What an amazing, grace-filled year it has been in the life of our parish! As the autumn months are now upon us, we begin to take stock of the year that has gone by, even as we look to the hope and promise of the year that is to come. In the four years that I have served as Rector of Church of the Ascension, this has been our most dynamic and growth filled year. I have so many reasons to believe that the coming year will be even better.
On Sunday, September 18th, the Ascension Vestry and I will kick off our seven week Stewardship Campaign, keeping the name that guided our efforts last year, "Our Call To Give." And with this letter, I want to call all our attention to the prayerful process of deciding what each of us will financially pledge to the parish to continue the work of the Gospel that has been entrusted to us in this place by so many generations, for so many years. Here are some of the highlights of what your generous financial pledge has helped accomplish in 2016:
- A Confirmation Class of 12 teens, culminating in a pilgrimage to Spain
- A more robust Outreach Committee with growing members and service to our community
- Ever more offerings in our Music Ministry in worship, concerts, and special events
- A creative, faithful, and growing faith formation ministry for our children and youth
- Welcoming our new parish deacon, The Rev'd. Tim Dunbar
- Special events like Epiphany and Ascension Day worship, Oktoberfest, The Blessing of the Animals, Parish Work Days, Newcomer Welcome, Bike to Work Day, Loaves and Fishes
- More offerings in Christian formation and education for adults
- A growing community of young families, visitors who find welcome here and make Ascension their parish home, and a stronger sense of fellowship among longtime members
Church of the Ascension is a place where people of all ages and walks of life encounter the love of God in Jesus Christ through friendship, community, worship, learning and service. And we are growing both in numbers of people, as well as in depth of faith. Sunday after Sunday I am dazzled by the love and warmth of the people that make this a true parish family, and a home of the Gospel.
Every year the Vestry and I are charged with the responsibility of creating the yearly budget and managing it responsibly. And we take this task as one of our many sacred callings. Like any parish family, we all rely on the financial generosity of one another to fund the work of our dedicated s
taff, and to continue our engagement in the community around us. Starting on September 18th, you will hear from Vestry members personally during worship as to why each of us are called to give abundantly and generously of our money and time to the life of the parish. And each of us will be asked to make our financial pledge for 2017 over the next two months. I warmly invite you t
o continue in your prayers the life and work of Church of the Ascension and how each of us can continue to sustain and grow our parish home. The work of the Gospel is entrusted daily to each of us. And at Ascension, the best is yet to come. "Our Call To Give" It is real, and it is now.
Yours faithfully in Christ,
Fr. Lucas Grubbs, Rector
Music with Dan Romero
The Beginning of the Road
As many of you know I lived on the east coast for three years, more specifically I lived on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. This was a transformational time in my life for many reasons. This was the first time I had lived anywhere other than Denver, let alone 2,000 miles away from where I grew up, so needless to say, this was an entirely new experience in my life.
Cape Cod is a 60 mile long peninsula on the Atlantic coast that is known for its natural beauty, including beaches, lush green forests, lakes, rivers, and of course, the sea. Because of this the cape has become a place for people to getaway to during the summer time for the past two centuries. Amongst the natural beauty are charming New England towns and villages, some of which were built by New England's earliest English settlers. Perhaps the most beautiful of these towns is Provincetown, located right at the very tip of the cape, the place where the road ends, which by that very definition is also the place where the road begins. It was this place, Provincetown, where I lived for two years of my time on the cape.
I knew that when I arrived on Cape Cod that I had found a very beautiful, special place, and how fortunate I felt to be there. However I began to miss my Colorado home. I had been living in this wonderful New England culture, however it was different from what I grew up with and I longed for the amenities of the Mile High City. Through all of this, there is one particular thing that the cape has in common with Colorado and that is U.S. Highway 6.
At the very tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown is U.S. Highway 6 begins. Route 6 as it is know to the locals runs all the way from this spot to California, a transcontinental highway that is over 3,000 miles longs. I took comfort in the fact that this road went all the way to Colorado and beyond. I took comfort in the fact that this highway goes to many places along the way that are familiar to me; the south coast of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, the Hudson River Valley in New York, the shore of Lake Erie in Ohio, Northern Indiana, Chicago, Loveland Pass at 12,000 feet high where it crosses the continental divide, the canyon lands of Utah, the desert of Nevada, and the Sierra Nevada of California. It passes through a diverse and wide array of landscapes in this country.
As we begin this new academic year, we are off to a new beginning. Classes in school have begun, the music program at church has begun having rehearsals, for some people life changes drastically this time of year, for other people very little changes. My point in recalling all of this is that our lives' are a journey and that there is always the beginning of a new road. Life changes as we go. Our faith grows and changes along the way. Most importantly we must remember that God is with us all along the way, through both the good and the bad. As we are now at this beginning in our live's let us not forget God's presence and love. I responded to God's call to live and work on the east coast and I know that God is active and present with us at Ascension. So here's to the beginning of the long and winding road!
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 unqualified to sing in the choir. Everyone is welcome. I invite you to come and see for yourself!