Grace and peace to you my family in Christ,
Have you ever been accused of overthinking something? Let me put it another way, have you ever suffered from “analysis paralysis?” That’s when we think about something so much that we don’t end up doing anything about it.
Overthinking is a bigger sin than I think we realize. Take for example the religious leaders in Jesus’ day. God sent them John the Baptist and they decided that John was too serious because he only ate locusts and wild honey.
Then He sent them his own Son Jesus and Jesus wasn’t serious enough because he went to too many dinner parties.
Now don’t get me wrong, God gave us a brain and we are called to use it. But sometimes our thinking becomes a burden, and we think our way out of life. Jesus wants to give us a different burden than that. Let’s talk more about this in worship this weekend.
A Dance of Faith for Sarah Lizama
Welcome Sarah Lizama, the latest addition to our office team!
She comes to Ascension with an eclectic professional background including stints in the mental health field, in publishing, and in marketing. She is a native of Moorpark, the eldest of five siblings, and a 2020 graduate of Cal State Northridge with a degree in child and adolescent development.
She’s a newlywed, too. She and husband Joseph, who is a plumber and HVAC technician, married in November.
Sarah also brings with her life experience of unusual depth for someone so young.
From an early age, she loved and excelled in dance — ballet, contemporary, jazz. But her dreams were interrupted when she was struck by esophageal cancer at age 14.
“I was able to fight it,” she says, looking lively and lovely during a morning’s conversation. But the cancer battle left its mark. The ballet and other dance that required continual stretching and use of upper body muscle was simply a no-go as she healed.
She did not give up, however. She traded her toe shoes for flamenco heels and castanets after discovering a new passion for the Spanish dance known for its intensity, expressive use of the arms, and rhythmic stamping of the feet.
Sarah says she wouldn’t consider herself a professional, but she learned flamenco so well that she was able to teach it herself, leading classes at studios in Moorpark and Simi Valley.
“For children,” she notes modestly.
Sarah stresses that it was her faith that brought her through the dark valley of serious illness: “I can’t imagine getting through without it. My faith is essential to my being.”
She is a long-time member of the Church at Rocky Peak in Chatsworth and finds herself right at home here at Ascension.
She learned of the administrative assistant opening through a friend who works at our Early Childhood Center, Karen Martinez.
As for what Sarah would like people here to know? “That I’m so happy to be here, and I look forward to supporting the ministries and mission of this church.”
She would love to go to Spain, and no doubt she will get there. She has already come a long way.
Accordionaires Coming to Ascension THIS Sunday!
Mark your calendars for July 9. Our 9 o’clock worship service will be enhanced by special music from the Los Angeles Accordionaires “Pops” Orchestra. The conductor is Janet Hane, a member of our church.
One of the largest accordion orchestras of its kind on the West Coast, the Accordionaires consists entirely of accordions and percussion instruments.
“Unlike the typical accordion bands that have only accordion sounds, the Accordionaires enjoy duplicating the sounds of a string orchestra by playing individual parts and utilizing specific reeds,” according to an Accordionaires press release. “Included are a few specialized digital accordions used to produce ‘voices’ that further enhance the orchestra experience.”
We can’t wait!
Cowboy Service is a Comin’
Did you know, the Nineteenth Annual Day of the Cowboy is coming up on July 22?
That means a noteworthy night is in store for those who attend Nancy Lee’s cowboy-themed worship service at 6 o’clock. Pastor Tim will lead, and on hand will be cowboy Pastor Mike Sheridan with a special message.
Western music will be the order of the evening, of course, and everyone’s encouraged to wear Western clothes as desired. Afterwards, Nancy will be serving up some of her famous cobbler. Don’t miss it!
Fair Trade Lane Will Be Open Sunday July 16
Bring your shopping list… Fair Trade Lane Will Be Open July 16 from 10:10-10:55 AM. This is a great opportunity to stock up on Fair Trade favorites, including Red Barn Family Farms Cheddar Cheese, for summer gatherings, picnics, or a treat to enjoy yourself! Invite friends to come and check out Fair Trade Lane too!
If ordering in advance works best for you, orders for your Fair Trade favorites can be placed until Sunday, July 9 (6PM). Order forms are available using this link. The June/July 2023 ordering form can be found on Ascension’s Fair Trade webpage as well. Paper copies are available in the church office and in the blue folder at the Information Desk in the Narthex. An email message will be sent with order pick-up information.
Prices for some of your Fair Trade favorites will be increasing after July 31, 2023. Equal Exchange, one of our Fair Trade product partners, has notified us of price increases due to their increased costs of packaging, transport, and agricultural products from farmers, cooperatives and partners around the globe. We’re reviewing the information we’ve received and an updated price list will be published later in July. The prices reflected on the June /July 2023 Order Form will apply through July 31, 2023.
Looking forward to meeting & greeting you on Fair Trade Lane !
Recently, many of you took the time to answer questions about your views on our worship services. The survey results shown below include not only your latest responses, but those from last autumn as well, to give our Council and other leadership a look at changes that might have taken place within that time frame. Check them out for yourself.
A Date to Remember for Youth and Young Adults
The 2024 ELCA Youth Gathering has been expanded – there will now be a Young Adult Gathering for those ages 18-25 held at the same time. If you or someone you know was denied the chance for a youth gathering experience by covid cancellations, this could be a great opportunity. The dates are July 16-20, 2024. Check out the Created to Be online information HERE and stay tuned for more information about scholarship possibilities.
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
Psalm 145:8-14 (8)
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
1 Kings 19