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

February 25, 2024

Calling of the Apostles

Early Christian Catacomb painting of Jesus and his disciples, pre-third century

Grace and peace to you my family in Christ,

“Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” (Mark 8:31)

Why did Jesus have to die on a cross?

How would you answer this if someone who does not know what Christianity is about asked you? It’s good to have an answer to this question as it is one of the most basic questions that people ask as they explore Christianity.

And be careful, as normal as it has become to Christians to have a cross in our church or hanging around our neck, the idea that the son of God would both die on a cross and tell his followers to pick up their cross, since the first time Jesus said it was deeply offensive.

So why does he say it? And why does he want us to pick up our own cross? The short answer is that as counterintuitive as it seems, doing so leads to life. Let’s talk more about this in worship this weekend.

Blessings,

  

Pastor Search

This space is dedicated to keep our church community apprised of the transition activities as we seek an Associate Pastor and a Youth Director.

We are guided by Jeremiah 29:11, leaning especially into “…to give you a future with hope…” knowing that God has a plan for One Ascension!

(Here is Pastor Tim’s update to the Church Council regarding the search. The rest of the Administrator and Pastor Council Reports can be found HERE)  

Late January and early February has been quite a time in the life of Ascension Lutheran Church. Much is being accomplished and I can see the future unfolding. All the while, we continue through the rhythms of the liturgical year transitioning from the season of Epiphany to the season of Lent and, as I am sure you will read by the rest of the reports, the Holy Spirit is flowing though the Church, School, and Foundation.

Perhaps the most important processes going on right now are the search for our Youth Director and our Associate Pastor. January was a month of queuing the tasks in each process, writing job descriptions, interfacing with the Synod, calling volunteers for the Call Committee and the Youth Director search team, and presenting the plans to council, staff and the congregation.

These activities culminated in the congregational meeting which was held on February 4th. In this meeting we elected a Call Committee and presented the process to the church. I was pleased by the team that was elected and the good conversation that happened at that meeting. Multiple people have pointed out the engaged and concerned nature of the people that were there. I am so grateful that people understand how important this process is to the future of One Ascension. I iterated one of my major roles in this process: “Captain Catalyst.”

I believe it is my job to hold the tension between moving fast and picking the right person. We need to do both as best we can. That involves making sure that our Call Committee is equipped with what they need, that we continue to communicate urgency to Synod office as we are required to partner with them, and to continue to network with various pastors and churches around the country to let them know of the position. I really appreciate the hard work and expertise of Carrie Leonard and Kaylee Seaway and we work on these things together.

  (CLICK HERE to see the committee members.)

What Has Be the Blessing Funded So Far?

One Ascension’s Be the Blessing is off to a good start. This new program has awarded grants for six new ministries, some of them serving people in our community and others blessing people across the world.

Ascension’s Early Childhood Center used Be the Blessing funds to create small “We’re praying for you” care packages for the teachers at Westlake High School following the tragic deaths of two students there.

Another Be the Blessing grant was approved to fund a scholarship for a Fair Trade coffee farmer in Tanzania.

Ascension’s Day School has received funding for two projects so far – one to provide sack lunches for 40 to 50 unhoused individuals in our community on four different dates and the other to provide starter kits with household and toiletry items for youth who have aged out of the county foster care system.

Another Be the Blessing grant went to the Global Ministries Team, which is working with other groups at Ascension to provide kitchen, bathroom and cleaning kits to refugees settling in the community. And grant monies have been provided to the GMT to establish a new relationship with a Fair Trade coffee cooperative in Africa.

What ministry would you like to start or be part of?

Check out our Be the Blessing page on the Ascension website. It contains all the information and an easy-to-use form to get you started. More info HERE.

Thank you to those who are already engaged with Be the Blessing. To everyone else: Come join us in sharing our blessing by Being the Blessing.

Chancel Choir Brings a Memorable Choral Worship Experience

Those who experienced the Chancel Choir’s Good Friday cantata with string ensemble last year found it to be a profoundly moving and memorable musical event. 

Now, as you probably heard Choir Director Dr. Wyant Morton explain this past weekend, the Choir is preparing for another cantata, a mass by Franz Joseph Hayden, to be performed with strings in May. 

We will be hearing parts of this choral worship piece each Sunday at the 9 AM service throughout Lent. It began this past Sunday with the Kyrie. (HERE is the Chancel Choir last Sunday.) 

This coming week, part two, the Hymn of Praise, will be performed, followed by the Creed, the Sanctus, the Lamb of God, and the Agnus Dei.

All of these parts can be found in our own traditional liturgy. 

Adult Ed

Join us in Adult Education for a series of thoughtful study and lively discussions devoted to CIVIC LIFE AND FAITH.  All Classes are held in the library, beginning at 10:30 AM 

Feb.25 Session 5: Mr. Karsten Lundring, “What’s Faith-based Living Got to Do With Civic Life?” What is the “common good?” Who decides? How do we as individuals and as a church discern and seek the common good along with others in the public sphere?

March 3 Session 6: Rev. Steve Herder, “How Do We Go in Peace to Love and Serve the Lord in Civic Life?”

The curriculum for Jan. 28-March 3 can be downloaded HERE.

Printed copies will also be available for each session.

 

Midweek Lenten Services – 2024
The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer is the most familiar of all the prayers we pray. It is part of virtually every gathering for worship, and when the service includes Holy Communion, it serves as a table prayer. Outside of the church setting, it is used in the meetings of virtually all recovery groups and in many other gatherings.

