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

March 17, 2024

Calling of the Apostles

Grace and peace to you my family in Christ,

 
“And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

These are some are words that God revealed to the prophet Jeremiah some 600 years before Jesus came into the world. They are words that we read in other places in the Bible, written down by other writers— from the beginning to the end.

Every time we read them we are reminded of God’s steadfast desire to be in a living, life-giving, covenantal relationship with God’s people. So why do we turn away?

And how can we, if we understand that it is the way that leads to life, learn to live within that covenant God offers us?

These are the questions that Jeremiah the prophet forces us to ask and also helps us find the answers for. I look forward to talking more about this in worship this weekend.

Blessings,

 

  

Pastor Search Update

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!

The Call Committee is continuing its work with diligence to identify potential candidates for the associate pastor position, including working to appropriately collaborate with the Southwest California Synod. It is still fairly early in the process.

Our Youth Director employment opportunity notice has now gone out to a wider audience, via Indeed.

Is there a pastoral prospect you would like to have considered? A promising candidate for Youth Director? Please make them aware of these opportunities and descriptions of the positions. Share this link.

And please keep this process in your prayers, as we ask God to bring us the perfect candidates for our church.

Congratulations

Reverend Amanda Berg

upon being ordained into the Ministry of Word and Sacrament
March 16, 2024.

Be the Blessing:

It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3

Living out our faith is like a clock. At 12 o’clock we find ourselves being blessed by God. Those blessings can be sufficient income . . . good health . . . a rewarding vocation . . . a supportive family . . . a productive retirement . . . a vibrant church (Ascension?). That’s Get the Blessing.

Be the Blessing is in the 6 o’clock position. It’s where you share a portion of your gifts – your time, your talent, your financial resources – in ministry to God and to others. Perhaps that’s feeding the hungry, assisting the unhoused, providing comfort to the grieving or serving as a resource to someone who is trying to overcome addiction.

Ascension’s Be the Blessing endeavor kicked off in February. And so far, we’ve been a blessing to hundreds of people to whom Ascension members have found simple, new ways of making a difference in our community and around the world. We’ve issued thousands of dollars in grant money to members who want to share Christ’s love through new acts of service.

You’re wondering how you can participate? Well, it’s as easy as 1 . . . 2 . . . 3.

1) Identify a need. Every day we see the needs of others. And, if we’re honest, we want to do something but we end up turning away. We may feel that we don’t have the time or financial resources to make a difference. Yet, we feel that tug at our heart.

2) Look into how you can help meet that need, and get others interested. Perhaps you desire to teach children for whom English is a second language . . . Or paint a porch for a housebound senior . . . 

3) Apply for a Be the Blessing grant to provide seed money for your idea and your ministry. Ascension can help you launch your idea. Your ministry could either be something brand new or done in conjunction with an already-existing ministry. (Click here for a list of One Ascension ministries already in place.)

It’s that easy. Filling out the grant request takes 10 minutes or less.

Imagine the clock mentioned earlier with Get the Blessing at the top and Be the Blessing at the bottom. Now picture the hands of the clock turning. The minute hand starts at the top by Getting the Blessing and moves toward the bottom in Being the Blessing. Get the Blessing. Be the Blessing. Get . . . Be . . . Get . . . Be.

As God fills our lives with blessings, we release some of those blessings to serve God and others. That’s life in God’s Kingdom. That’s Being the Blessing.

Don’t Miss It: March 16:

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Irish service
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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! 

Adult Ed:

 

This Sunday, March 17, at 10:30 

Ascension Library

Meet Dr. Christina Sanchez, Associate Provost for Global Engagement at California Lutheran University.  She will bring some of the CLU female international students to share their present work and hopes for the future.  Learn how are these remarkable women are inspired to create a sense of belonging at CLU and in the broader community.  Find out about the center and how we at Ascension are involved and can offer further support for this work.  

Crosses for Good Friday

The dominant symbol for the Christian church is the cross.  The crucifixion our Jesus is both the event that wins our salvation and Jesus’ enthronement as King of kings and Lord of lords.  

Of all days, Good Friday is the preeminent day to focus on the cross.  Therefore, as you come to our service that day (March 29), you are encouraged to bring a meaningful cross of your own.  It may be a necklace or a pin that you will wear.  It may be a cross that you will carry in your hand.  It may be ornate, or plain, or rough.  It may be metal, or wood, or glass.

If you have a cross that is meaningful to you, please bring it to Good Friday as we focus on the cross and on God’s gift of salvation for the world — and for each of us.

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Baptism This Weekend

Pastor Amanda Berg will baptize

Annie Jane Hooper

Born:  01/16/2024

 

 

 

Midweek Lenten Services – 2024
The Lord’s Prayer

 

Services are at 7 PM each Wednesday

March 20: Lead us not into temptation.
Preacher:  Rick Ertel
Scripture:  Romans 12:1-2
Hymn:  ELW #729 “The Church of Christ, in Every Age”
Singers:  Janna Santangelo and Heather Harner
Flute: Yvonne Zoetewey

 

March 28: Maundy Thurs. Deliver us from evil.
Preacher:  Ron Cox
Hymns:  ELW #325 “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me”
        ELW #504 “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”

 

 

Augustana Choir Notes

The voice ensemble will sing a selection of traditional and contemporary choral works. The choir is known for its innovative programming, attention to detail, and musical excellence.

The choir has a tradition of touring abroad and throughout the U.S. and has been invited to sing at many state and regional conventions.

