Parish News

Click here to view the Parish Calendar for a full listing of events!

The flowers are given to the glory of God and in loving memory of Felder S. Weeks by Katie McHargue.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade // Church of the Ascension has been invited to join St. Luke’s Episcopal Church to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The St. John’s Chapter of The Brotherhood of Saint Andrew will be cooking breakfast at St. Luke’s beginning at 8:30 am, and, following the breakfast, participants will walk in the MLK parade. Meet at St. Luke’s for breakfast and a fun time in the MLK parade.

Coffee Connection: All you Need is Love and a Cup of Coffee // Coffee Connection is an exciting new program at Ascension. Led by Beth Patterson and Pam Douglass, Coffee Connection seeks to build relationships over a cup of coffee and light refreshments. Beth and Pam will coordinate one ministry and three to four different groups of volunteers to host Coffee Connection after the late service each month. Coffee Connection will meet on the main floor in the Foyer/Parlor/Office area. They are calling and asking everyone to participate once or twice a year. If you would like to go ahead and pitch in, give Beth Patterson a call at 865-985-8285.

Price Increases // This past fiscal year, Ascension lost a net $30,000 (expenses minus related revenue) spent on kitchen, coffee, donut, and Wednesday dinner expenses. Hence, you will notice more intentional efforts by clergy and staff to remind parishioners to pay for Sunday morning coffee and donuts, as well as Wednesday dinners. The suggested coffee donation is increasing modestly, as is the price of the Wednesday dinners ($10/adult, $5/child). Please help your church pay for these services as you use them. Thank you! As always, if you are unable to pay, simply speak to a member of the clergy.

The Beginnings of Jesus’ Ministry // Wednesday, January 18, 6:40 pm // Rob Gieselmann will continue the evening Bible Study this Wednesday and next Wednesday at 6:40 pm, immediately following the parish supper. Join Rob as we consider the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. The evening will conclude at 7:30 pm.

Parish Supper // Wednesday, January 18, 6:00 pm // The weekly parish supper will feature baked ziti, sautéed zucchini, Caesar salad, garlic bread, and chocolate cake. Sign-up at the reception counter in the parish office or email to RSVP by noon on Tuesday. The new pricing is: $10 per adult, $5 per child.

Important Youth Event: Youth Confirmation Classes Start Next Sunday // Our first meeting will be a mandatory youth and parent luncheon in the library immediately following the 11:15 am worship service. All high school aged youth are invited to join. Come out next week to hear about what confirmation classes will look like this year, to ask any questions you may have, and to see if this is the right year for you to go through the process of confirmation. Contact The Rev. Chelsea Krahulik at with any questions.

Calling All High School Youth // Our annual winter retreat is coming up on February 17-20. This is always a highlight of the year as we get to stay in a cabin in the mountains, enjoy games and outdoor time, and go deeper in our relationships with God. We will leave Friday evening after dinner and return early in the day on that Monday (a school holiday for Presidents’ Day). To get a special early bird price of $80, turn in your $50 deposit to Chelsea by January 22. Contact The Rev. Chelsea Krahulik at with any questions.

Middle School Youth // Wednesday, January 18, 6:30 pm, Youth Room // Come out to the church for youth group on Wednesday from 6:30-8:00 pm! There will be pizza, a Bible lesson, and games. Come hear about all the fun things we have in store for the spring.

High School Youth // There will be no High School Youth Group tonight. Enjoy the holiday weekend! We will resume youth group on Sunday, January 22, from 6:00-8:00 pm at the church.

Update on the Feature Presentation for The Lunch Bunch // Tuesday, January 17, 11:30 am, Parish Hall // The Lunch Bunch will now host Phil Colclough, Director of Animals, Conservation, and Education at the Knoxville Zoo! Todd Montgomery of The Elephant Sanctuary will be featured in the April 18th meeting of The Lunch Bunch. RSVP by emailing or at the reception counter in the parish office, and bring $2 and an appetizer, side dish, or dessert to participate in this month’s The Lunch Bunch.

Ascension Trekkers: Another Fun Hike // The Ascension Trekkers will leave the church at 9:00 am on Saturday, January 21, to hike the Middle Prong Trail to Indian Flats Falls. Contact Emily Vreeland if interested (865-470-2518 or

The Sisterhood Returns // The Sisterhood, a group that was formed for women of the parish to have fun and fellowship, is planning to go to Altruda’s, an excellent Italian restaurant, located at 125 N. Peters Road on Thursday, January 19, at 6:00 pm. Altruda’s menu includes beef, pork, seafood, vegetarian, and chicken dishes, along with their famous garlic rolls. They also have a selection of adult beverages, so no need to BYOB. Come out and enjoy good food and even better conversation. Please RSVP to Laurie Nalle at

The Episcopal Church Women Mollie Hazen Tucker Scholarship Fund-raising Tea // Saturday, January 28, 11:00 am, St. John’s Cathedral, $25 donation // The Mollie Hazen Tucker Memorial Scholarship Fund, established in thanksgiving for the life of Mollie Tucker, helps recipients reach education goals at accredited colleges or technical schools. Your donation will help a young woman attain her education goals. For more information or to register, call or email Mary Sullivan at 865-335-1699 or

Daughters of the King (DOK) // Meet at the drop-off circle after the 11:15 am service to discuss where to go for the monthly luncheon. We invite any women in the congregation to join us to find out more about DOK. Founded in the 1800’s, the Daughters of the King brings together fellowship and faith through service and support.

Please keep these individuals in your prayers:

Tim, Bryce, Jay Branum, Margaret Nelson, Lindsey Twardy

The Episcopal Church of the Ascension maintains two prayer lists. The first list is for parishioners, staff, and their immediate families, and prayers are offered for these people during Sunday services. Their names can be found on the white prayer board in the office area. Names remain on this list for three weeks.

The second list is called the Supplemental Prayer list and includes additional names as requested by you. The people on the Supplemental Prayer list are prayed for by members of those leading morning and evening prayer at the Daily Office. Copies of this list may be found on the counter in the reception area. Names will remain on this list as needed for appropriate prayer support.

Ascension Cares – No One Walks Alone

Caring and compassion for fellow parishioners in need is central to our service to God and each other. All of our pastoral care ministries fall under the umbrella of the “Ascension Cares” ministry to ensure that ‘No One Walks Alone’ in times of spiritual or emotional crisis. This is facilitated by pastoral care leaders called shepherds. They see that the pastoral care needs in the community are met with one of Ascension’s many ministries. An email to your Shepherd team will go to the clergy as well.

Team 1 Last Names A-L

This list is administered by Annette Burton and Bill Perry.

Team 2 Last Names M-Z

This list is administered by Bettie Corey and Emily Vreeland.

To volunteer for a caring ministry, contact The Rev. Christopher Hogin