Grace and peace to you my family in Christ,
This weekend I invite you to join me at a place called Jacob’s Well located near a city called Sychar in the region of Samaria. This setting in John 4 is a significant place because it is the place that followers of Christ first started realizing that the message of Jesus was aimed not just at Jewish men but at all the world including, to their amazement, unmarried Samaritan women.
The conversation that Jesus has with a particular unmarried Samaritan woman is one of the longest recorded of Jesus’ conversations in the entire Bible. It’s beautiful. And thought provoking. And studying it will lead us to a deeper understanding of God’s amazing grace. I look forward to the conversation. See you in church!
Ascension Youth, Young Adults and Confirmation Students joined friends from our Global Ministries Team and Fair Trade Ministry for this bonfire event. Thanks to Pastor Steve for the photos.
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Ascension Fair Trade: Spring has Sprung!
The temps may still be a bit chilly, but we’re ready for Spring and we hope you are, too!
We had a great time at our bonfire event with Ascension’s Youth, Young Adults and Confirmation Students on March 5 in the parking lot. With friends from CLU and friends from different continents too, about 45 of us gathered around the warm bonfire and enjoyed pizza, s’mores made with Fair Trade chocolate and, of course, friendship and fellowship.
We thank everyone who attended and all who helped make this possible, including our friends from Thrivent. Now that we’re warmed up and daylight hours are growing longer, we’re thinking ahead to Easter and gatherings with family and friends.
There will be a quick opportunity to order Fair Trade products – March 11-19.
We plan to have orders ready for pickup by April 4 at the latest. The March 2023 Order Form is available in the church office, in the blue folder at the Information Desk in the Narthex, on our Fair Trade webpage or by using this link.
We’re working on some fun changes for Ascension Fair Trade … stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks. We look forward to seeing you at our Adult Ed Class on April 2 when we’ll talk, and likely taste, Fair Trade.
Great Music at Ascension
Scandinavian Suite This Sunday Afternoon
Individually and as a duo, German violinist Jochen Brusch and Danish organist Sven-Ingvart Mikkelsen have a wealth of recording and concert tour success across Europe and around the world. Known for infusing fresh ideas into classics, they’ve won kudos and enthusiastic applause with new takes on composers from Bach to Vivaldi. March 12 in our sanctuary, they’re playing Percy Grainger’s Scandinavian Suite, refreshed and supplemented with selections from their Scandinavian repertoire.
Ascension School Outdoor Classroom/Garden Work Day
Saturday, March 25, 9:00 to 11:00 AM
Come help us spruce up the outdoor learning areas around the bungalow (where the Nature Lab and Makerspace are located) as well as our garden boxes. You might also be watering and fertilizing our tomato plants for our annual sale. We appreciate the help!
LENT: WHAT AND WHY
Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of the Lenten Season for the Christian church. What is Lent all about, and why is it important that we keep a holy Lent each year? What is the purpose, and what are the important themes? Is Lent about giving up something for forty days, or is there more to it than simply doing this?
I invite you to join me for the Adult Class at 10:10 on Sunday March 12 at 10:10 in Founders Hall to examine these important questions. On the twelfth, we will look at why this Season is so important for us.
I wish each of you a most holy and meaningful Lenten Season.
Holden Evening Prayer Services
This Lenten season, Holden Evening Prayer services will be held Wednesday evenings at 7 PM (March 15,22 and 29). Sharing this beloved service, with its responsive musical litany, is a perfect chance to reflect and appreciate Jesus’ life and love for us. Invite friends. HERE is a sample from the past. Following the services, there will be fellowship time with cookies.
Another Lenten Resource
Pastor Chamie’s blog — on her new Pastorchamie.com website — offers stories to share and thoughtful reflections as the season unfolds.
Check it out HERE.
A Memorable Lenten Season
How is your Lent going?
Sharing Holden Evening Prayer services, activities from our Lenten Calendar and other doings at Ascension has made this a memorable season already. In case you missed it in person or on social media, here are Pastor Chamie’s beautiful photos from the Full Moon Hike earlier this week. She writes:
“What a glorious full moon hike to the cross at California Lutheran University! We had 51 One Ascension hikers! God painted a glorious sunset and brilliant moonrise. We read Psalm 148, sang, and prayed at the cross. What a beautiful night!”
There are so many thoughtful activities ahead on our shared Lenten calendar. In case you missed it, HERE is Pastor Tim’s letter about our awesome calendar.
You can view the calendar HERE.
HERE is a link to the online version of the calendar.
Be sure to pick up your print copy at worship services or in the office.
Give an Easter Lily for Remembrance
Majestic Easter lilies beautify our sanctuary each year—and you are invited to donate one or more in honor or remembrance of someone special to you. You can purchase an Easter lily by filling out the flower envelope in the pew rack and enclosing $9 for each lily ordered. Or by emailing and sending $9 by check or online giving page under Other.
In Need Of Prayer
Ashley Steere Wins National Nursing Award
Congratulations to Ashley Steere! She has been named recipient of a national Daisy Award for service excellence in her work as Clinical Educator for Women’s and Children’s Services at Los Robles Hospital.
Being honored by the Daisy Foundation is a pinnacle achievement for nurses. The organization is supported by a Who’s Who of nursing associations across the United States and around the globe. So it’s especially gratifying to learn that the honor has been bestowed upon Ashley, who is best known around Ascension as a kind, smart, dynamic member of our School Board — and as a mom. Ashley and her husband Robert have two daughters, Ella and Audrey, Ascension members all.
