Good morning, and happy fall! We are now officially in the season of autumn! And we are full swing in our Ascension stewardship campaign for the operating budget for the coming year. Last Sunday, Deacon Tim Dunbar offered a heartfelt, honest, warm, and enlightening sermon about stewardship. He reminded us that we all need to do our part generously in pledging and giving of our money. But moreover, he reflected on the other side of stewardship, which is sharing the love of Ascension with others who may not know it. But, it isn't all about 'us' offering so much to 'them' as it is about our parish community only becoming stronger and more faithful with the presence of new people in our midst. I will let Tims sermon speak for itself. Take ten minutes of your day, and give it a listen if you weren't able to last Sunday. Listen again if you were. There is a lot of wisdom here, and we are all blessed by Tims words.
Yours faithfully in Christ,
Fr. Lucas Grubbs
Music with Dan Romero
Angels and Ministers
Yesterday was the feast day of St. Michael and All Angels. This feast is one of the principal feasts of the church and throughout the Anglican communion liturgies and celebrations of various sorts occurred. I had the wonderful opportunity to attend St. Michael and All Angels here in Denver, where they celebrated a festival mass followed by a catered dinner. This day, of course, is their patronal feast day.
The subject of angels in the Christianity is a popular one but probably an often miss understood subject. We have grown accustomed to images of angels in art work which can be beautiful and breathtaking, however many of us imagine angels in the trite and saccharine sweet images of cherubs and cartoon-like angels which probably miss the point. No one really knows what angels actually look like but the scriptures give us some clues.
First of all, angles are not human, but instead are spiritual beings superior to humans in power and intelligence. In the bible they are God's messengers, attendants at God's throne, and personal guardians. Even though we have "cute" images of angels in our heads if we ever saw one we would probably be terrified. In many cases angels are fierce creatures. Isaiah's account of God in the temple as found in Isaiah 6 is an example of this, "Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory." After seeing this Isaiah exclaims,"Woe is Me!" This scene would certainly be terrifying to anyone who saw it!
In the New Testament, the angel Gabriel appears to Mary to announce that she would be the mother of Jesus, as told in the Gospel of Luke, "And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be." and even though Mary was afraid, Gabriel said, "Fear not". In the Christmas story when the angel of the Lord appears to the shepherds they were afraid, but again the angel says, "Fear not, for I bring you tidings of great joy."
Even though we may not know exactly what angels look like, at Ascension we have two beautiful images of angels. These windows are in our small chapel on the first floor. These windows were created by Connick Studios in Boston in 1947. Connick was America's greatest fabricator of medieval style stained glass windows. Most of the windows at St. John's Cathedral are from Connick Studios.
I leave the first stanza of a hymn by Percy Dearmer to sum things up. My prayer is that God's angels continue to guide and protect us!
Angels and ministers, spirits of grace,
friends of the children, beholding God's face,
moving like thought to us through the beyond,
moulded in beauty, and free from our bond! - Percy Dearmer, 1933
Music Ministry Opportunities
Ascension Parish Choir
The Parish Choir has begun having regular rehearsals on Thursdays from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The Parish choir is the primary musical ensemble at Ascension that sings for the 10:00 a.m. mass every Sunday September 11 to June 4, 2017, as well as important holydays throughout the year.
The Parish Choir is a group of volunteer amateur singers who are sometimes augmented with professional singers. No prior musical experience is necessary. In fact only about have of the people currently in the choir read music, or have studied music formally. No should feel intimidated or