Epiphany 5: Sunday Scriptures

Epiphany 5: Disciples of all Nations (Mark 1:29 – 39)

Weekly sermon questions are available here.

Weekly devotional resource is available here.


Epiphany 4: Sunday Scriptures

Epiphany Sermon Series: The Baptized Life

Epiphany 4: Teaching with Authority (Mark 1:21 – 28)

Sermons Questions:

  1. What do you think is the significance of the fact that the demon recognizes Jesus is ‘the Holy One of God’ (v. 24)?
  2. What characteristics about Jesus make the people say that he ‘teaches with authority’ (v. 22, 27)?
  3. The people respond to the exorcism of the demon and his teaching with ‘amazement’ (v. 27). Imagine you are among the crowd that witnesses this scene. What would your response be?
  4. Do you often think about the unseen, spiritual realm? Have you had encounters with angelic or demonic powers? What implications are there to you that Jesus is Lord not only of what we see, but also what we don’t see?


Liturgical Family Devotional Resource can be found by clicking here




Epiphany 3: Sunday Scriptures

Epiphany 3: Repent and Believe the Good News (Mark 1:14-20)

Sunday Scriptures: Jeremiah 3:19 – 4:4; Psalm 130; 1 Corinthians 7:17-24; Mark 1:14-20.

A link to the questions for this week’s sermon can be found by clicking here.

Epiphany 2: Sunday Scriptures

Epiphany 2: The Calling of Philip and Nathanael (John 1:43 – 51)

  1. In v. 45, Philip tells Nathanael, ‘we have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph’. How do the ‘law and the prophets’ testify to Jesus? Can you give examples from the Old Testament where the law and the prophets testify to him?
  2. Nathanael responds quite skeptically to Philip in v. 46: ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth’?, as if to say, ‘you expect me to believe that anything can come from that nothing town?’ Do you struggle with the particularity of Jesus, with the fact that God becomes incarnate at a particular moment in history, in an obscure town in a nation that had no prominence and no military might? Are there particular moments, places, and relationships that you tend to ignore or downplay in your life because they don’t seem exciting or interesting? What might you learn from paying attention to how God is at work in these moments, places, and relationships?
  3. The text says that Jesus ‘sees’ Nathanael and pronounces that he is an ‘Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!’ It might be better to say that Jesus ‘sees through’ Nathanael to the very essence of who he is. He does this over and over in the Gospel of John, from Simon Peter to the Samaritan woman at the well. It is unsettling when we meet people who see through us, but evidently those who knew Jesus found his ability to see through them compelling, even comforting. On the other hand, others found his ability to see through them repellant, and they rejected him. What is it about Jesus’s character and the character of those whom he was speaking that accounts for whether they accepted or rejected him?
  4. Jesus’s favorite self-designation in the gospels is ‘Son of man’. Only he uses it, and he uses it only about himself. The term at once means something like ‘dude’ or ‘guy’ as we see in Psa. 8:4, but it is also a regal term, a term describing the king of kings, as we see in Dan. 7:13-14. Most scholars think that Jesus means to indicate both the humility and his grandeur of his vocation by using this term. How do you see the humility and the majesty of Jesus in the gospels? If we are called to follow Christ in this humility and majesty, what might his humility and majesty mean for the shape of the Christian life?

Epiphany 1: Sunday Scriptures

Epiphany 1: The Baptism of Our Lord (Mark 1:7-11)

Is 42:1-9; Ps 89:1-29 or 89:20-29;  Acts 10:34-38; Mark 1:7-11



Week 1 – “Being precedes doing

  1. John proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me…” (Mark 1:7)
    1. How was Jesus’ power made manifest? (Consider in particular Sunday’s reading from Isaiah 42:1-9)
  2. John taught that “[Jesus] will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:8)
    1. What is baptism in the Holy Spirit?
    2. How does a person get baptized in the Holy Spirit?
    3. What, if any, are your experiences of this?
  1. Jesus was baptized by John (Mark 1:9)
    1. Why do you think Jesus was baptized?
  1. At Jesus’s baptism, ‘A voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”’ (Mark 1:10-11)
    1. In what ways does “Being” precede “Doing”?
    2. Is this true in your life?
    3. Do you think of yourself as “Beloved”?





6pm EECM Shelter Meal

East End Cooperative Ministry (EECM) offers both emergency shelter and longer-term housing to people in and near East Liberty who have no place to live. Ascension is one of dozens of groups that volunteer to prepare and serve dinner every night of the year. Our responsibility is the evening meal on the last Tuesday of every month (except: January 23 instead of January 30). We usually cook the meal in Ascension’s kitchen during the day on the Sunday prior to the last Tuesday each month. Servers need to come to EECM’s Community House, 6140 Station St in East Liberty, around 6pm on the last Tuesday to heat the food before serving; they’re usually done around 8pm.

10:30am Shepherd’s Heart Sunday

Shepherd’s Heart is an Anglican parish whose congregation includes many folks from the street, some homeless, nearly all of them poor. The church serves dinner to all present every Sunday night after their 5:15pm Eucharist service. About two dozen congregations and other groups around Pittsburgh volunteer to cook and serve the meal. For 2018, Ascension’s serving dates are the Sundays January 28, March 4, May 13, September 23, October 28 and December 2. Folks can help by cooking or serving or both. We typically cook in Ascension’s kitchen during the day Sunday. Serving goes from about 6:30pm until 7:45pm at Shepherd’s Heart, 13 Pride St, two blocks from Mercy Hospital

6:30pm English Classes

Church of the Ascension offers English classes for internationals (beginners, intermediate and advanced). A Bible Study is optional. All welcome!

9am English Classes

Church of the Ascension offers English classes for internationals (beginners, intermediate and advanced). A Bible Study is optional. All welcome!

OWLS’s Seniors Luncheon


Come for an inspiring talk by the Rev. Dr. Joel Scandrett who will talk on “Embracing God’s Gifts of Loss and Frailty.” Joel is the Assistant Professor of Historical Theology and Director of the Robert E. Webber Center at Trinity School for Ministry. We are privileged that Joel offered to talk on this sensitive and challenging subject and will share from his personal experience. Don’t miss this one! Contact the Rev. Ann Tefft at tefft.ann@gmail.com or 412-526-1107 to make your reservation.

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