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

May 5, 2024

Calling of the Apostles

Grace and peace to you my family in Christ,

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love” says Jesus in the 15th chapter of the Gospel of John.

So, this means that Jesus will love us if we just do what he tells us to do, right? Not exactly. We have the order wrong.

Jesus loves us no matter what we do. But He loves us too much to keep us where we are. He wants us to grow. He wants us to know the joy of abundant life.

And so He has given us a path to walk. It is an ancient path called God’s commandments and it is meant to give us a way through the ups and downs of life.

Let’s talk more about this in worship this weekend. See you there!

Blessings,

 

  

This Week In Adult ED:

Two-Part Poetry Series

May 5: Iambic Pentameters & All That Jazz

May 12: Poems from the Heartland

Led by Pastor Jack Ledbetter, Professor of English, Emeritus

An actively published writer, Dr. Jack Ledbetter’s poems, stories and articles have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He will share his writing inspiration and poetry with us over two sessions in adult education.

These two sessions will feature: Poems of the Heartland and the people who plowed the dirt and fought the weather, but somehow managed to love the land and each other, thankful for short winters (sometimes), good children, a cow who refuses to go dry and a God from Whom All Blessings Flow.

MAY 5 – CHANCEL CHOIR SINGS HAYDN

On May 5 our Chancel Choir, under the direction of Dr. Wyant Morton, will be singing the Missa brevis (brief mass) by Franz Joseph Haydn. This is the work that’s been previewed over recent weeks at our 9 AM worship service. Be sure to be on hand for this special presentation with our choir, which will be accompanied by strings. CLICK HERE for a preview.

A friend and mutual admirer of Mozart’s, Haydn’s life took him from an impoverished childhood to the peaks of fame across Europe as one of its leading composers of his day. He wrote this work around 1775, during the time he was living in Eisenstadt, Hungarian Kingdom, in the court of Prince Esterhazy. It has been performed by choirs large and small, with varying accompaniment, and continues to be acclaimed as “a rewarding pleasure.”

Traffic Advisory:

Due to the Conejo Valley Days Parade there could be traffic delays on Sunday, so please plan accordingly. Avoid the Thousand Oaks Boulevard area where the parade route runs from Duesenberg Drive to N. Conejo School Road. Also note: if you exit out of the Erbes Road driveway, only left turns will be allowed as Erbes traffic is being limited.

Being the Blessing To Those in Need

Sometimes blessings come in lunch bags.

Recently 31 three–year-olds joined staff members and teachers from Ascension’s Early Childhood Center to bless less fortunate members of our local community – all funded by Ascension’s Be the Blessing program.

ECC Director Jenni McCoy applied for the Be the Blessing grant to provide funds for this endeavor.

The kids packed lunches for clients at Harbor House, a local nonprofit that helps meet the needs of the disadvantaged in the Conejo Valley. The bags were decorated by our students and packed with foods and treats. And they had so much fun that Jenni said they’ll do this again in the future.

The ECC also sent the children home with an information packet about Harbor House and its outreach so that families could learn more about how their children made a difference in the community.

If you have an idea for a new ministry or how to expand an existing one, check out our Be the Blessing page on Ascension’s website.

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THE GOSPEL IN A BOX

THE GOSPEL IN A BOX.  THE GOSPEL IN A BOX. That’s what the RAY OF LIFE solar light kits are. They are bringing the GOOD NEWS of light and hope to Ukrainians.  This GOSPEL message of light also tells them they are not alone and there are people in Thousand Oaks, CA who want them to know that we care for them.

Your gift in ANY amount will mean that you are delivering the GOOD NEWS of light!

One solar light kit and water purification kit, including shipping and delivery to Ukraine, is $150.

Give HERE or designate your check to ASCENSION LC for RAY OF LIFE solar light kits.

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To think, a simple 4-lb. unit could make such a difference! Ascension members have been learning how to assemble Ray of Life kits and what they’re all about. (See video above). Our friend Olha from Ukraine demonstrated how they work for Pastor Tim’s children’s message, before joining in for fellowship and some tasty borscht after worship.

Audit Report: No Snags

The printed reports for our most recent audit have arrived, and are available for review by our members at the Church office during normal office hours.

Join us in person or via zoom to learn more about two Lutheran organizations who do advocacy work as part of their mission: Justice and Peace for All. Learn what you can do to lift your voices in advocacy!

GUESTS VIA ZOOM:

Pastor Eric Shafer, Lutheran Pastor in Residence for Global Refuge (Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service)

Regina Banks, Executive Director, ELCA Lutheran Office of Public Policy, California

“As you follow in the footsteps of God, it doesn’t only benefit the person in need. It fills your soul.” Patricia, volunteer for Bread for the World.

P.T. VISITS YOUNG ATHLETES:

Ascension youth group member Ella invited Pastor Tim to share a message recently at Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Moorpark High School. He talked about being a disciple of Jesus and forming “muscle memory” with our Christian practices.

News Briefs

Calling All Graduates and Families of Graduates!

We are planning a congratulations tribute to all of Ascension’s sons and daughters who are completing graduation milestones in education this year — and WE DON’T WANT TO LEAVE ANYONE OUT! Families, we need your graduating student’s NAME, SCHOOL and, if applicable, COLLEGE DEGREE. Please email , or drop off your information at the church office.

The Chosen Book Two Study

Book Two: The Chosen 40 Days With Jesus is a great devotional for the Easter Season, taking us from this week to Pentecost. If you want to really follow Jesus and “The Chosen” disciples, delve into this devotional with Ruth Rarick during these 40 days. Call me or text me- 360-204-0529. — Ruth Rarick

Fair Trade: The Very Merry Month of May 

Everyone is invited to join us in this very merry month of May for Fair Trade fun! 