For this very reason, it is likely that we sometimes shift into rote mode, and the words cross our lips without our brains really being engaged. When this happens, we devalue this gift given to us by our Lord Jesus.

To help us toward a deeper understanding of this wonderful prayer, we are making it the basis for the sermons at our midweek Lenten services. These Wednesday evening services will continue each Wednesday through March 20. The order of service will be the beloved “Holden Evening Prayer.”

Please join us to sing God’s praises and to explore and to pray this foundational prayer of the Christian church.

This month’s quilt tying session will be
Tuesday, February 27th between 
9 AM – noon
in Founders’ Hall.
Join us for any or all of the time.
All are welcome!
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food drive feb 4
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Food drive feb 2
FOOD DRIVE
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Project Response Food Drive:

Our Project Response Food Drive is Sunday, Feb. 25, from 8:30-11:30 AM

Details including needed items are in the flyer on this page.

Thank you, Community Concerns leader Chris Daleiden, for shepherding this drive. And for these photos.

Thank you, Ascension volunteers, for handing out bags for Project Response last weekend.

And thanks to everyone who donates food to bless the neighbors around us who are in need.

‘The Chosen’ Lenten Discussion Group

Thank you to Ruth Rarick for leading our Lenten discussion based on “The Chosen” devotionals. Here is the schedule for meetings:

Wednesdays, Ascension Prayer Chapel, 9:15 AM

February 28, March 6, March 13 and March 20

OR

Sundays, Ascension Prayer Chapel, 11:40 AM

March 3 and March 17

Presentations will be given by those who attended the recent leadership gathering from Ascension and CLU: Mary Wennes, Pastor Steve Herder, and our CLU partners, Freya, Angela and Dulce.

Come and hear how our contributions through Ascension Lutheran Church to ELCA WORLD HUNGER are making a difference, worldwide!

 

Save the Date! March 16:

St. Patrick’s Day Eve Service

March 16 may actually be Saint Patrick’s Day Eve, but it’s not too early to observe special traditions in our 6 PM worship service. 

Nancy Lee is planning some surprises — and you won’t want to be missing out! Arrive five or ten minutes early, in fact. The service begins at the top of the hour exactly.

Afterwards, enjoy festive fellowship and refreshments (Baileys ice cream and cookies). Please sign up HERE if you want the dessert so Nancy will know how much to have on hand! 

Bring Cookies for Lenten Fellowship!

As hard as it is to believe, the season of Lent is almost here. We need people to donate cookies for our fellowship time after 7 PM Wednesday Evening services. The dates are Feb. 28, March 6, March 13, March 20. Call Cookie Monster Dolores Ledbetter if you can donate cookies for one of the dates: (805) 716-3045 or (805) 750-7646.

Thank you!

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Events This Weekend:

 

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Ascension Goes to the Movies for ‘The Chosen’ Lenten Study – Regal Theater at Janss Marketplace, for episodes 1,2 and 3 of the new fourth season. 3 PM movie start. Free ticket opportunity.

New School Site Has Ascension Swag

Check out our new school website HERE! 

This lively new site is as easy to use as it is great to look at. This is the work of Ashley McCoy, owner and operator of Start Here Marketing in College Station, Texas. In addition to doing brilliant work, she also happens to be the daughter of our Early Childhood Center Director, Jenni McCoy.

Do not miss out on the school’s swag shop. You, too, can order clothing and other goodies proudly emblazoned Ascension. 

Let’s go!

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shop ascension
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Offerings & Attendance

Martin Luther King’s Last Speech

From February 12-April 16, 1968, Memphis sanitation workers held a strike in response to two sanitation workers who were killed from a malfunctioning garbage compactor.  The 1,300 workers were striking for a decent living wage, and safe working conditions. They marched under protection of the National Guard with signs that said “I AM A MAN”, a statement of their humanity and dignity.

“Because you’re a black sanitation worker: You have no sick days.  You might not be paid for rain days.  You are required to work extra hours, but do not receive overtime pay.  You have no breaks.  You could be fired for being one minute late.  You work under life-threatening conditions hauling maggot-infested trash bins.”  From the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, Memphis, TN.

Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Memphis and walked with the strikers on March 18, 1968.

On April 3, he returned and delivered one of his most memorable speeches, “I’ve been to the mountaintop.” It was also his last speech.  On April 4, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.  

 A segment of this speech can be seen here:

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Last Speech: I’ve Been to the Mountaintop (youtube.com)

“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

“And so I’m happy, tonight.  I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man!  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!”

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Communion Assistants

Would you like to help distribute communion during worship services? You could be of great help volunteering on Sundays. If you already know how to do this, great. If you don’t, our worship coordinator, Jenelle Smith (), can teach you. 

  

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.

Youth Director Wanted

Ascension is now accepting applications for a new Youth Director. If you or someone you know has the heart for this ministry, please check out the details. And everyone, please pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us. Here is more information on this career opportunity.

In Case You Missed It…

In Need of Prayer

Click here for this week’s Prayer List

Pericopes

This Week:

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
Psalm 22:23-31
Romans 4:13-25
Mark 8:31-38

Next Week

Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
John 2:13-22

 

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

March: The Mountains Sing
by Nguyen Phan Que Mai

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 and Steve Herder

 

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