Throughout human history people have believed there are specific locations in the world where heaven and earth touch. In fact, they don’t just touch, they overlap. Heaven literally comes to earth.
I call these “Thin Spaces,” and my message at all three services this weekend will delve into this fascinating reality. Where are they? What do they look like? And how do we bring them to One Ascension? (The Lord’s Prayer and Be the Blessing might provide clues.)
In my study of scripture and extensive research at Fuller Theological Seminary, where I earned my Masters degree in Theology, I was struck by how God’s Kingdom often erupts in the world and that each of us can be part of that collision between heaven and earth. These Thin Spaces are as real as the ground we walk on. And each of us are invited to enter into them.
Please join us for our Be the Blessing Weekend as together we enter God’s Thin Spaces.
It’s supposed to rain this weekend. A lot. Come to in-person worship anyway. It’s always more fun to explore new ideas together.
Immediate Past President, Church Council
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!
Launching this Sunday during each worship service. Don’t miss it!
Ascension Goes to the Movies — FREE!
We purchased 20 tickets for the Sunday matinee Showing of Season 4, Episodes 1, 2 and 3 of “The Chosen” — and they’ll be given free to the first people to sign up! Here’s the link.
Meet at the Regal Theater in the Janss Mall at 2:40, and Kaylee Searway will give you your tickets. FYI, there are intermissions because the film runs three hours and 27 minutes.
We are planning for a meeting and discussion forum with Ruth Rarick during lent. The Chosen Devotional Book, “40 Days with Jesus” will be provided to people interested in this Lenten Study.
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. 4 Session 2: Rev. Paul Evenson, “How Do Christians Address Controversial Civic Issues?”
In this session, we explore elements for constructive engagement when addressing controversial issues as a community of moral discernment. Looking at the history of the church and examining contemporary examples, we can learn from the successes and mistakes of the church’s more-than-2,000-year history of engagement with critical issues.
Feb. 11 Session 3: Rev. Paul Gravrock, “What Are Lutheran Views on Civic Life?”
Feb. 18 Session 4: Rev. Ron Cox, “What Are the Objectives of Democracy in the United States?”
Feb.25 Session 5: Mr. Karsten Lundring, “What’s Faith-based Living Got to Do With Civic Life?”
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.
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.
The 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, the choir also features 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.
We will have updates from the missionaries we pray for and financially support in Zambia (Pastor Kristin Engstrom) and in South Sudan (Pastor Wal Luot Reat).
Dr. Christina Sanchez, associate provost for Global Engagement at CLU will be sharing with the GMT about the ELCA Women Leaders program. She will share what it means to the women who are selected from their home country Lutheran-faith communities to have this support/opportunity from the ELCA and CLU.
Two ELCA partners will be joining us via Zoom, Tess Tait and Ben Hogue. Both are CLU alums and both are in leadership positions with the ELCA. Tess is a development assistant, and Ben is a mission funding director working with YAGM and Women Leaders programs of the ELCA.
We will also learn about the Young Adults in Global Mission program so we can encourage young adults to learn about the program and apply.
As a congregation who prays for, invests in and accompanies people globally, you are invited to learn more about these global ministries we support through Ascension Lutheran Church.
Feb. 7, from 4-5 PM, in the Bethlehem Room
Events This Weekend:
⇒ Specially-called Congregational Meeting Sunday at noon to elect call committee and discuss search for new associate pastor and youth director.
⇒ Get the blessing, be the blessing is here! Find out more at each worship service, with Ed Klodt preaching.
⇒ Pacific Lutheran University’s Choir of the West – We are excited to host this acclaimed group on their current national tour! Friday Evening at 7 PM. https://www.plu.edu/choir/
⇒ How do Christians Address Controversial Civic Issues? – Paul Evenson leads this Adult Ed. class beginning at 10:30 AM Sunday in the Library.
⇒ 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 Pantry Shelves Await Filling
From Community Concerns Chief Chris Daleiden:
The ALCTO Food Pantry received a beautiful gift … more shelves! We are so grateful. Now with a few blessings we will fill them up. Thank you Bob Tokin for all that you do every week for the pantry! Also thank you Jeff and Cam for these wonderful additions to the food pantry!
Don’t forget our Food Drive is coming up Feb. 25! (See flyer this page.)
