

Thank you everyone for a great blood drive that has helped so much during this holiday season. We collected 22 pints of blood that will go to help up to 58 patients at the hospitals we serve.

We are so grateful for you and look forward to partnering with you again in 2024.

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A FESTIVE GATHERING:

The Monday Morning Women’s Bible Study Christmas brunch and program was a grand opportunity for savoring friendship, food and fun, while remembering the reason for the season. Chris Daleiden, leader of our Community Concerns Team, spoke about our church’s food pantry ministry for our neighbors, here every Friday morning.

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HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS:

This past Monday evening, our Global Ministries Team sorted and grouped some 3000 Christmas cards into packages of 50 for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service’s Hope for the Holidays card drive! We are one of three hubs in the country to receive the cards from other congregations across the country and then send them on to bring messages of hope to refugees.

New Member Class

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. To RSVP or with questions, please call the church office at (805) 495-0406 or email .

Hooray for our Middle School!

Offerings & Attendance

Pericopes

The last Sunday of Advent is also Christmas Eve.
There will be no regular Saturday Evening or Sunday Morning services

This Week:

John 1:6-8, 19-28

Next Week:

Isaiah 9:2-7
Psalm 96
Titus 2:11-14
Luke 2:1-14 [15-20]

 

Welcoming Guests

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, especially as we greet visitors this Christmastime.

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.

Upcoming books
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.

Our Prayer

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

 

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