Saturday 6 PM

Sunday 9 & 11 AM

This Week At Ascension

Called to create opportunities for all people to become devoted followers of Christ

September 3, 2023

The Exhortation to the Apostles by James Tissot cr.1896

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Friends in Christ,

Jesus wants a lot from us. Dare I say, sometimes it feels like too much?

He tells us we have to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and lose our lives! Peter isn’t so sure about it. I’m glad for his boldness to speak up.

Let’s wrestle together this weekend with what Jesus is actually asking of us and how losing our lives for Jesus can actually give us more life than we ever imagined.

In gratitude for all the ways you are the hands and feet of Jesus,



Rally Sunday Next Week: September 10!

Sunday School Starts September 10


On Rally Day Sunday, Sept. 10, Sunday School returns! At our one worship service that morning, 10 AM, children will be invited up to the front of the church to hear the children’s message, and then afterward be escorted to their Sunday School classes. They’ll be brought back to the sanctuary in time for the blessing of the teachers and the blessing of backpacks and lunch boxes at the end of the worship service.

Kids, don’t forget to bring your backpacks/lunch boxes. 

Helpers Wanted!

Can you lend a hand to help prepare and/or run and/or take down items from our Celebration Day September 10? Use this link to check out volunteer opportunities and to sign up!

We’ll have another cake/treat walk this year at our Rally Sunday/60th Anniversary of the School Celebration.  We need you!  Can you make/buy cakes or other treats?  Spread the word, and sign up HERE. 

We are also looking for items we can borrow for the day:

  • pop-ups
  • large lawn games 
  • large fans with misters attached

Please call the office if you are willing to lend any of these items. 

Invite Your Friends to Ascension’s Amazing Anniversary Affair!

Let’s make the most of our September 10 Double Anniversary Celebration! This is a perfect opportunity to invite friends, neighbors, and acquaintances to join in the fun and get to know the church community — to see how it feels to enjoy a day of worship and festive fellowship! 

How about a simple email, like….

Hey there,

I wanted to let you know about an event happening at Ascension Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks. We’re celebrating our 75th church anniversary and the 60th anniversary of the opening of Ascension Lutheran School on Sunday, September 10th.

There will be a special worship service at 10 AM with great music. The pastors will be blessing teachers as this is the beginning of a new school year, and they’ll be blessing kids’ backpacks and lunchboxes, too. Following the service, Ascension is hosting a Family Fun Rally Day Festival, beginning at 11:15. This festival will feature various activities and attractions, such as:

* Live music from the band Fiddle Leaf, playing a mix of Irish and pop tunes.

* A rock wall with monkey jumps for adventurous attendees.

* Bounce houses, including one specifically for toddlers, with a play area for little ones.

* Face-painting 

* A food truck offering refreshments.

* Free Mr. Softee Ice Cream to treat attendees.

The event aims to bring together both our One Ascension community and our wider community to share in the celebration of these significant anniversaries.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to experience the  warm and welcoming spirit of Ascension.

Come, join us for one or both parts of this special day!

Copy this link and include in your letter:


Service Opportunities for September 10, God’s Work, Our Hands

Fair Trade & Fall – Dates & Events You Won’t Want to Miss!

Ascension’s Fair Trade Ministry has a line-up of events & opportunities for the coming weeks of the Fall season.  You’ll want to mark your calendars so that you don’t miss out on the fun!

Fair Trade Lane will be open Thursday, September 14 (2:30 -4 PM) & Sunday, September 17 (10:10-10:55 AM).  If you can’t join us on Fair Trade Lane, you can order your Fair Trade favorites until September 10, 2023 using the September 2023 Order Form. Paper copies are available in the Church Office & the Narthex. The September Form can also be found HERE and on Ascension’s Fair Trade webpage.  A note to us at with your contact information and the items you would like to purchase works great too.

Here’s the schedule for Fair Trade Lane for October, November, and December:

October is Fair Trade Month and we’ve got a great double-header planned for Sunday, October 22 – chocolate is the topic for the Adult Ed Class Hour followed by tea, treats & fellowship in the afternoon. Watch for details in the coming weeks.

Ascension Fair Trade’s “Team Chocolate” is making plans for taking orders in October for boxed specialty chocolates made with Fair Trade ingredients. More details in the coming weeks.

