Grace and peace to you my family in Christ,
People have been lifting their eyes to the hills lately, haven’t they? These last rains have brought the snow level down about as low as I have seen it. And it makes our hills and our mountains beautiful to look at. The 10.5 ft base of snow at our local ski resorts is also good to snowboard on! And we rejoice in the provision of water that will be absorbed by the soil as the snow gradually melts.
Psalm 121 captures this moment and this feeling when we lift our eyes to the hills. It is a simple eight-verse psalm that has become deeply ingrained in our Christian consciousness. Most recently, I heard it being sung by the choir as Queen Elizabeth’s casket was being carried into Westminster Abbey.
Let’s look at this psalm this weekend. By God’s grace, it will connect us to countless generations of pilgrims who have received hope and consolation from this beautiful and powerful scripture.
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 — .)
In Need Of Prayer
Full Moon Hike
Tuesday, March 7, 5:45 PM, Full Moon Hike to the California Lutheran University cross. The Lenten calendar for March 7 says to go outside and look at the full moon and thank God for the wonder of the night sky. You are invited to join Pastor Chamie and Aidan for a Delkeskamp Family tradition of full moon hiking to the CLU cross; sign up here.
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 Sundays March 5 and 12 at 10:10 in Founders Hall to examine these important questions. On the fifth, we will look at what Lent is. 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 1, 8,15,22 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.
How is Your Lenten Season Going?
We heard from people who played games last Friday, and who consciously fasted from complaining and criticizing. (Or at least tried to!) 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.
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.
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.
Special Saint Patrick’s Day Service — March 11, 6 PM
On Saturday March 11 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!
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 8, 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.
Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant
Our beloved Sister Emilia died Feb. 28 in Lima, Perú at the age of 92, after a life filled with the grace of Jesus, faith in God, the power of the Holy Spirit, the love of family, and compassion for the most vulnerable in the poorest parts of Perú. She was small in stature but a giant in the work of the Kingdom of God. She was known as the Mother Teresa of Perú to many people, and is well known to the Ascension members who’ve visited Peru and seen her work through the years.
As followers of our Savior Jesus, we look forward to heavenly worship and singing with her someday.
Her impact is beautifully explained in this powerful tribute by Pastor David. Read it here.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Creation Care Tip
Care for Wildlife!
Humans impact on wildlife is critical to their survival and to ours. We encroach on their habitats as our population increases. This causes their resource needs to decrease. Their ability to maintain their genetic needs lower until they are basically identical in their DNA. This weakens them. We have seen this in our populations here in southern California So, what can you do? Here are some examples:
1. Plant native plants. There are Nurseries that raise and sell native plants and will also provide information as to how to care for them: Matilija Nursery, Theodore Payne Nursery, Tree of Life Nursery, and The Tree People are some examples. Native trees also provide shelter. food, and sequester carbon in the soils.
2. Avoid the use of pesticides. Use natural methods. Allow nature to work its wonders.You can get information about different methods that work at these Native plant nurseries. Or do your own research on-line.
3. Picking up litter will help wildlife—and also us.
4. Be sure to provide fresh water out front and in your backyard. and leave a few leaves on the ground for the smaller critters to hide in and also to provide food for other critters. This composting also adds nutrients to the soil.
5. Take a hike and enjoy natures beauty! With all this rain the wildflowers will be a sight! And while you are out & about be sure to check out the progress on the Wildlife Bridge over the 101 freeway. CLICK HERE to see progress on the bridge.
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, Steve Herder, & Julie McCain
Romans 4:1-5, 13-17