Grace and peace to you my family in Christ,
We are currently in a 4-week sermon series called Blessed to Be a Blessing: Invite, Grow, Serve. In our first week we talked about how when God blesses us, we are called to use that blessing to bless others.
How are we called to do that together as a church? We look to our motto: Invite, Grow, Serve.
Last week we talked about Invite and how important it is for us to be a community. To invite and provide space for people to be welcomed and loved.
This week we will be talking about growing. The word that we will be focusing on is Disciple. As disciples of Jesus, we never stop growing—there is always something new to discover and learn. Sometimes this can be uncomfortable, but when we discover something new about God’s kingdom, about ourselves, and about God’s love—there is always joy.
I am excited to see you this weekend!
Global Ministries Team in Good Hands
We are delighted to announce that Dr. Louise Evenson is heading up our Global Ministries Team through year’s end.
In addition to her contributions here at Ascension – including spearheading our Lutheran World Relief Kits ministry and serving on our Church Council – Louise brings with her a wealth of experience from various other roles. She was an adjunct professor and associate dean at CLU, a Group Vice President for American Express Financial Advisors, and a dedicated board member of Lutheran World Relief for an extended period.
Currently, our Global Ministries Team has about 15 members, and would love to welcome fifteen more. Join the GMT in spreading blessings to neighbors both near and far. The next GMT gathering is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 4 PM in the Bethlehem Room, situated behind the church offices.
Louise steps into the role previously held by the late Eloise Cohen, who was an exceptional friend and leader.
We will be coming together to commemorate Eloise on Oct. 1 at 10:30 AM, at the Kavli Theater of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Auditorium, with Pastors Tim and Steve. Following the event, a reception will be held in the lobby. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chuck and the Cohen family during this time.
ANNUAL REPORT OUT
Our Annual Report has now been published. It’s a document that’s full of interesting, inspiring information, and shows so many people here at Ascension living examples of what Jesus wanted us to do.
If you wonder about the health and wellbeing of Ascension, read the Annual Report. If you wonder about the great things going on at Ascension Lutheran School and Ascension Lutheran Early Childhood Center, read the Annual Report. If you wonder about whether we’re doing good in the community, read the Annual Report. If you wonder about whether we’re doing good in the world, read the Annual Report. If you wonder about the vitality of our Foundation, read the Annual Report.
You’ll be glad you did!
October is Fair Trade Month
We’ve got a great line-up of events and opportunities planned to celebrate Fair Trade Month. We hope you can join us for all of them!
October 12 (2-4 PM). Jack’s Corner @ California Lutheran University. Join us for our road trip to CLU. We’ve been invited to join friends at the Global Café. What a great opportunity to meet, greet, connect, listen, learn & share with students, staff & faculty at CLU. We’ll “pop-up” with some Fair Trade favorites too.
October 22—Ascension Fair Trade Double-Header!
Oct 22 – 10:30 AM. Ascension’s Library. Chef Ben Taylor, Chocolatier with Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates in San Luis Obispo is joining us, via Zoom, for Adult Ed Class to talk chocolate — Fair Trade, Ethically Sourced, Changing Lives & Really Good! Chef Ben will share with us his story, including his role with Project Hope & Fairness, a nonprofit group helping small cacao farming communities in West Africa get their seat at the table that is the global marketplace. If we’re going to “talk” chocolate, it’s only right that we “taste” chocolate too! We’ll be tasting some of Chef Ben’s chocolate creations at the conclusion of the class.
Oct 22 – 2-3:30 PM. Founders Hall. Fair Trade Tasting & Tea! Join us for a tasting of Fair Trade products as well as sweet and savory delicious delights made with Fair Trade ingredients, and of course, delicious Fair Trade Tea. This is a great opportunity to invite others who may not be familiar with Fair Trade. What better way to celebrate Fair Trade than with some treat tasting, tea sipping & fun. Everyone is invited! As Fair Trade cares for the environment, so do we – we’re asking all attendees to bring their favorite tea cup or coffee mug with them to the event. Not to worry – we’ll have plenty of tea cups on hand too. Details are in the flier above. Sign up HERE by October 8!