Fair Trade Lane will be open Thursday, May 9 (2:30-4 PM) and Sunday, May 19 (10-11:30 AM). If you haven’t yet checked out the transformation of Fair Trade Lane, now is a great time to do so!  We’ve got baskets lined up on the top shelf ready to make your shopping fun and easy. 

Fair Trade Wine & Snack Tasting Event. Saturday, May 18 at 2 PM in Camarillo.  We’ll be learning about a line of Organic, Fair Trade & Sustainably produced wines from Argentina and tasting them too! We’ll also be learning about and tasting some of your Fair Trade favorites (chocolate, cheese, nuts & snacks) from Fair Trade Lane.  There will be a few delicious surprises too!  Lots of fun and fellowship round out the line-up for a great afternoon.  All costs for this event will be covered by a participation fee of $25.00 per person  – no church or ministry funds will be used for this event.  Participants must be 21 years of age or over. For questions, or to RSVP, send a note to us at .  Space is limited. When you send us your RSVP, please give us your contact information and the names of those included in your sign-up. We’ll keep a waitlist once the sign-up list is filled. 

May Benevolence:

Agape Fund

The word “agape” is the word in the Greek New Testament that means “unconditional love.” The Agape Fund is the discretionary fund used by the pastors to help people who find themselves unable to pay for the basics of life, whether that be rent, utilities, groceries or gas.

Here is a letter from one who has received help in a time of crisis:

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Dear Ascension,

I wanted to take a moment and thank you for helping me through this past month when I saw no way out.

I am a single mom. I work two jobs, and due to working so many hours, just to make ends meet, I ended up owing $__ in taxes. I never had owed before so I was in a panic. At the same time my car broke down. It had many different reasons why the check engine light was on. The mechanic suggested I get rid of it, as it wasn’t worth keeping or repairing. But I am still paying on this car so walking away from my car wasn’t a good option, when I only have one year left to pay on it.  Car repairs were $__, so with my taxes, and car repairs, I hit my lowest. I cried for weeks not knowing how I was ever going to get through any of this.  I can honestly say I was not okay. I did have thoughts of giving up— but I had to push through for my kids. 

 I reached out to you and poured my heart out. I truly had no idea what to do.  I started to feel God was angry with me. I try so hard to live a good life. I work hard, and try to live a life my kids are proud of. But I felt everything was hitting me at once, but you provided help—more than I could ever imagine.  And I want to sincerely thank you for everything.  You saved me, you gave me hope and gave me so much to push through. I will always be grateful to you.

Thank you!

[Name Withheld]

Upcoming Memorial Services

Dick Ruwe

May 11 at 2 PM

Don Meyer

June 1 at 2:30 PM

Dr. Allen Leland

June 8 at 11 AM

Fellowship, Friendship and a Faith Lift:

Ladies, Come Join Us for Bible Study!

What happened to Jesus’ disciples? How do we break down barriers that separate us from God and each other and best live out our faith?

If you join us for our next Women’s Monday Morning Bible Study starting in September—and we really, really hope you will—you’ll learn the answers to those questions and a lot more.

We’ll kick off our new Bible study year with our Fall Fellowship Gathering on Sept. 16. Succeeding weeks will find us immersed in a 10-part study on “The Twelve Disciples” by Douglas Connelly.

The study, with some lively commentary, promises to be not only informative, but useful. We will, notes Pastor Steve, “learn about the uniqueness of each of the original 12 disciples, and how their faith and witness (even in death), can empower us to live faithfully and fully for Christ today.”

Then, in January, we will delve into noted theologian John Stott’s study, “Ephesians: Building a Community in Christ.”  Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is often called “the gospel of the church,” but it is much more even than that.

“Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is filled with rich details about Christ and His Church (chapters 1-3), and then profound words on how we are to live this Christian life (chapters 4-6),” Pastor Steve says. “Each chapter will bless you!”

Stott’s 12-part study, which is highlighted by his powerful Biblical insights, will take us to the beginning of May.

Would you like to join us? If so, sign-up sheets (and more information) will be available at tables on the east patio between services every Sunday in May. Cost is $30 for BOTH books, payable at sign-up. If you need a little help, scholarships are available. Please contact Pastor Steve.

Don’t miss the blessing!

Offerings & Attendance

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In Case You Missed It…

In Need of Prayer

Click here for this week’s Prayer List

Pericopes

This Week

Acts 10:44-48
Psalm 98
1 John 5:1-6
John 15:9-17

Next Week

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Psalm 1
1 John 5:9-13
John 17:6-19

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

Best Practices for Submitting Your Newsletter Stories       CLICK HERE

Pastor Search Update

Thank you to those who attended the Call Committee’s meeting with the congregation on April 14 where we covered the call process, our ongoing efforts to coordinate with our Southern California Synod and our ongoing request for prayer as this process advances. We are committed to remaining transparent and in communication with the congregation throughout this process and especially as there are more substantive updates to share. As a reminder, the Committee is available to the congregation and can be reached at 

Nine first interviews and some second interviews have taken place with Youth Director candidates — interviews involving Pastor Tim, Principal Rich Gregory, our Youth Director Search Team and representatives from our high school youth group. There is optimism and excitement as the process moves toward the next step of determining which prospects may be invited for in-person interviews here on campus.

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 by sharing THIS LINK.   

This space is dedicated to keeping 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!