Dear friends in Christ,
When we think of stories of faith in the Bible, Hebrews chapter 11, is one of the key texts. It begins by giving a great definition of faith and goes on to tell us sixteen names of people who lived “by faith,” as well as the whole people of God living by faith. Then Hebrews 12 opens by proclaiming that Jesus is the “pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”
In my last sermon with you as a full-time pastor (at the three services this weekend), I will share stories of you and how you have lived “by faith” and how you have lived out your faith, as I’ve seen it here the last fifteen years. The stories will come through photos and graphics (surprise, surprise!) and we will see how you have lived by faith in worship and prayer, lifelong learning in Bible study, in your witnessing and serving locally and globally.
So it may not really be a sermon this weekend, but more a thank you to you for the ministries of One Ascension, and an encouragement for you to grow them even more into the future!
Beginning in September my work here will be about half-time, with most of it being done on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The Church Council gave me grace in saying my hours are monthly and not weekly, so that gives me the opportunity to spend more time with family.
My focus areas of work will be Senior Adult Ministries, pastoral care, the prayer team, Community Concerns, Global Ministries, doing the daily Facebook posts, and singing with our ECC on Fridays! Once in a while you’ll see me up front helping with worship services.
Thank you for your prayers for all of us and our ministries. You and your family are in our prayers and love as well.
This Week In Adult Ed:
St. Francis of Assisi
Where Michelangelo lifted up the Kingdom virtue of beauty so well, in St. Francis we will see the Kingdom virtue of goodness.
There are many aspects of Francis’ life and teaching that can inspire our walk of faith in Jesus. Come, and let’s explore these together!
Jim Overton will be leading this class, video and discussion! This Sunday, August 7, 10:10 AM in Founders Hall.
A Special Weekend
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. Philippians 1:3-5
What a partner in the gospel Pastor Steve is! Thank God for him especially this weekend, and come to worship, as he shares his last message with us (with lots of visuals and a thank you for the last 15 years together) before transitioning to a half-time call that won’t include preaching. We are deeply grateful to God for him!
The Monarch Blitz is Here! July 29-Aug.7
Why are Butterflies important to our Planet?
They are beautiful and colorful, and do a great deal for the environment. Like bees, and other critters, they are plant pollinators! They also serve as a valuable food source for other wildlife. Many butterflies are endangered including the Monarchs.
Here is how you can help all of them:
1. Create a Monarch butterfly “way station” by planting Milkweed native to this area to promote biodiversity and enable the natural migration pattern of the Monarchs.
2. Never use poisonous pesticides, use safe alternatives.
3.Butterflies, like all living things, need water. A few shallow saucers of water placed around will also encourage them to stay for a rest.
4. You can also plant other “butterfly flowers” for the other critters to visit.
5. Educate others about the Monarch’s, bees’ and other types of butterflies’ decline , and thus encourage them to take the steps to also protect these delicate species.
A Recap of the Youth Gathering
High School Youth Group Enjoys Farm Fun, Service, Sunsets, Mountain Tops, and mostly, Lots of Laughter and God’s Hand in it All.
by Dianne Beck
“Sometimes the best way to see God is by looking backwards.”
This was something a speaker at the recent Youth Gathering at Luther Glen said on our last day of camp, and as I look back on our week, I definitely see the hand of God in everything we did. Continue reading and view the entire slide show.
Pastor Finck to Present Chaplaincy Support Recognition to Ascension
Reverend Murray Finck, former Interim Bishop of our Southwest California Synod and Bishop of the Pacifica Synod, will be here August 14, presenting an expression of appreciation to Ascension for our support of the ELCA’s Federal Chaplaincy Ministries Scholarship Endowment Fund, and to give us some insights into the chaplaincy program. He explains:
The Christ-centered theology and grace-filled polity of the ELCA has equipped ordained ministers of this church to be ideal and sought-after Federal Chaplains in all branches of the US military, in the Veterans’ Affairs hospitals, and within the federal prison system.
To increase the numbers of ELCA Federal Chaplains, a team of volunteers has been fundraising for the ELCA Federal Chaplaincy Ministries Scholarship Endowment Fund for the past 5+ years. The earnings from this growing endowment fund are now able to annually scholarship six ELCA seminarians as they pursue pastoral ministry with the intent of becoming Federal Chaplains.
Over 300 donors are currently supporting this fund, including more than 90 congregations. Ascension Lutheran Church is one of those congregations and your gifts, now over $1000, gives you the distinction of being a Medallion Contributor.
The Development Team hopes Ascension Lutheran will continue to support this much-needed effort and ministry in the years ahead. The ELCA, its seminaries, their theological students, and the Federal Chaplaincy Ministries express our deepest appreciation and gratitude for your generosity.
