Music & Worship Arts

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another.”  1 Peter 4:10

The Music and Worship Arts Ministry is excited to launch a new website for artists and other congregants. Click the image to access! For the latest, the February 2021 newsletter is available HERE.

Artists are invited to sign-up to create one of the eight (8) Stations of the Cross. Artwork should be able to be easily photographed for the livestream service, and easily placed in the church for the in-person service. Email Elise Massa for more details. (Artwork in the image is from 2020 Station 2, by Larkin Obley Brown)

Church of the Ascension partners with the global organization United Adoration (UA) in order to empower artists in a healthy, Christ-centered creative community. For more information about upcoming events, email Elise Massa or visit UA’s website.

An “Ascension Pittsburgh” Playlist created by Chris Massa on Spotify is available HERE. Chris’ description of the playlist is as follows: “While it’s intended primarily for those worshipping at Church of the Ascension, I hope that it will bless all of you during this season. On it, you’ll hear three different types of songs: (a) songs that are already part of the Ascension repertoire; (b) songs that are not yet part of the repertoire but we hope to be introducing in the near future; and (c) songs that we may never do at church but still feel very appropriate for this season. If you’re looking for a soundtrack for your week, here you go.”

Music and Worship Arts at Ascension

The Music and Worship Arts Ministry at Church of the Ascension seeks to give artists and musicians opportunities to serve in the church, to foster and champion the arts in the church and the community, and to use music and the arts to support and enhance the worship and liturgy of the church. The music at Ascension encompasses a broad spectrum of styles and cultures, from classical anthems and traditional hymnody to contemporary songs and those written by members of the parish. In addition to music, we seek to provide artists with opportunities to use their gifts to express that which words alone cannot, as prayer, praise, and lament. To quote Francis Schaeffer, we believe that “art can be a doxology in itself.”

There are various ways of serving within the Music and Worship Arts Ministry: during Sunday services, special events and services, and through partnerships with other ministries and organizations. Areas of opportunity include:

  • Creative Arts: Artists of various disciplines — visual, performing, and literary — are welcome to participate in the worship and life of the Ascension community. Artists should be technically proficient, honest in their craft and expression, and seek to reflect a biblical worldview through their work. Opportunities have included The Stations of the Cross, Sunday bulletins, dramatic interpretations of Scripture, and United Adoration Worship Arts Retreats.
  • Sound Team: Soundboard operators run the board for worship services and may be asked to set up and/or tear down sound equipment. This is a great ministry for those who enjoy and understand technology and those who enjoy serving in a more “behind the scenes” capacity. New sound techs train alongside more tenured volunteers.
  • Music Team: The music team leads contemporary music at both the 9am and 11am services. Sharing a commitment to both spiritual and musical proficiency, instrumentalists and vocalists of various ages and experience levels are welcome. The larger ministry gathers, in whole or in part, once a month, while the team for any given service rehearses on Sunday morning.
  • Adult Choir: The choir is a faithful, intergenerational group of singers who meet together on Thursday nights to prepare music for the 11am service and special services. Members range from professional musicians to those who neither sight read nor have much choral experience.
  • Children’s Choir: The children’s choir practices prior to the 11am service and gives children the opportunity to serve in the worship services. The children sing at both the 9am and 11am services on the last Sunday of each month from September through May.
  • The Ascension Songwriters Collaborative: The Ascension Songwriters Collaborative connects Ascension-based songwriters of all skill levels to one another in order to write new songs for the glory of God and the edification of the church. Monthly events alternate between collaborative songwriting sessions and “Open Forums” where songwriters can bring their own songs to the community for mutual, encouraging feedback. ASC members have written many of the “homegrown” songs sung during our worship services.
  • Special Music: Vocalists and instrumentalists of all ages, particularly those with a desire to serve but limited availability, are welcome to serve in worship services at Ascension.

Contacts for Music Ministry

Chris Massa, Director of Music and Worship Arts;   (412) 621-4361, ext. 217

Elise Massa, Assistant Director of Music and Worship Arts;   (412) 621-4361, ext. 217

Jeanne Kohn, Organist