Watch for details coming soon – we’ll be taking orders for boxed sets of Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates in October. The selections of hand-crafted chocolates will include milk chocolate, dark chocolate and vegan options. We’ll have these treats available for pick-up in mid-November.
Attention Woofers and Tweeters and Meowers and Hissers and People:
Blessing of Our Pets is Coming!
Sunday, October 1, 6 PM-6:30 PM
In the upper barking lot!
Here are some of Pastor Steve’s photos from past Blessings of Our Pets:
Are You Ready for National & International Coffee Days?
If you haven’t circled these days on your calendar, now is the time to do just that. National Coffee Day in the United States & Canada is celebrated on September 29 this year. International Coffee Day is celebrated on Sunday, October 1. How lucky for us – we can celebrate coffee on September 29 and October 1. The first official date was October 1, 2015 and the International Coffee Organization wanted to promote fair trade and sustainability as well as raise awareness of the challenges faced by small coffee farmers around the world. A good reason to celebrate in 2015. A good reason to celebrate in 2023. Let’s join with coffee lovers locally & globally. Let’s make our cups of coffee count – Let’s make our cups of coffee Fair Trade.
Are you ready? Do you have the necessary supplies to join in the celebration? Fair Trade Lane won’t be open again until October 19 but if you send a note to us at before Wednesday, September 27, we’ll do our best to help you out with the items you want to purchase. If you enjoy your coffee at a local coffee shop, ask them to make yours Fair Trade!
THE MORE WE GET TOGETHER…
Congratulations and Thank You to Dolores Ledbetter and Janet Gardner on the successful launch of Ascension’s “Meet & Eat Coffee Fellowship”! Great turnout! This is a perfect way to show friends new and old Ascension’s welcoming spirit. More, please. (Photo courtesy Janet Gardner)
SIGN UP HERE
Join Us for Quilt Tying!
Enjoy a morning of friendly company and snacks while getting the satisfaction of helping others by tying quilts for Lutheran World Relief! If you’re interested but unsure of what to do, it’s super easy to learn. All are welcome to come help and “Be the Blessing.”
Tuesday, September 26
Any Time between 9 AM – Noon
Thanks to Lauren Godfrey’s leadership, we have been deeply blessed to have groups from Ascension involved each year in covering fabulous Rose Parade floats in petals — especially the annual Lutheran Hour Ministries Float.
Here’s a sneak peek at the 2024 float. Time to start thinking about joining in this bucket list activity this year!
7th Grade Milestone
September 24, 9 AM
ALSO MAKE NOTE:
Confirmation Information Session
For Parents and Students to attend together
Thursday, September 21, 6-7 PM
for 7th and 8th grade families, in the Bethlehem Room by the offices
Confirmation is a two-year program of faith formation, service, and fun. Join us if you’re curious or want to know more information.
Full Moon Hike
Thursday, September 28, 6:30 PM
Led by Pastor Chamie, Devin Milligan, and Ms. Charlotte
Come watch the sun set and the “Harvest Moon” rise on Thursday, September 28 at the cross at California Lutheran University.
We will meet at the end of Mount Clef Blvd where it dead ends. We will begin the short hike up the cross at 6:30 PM.
The hike is brief, but a little steep near the cross. We will have a time of singing and prayer at the cross.
We will then hike back down around 7:30 PM. Sign up HERE
New Time and New Location for Adult Education Classes
We will kick off our new program of stimulating and informative Adult Education classes October 8. The classes will be held beginning at 10:30 on Sundays in the Library. The theme for October is: Vocation: Living a Purposeful Life.