Kindergarten and 9th Grade Milestone Coming up August 21
In Need Of Prayer
Save the Date
Rally Sunday–it’s ON!
This year, our Rally Sunday celebration will be September 11. There will be one worship service, at 10 AM, with Blessing of Teachers and Backpacks. Then it will be on to a celebration with food, music, games and lots of fun!
Last year’s Rally Sunday was one of the most popular events of the year! We thank everyone who turned out, especially our crew of mighty volunteers — from setting up to running games to helping with the tear down afterwards. And, no surprise, we will need volunteers again, the day before and the day of the event. Can you lend a hand? More details will be forthcoming.
Fair Trade & the Dog Days of Summer…
We’ve all likely heard the term “dog days of summer”, yes? It refers to the 20 days before and after the alignment of Sirius, the Dog Star, with the Sun — July 3 to August 11. That’s the “sciency” answer. Often, and this year is no exception, the dog days of summer tend to be warm, maybe even hot – really hot days when people, pups & other pets need to stay cool and well-hydrated. We think a Fair Trade sale is a good way to usher out the dog days of summer this year… Woof! Woof!
We’ll be accepting orders until Friday, August 12 and hope to have items ready for pickup the following week. The July-August 2022 Fair Trade ordering form is accessible HERE. Paper copies will also be available in the Church Office and in the blue folder at the Information Desk in the Narthex. (Please do not leave payment with your order form).
This can be your chance to re-stock the pantry, get some treats for late summer picnics & gatherings (Red Barn Family Farms cheddar cheese is a great picnic addition!) and maybe fill a package with chocolates and snacks to send with students leaving for college or starting new jobs and adventures.
Every day, whether in-person or online, we encounter products to eat & drink, wear & share. Let’s Be “Fair” Out There!
Loving Jesus and Kids — It’s What We Do
Introducing the beautiful new graphic produced by Ascension Lutheran School. Teachers contributed their thoughts on what to include in a portrait of themselves and our school community. It all starts with loving Jesus and kids, kids, kids!
The service for Marty Spadaro will be Saturday, August 13, at 11 AM at Ascension
The service for Rev. Dr. Howie Wennes will be Sunday, August 14, at 1 PM at Ascension
Join Us For:
Baby Book Group!
Parents and little ones 3 years and younger are invited to join us n the school courtyard, Sunday, August 21 at 10:30 to read an age appropriate, faith-based book together.
Bring a blanket to sit on (or we’ll have extras). Light snacks provided. This is an opportunity to connect with other families!
You’ll get a FREE copy of the book to take home too!
Summer Sunday School
This summer, we’re trying something new and focusing on hands-on projects in Sunday School, as we have tons of fun and learn about the fruits of the Spirit.
Children age 3-6th grade leave after the children’s message in our 9 am worship service, and can be picked up at the picnic tables after worship. If it is your child’s first time attending, you’re welcome to leave the sanctuary with them, to ensure they find their way.
Please register your child if they plan to attend; this will also ensure you receive Sunday School emails and updates! Here’s the LINK
July 3-August 28: Sunday School!
Sept. 4: Labor Day Weekend, no Sunday School
Sept. 11: Rally Sunday, with food and games after worship.
Can’t wait to see you!
You can make a big difference in someone’s life.
Did you know that with just one blood donation, you can help up to 3 hospital patients? Ascension Lutheran Church is sponsoring our Blood Drive on Sunday, August 21 from 8:00-12:30 in Founders Hall.
Please sign-up by calling Vitalant at 805-542-8500 or online HERE and use the blood drive code: 8522.
–From your Ascension Community Concerns Team
Ascension Office Front Desk
Click HERE to learn more
Our Community Concerns Team is looking for two more people to be the backup leaders for our once-a-month food ministry with Harbor House on the third Tuesday of each month. We thank Tania and Barry Disselhorst for leading this outstanding ministry for our community. For the times when they are not available to lead, we need this backup team of two people! Contact them, or our chairperson Chris Clark, or Pastor Steve. Thank you to all who prepared the delicious dinner for the Harbor House – Thousand Oaks ministry at Holy Trinity July 19!
Ascension needs one more person to help count our offerings. You’d be called on once every four or five or six weeks. For more information or to talk about the possibility of signing up, visit with Tom Fields or with Pastor Steve. This ministry has been a little easier now that we have so many people giving their offerings online. Thank you!
Women’s Monday Morning Bible Study Is Back!
Women’s Monday Morning Bible Study resumes Monday, Sept. 12, and we hope you will join us for what promises to be an exhilarating study on the book of Luke that will take us through Monday, May 8.
News flash: This year, we won’t be just in the morning—we’re offering an evening Zoom group for those for whom the evening works better.
You can sign up at the table outside the west narthex between Sunday services Aug. 7-Aug. 28. Continue reading…
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
Psalm 33:12-22 (22)
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16