She knew she had been nominated, part of a field of 40-70 possible recipients. But it wasn’t until the day it became official that Ashley found out she had won. Her family conspired with Los Robles insiders to be on hand, along with Ashley’s parents, for her presentation — a “Mission: Impossible” they managed to pull off.
“I’m very humbled and honored to get this award,” says Ashley, who has been at Los Robles for two and a half years.
Prior to that, she was on staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for more than seven years. She admits that patient interaction is what she misses most about being a bedside nurse. But certainly, her work now impacts the lives of many patients.
Asked about juggling such large responsibilities, Ashley admits, “Some days I think I‘m doing too much.” However, she grew up watching her mother serve on the board of the small Lutheran church and school she attended in Glendale, and her father serve on the Church Council — to name just two of the ways they contributed their time and talents.
“That’s how I was raised,” she says. “They set a good example.”
Now people in Ashley’s world are watching the example she is setting.
Coming up in Adult Ed:
Leaving A Legacy For Those You Love
Our Ascension Lutheran Church Foundation guest speaker will be Lisa Marie Higginbotham, the regional representative of the ELCA Foundation. Lisa will lead us in two classes at 10:10 AM, Founders Hall:
Sunday March 19: An introduction to stewardship using a small book by Charles Lane, entitled Reflections on Faith and Finances.
Sunday March 26: An overview of the ELCA Foundation services available to us as individuals.
A copy of Reflections on Faith and Finances is available as a gift of our ALC Foundation for you to read prior to Lisa’s presentation on March 19. Please contact the church office, or Paul Evenson (; 925-324-4476) to receive your copy in preparation for Lisa’s presentation.
The Library Committee is getting ready for Lent. Once again, we will need cookies each week for the fellowship time in Founders Hall after the Wednesday Service. The remaining dates this year are March 15, March 22 and March 29.
If you want to provide cookies for any of these dates, call Dolores Ledbetter at (805) 716-3045 or (805) 750-7646.
Special Saint Patrick’s Day Service — March 11, 6 PM
This Saturday our 6 PM worship service will be turned over to the Emerald Isle – complete with piper and bodhran drum. If you remember last year’s very special St. Patrick’s Day-themed service led by Nancy Lee, you will no doubt want to make sure to come, and if you missed it, well, make double sure to be there this time. Sign up for Irish treats afterwards (click here), so she will know how much to have on hand!
Call for Worship Help
Click HERE to check out what help is needed in worship, and sign yourself up any place you see a need.
Financial Commitment 2023 Deadline Extended
Our members’ financial commitments are a vital step in helping us maintain Ascension and plan for the future, ensuring our ministries are funded. Please, if you have not already, take a moment to prayerfully consider making a commitment to give weekly, monthly, annually or in whatever way you feel led.
Be A Eucharistic Minister
“Come and taste and see that the LORD is good.”
Those are words you hear every week as you are invited to the Lord’s Table, to come and receive the sacrament of Holy Communion.
Six years ago, Ascension Lutheran embarked on a new ministry, called Eucharistic Ministry. Eucharist is a Greek term that means “Thanksgiving”.
Holy Communion is the time when we come together as a worshiping family to celebrate the great mystery of Christ’s body and blood. For many, it is the highlight of our time together. Unfortunately, there are many in our congregation that cannot be with us for this celebration. These are people who are homebound or in care facilities. Maybe you have been the person in that hospital or shut-in at home and thought how good it would be to receive communion with someone from your church. Maybe you’ve wondered how that happens. Here is your chance to find out!
We have wonderful pastors, but there are simply not enough hours in the week to visit everyone frequently. That is where you can help. Eucharistic Ministers take the sacrament from worship to share with our shut-ins. This does not take the place of pastoral visits, but supplements that ministry. By taking communion to those who cannot worship with us, we are including them in the congregation’s worship. You are reminding them of God’s love and their congregation’s love and concern for them. Your time with them is not simply a “visit from the church”, it will be a continuation of the congregation’s worship.
We had to stop visits during the height of the COVID pandemic, but are now making visits once again. In the last six years, we have made over 800 visits. We will be holding a one-day training class this summer.
If you are interested, if you are feeling the urging of the Holy Spirit, if you are not sure and are simply curious what this would be like and would like more information, please contact Pastor Ron Cox (; cell 805-807-5257). (Or Pastor Steve — .)
This year’s annual tomato seed starting has begun! This year marks our 10th Annual Tomato Sale! To celebrate, classic tomato varieties will be available as well as the new addition of other fruits and vegetables including cucumbers, beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, squash, and herbs!
Come buy your plants Friday, March 31-Sunday, April 2!
Bowls of Hope for Many Mansions
March 26, CLU Kingsmen Park, 11 AM – 2 PM Enjoy meaningful & fun family activities: an informative exhibition on the homelessness issue, affordable housing, and Many Mansions; an opportunity to take action and be part of the solution; crafts, games, and a raffle! By attending Bowls of Hope, you’re investing in your community! All proceeds from this event support our continued work to provide affordable housing and life-enriching services to families that call Many Mansions home.
College Scholarship Applications Now Available
Attention Ascension students and student families: Our Ascension Foundation is making available to you the chance to apply for scholarships. Please click HERE for all the details and forms. The deadline for applications including letters of recommendation is April 21, 2023.
All scholarships will be awarded by May 23 for the academic year starting next fall. The recipients will be informed in writing and will be recognized in a church service on June 11, 2023.
Help for Earthquake Victims
As images continue to fill the media of the devastation in the wake of the recent 7.8 earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria, Lutheran World Relief and Lutheran Disaster Response are already on the frontlines to bring assistance and, as always, serve as the hands and feet of God. The needs are growing by the hour. Here are links to provide financial support.
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
1 Samuel 16:1-13