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!
A CHRISTIAN VISION OF MANLINESS: SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION
Speaker: The Rev. Dr. Jonathan Warren
Cost: $10 (Scholarship available)
Registration: To register online, please click here.
The social theorist Zygmunt Bauman says that we live in the age of ‘liquid modernity’, an age where the ideologies and paradigms of understanding of the past have been swept away. We are adrift, it is safe to say, in a time of profound uncertainty and tentativeness. The slam poet Taylor Mali draws attention to this anxiety in his poem ‘Totally like whatever, you know?’: ‘In case you hadn’t noticed,/It has somehow become uncool/to sound like you know what you’re talking about?/Or believe strongly in what you’re saying?/Invisible question marks and parenthetical (you know?)’s/have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences?/Even when those sentences aren’t, like, questions? You know?’
But at the same time, and for the same reason, our age is one of profound dogmatism, with experts and activists across the political and institutional spectrum speaking with manufactured certainty and heaping scorn upon their opponents. Brené Brown has written recently in this vein that the only thing we now hold in common as a nation is rage.
Nowhere, perhaps, is this combination of profound uncertainty and profound dogmatism more evident than in our loss of confidence in what it means to be a man. We know and can identify ‘toxic masculinities’; we wring our hands about the increasing number of men who ‘fail to launch’; we increasingly see masculinity detached from embodiment and dissolved into a subjective attribute of identity; and we see an alarming rise, especially among younger men, but now increasingly among prestigious societal leaders as well, in ‘feral’, predatory, and nihilistic masculinities. And everywhere it seems, we are not having conversations or debates so much as savage shouting matches.
In the church, to be frank, we are not doing much better. We are better at identifying what we are against in our men than we are for in building each other up in godly manliness. We have heard prominent pastors, like drill sergeants, tearing Christian men down from the pulpit for being ‘boys who can shave’. But what is a noble, godly vision of manliness that we can aspire to? Where do we see it commended and modeled in Scripture? In the history of the church?
This is a difficult topic, and there are bound to be disagreements, but to me it is worth the risk to open this conversation as a church. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb has argued, unless we as the church have ‘skin in the game’, trying to figure out together how to grow as men together with grace and patience with one another, how can we profess to offer the hope of Jesus Christ to the world? Let’s reason together, let’s build one another up, and by the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Christ be an alternative in this discussion to the outrage that surrounds us.
Monthly Saturday Capernaum Friends Club:
Our monthly club typically meets on the second Saturday of each month from 2 – 4pm, September through May. Participants have a great time together celebrating holidays, dancing, singing, making crafts and much more! Visit our Facebook page to check us out. Another great benefit of the program is the relationship building that happens between parents and families. If you want to know what’s coming up, please contact the program directors, Christina Carlucci or Dana Kaasik.
Epiphany 3: Repent and Believe the Good News (Mark 1:14-20)
Epiphany Sermon Series: The Baptized Life
The Lectionary is a gift to the church and its preachers. It spares us from vanity, self-flattery, and staleness by forcing us to consider, week in and week out, the ‘whole counsel of Scripture’ (Acts 20:27). Preachers are assigned texts to preach: we do not have the luxury of choosing comfortable passages to preach on, nor do we have the luxury of substituting passages without episcopal permission. Moreover, if you follow the Anglican ‘rule of life’, which commends the devotional practices of joyful and attentive participation in weekly communion, the Daily Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer, and private devotions (Q. 255, To Be a Christian), you will read through the entirety of Scripture every year in the Daily Office Lectionary and once every three years in the Sunday Lectionary: a thorough immersion in the Bible.
At the same time, the Sunday Lectionary does not take us passage by passage through books of the Bible, and it gives us each week readings from the Old Testament, the Psalms, the NT Epistles, and the Gospels. Preachers may focus a sermon on any or all of these readings. For all of these reasons, it can be difficult to get a sense of the continuity of the Scriptures – to get a sense of the purpose of each book, and to get a sense of how the whole hangs together in the light of Christ – even through attentive participation on Sunday morning.
With all of this in mind, in 2018 we are focusing our preaching consistently on one reading in the Sunday Lectionary. In most cases, this will mean that each preaching ‘series’ will be on one book of the Bible, enabling us to unpack the meaning of that specific book over a series of Sundays and to place that book in its context within the whole of Scripture. Each week, our preachers will also craft a series of questions based on the reading on which they are preaching for use in Community Groups, families, and other settings.
We hope that in all of those settings, you will return to the Scripture and read it again, with the second reading freshly illuminated by the preaching of the word on the prior Sunday. These questions will be made available on the website no later than Sunday afternoon for use during that week. Along with the devotional guide we now provide in the bulletin on Sunday mornings, these preaching series and the accompanying questions are aimed at ‘equipping the people of God’ to pray and ‘hear…read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest’ the Scriptures so that we “may embrace and every hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life” (Collect for the Second Sunday in Advent).
Our first series in Epiphany 2018 will be through the Lectionary readings in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and John. We are calling this series “The Baptized Life.” The first Sunday in Epiphany, January 7, we celebrate The Baptism of Our Lord, and our readings in the Gospels help us to understand our identity as those who have put on Christ’s death and resurrection in baptism, and therefore who we are to be and what we are to do as his body. We look forward as a preaching team to meditating upon the word of God with you, and to being transformed by the Holy Spirit speaking through Scripture.
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.