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. 14 (Ash Wednesday), Feb. 21, Feb. 28, March 6, March 13, March 20. Call Dolores Ledbetter if you can donate cookies for one of the dates: (805) 716-3045 or (805) 750-7646.
February is Black History Month
Do You Know About the Children’s March?
In Louise Evenson’s recent Adult Ed. class about Dr. Martin Luther King, she referenced the 1963 Children’s March in Birmingham, Alabama. Many people today are not even aware of this event, which led to one of the key legislative achievements of the Civil Rights Movement.
This photo (above) shows the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, which was the church where the children came to learn and was the meeting place for the Children’s March. It is a Civil Rights Historic Site and currently an active place of worship. The 16th Street Baptist Church is also the place where in September,1963, just before 11 o’clock, Ku Klux Klan members set dynamite bombs that killed four young girls.
This is the pledge that all the children involved in the March had to sign:
Our local chapter of the African Descent Lutheran Association (ADLA) is co-hosting its second Black History Celebration with Cal Lutheran — with special worship services and lectures throughout February. You can see the full schedule of events by clicking HERE.
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.
Join Us for A Fabulous Fair Trade February
Red Barn Family Farms Fair Trade Cheddar Cheese from really happy cows in Wisconsin will be available for purchase in February. We’ll have Red Barn Cheese on Fair Trade Lane. You can also add it to your Fair Trade order with a handwritten note.
Fair Trade Lane will be open February 8th (2:30-4 PM) and Sunday, February 11th (8-9 AM) & (10-10:30 AM). (Fair Trade Lane is closed during 9 AM worship and Adult Ed Class). We’ll have Valentine stickers to add to Fair Trade treats and Valentine paper cut-outs to make Valentine cards – everyone is invited to make a Valentine we can display on Fair Trade Lane. We look forward to meeting & greeting you in February on Fair Trade Lane. Everyone is always invited & always welcome.
We think hearts are not just for Valentines Day – Fair Trade is always a gift from the heart.
Calling All Quilters!
Are you someone with the beautiful gift of sewing and quilting? If so, we would love to have you help with our High School Faith Quilt Milestone.
Each year we celebrate our high school seniors with the gift of a Faith Quilt. They are such a cherished and beautiful keepsake to carry with them as they move on to new schools, new jobs, and new places. They receive these quilts in June, but the process of creating them begins in the next month. If you’d like to help, please contact Dianne Beck at .
High School Seniors – Call for Faith Quilts!
The Faith Quilt Milestone comes in June, and we need to prepare soon!
Each year we celebrate high school seniors the first Sunday in June with the gift of a faith quilt. Because these take time to prepare and create, we need to know soon if you’re interested. Please email Dianne Beck ASAP if you’re interested in receiving a quilt so we can make sure to have this beautiful and meaningful milestone ready for 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.
Don’t have a New Year’s Resolution but Want to Follow God’s Will this Year?
You’re invited to:
Praying through the Psalms 2024
Weekly Study and Prayer Meetups (led by Dianne Beck)
What this is: A way to surrender our year to God and his will by reading, meditating on, and lifting our prayers to Him as we read and pray the Psalms, also known as Jesus’s prayer book. We essentially will be following what Paul tells us to do in Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
How we will do this: Each week will have a suggested list of Psalms to read, based on a schedule found in Praying the Bible by Don Whitney. While it may be helpful to have a copy of this book, it isn’t necessary, as I will guide us through how to follow the schedule and pray through the Psalms on the first week we meet. I will have a written summary of how to do this available as well for those who can’t make it in person.
Wednesday, February 7 (NO MEETING) Read suggested Psalms from schedule, record thoughts to pray on own and next time we meet.
Wednesday, February 14 -5:15-6:15 Meet and Pray
Wednesday, February 21- 5:15-6:15 Meet and Pray
Wednesday, February 28 – 5:15-6:15 Meet and Pray
If there’s enough interest, we can continue through future weeks as well.
Materials Needed: A Bible and a journal/notebook to record your thoughts and prayers each week.
In Case You Missed It…
In Need of Prayer
Click here for this week’s Prayer List
Psalm 147:1-11, 20c
1 Corinthians 9:16-23
2 Kings 2:1-12
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
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.
Feb 15 Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
March: The Mountains Sing
by Nguyen Phan Que Mai
Books should be available by Libby, local library, Amazon or thriftbooks.
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