Every year we look forward to a Friday dinner teaching series during Lent. This year our series will take place the first 4 Fridays in March, beginning Friday, March 2nd and concluding Friday, March 23rd.
Suggested donations for the buffet dinner are as follows: $7/adult, $3/child, $20 family maximum. The dinner series is an all family event. While adults enjoy the talks, there will be childcare and programming for children that follows the same theme. There will also be a program for the youth. RSVP’s are not necessary. We hope you will come! The program each Friday evening is as follows:
- 6:30 Dinner (Buffet opens at 6:20pm for early birds!)
- 7:15 Worship
- 7:30 Teaching (45 Minutes)
- 8:15 Q & A
- 8:30 Dismiss
We are pleased that the Rev. Geoff Chapman, Rector of St Stephens in Sewickley, will be our speaker at our Friday Lenten Dinner Series this year. Geoff has worked for years to help his congregants as well as churches like us embrace discipleship in a fresh and life-changing way. Central to this kind of discipleship is what Geoff calls the “Four Directions of the Life Jesus Gives”. In successive weeks, Geoff will take us through each of the Four Directions. What are they?
- Upward: The ‘Up’ direction is a life of worship, where every disciple has made our triune God the first and greatest love of his life, of her life, so that everything we do is done for him, from the simplest things to the largest things.
- Outward: The ‘Out’ direction is a life of love, first to our family and our fellow believers, and then our neighbors, and our co-workers… and even for our enemies!
- Downward: The ‘Down’ direction is a life that is lost, where you lose your life in order to find your life. You let things go. You put yourself last. You think of others more highly than yourself. You make repentance a life habit. You learn to ‘humble yourself before the mighty hand of God.’ (1 Peter 5.6)
- Inward: The ‘In’ direction is an attentive life, where you pay attention to your heart, because the heart is the center of your life. Everything you are flows out of your heart, so we guard it, keep it, attend to it. We seek the ‘Renovation of the Heart’ (Dallas Willard) from Christ.
Many who attend Ascension have become so accustomed to passing the Saltworks’ offices in our education wing hallway that we forget that many don’t know what Saltworks is. So, what is Saltworks and why does Ascension promote what they do?
Saltworks is a theater company for kids that was birthed by members of Ascension, notably the Archdeacon of our Diocese, the Rev. Mark Stevenson, in 1981. The company has been headquartered in various places since then, but in 2005 Saltworks returned to Ascension and uses our facility for children’s acting classes (spring and fall), rehearsals for their school touring group and productions.
Here is a glimpse into some of what Saltworks does:
- School Assemblies – Saltworks has a yearly troop of 5 young adult actors that perform in elementary, middle and high schools throughout the Western Pennsylvania region on a DAILY basis, including Pittsburgh Public Schools and many other districts. The big white van in our parking lot is used for that purpose as the troop goes out to perform live theater on topics such as bully prevention, abuse of opioids and heroin, internet safety, substance abuse and peer pressure. Video clips of the performances can be found at saltworks.org. They’re good! Parents of school-aged children may want to recommend Saltworks to their school administrators.
- Young Actor’s Studio – This is an opportunity for young actors (school-aged kids) to stretch their performance skills to new levels. Saltworks offers evening acting classes fir kids (spring and fall), with opportunities to perform classic musical theater, adaptations of popular children’s books, and even original works. In a typical year, the Young Actor’s Studio has a fall and spring production. Stuart Little is the 2018 spring production of the Young Actor’s Studio.
- Saltworks Players – Seasoned actors are brought together to present stories of faith that are performed in churches throughout the region, including here at Ascension. In the past few years the shows have included the Gospel of Mark, The Book of Ruth, The Foolish Wiseman, The Book of Jonah, and several others. As the Saltworks website states: “We view Scripture as the best and foremost script for telling a story and we have enjoyed our adventure in performing it.” Several years back a powerful performance entitled ‘Shadowlands’, a story about C.S. Lewis’ experience of God as he walked through the loss of his wife, was performed here at Ascension. It starred Tim Hartman and included our own Jim Wilson (whose daytime job is with the Department of Justice) in a lead role.
In February our OWLS Fellowship (Older, Wiser and Lively Still!) will enjoy a visit from Animal Friends. This should be a fun and relaxing visit with “Therapets.” Since our animal friends need uncarpeted space we will be meeting in the Parish Hall. Join us from 12:30 -2:30pm for a delicious lunch. OWLS meetings take place on the second Thursday of each month in the Hunt Room. Parking restrictions will be lifted for people to park on the streets and the Neville Street lot will be reserved for OWLS participants. There is a $10 charge for lunch, but first-time friends are free! Please RSVP to Ann Tefft at 412-526-1107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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