If you’re not already getting our Ascension Fair Trade emails, now would be a great time to sign-up. If there’s news about Fair Trade at Ascension, our Fair Trade email group gets the scoop first! Just send us a note – our email address is   and we’ll add you to our group of more than 70 Ascension Fair Traders!  As members of the Ascension Community, we’re called to “Invite. Grow. Serve” – let’s do just that!  Everyone’s Invited to Ascension Fair Trade events & opportunities. Let’s Grow Fair Trade at Ascension by inviting someone new to Fair Trade to an upcoming event.  Let’s Grow the impact of Ascension’s Fair Trade Ministry promoting justice for people & planet. Let’s Grow the ways we can serve small farm and artisan groups domestically and abroad in their pursuits of sustainability and justice for their families, communities and the environment we all share.

Let’s Be Fair Out There!


Internationally Acclaimed Pianist Sean Chen Returns With Masterclass


Sept. 5 at 4 PM in the Sanctuary


Master pianist Sean Chen returns to Ascension this Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 4 PM to give a masterclass, presented by New West Symphony and The Thousand Oaks Philharmonic.

Ascension members and friends are invited to attend what will surely be a memorable musical experience, as Chen guides students in perfecting their techniques. Perhaps you have been fortunate enough to have been present for one of the popular Sean Chen concerts here via Great Music at Ascension in the past – in which case you’ll no doubt want to be on hand. Whether you have or haven’t, here is your chance to catch him before his upcoming concert dates:

Sean Chen is the featured artist with the New West Symphony 

Sat, Sept. 9, 2023 Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

Sun, Sept. 10, 2023 Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center in Camarillo

From the concerts’ promotion: A program offun, fanciful works that shimmer and delight our senses. Who better to capture this whimsical spirit than Van Cliburn International Medal Winner, pianist Sean Chen?” 

More information about the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic, its mission, and the 2023-2024 season and events can be found HERE.

More information about the New West Symphony can be found HERE.


78 Years of “I Love You”

Happy and blessed 78th wedding anniversary this month to Ascension’s Les and Mickey Johnson, the parents of Jeanne Hengst!

Pastor Steve asked them their secret to 78 years together.

Les responded: “A little please. A little thank you. And a whole lot of ‘I love you.’”

(Thanks, Pastor Steve, for the post)



















Looking for Members Who Like to Meet New People

“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” – Romans 15:7

One of the greatest virtues that a Christian church can have is to have a reputation as a friendly and welcoming community. As members I’m sure we all believe Ascension Lutheran Church is a friendly place.  However, we can do better!

We want to raise up and bring greater emphasis in making sure visitors and members are getting connected with greater opportunities for conversation, and hopefully, more involvement with ministries of the church.

Starting a greeter program after each Sunday service is a start in this effort to make more connections with the people who come to our church services. It will be a fun opportunity to meet many new people and find new church friends!

It will be organized and scheduled like our sign up for ushers, communion assistants, readers, etc.  Please call Outreach Team member Ralph Bogeberg (805) 657-7766 or Emilee at the church office (805) 495-0406 for more information about the program and to answer any questions you might have.

–  Pastor Tim


Finger-Foods Needed :

Introducing Coffee Fellowship Reimagined

Beginning September 17

“Meet & Eat Coffee Fellowship” continues our Sunday worship as we gather together for fellowship and a bite of brunch-style finger foods.

Home chefs and food lovers alike are asked to sign up HERE.

Food ideas range from finger sandwiches to skewers of fruit, cheese, etc., Costco pizza bites to bagel halves with cream cheese. Be whimsical! Have fun! And of course, doughnuts will still be available from the youth group.

Your food item for about two dozen people should be delivered to the west Fellowship Patio before the 9 AM Service. 

Questions and receipt reimbursements? Contact Janet Gardner at or Dolores Ledbetter at (805) 716-3045. Thank you!

Confirmation Information Session
For Parents and Students to attend together

Thursday, September 21, 6-7 PM
for 7th and 8th grade families

Confirmation is a two-year program of faith formation, service, and fun. Join us if you’re curious or want to know more information.

Email if you can’t make it but are still interested:
There are also lots of ways to make it work for those who cannot attend this session.

Offerings & Attendance

Your Opportunity:

Chancel Choir Welcomes New Members

The Ascension Chancel Choir will be starting the new season soon and welcomes new singers to join. The choir rehearses in the Sanctuary on Thursday nights from 7-8:30 PM and sings at the 9 AM service on Sunday mornings. There is no audition and all are welcome! The first rehearsal is Thursday, August 31. If you are interested or would like more information, contact Wyant Morton at:

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.
Upcoming books

*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.

Lutheran Social Services of Southern California Needs Helpers!

Find out more and sign up HERE

ELCA Wants Members’ Input for Future Church


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,  Julie McCain, and Steve Herder


This Week:

Jeremiah 15:15-21
Psalm 26:1-8
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28

Next Week:

Genesis 12: 1-3
Matthew 5: 13-16

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