Grace and peace to You my family in Christ!
This weekend is Good Shepherd weekend in church. It means that we will be hearing scriptures that focus on that ancient image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd that God’s people have been waiting for generations. It is a beautiful and comforting image. And the scriptures (like Psalm 23) that contain this image are among people’s favorites. There is a bit of a catch here though. Think about it… if Jesus is a shepherd that makes us… you guessed it… sheep. Is that a flattering comparison? Not really. But it is a wonderful opportunity for a preacher to tell some baaaad (get it?) jokes.
See you in worship!
This Sunday! Great Music Organ Concert
Great Music at Ascension is excited to present organist Matthew Daley, April 30 at 4 PM. Matthew is a rising star in the field who is just about to get his doctoral degree from USC’s Thornton School of Music. He received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees with emphasis in classical piano from the University of Maryland. He earned a second master’s degree from Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music. He has also studied organ with William Neal of the National Symphony Orchestra and John Walker, former president of the American Guild of Organists. Matthew is the recipient of the Julia R. Sherman Memorial Prize for Excellence in Organ playing and was selected as a finalist in the National Association of Negro Musicians Scholarship Competition. His passion for the organ and for church music has led him to play for churches including the National Presbyterian Church, New Haven Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church of Los Angeles.
Bread for the World Sunday
At our April 30 class we will observe Bread for the World Sunday. Join the class to learn about the Farm Bill, and then to write letters to Congress. Personalized letters and emails stand out. They tell senators and representatives that you, as a constituent, really care about an issue.
The impact of the Farm Bill is significant. It not only affects the agriculture and food sectors – it can play a huge role in ending food insecurity and hunger in the U.S. and save the lives of millions abroad. Tell your senators and representatives to support reauthorization of the Farm Bill in order to build healthy, equitable, and sustainable food systems. We know how important feeding the hungry was to Jesus in his ministry, and now for us as well.
The class will be led by Pastor Steve and our Global Ministries Team, at 10:10 AM in Founders Hall. We thank Eloise Cohen for leading our partnership with Bread for the World.
Thank You, Kristi Haar!
Ascension is filled with people quietly serving behind the scenes, keeping our beloved church going strong. One of those volunteers is Kristi Haar. Among other things she does for Ascension, she expertly proofreads this newsletter week after week. She has caught hundreds of errors through the years. If you appreciate the professional polish she gives these pages, tell her thanks. We certainly do, and we certainly are! (If you happen to find typos or other goofs on these pages, in all likelihood it is because she is taking one of her rare weeks away.)
In Need Of Prayer
Coming Up in Adult Education
When archeologists discovered “The Epic of Gilgamesh” in Mesopotamia, written in cuneiform script on clay tablets in the Third Millennium B.C., who knew “Mary Had a Little Lamb” was coming? Or “The Star Spangled Banner” or “Jesus Loves Me” were coming as sure as “Liddle Lamzy Divey?”
Poetry is as much a part of the human makeup as music, dance, painting– or rearranging your books on the shelf, or a leaf you picked up along with a few pebbles on your desk or table. The urge to create is God-given and comes in a myriad of manners. Sunday, May 7, we will read some poems that may touch a chord in the reader or remind you of something you wrote years ago and have saved because you were moved to put it down on paper. That’s creativity at work and play.
With Pastor Jack Ledbetter, Poet, Author, and CLU Professor of English, Emeritus
Ascension’s New Member Class
Would you like to take another step in your spiritual journey with God and Ascension Lutheran Church? If so, we would like to invite you to be a part of our next New Member class on Sunday, June 11, from 12-2pm. This meeting will focus on the basics of the Christian faith and on the ministry of Ascension. Childcare is available and lunch will be provided.
Fair Trade News
Did you know that April is Fair Trade for Planet and People Month? Justice for People and Planet is who we are and what we’re all about! We’ve been busy in April sharing the vision and message of Fair Trade in lots of fun ways – there was “Something New and Something Moo” with Barn Family Farms Fair Trade Cheese founder Dr. Terry Homan; our Fair Trade road trip to the CLU campus where we learned much about Fair Trade and the clothing industry; and the debut of an awesome banner we look forward to displaying everywhere we go! And more people have joined our Ascension Fair Trader email group! If you missed us in April, no worries. We’ve got fun opportunities lined up for the merry month of May. Everyone is invited!
May 21 is a Fair Trade “double-header” day. We’re hosting an Adult Ed Class (10:10-10:50 AM) on chocolate, complete with tasting samples of some new chocolate varieties. In the afternoon, there’s a wonderful Fair Trade Tea at 2 PM hosted by one of our Ascension Fair Trader families at their home in Newbury Park. We’ll have Fair Trade sweet and savory delectable treats along with tea, coffee, great fun and fellowship.
There will be an opportunity to order your favorite Fair Trade treats May 1 – May 14. Ordering forms will be in the Church Office, on our webpage, distributed via our email list and in the blue folder at the Information Desk in the Narthex. Or, use THIS LINK for a downloadable copy. We hope to have orders ready for pick-up before May 24th.
We’re hoping May will also be the month when we launch our new Fair Trade venture as we transform the hallway and cupboards in Founders Hall into the new home of Ascension Fair Trade. We’re looking for art – visual images (drawings, paintings, photos of your creation) of what Fair Trade is and what it means to us, farmers and artisans – to bring the space to life and make it an inspiring, welcoming and fun place to celebrate Fair Trade. For more information, send us a note; we’re at .
Pastor Chamie’s Garden 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 in the garden on the remaining Wednesdays May 3 and May 10— at 6:30-7:45 PM. Sign up 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.
Did you know that the Season of Easter is actually 50 days on the church calendar? How might you continue to live in the spirit of Easter?
Join Pastor Chamie in reading Eugene Peterson’s book Living the Resurrection. She will be doing weekly blog posts on the book at www.pastorchamie.com. A book club discussion will take place on Tuesday, May 23, in the Delkeskamps’ backyard garden.
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.
AL School Food Drive
Ascension Lutheran School is pitching in to help our food pantry with a food drive – and we can pitch in to help them help, too! May 17-24, bring your donations to the church office during the week, or drop them off at church when you come for weekend services. The need is great. In one recent Friday alone, our pantry gave away more than 60 bags of food to our neighbors who came asking for help. Above is the list of most-needed items. Remember, we can’t give out any expired food.
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 Peter 2:19-25
Psalm 31:1-5, 16-16
1 Peter 2:2-10