Presenter: Rev. Paul Gravrock
Topic: Vocation and the Christian Life
Presenter: Colleen Windham-Hughes, PhD, MDiv, Associate Vice President for Mission and Identity, California Lutheran University
Topic: Discerning Vocation at Cal Lutheran
Presenter: Carol Bjelland and Fair Trade Chocolatier, Chef Ben Taylor
Topic: Service through Fair Trade
Presenter: Rev. Paul Gravrock
Topic: Martin Luther’s Understanding of Vocation
‘Come to the Waters’ Mini Retreats With Pastor Chamie
This September, Pastor Chamie is launching a new weekly podcast called “Come to the Waters” that will have a new episode posted each Monday about a spiritual practice for the week.
In addition, there are several “Come to the Waters” half-day mini retreats on the beautiful campus of North Hollywood First United Methodist Church, where she is senior pastor.
Come to one or come to them all. The first “Come to the Waters” mini retreat is Saturday, October 14, 8:30 to 11:45 AM. The theme is: “First… Quiet.”
In a world that is so loud and so busy, we will explore practices that might help us to turn down all the external and internal noise so that we can discover a holy stillness and draw strength from that well. Fee is $40; scholarships available. Sign up here.
Anxiety Workshop for Congregational Leaders
Do you know how to help folks work well together? Want to have some tools? This workshop is for you!
This workshop will be offered twice:
From 9 to noon on October 7 at Holy Trinity, Thousand Oaks
And 9 to noon on October 14 at First Lutheran in Torrance.
Pick one, bring some friends and learn!
This free workshop is brought to you through a partnership between California Lutheran Homes and Living the Resurrection.
Finance Committee Update
The Finance Committee met Monday night to discuss the Church’s financial results for the first couple of months of the fiscal year: July and August. So far the budget we prepared and approved as a congregation in June seems sound. We will recommend to the congregation to ratify it at our upcoming Annual Meeting on September 24. One area noted and discussed is the initial shortfall in general offering. As a congregation we agreed to stretch and increase our offerings by 3%. While we are exceeding our offerings year to date over last year, we are still about 7% shy of our overall budgeted offering.
How You Can Help:
1. Review Your Current Giving: If you are already giving electronically, take a moment to review your current giving amount. Consider and pray about if there is room for a 3% increase based on your current financial situation.
2. Set Up Electronic Giving: If you have not yet started giving electronically, we encourage you to explore this option. Electronic giving is convenient, secure, and ensures a steady flow of support to our organization. Diane can guide you through the process step by step.
3. Contact Diane: For any questions, concerns, or assistance with electronic giving, please reach out to Diane at or 805-495-0406, ext 241. She will be more than happy to assist you, ensuring your giving aligns with your preferences and capacity.
In Case You Missed It…
Let’s Help Homeless Women
Please donate your clean,
Gently used handbags/purses.
The bags will be packed in November with:
Deodorant, socks, small lotion, hairbrushes, nail clippers, nail polish, lip gloss, chap stick, small hand sanitizers, and feminine hygiene products
Collection: October 21-29
Drop off daily 8 AM – 5 PM at St. Jude’s vestibule
Saturday, October 21 at our drive-thru food and recycling collection from 9-10 a.m.
Call 805-495-4630 for questions
Book Club Notes
The Ascension Book Club meets the 3rd Thursday of the month at 1:30 in the Bethlehem Room, in the office building. The group chooses books based on members’ interest and discussion is led by one of the members. Books vary from popular novels to nonfiction. Please feel free to join us–we are a friendly group.
*Sept 21 “Act One” by Moss Hart*
Oct 19 “The Great Alone” by Kristen Hannah
Nov 16 “A City of Promise” by Beverly Swerling
Dec 15. “Christmas by the Book” by Anne Marie Ryan
In November we will choose books for the next few months. We are open to suggestions. Books should be available by Libby, local library, Amazon or thriftbooks.
* This book could change to “Clark and Division” by Naomi Hirahara. Lots of copies at the Camarillo Library.
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