The vision of our youth group is to be “A Christ-centered and open-hearted youth group dedicated to fostering faithful disciples through love, service, and the teaching of Biblical truth.” Middle School Youth Group typically happens Fridays at 6:30pm. However, to find out the exact schedule, please visit www.caygonline.com (“Church of the Ascension Youth Group”). Ascension’s website could not contain the enthusiasm of the youth and their leaders, so they created their own! Please check out the website for the latest and any changes to regular programming!
Please NOTE: Youth Alpha starts the first weekend in June. Rising 6th and 9th graders will then be WELCOME to join the middle (Friday June 1) and high school (Sunday June 3) youth groups! This is also a great summer series to bring friends. Note: Friday nights will finish later, at 9pm. Sunday nights finish much later, as we plan to watch the Movies at Dusk on Schenley Plaza. For those who aren’t interested in that evening’s movie, youth group finishes at the regular time of 8:30pm. See the full Movies in the Park schedule here.
Join other members and friends of Ascension who gather to pray at 9am in Ascension’s Prayer Chapel (located on the second floor of the Parish Hall wing). All are welcome! Prayers are focused on the needs of the church and the world, and for our worship on Sundays.
Our 9am service uses a Eucharistic Prayer from Common Worship, the official liturgical resource of the Church of England. A worship team leads the musical part of the service with hymns and songs offered in a contemporary style. Childcare and Sunday School are provided for children through 5th grade. Our Special Needs program runs concurrent with this service in the “New Catacombs”.The entire service is about an hour and twenty minutes long. A hospitality hour in the Parish Hall immediately follows.
Church of the Ascension offers two programs for those with cognitive disabilities: A weekly Sunday school program called WINGS which stands for “Winners in God’s Sight” and a monthly club that meets on the second Saturday of the month called Capernaum Friends. For more information, please contact our program directors, Christina Carlucci (email@example.com; 412-414-5630) or Dana Kaasik (firstname.lastname@example.org; 225-921-8349).
BASIC CHRISTIANITY: A PROCESSS FOR THOSE PURSUING ADULT BAPTISM
Baptism in the New Testament
Baptism is a ritual with immense significance in the New Testament. St. Paul says that when we are plunged under the waters of baptism, we die together with Christ, and when we rise from the water we are raised to new life together with him (Romans 6:3-4).
St Peter gives us another image: through the waters of baptism we pass through the death of God’s judgment of sin and are placed into the safety of the ark, just as Noah and his family were (1 Peter 3:20-1). And that ark is the church.
St Paul also tells us in Titus 3:5 that in baptism we are washed with the water of regeneration. Here he draws on Temple imagery to liken baptism to the bath that priests must take in the bronze basin in the inner court of the Temple in order to approach the high altar and the Holy of Holies. In baptism we are given the great dignity and honor of being incorporated into the kingdom of priests. In keeping with this, at baptism we are given the vocation ‘never to be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, and fight bravely under his banner against the world, the flesh, and the devil, and to continue as his faithful servant to the end of your days’ (Collect after Baptism).
Fundamental Changing of Loyalties
To be baptized is thus not simply a rite of passage or a symbolic act of belonging to the church. It involves a fundamental change in our loyalties. It is a fundamental surrender of ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is slavery to Christ rather than slavery to sin. It is a submission to and an invocation of his Lordship in every area of our lives. It is a refusal to hold any part of ourselves back from him. It is the concession that he is the rightful ruler and owner of all things, and that he is worthy of this love and submission because he ‘loved me and gave himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20).
Preparation: Counting the Cost
This change of loyalties is symbolized and really given in baptism, and historically the process of changing one’s allegiance from sin to Christ involved lengthy preparation, as candidates for baptism counted the cost of following Christ (Luke 14:28).
At Ascension, the process of preparation for adult baptism involves learning basic Christian teaching summarized in the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, and the Ten Commandments. It also involves a process of relinquishing our lives to him by learning to pray, and to follow him as his disciples in the realms of sex, money, and power, three areas that are consistently highlighted throughout Scripture as presenting painful obstacles to our allegiance to Christ.
Nuts and Bolts of Baptismal Preparation
There will be a total of 12 classes, all held on Sunday mornings from 9:30 – 10:30am. They will be taught by Robin Capcara, an experienced Christian teacher in our congregation, in three 4-week modules. We will be using J.I. Packer’s Growing in Christ, as well as the Anglican Catechism, To Be a Christian. The modules will be held at the following times:
Module 1: November 4, 11, 18; December 2
Module 2: January 13, 20, 27; February 3
Module 3: March 3, 10, 17 24
Each candidate will be paired with a baptismal sponsor as well. Candidates will meet with their sponsors at least 4 times between November and April to talk and pray together. Candidates who decide through this process that they want to dedicate themselves to Christ will meet with one of Ascension’s priest in April and then will be baptized at the 6am Easter Vigil on Sunday, April 21, 2019.
Are you already baptized but are now finding your way back to Christ?
Although this process is primarily oriented toward those pursuing adult baptism, it is also open to those who were baptized in the past but who have only recently rekindled their relationship with Christ and are seeking to reaffirm their baptismal vows. Please contact Fr Jonathan Warren at email@example.com if you are interested in getting more information or signing up.