Parish News

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

General Community News

The chancel flowers are given to the glory of God and memory of Ruth Lovell by Michael and Dr. Rebecca Matuson.

The white rose on the altar is given in celebration for the birth of Emma Grace Waits, great-granddaughter of Lynn Aberdeen. Note: Last week’s rose to Stella Stair was incorrectly attributed to Russell and Sarah Stair. Stella’s parents are Marshall and Natalie Stair, and granddaughter of Dorothy and Caesar Stair

FOMA Presents: Washington Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble // Tonight, February 11, FOMA (Friends of Music and the Arts) presents the Washington Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble (WCSE) in concert at 5:00 pm. The seven players of WCSE, on Renaissance brass instruments and harpsichord, will present works of Gabrielli, de Lassus, and Frescobaldi, among others. The concert is presented free of charge.

The Lunch Bunch Presents: The Rev. Bo Townsend // Tuesday, February 20, 11:30 am, Parish Hall // Come hear The Rev. Bo Townsend speak on mutual ministries and bring $2 along with an appetizer, side dish, or dessert. Sign-up in the parish office or call 865-588-0589 with your RSVP. Next month’s program will be Jim Haslam, Sr., with the program that was postponed in January.

Chancel Flower Sign-ups // Narthex // The 2018 chancel flower sign-up board is in the narthex. You may sign up for one or two slots. The suggested donation amount for both flower arrangements is $150, or $75 for one. Please provide your name and phone number. You will be contacted at a later time by Linda Hawley for your dedication message. For questions or inquiries, please email Linda at

Mardi Gras is Here! // RSVPs and donations are due today! Sign-up in the foyer to attend the Mardi Gras for Bolivia event this Tuesday.

Worship Book Drive // The hymnals and prayer books at Ascension are showing signs of wear from their continual use, and you can help replenish and replace our hymnal and prayer book resources by donating funds for the purchase of a Hymnal 1982 and/or a Book of Common Prayer. You may dedicate each book in honor, memory, thanksgiving, or celebration (or something similar) of someone or something. A dedication sticker will go in the acquired book(s) once you approve of the proof sticker via mail or email. The mostly commonly used book is the Hymnal 1982 , which is used every Sunday and on Wednesdays. This book costs $24.95 per copy. The Book of Common Prayer is used for the Sunday early service and Morning and Evening Prayer for Daily Office. This book costs $22.95 per copy. To participate in this program, please take one of the forms outside of Andrew’s office. Fill it out and return it to the parish office to Andrew Morehead. Please note ‘book drive’ on checks or place cash in an envelope with ‘book drive’ on the outside and deposit in either Beverly Hutto’s or Andrew Morehead’s mailbox, or the safe.

Centering Prayer Workshop // Saturday, February 17, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm // Come hear The Rev. Dr. Tom Ward lead a workshop on Contemplative Outreach. Fr. Ward will preach for both services on Sunday, February 18. Registration materials and further details are available in the parish office. The cost will be $35/person and will include lunch. For more information, email Pam Douglass at

Ascension Trekkers // Ascension Trekkers will leave the church at 9 am for the next two hikes.  On Saturday, Feb 17, the hike will be on West Prong Trail near the Tremont Institute.  This is a 5 mile round trip hike to a lovely stream and camping area where the group will have lunch before returning to the parking lot.  For experienced hikers, this is rated fairly easy but it is rated moderate for beginners.  The trail is in good condition with some elevation climb in parts and it may be muddy.  On the following Monday, Feb 19, an easy and pretty hike on the Little River Trail at Elkmont might appeal to many as it is a wide and fairly level trail beside the river most of the way. The group may decide how far to go but getting at least to the Huskey Branch Falls is a nice treat and a place to stop for a snack before the return walk and that would be about 4 miles round trip. If the group wishes, having lunch in Townsend is an option before returning to Knoxville.  Contact Emily Vreeland to RSVP or for questions (

Journeys of Faith: Let it Go // Lent is more than just about giving up a certain food, or assuming a specific spiritual discipline. Lent is also a time to let go of all that holds us back on our spiritual journey. For five weeks, The Reverend Christopher Hogin will lead a group aimed at letting go of something physical (it could mean cleaning a closet or a room in one’s house), something mental (accomplishing a desired goal, such as eliminating debt), or something spiritual (choosing to forgive). The program takes place on Wednesdays nights, after the parish supper, from 6:45 until 8:30, beginning February 21 and continuing through March 21. Each session begins with a short presentation before breaking into smaller groups for discussion and reflection. Space is limited, so please email Tristen Hicks to reserve a space or come by the office to sign up.

