Friends in Christ,
This week we shout “Hosanna” with the crowd, even as we walk with Jesus on a path that we know will lead to the cross.
Join us all this week at our Palm Sunday and Holy Week services, as we ponder how it is that those who shout “Hosanna” would so quickly shout “Crucify him,” and that Jesus would still choose to die and rise for all of them.
It is one of the most beautiful mysteries of our faith–that though we deserve none of what Jesus has to offer, we receive all of it.
I’m grateful that we get to walk this path together.
Holy Week is Here
Holy Week — a time to stop and focus on the final, monumental days in the life of Jesus, to gather together and reflect, to prepare for the joy of Easter. Here is the full schedule:
Holy Week Services
April 1: Evening Service Observing Palm Sunday with Country Spirit, 6 PM
April 2: Palm Sunday Traditional Service 9 AM, Contemporary 11 AM
April 6: Maundy Thursday Chapel 9 AM, Maundy Thursday Evening Service 7 PM
April 7: Good Friday Chapel 11:15 AM, Good Friday Evening Service — Cantata “The Seven Last Words” with Chancel Choir, soloists 7 PM
April 8: Saturday Evening Service Observing Easter with Country Spirit 6 PM
April 9 Easter Sunday:
7 AM Outdoor Sunrise Service
9 AM Traditional Festival Service,
11 AM Contemporary Easter Service
Holy Communion will be served at each Easter Sunday service.
10:30 Easter Egg Hunt
Easter Breakfast by Ascension Youth served from 8-11 AM, $10 Adults, $5 children
Looking Forward to Easter
Holy Week is here. This is a great time to invite friends and relatives to join us in experiencing worship at Ascension.
This is also the last week of our shared Lenten calendar, which has enhanced this year’s Lenten season in so many ways.
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.
In Need Of Prayer
Good Friday Cantata
On Good Friday this year, we have a special addition to our evening service at 7 o’clock. Our Chancel Choir, joined by vocal soloists and instrumentalists under the direction of Wyant Morton, will perform “The Seven Last Words,” written by Michael John Trotta.
The Seven Last Words are a set of texts that have their origins in the Bible and are often referenced in liturgical services during Holy Week. Musical settings capturing the emotion and depth of the final words spoken by Jesus on the cross exist as far back as the 16th century. Trotta composed his piece in 2016. As one reviewer wrote, while “The Seven Last Words” is rooted in liturgical tradition, it also has a contemporary sound. In fact, “It wouldn’t be a stretch to observe that several extended passages are reminiscent of what might be heard in a contemporary film score.”
Please join us April 7, and be sure to invite family and friends, as we come together to experience this worship service and its music, and remember the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for each of us.
Sunrise Service Help Needed
Easter is coming, and we are so excited to celebrate this year by helping at the Sunrise service and also with making and serving breakfast! If you’re interested in helping, we would love all the help we can get, and of course we’d love for you to spread the word about the service and the breakfast too!
For the Sunrise service, we would love help with music (singing or playing instruments), serving Communion, and greeting. For breakfast, we need lots of helpers for the day-before prep as well as cooking, serving, and cleanup on Easter morning.
Currently on the menu are pancakes, eggs, sausage, fruit, orange juice, coffee, tea, and hot cocoa. We’re planning to charge $10 for adults and $5 for a child’s plate. All funds raised will go towards the youth expenses for our July summer trip to Luther Glen.
Breakfast will be served from 8:00-11:00 in Pederson Hall, so you can either come after the garden Sunrise Service or come before the 9:00 and 11:00 services that are held in the sanctuary.
We’re looking forward to a beautiful day of celebrating our risen Jesus and serving our wonderful congregation members and friends.
Coming Up in Adult Ed:
Something New & Something Moo
Everyone is invited to Founders Hall Sunday, April 2 at 10:10 AM for a special Adult Ed class hosted by Ascension’s Fair Trade Ministry. Dr. Terry Homan, DVM and founder of Red Barn Family Farms in Appleton, WI, will be joining us via Zoom to share his personal story of faith and Fair Trade — how his Christian faith and his training in veterinary medicine and animal husbandry came together to become Red Barn Family Farms. We’ll talk about the word “dominion” in the context of our faith, our values and food. Homework, you ask? Well, yes, but you know the text already:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth… And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26, 28).
A test, you ask? Well, sort of … a taste test, that is! Samples of Red Barn Family Farms Fair Trade Cheddar Cheese – Heritage & Weiss – will be available along with Brewer’s Pita Chips and Flatbread Crackers. Sunday, April 2 @ 10:10 AM-Founders Hall.
See you in Class!
This past December, Pastor Chamie completed a year-long program through the Horticultural Therapy Institute at Colorado State University to earn her certificate in horticultural therapy. She loved reading about healing plants and how science shows what we already know to be true about God’s good creation… time digging in soil and holding seeds and clipping flowers and tending plants is good for our health. It lowers our stress levels and helps our anxious hearts find some rest. Join Pastor Chamie four Wednesdays in a row this spring: April 19, April 26, May 3, and May 10— at 6:30-7:45 PM. Sign up HERE.
Deadline Nears for College Scholarship Applications!
You still have 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.
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. The deadline is this Sunday, April 2.
Easter Sunrise Service
The Easter Sunrise service will take place under the oak tree in the future garden oasis area. This area is located at the far end of the big parking lot behind the “bungalow” (the modular building). You may enter through the modular front door and exit down the back door and ramp. If you need assistance of a walker or wheelchair, this is the best route. There is limited seating on the sidewalk around the sand pit. Most of the seating will be located on the grassy hill that descends to the oak tree. It is a beautiful location for an early morning Easter service!
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.
Our in-person worship attendance figures have been rising. Let’s celebrate that! We had 363 last weekend. Our average for 2022 was 246, and our five-week average on March 4-5 was 330. (This is not counting the online service numbers.)
With Palm Sunday, Easter and better weather ahead, the forecast for in-person attendance is sunny indeed. There is just nothing like being together with our One Ascension family and friends in worship and for other activities, sharing life’s sorrows and joys.
TONIGHT’S – THURSDAY’S — AI SEMINAR:
Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing the world. A venture capitalist and a philanthropist writing in the Washington Post a few days ago noted that billions are being bet on this technology and that AI will make the advent of the internet look like a “warm-up act.” With this in mind, you won’t want to miss tonight’s seminar on ChatGPT — March 30 at 6 PM in Pederson Hall. Our School Board President, Scott Bean, will be speaking at the event. This seminar is open to all school and church family and friends. Come and learn.
Our School’s annual auction gala is coming up April 29. At gorgeous Wolfe Canyon Ranch this year, this dining and dancing fundraiser is bound to be a great time for all. Check it out HERE.
Congrats, Fourth Grade Milestone Recipients!
ATTENTION SPACE EXPLORERS
This summer’s Stellar VBS is looking for a few good builders to construct two primary set decorations for the week-long program in July; a LUNAR LANDER, and a ROVER.
Ideally, pieces for each item will be created and assembled by a two-person team. Instructions, specs and materials will be provided. Some tools and experience are necessary.
Soon, we’ll also be looking for crafters to help us build stars, portholes, etc., from home.
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
This Week (Palm Sunday):
Next Week (Easter):
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24