Maundy Thursday at Ascension
The worship of Maundy Thursday is rich in symbolism and will include washing of feet and the dramatic stripping of the altar in preparation for Good Friday. The service concludes in total darkness. Childcare will be available for infants to 4 year olds in Rooms 101 and 102 of the Education Wing. K-5th graders will have a special Maundy Thursday program in the Hunt Rooms.
Palm Sunday at Ascension
Both of our services will feature the Liturgy of the Palms, a Festival Procession and a dramatic reading of the Passion narrative. Children aged 5 and older will remain with their parents for the service. Childcare is provided for ages 4 and younger in rooms 101 and 102 of the Education Wing. There is no children’s talk on Palm Sunday, so please take your children to childcare prior to the start of the service.
Sermon questions from Palm Sunday:
1) What details in this lengthy passage stand out or are particularly striking to you?
2) In her sermon, Mtr Tish said that Jews in Jesus’ day were looking for a particular kind of salvation: a Messiah that would deliver them from Roman occupation and make them into a sovereign state again. What are the things we are looking to for salvation in our culture? What are the things you are hoping that God will deliver you from?
3) Why did the authorities crucify Jesus?
4) In Mark 8:31, Mark tells us that “the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.” What details does Mark give us in our passage that tell us why the crucifixion was necessary? How are the crucifixion and death of Jesus “good news” for us today?
Dinner and Compline
Join other young adults for Dinner and Compline on Tuesday, March 13th from 6:30-8:30pm. This is a fantastic way to get to know others in our Young Adult community!
What’s Compline? Compline is one of the Daily Offices found in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Most often, the word “office” means the place where we work, or a political position. But there’s also a “church” meaning. From an ancient Latin root, it means to make a ceremony or service, so we refer to our through-the-day prayers as “offices.” An “office” consists of prayer, scripture and psalms, and saying the offices is a way of living in constant touch with God. Jesus did it! Traditionally there are seven offices (see Psalm 119:164), but most who observe the offices don’t do all seven. The principle is to have regular, fixed-time appointments with God – morning, noon and evening.
Join our Seniors Luncheon Club on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 12:30 – 2:30pm. Meetings take place 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 seniors only. There is a $10 charge for lunch, but first-time friends are free! Please RSVP to Ann Tefft at 412-526-1107 or email@example.com.
The first luncheon of the season will take pace on Thursday, Sept 13th from 12:30 – 2:30pm. It will feature Janet Helms. Janet has a tremendous ministry in Africa, being both Chair of the Kenya Christian Education Partnership and author of The Orphaned Heart. She has helped raise funds for schools in Kenya and has toured many countries in Africa doing healing prayer ministry in areas ravaged by civil war. So, you are invited to come, meet new friends, enjoy a great lunch and hear a challenging speaker. Generally, OWLS is for those 55+, but in actuality all of our meetings are open to any who wish to join us!
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.