Established in 1931, the Augustana Choir has been conducted by Dr. Hurty since 1996. The choir has performed at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York City, as well as many major cathedrals and concert venues in Sweden, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, Austria, Japan, Korea, Spain, France and the Czech Republic.

CLICK HERE FOR A SAMPLE OF THEIR MUSIC.

Give Gift Cards for our Welcome Basket Service Project

Your Global Ministries Team and Matthew 25:35 Outreach Ministry Team have invited ministry groups of Ascension to make WELCOME BASKETS for Refugees as a Lenten service project this year.  We have received a BE THE BLESSING grant to purchase the containers to hold the items for the Welcome Baskets.  We will also use the grant funds to purchase items needed so each refugee family receives all three kinds of baskets:  a bathroom basket, a cleaning basket and a kitchen basket. 

Would you like to participate in this project and BE THE BLESSING?  Here’s how:

Purchase a gift card from Walmart or Target in any denomination.  Bring it to Founders Hall on March 24, Palm Sunday, where our team members will receive your gift card and include it with the Ascension Welcome baskets.  These gift cards will allow the families to choose and purchase their own bedding as well as other household essentials they may need. Also on March 24, Ascension’s Sunday School children will be adding their hand-painted Welcome Hearts to all of the Welcome Baskets.   Questions?  Contact GMT members Carol Bjelland, Carol Bartell, Louise Evenson or Pastor Steve.  

During Holy Week, our Welcome Baskets will be delivered to a storage unit of the Conejo Interfaith Refugee Team.  They will deliver our baskets to new arrivals in SOCA in the coming weeks. 

In 2023, CIRT helped 50 families from 10 countries including Ukraine, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Thailand, Nicaragua, and more.  CIRT delivered not only Welcome Baskets, but also furniture to help set up apartments for families in Reseda, Canoga Park, Sylmar,  Simi Valley, Glendale and as far away as Palmdale.  Ascension has partnered with CIRT since its formation in 2015. 

 You can learn more about Conejo Interfaith Refugee Team here:  CONEJO INTERFAITH REFUGEE TEAM – Home    They are always looking for donations and volunteers!

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Hearts of Welcome

Creative & Welcoming little hands making beautiful Hearts of Welcome for “Be The Blessing” Refugee Welcome Kits. A very special way to share Welcome. A very special way to Be The Blessing! On Sunday, March 24, these young artists can place their Hearts of Welcome into the filled Welcome Kits collected in Founders Hall. Refugees receiving Welcome Kits will know, as soon as they open the Kit containers, that someone is thinking about them & welcoming them to their new home.

We say “Thank You” to all of the young artists, to their parents, and to Jenni Klemp for Being The Blessing For Refugee Families.

Ascension’s Global Ministries & Matthew 25:35 Outreach Ministry Teams

Think Spring With Ascension Fair Trade

Fair Trade Lane:  Thursday, March 21 (2:30-4 PM) & Sunday, March 24 (10-11 AM)

Happy Spring Everyone!  We look forward to meeting & greeting you on Fair Trade Lane!

In addition to Fair Trade Lane’s regular lineup of coffee (including Mt Meru Coffee), tea, chocolate, nuts & snacks, we’ll have Red Barn Family Farms Fair Trade Cheddar Cheese (Heritage & Weiss). And there’s more… we’re making some gift baskets too if you’re looking for a special something to share with family or friends. And, there’s even more… special boxed sets of Mama Ganache chocolates will be available for purchase on a first response basis. And finally, we’ll have paper, ribbons, markers & stickers in all of the colors of the rainbow ready at our art table for you to join us in making kites & butterflies to “Spring-i-fy” Fair Trade Lane.

If you like to order in advance, orders can be submitted until Wednesday, March 20. The March Form can be found HERE.  and on our Fair Trade webpage,. Paper copies can be found in the folders in the Narthex and the church office. As always, if you find that you can’t make it to Fair Trade Lane and are wanting some Fair Trade goodness, send us a note () or find us at church – if we have it on hand, we’ll be happy to get it to you. 

Let’s Be The Change We Wish to See!

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 19, 2024.

All scholarships will be awarded by May 24 for the academic year starting  next fall. The recipients will be informed in writing and will be recognized in a church service on June 9, 2024.  

Request a scholarship HERE.

 

 

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:

Wednesday, Ascension Prayer Chapel, 9:15 AM     March 20

OR

Sunday, March 17 Ascension Prayer Chapel, 11:40 AM

Looking Forward To Holy Week & Easter

Holy Week Services

March 24 Palm Sunday: 9 and 10:30 AM

(Saturday Palm Sunday observance March 23, 6 PM)

March 28 Maundy Thursday: 

9 AM Chapel and 7 PM Evening

March 29 Good Friday: 

11:15 AM Chapel and 7 PM Evening

March 30 Saturday Easter Service:

with Country Spirit, 6 PM

Calling of the Apostles

March 31 Easter Sunday: 

7 AM Outdoor Sunrise Service

Easter Breakfast by Ascension Youth served from 8-11 AM, $10 adults, $5 kids

9 AM Traditional Festival Service with our Chancel Choir

Followed by Easter Egg Hunt at 10:30 AM

11 AM Contemporary Easter Service with Praise Alive* 

Holy Communion will be served at each Easter service 

* Please note 11 o’clock start for the Contemporary Service, so there will be time for the Easter Egg Hunt

 

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:

Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51:1-12
Hebrews 5:5-10
John 112:20-33

 

Next Week

Isaiah 50:409a
Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11
Mark 14:1-15:47

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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