Family Promise Week // We will be hosting four families for a week and need volunteers to help with meals on Sunday the 18th, Friday the 23rd, and Saturday the 24th. There are usually 3-4 volunteers who provide a meal for 14-20 people. The choir, a Bible study, or Sunday School class might enjoy serving together! The meal is served at 6:00 pm. It’s a great way to get to know the families we host! Just contact Ann O’Connor at if you’re interested or need more information.

Pledge Envelopes // We have the reorder of the 2018 pledge envelopes available on the communications counter for those who have ordered them. For additional information, email Beverly Hutto at

Holy Bread Bakers // Lent is approaching and with it comes delicious honey wheat bread. Lead by Barbara Craig, the Holy Bread Bakers bake loaves for Eucharist. If you would like to try your hand at baking some of these special loaves, contact Barbara Craig at

Adult Sunday School

All Sunday School classes are open to everyone!  It is not necessary to have read the books being studied as all groups present the material in such a manner that everyone can participate.  No prior reading or preparation is required!  All classes begin at 9:15 am.

The Forum  // Old Transept-Parish Hall //  Continuing with our study from last semester, The Good Book by Peter Gomes.

The Seekers // Room 102 // The class will continue looking into the Bible to understand the “purpose of the church.” Becky Fuller will lead class on February 11 & 18 and discuss what it means to “equip the saints for the work of ministry” Ephesians 4:12-16.

The Sojourners // New Transept-Parish Hall // As a follow-up to Jerry Vreeland’s February 4th presentation on Ascension’s history, this week Tom Ladd will ‘walk us through’ a timeline of Ascension’s rectors, from 1957 to the present, as time allows.

Contemplative Prayer // Library // A relaxing and loving time of what Jesus referred to as “prayer in secret.”  We begin with twenty minutes of silent prayer, letting God come into our hearts, followed by discussion and contemplation from read-aloud portions of the book Tears of An Innocent God by Elias Marechal.

Children’s News

Ash Wednesday Childcare // Childcare will only be offered at the 7:00 pm Ash Wednesday service.

Lent in a Bag // Be sure to stop by the Education Wing to pick up your Lent in a Bag to help your family feel connected with prayers and activities during this upcoming season. Bags will be available Wednesday, February 14.

Girls’ Reading Crew // Girls’ Reading Crew continues Sundays from 4:00-5:00 pm in the Garden Room in the Education Wing. This group is open to girls in grades 406. We will conclude Anne of Green Gables next week on Sunday, February 18.

Tweens Youth Group // Tweens will meet next week, February 21, from 6:30-7:30 pm. We will do a special project for the homeless.

Last week we welcomed Cindy Montgomery as our new Assistant Director in the Nursery. Be sure to stop by and welcome her!

Youth News

Sunday School // Teen Sunday School meets today at 9:15 am in the youth room.

AYG Meetings // AYG for High School will meet tonight at 6:00 pm in the Youth Room. AYG for Middle School will meet Wednesday at 6:30 pm in the Youth Room.

Dinner Angels // Dinner Angels is a program in which our parishioners and parents provide meals for our hungry teens during youth group. Our teens have expressed a desire to add some variety to their meals during AYG meetings. Parents and other parishioners are invited to sign up and share in this service and fellowship opportunity. Want to try out a new recipe? Have a flair in the kitchen? Just want to feed a small crowd? We welcome home-cooked meals and catered meals. Our sign-ups, details, and schedule are available online:

Middle School Dinners:

High School Dinners:

AYG High School Mission Trip 2018 // Our Mission Trip for 2018 will be the week of July 21-27 and we will be serving communities along the Eastern Shore of Virginia through YouthWorks. Details are still in the works including fundraising. Cost to our teens will be $299 per person. To secure your spot, a $99 deposit and your AYG release forms will need to be turned in no later than Monday, February 12. This trip is open to our teens currently in grades 8-12. Please email with any questions.

