7pm – Saltworks Production of Stuart Little!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

9:30am – Intergenerational Event: Sharing Lent together at home


Are you looking for Lenten resources, accessible to all ages, that will deepen your times of devotional bible reading and prayer as a group? Would you want something fun, colorful, and creative for Lent? Children’s Ministry will be offering a intergenerational workshop on Saturday, February 17 from 9:30-11:30am in Room 103. Childcare will be provided. We will be previewing the lesson series that will be used in the Children and Worship Sunday School lessons during Lent, with adaptations for people of all ages to be used at home. We will also introduce Sybil MacBeth’s visual and embodied approach to connecting with God from her book series, Praying in Color. Through the encouragement of weekly household devotional times, the prayer of Children’s Ministry is that our morning together will lead to ongoing encouragement of each person’s growth in Christ throughout Lent.

9am Explore Ascension Class


Interested in learning more about Ascension? Want an overview of Anglican history? Want to have time to chat with our clergy and staff members? Join us Saturday, February 17th from 9am through lunch.

Please join us for an informative and fun morning designed both for those who are brand new and just want to know a bit more about the church, as well as for those who want to become members. At the end of our morning together, participants will have a great overview of Anglicanism and Ascension (which includes a quick tour of the Nave), will have a clearer notion of where they can connect and serve, and will have met several members of the staff team.

A light continental breakfast will be served at 9am. Childcare will be provided throughout the morning. We’ll end our time together as adults and kids gather for a pizza lunch. To register, please complete the registration form available here. Mark your calendars and plan on coming!

12pm Ash Wednesday Service

Please consider keeping ‘a holy Lent’ and join us on Ash Wednesday. We will have services at Noon and 7pm. Childcare will be provided at both services.

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches that we also blessed on the previous year’s Palm Sunday, and placing them on the heads of participants to the accompaniment of the words “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”. According to the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by Satan. Lent originated as a mirroring of this, fasting 40 days as preparation for Easter. Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting, is the first day of Lent. It occurs 46 days before Easter (40 fasting days and 6 Sundays which are non-fasting days) and can fall as early as February 4 or as late as March 10.

6pm Annual Congregational Meeting

Please attend our annual congregational meeting on Sunday, February 11 at 6pm in the New Catacombs. Childcare will be provided for infants – 5th grade. Why come? As our rector, The Rev. Canon Jonathan Millard wrote in the January Ascent: “There are many ways to engage in our communal life and this meeting, though more ‘institutional,’ is an important part of our spiritual commitment to one another and our life together.” A progress report on the implementation of the mediation agreement with the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh will be given as will other reports by the Rector and Senior Warden. The meeting is very informative and, while many matters of business of discussed, it typically has a very enthusiastic atmosphere. The following three members of Ascension have been put forward by our nominating committee to serve on Vestry:

Susan Bailey

Susan Bailey grew up in Forest Hills and was a member of Redeemer in Squirrel Hill. Her 20 years of professional experience in communications includes television, radio, fund raising and public relations.  Susan became a member of Ascension in 1996. She retired from her career when she married John in 1998. They lived in Erie for 15 years before retiring to Pittsburgh and reigniting their membership in Ascension. She currently serves as a member of Altar Guild.

Susan earned a BA from Penn State; an Associate of Theology from Christ for the Nations; an MA from Regent University; and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honorary society. She currently attends Trinity School for Ministry in their MAR/Biblical Studies program.

Susan and John share a love for family, dogs, gardening, traveling, and reading. Her desire is to continue to serve God in whatever way He leads as she embarks on this newest journey in her life.

Paige Forster

Paige Forster grew up in the Pittsburgh suburbs and met her husband, Jeff, during their freshman year at Yale. When they graduated and moved to the city as an engaged couple, they found Ascension and immediately knew it was their church home. They have been members since 1995.

Before going to law school, Paige worked in nonprofits, including Trinity School for Ministry and an organization that later became part of East End Cooperative Ministry. She is now an attorney specializing in appeals. After several years in private practice at Reed Smith, she recently became a law clerk to a federal appellate judge.

Paige and Jeff live in Regent Square with their sons, Charlie and Teddy. Paige is an avid novel reader and an enthusiastic cook and baker. For much of the year, her family can often be found on and around ball fields: Teddy plays Little League, Charlie is a Little League umpire and a member of the Allderdice Marching Band, and the whole family roots for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Tom Hillman

Thomas (Tommy) Hillman was born on February 3, 1948 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania and grew up in Oakland where he was raised by his mother, aunt, grandmother, and grandfather. While attending Schenley High School, he met his wonderful wife, Marcine. They have been married for 47 years and have two beautiful daughters, Amanda and Mara. They have also been blessed with three loving grandchildren, Judah, Eli, and Aiken.

Nine years ago, when Tommy retired from working full-time, he started working at Meadowink Golf Course as a starter and ranger. His passion for the game of golf and love of meeting new people and socializing made this the perfect job for him. Prior to retiring, he worked for 37 years as an outside sales consultant for Broudy Printing Inc. In addition, he worked as the Director of Happening (a discipleship program for senior high teens) in the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. Currently, he is on the Board of Directors of Earthen Vessels Outreach. He recently founded “The Tommy Hillman Project”, which is a partnership with Zoltun Design. This project helps small, non-profit organizations with their design and print needs.

Church of the Ascension has been “home” to him for 64 years. During this time, he has sung in the Choir, been on the Pub Club Team, served several terms on the Vestry, and been involved with the Junior and Senior High Youth Ministry for over 40 years. Currently, he serves with Children’s Ministry, the Parish Discernment Committee, Usher team, Welcome Table, Alter Prayer Ministry, and the OWLS Ministry.

He is grateful for all of the amazing people and opportunities he has been given and tries to live each day to its fullest knowing it is a blessing from God. He enjoys traveling, playing golf, grilling a delicious steak, a smooth glass of single malt, and most of all spending quality time with family and friends.








2pm Service of Ordination

10:30am Teaching on the Gospel of Mark

The teaching on the Gospel of Mark, originally scheduled for January 13th but cancelled due to poor weather, will take place on Saturday, January 27th. All welcome. Hunt Rooms. Light refreshments. Childcare provided. The teaching will give background to our current sermon series during Epiphany on ‘The Baptized Life’.


9am Community Group Leader Meeting

The Community Group Leader Meeting on Congregational care (originally scheduled for Jan 13th but cancelled due to poor weather) will take place on Saturday, January 27th at 9am. The teaching on the Gospel of Mark, which gives background to our current preaching series on ‘The Baptized Life,’ will follow at 10:30am. All welcome!

6:30pm Alpha Dinner Course for Internationals

6:30pm ESL Classes

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