Confirmation // In anticipation of the Bishop’s visitation in June, we will be starting Confirmation classes in Room 104 on February 18 at 3:30 pm with an introductory interest meeting for confirmands, parents and sponsors Today at 4:30 pm in Room 104. Confirmation is open to teens currently in grades 9-12. We ask that our teens interested in pursuing confirmation please contact GiGi at today.

AYG Volunteers: THANKS! // Thank you to Davis Richards, Chris Monroe, Chris Winn and Aron Mast for chaperoning our AYG Lock-ins. Special thanks also go to Fr. Chris Hogin for allowing us to host our Super Bowl Party at his home last Sunday.

Wednesday Night – Food for Body and Soul

Evening Prayer // Chapel, 5:45 pm // Close out the day with Evening prayer.

Parish Supper // The Parish Supper is canceled for Wednesday, February 14, for Ash Wednesday.

There is no Wednesday night programming this week due to Ash Wednesday.

Family Promise Sunday

Family Promise Director, Mary LeMense, to Deliver Sermon // Sunday, February 25 // Family Promise families will arrive at Ascension on Sunday, February 18, and depart Sunday, February 25. Did you know that only three Episcopal churches assist in the Family Promise rotation in the Knoxville area? Do you know what role Ascension plays in the work of Family Promise? Come celebrate the work of Family Promise both in Knoxville and at Ascension on Sunday, February 25, as Ascension’s own Mary LeMense, Executive Director of Family Promise of Knoxville, delivers the homily to share her experiences.

The pillow drive is here! Bring *NEW* pillows (not pillow cases) or monetary donations made out to Family Promise to the parish office beginning this weekend through Sunday, February 25.

For more information on how you can make a different in our area through Family Promise, or for general information about the program, email Mary LeMense at

Celebrating Absalom Jones

Church of the Good Samaritan // Sunday, February 25, 5:00 pm // Please join us for The Diocese of East Tennessee’s celebration of the life and work of Blessed Absalom Jones, first African-American priest of the Episcopal Church at The Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan, 425 North Cedar Bluff Road, Knoxville, TN 37923, on Sunday, February 25, 2018, at 5:00 pm. The Rt. Rev. Brian Lee Cole will preside and The Rev. Ronald Byrd will preach. The Rev. Ronald Byrd is the Episcopal Church Missioner for Black Ministries, a member of the Presiding Bishop’s staff. This event is sponsored by the Union of Black Episcopalians.

Communication News

Diocese Communication Survey: The Diocese has published a diocesan Communication Survey and we’re asking you to share it with folks in the church. We are taking a look at our diocesan communications and asking for input to help us with our Diocesan Communication Plan, which will guide our communications in the most effective ways for our diocese. Print copies and more information is available outside of Andrew Morehead’s office.

Deadline Reminder: The deadline for weekly publications is Monday at 5:00 pm for the coming Heavenly Post and the Sunday bulletin. The next Parish Paper deadline is March 1 by 5:00 pm.

New Group Emails: The church has acquired a new group email functionality in Microsoft. If you are a member of any group in the church with a group email, you will see a welcome email for the group as Andrew works through each group. If you wish to no longer be a member of those groups, please feel free to hit “leave group” or email Andrew Morehead at

Navigating Lent 2018

“I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church,
to the observance of a holy Lent,
by self-examination and repentance;
by prayer and fasting, and self-denial;
and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.”

Begin Here: Ash Wednesday – February 14 – 7:00 am, Noon, 7:00 pm

Commence the season of Lent by attending one of three Ash Wednesday services held at 7:00 am, Noon, and 7:00 pm. The Ascension Schola will sing at the Noon service and the Parish Choir will sing at the 7:00 pm service.

Continue Lent With: Daily Office – 7:00 am & 5:45 pm, Every Day

Daily Office, a twice-daily prayer service of morning and evening prayer led by members of Ascension, provides a still, contemplative time to begin and end your day. Consider attending as often or as little as you are able to discover the rewards of daily praise and prayer.

Praying with Icons: Stations of the Cross – Fridays at 5:45 pm

On each Friday in Lent beginning with Friday, February 16, at 5:45 pm, the officers of Daily Office will lead groups through the Stations of the Cross icons in the Nave. You can also pick up a booklet in the parish office and go through the stations yourself. Visit to see an online tour of the Ascension icons, meditations, and prayers for each station.

Enhancing Your Lenten Resources: Forward Day by Day

Forward Day by Day is a print/digital resource of daily Scripture and inspiration that aides the reader in reflection, prayer, and action. Instead of giving up something, you can add this easy and short daily Scripture-based meditation guide to your morning, lunch, or evening routine. This and other Forward Movement materials as available in the foyer. You can find booklets on “How to Keep Lent,” “Walking the Labyrinth,” “Centering Prayer,” “Praying with Icons,” and other inspirational materials.

Engaging the Mind: Journeys of Faith, Let it Go

Lent is more than just about giving up a certain food, or assuming a specific spiritual discipline. Lent is also a time to let go of all that holds us back on our spiritual journey. For five weeks, The Rev. Christopher Hogin will lead a group aimed at letting go of something physical (it could mean cleaning a closet or a room in one’s house), something mental (accomplishing a desired goal, such as eliminating debt), and letting go of something spiritual (choosing to forgive). The program takes place on Wednesday nights after the parish supper from 6:45-8:30 pm, beginning Wednesday, February 28, and concluding Wednesday, March 21. Each session begins with a short presentation and then breaks into small groups for reflection. Space is limited, so please email Tristen Hicks at or visit the parish office to sign-up for the class.

Making Lent Fun: Lent in a Bag

Are you and your family busy this Lent? Looking for a way to engage and explain Lent to your children while at home? This year, Megan Alden has brought back “Lent in a Bag,” a fun, tactile exploration of the themes of Lent. Each bag has an instruction sheet with a brief meditation for one night of each week in Lent (that’s six weeks). Swing by the Christian Education Wing after Ash Wednesday to pick up “Lent in a Bag” for your family. We ask that you take one bag per household.

Centering Prayer: Deepening your Prayer Life

Centering Prayer is a contemplative, quiet prayer method that centers on a segment of Scripture as the grounding of the meditation or contemplation. Centering Prayer is offered on Sunday mornings at 9:15 am in the Library and at 4:30 pm on Thursdays in the Library. See the announcement above about the Centering Prayer workshop and The Rev. Tom Ward’s appearance at Ascension.

Studying Scripture with Brothers and Sisters: Lectionary Groups

Each Sunday is given a specific set of Scripture readings. This collection of appointed readings, called the lectionary, affords the church the ability to cover most of the significant Scriptural passages in a three year cycle. Ascension has lectionary study groups that provide multiple opportunities to delve deeper with the lectionary readings, either in their entirety or certain selections. Consider joining the Wednesday Lectionary Study or the Other Brothers Lectionary Lunch. Also, the Men’s Bible Study on Tuesday Mornings at 7:00 am explores a dedicated Scriptural topic for larger periods of time with engaging conversation and discussion.

Not all Prayer is Stationary: Walking the Labyrinth

Have you wandered up the hill in the back parking lot? If you do, you’ll discover a peaceful garden area with benches as well as a stone and gravel labyrinth. To get your journey started, pick up one of the Walking the Labyrinth pamphlets on the Forward Movement rack, or just begin the labyrinth on your own to see what might happen.

Writing Your Way through Lent: Journaling with John

Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John, while not a dedicated Lenten resource, is an excellent way to spend six weeks with Jesus in the Gospel of John. Each page has a dedicated scriptural passage with ample journaling and meditation space for each day of the week. Stop by Andrew Morehead’s office for a sample, or head to for more information. Artistic copies are approximately $3.00 on Amazon, or free printed copies are available from Andrew.

Turning Reflection in to Action: Volunteering

You hear it all the time, we need volunteers for this activity, we need help with this ministry, but have considered the spiritual impact of dedicating your time to your community? Not all spiritual practices are reflective. Consider volunteering with FISH Hospitality Pantries, Community Chest, Family Promise, Sunday Morning Greeters, Ushers, Children’s Ministry, Parish Office Hospitality, or Dinner Angels for Teens. For more information about volunteering, call the parish office at 865-588-0589 or email

Please keep these individuals in your prayers this week:

Annette Burton, Pam Brock, Mary Chobanian, Jon Dittrich, Anna Fraser,
Elsie Guilford, Caroline Leahy, Genny Ledford, The Mast Family,
Beau McClanahan, Jennifer Monroe, Margaret Nelson, Ned and Beth Patterson, Harry and Dottie Stickley

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. The second list includes additional names as requested by you. The people on this list are prayed for by members of those leading morning and evening prayer at the Daily Office. 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 Anna Fraser.