Parish News

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

General Community News

The chancel greens are given to the glory of God and in loving memory of her husband, Ned, and in thanksgiving for 55 years of marriage by Barbara Craig.

The white rose on the altar is given in celebration for the birth of Elizabeth Lovett, daughter of Lewis and Maggie Lovett, granddaughter of Ellen and David Lovett; Elizabeth Backus, daughter of Eric and Katherine Backus, and niece of Brett and Carla Backus; and Knox Holden Gagley, great-grandson of Roy and Valerie Biberdorf.

Bereavement // As The Great Litany is being used today, the Prayers of the People is not said. However, we wish to note three deaths related to parishioners. Ron McPherson, brother of Barbara Chubb; Jay Branum, brother of Virginia Branum; and Lewis Finch, son of Mary Todd and Cabell Finch.

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.

Ascension Trekkers // Ascension Trekkers will leave the church at 9 am for the next hike.  On 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 (emilyvree@aol.com).

FOMA Presents: Voces8 // Thursday, March 1, 7:30 pm // Tickets for the Voces8 concert are available in the office after today’s services. Ticket price is $25.

Ascension’s own Scot Williams on CD // KSO Cellist D. Scot Williams, a member of the choir, has recorded a CD of unaccompanied cello works. The pieces were commissioned by or written for Scot, and were composed by Robert Cronin, Mark Harrell, and Lucas Richman. Two of Scot’s own compositions were recorded as well. CDs are available either through the Knoxville Symphony office or from Scot directly, at a cost of $15.

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. 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. Bring in pillows (not pillow cases) to the parish office for the pillow drive.

Holy Bread Bakers // Lent is approaching and with it comes delicious honey wheat bread. Led 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 bfcraig6@yahoo.com.

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 // We will continue looking into the Bible to understand more fully God’s  “purpose for the Church”. Drawing from Ephesians 4:12-16, Becky Fuller will lead the class on February 18 to continue our discussion of what it means to “equip the saints for the work of ministry.”

The Sojourners // New Transept-Parish Hall // Tom Ladd will lead our ongoing discussion of Ascension’s history by resuming his presentation which provides insights into ‘the life and times’ of those who have served as rector of our parish. Our projected study of Rowan Williams’ book ‘Meeting God in Paul’ will be deferred for the present.

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

Girls’ Reading Crew // The Girls’ Reading Crew continues today from 4:00-5:00pm. We will meet in the Garden Room.

Lent in a Bag // If you didn’t get your “Lent in the Bag” on Ash Wednesday, please stop by the Education wing today to pick one up! These bags contain items and reflections to guide your family through the season of Lent.

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: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0e4dada922a5ff2-middle

High School Dinners: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0E4DADA922A5FF2-high

AYG High School Mission Trip 2018: DEADLINE EXTENDED // 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 Thursday, March 1. This trip is open to our teens currently in grades 8-12. Please email gigi@knoxvilleascension.org with any questions.

Wednesday Night – Food for Body and Soul

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

Parish Supper // The Lenten menu has returned for this week’s Parish Supper. This week features: wWinter Vegetable Minestrone, Chicken Tortilla Soup, Salad, Bread, & Light Dessert. Pricing is $10/adult, $5/child, and $25/family maximum. RSVP to announcements@knoxvilleascension.org, 588-0589, or stop by the parish office.

Journeys of Faith: Let It Go // Parish Hall, 6:45-8:30 pm // 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, beginning February 21st, 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), or something spiritual (choosing to forgive). The program takes place on Wednesday nights, after the parish supper, from 6:45 until 8:30 pm. Space is limited, so please email Tristen Hicks tristen@knoxvilleascension.org to reserve a space or come by the office to sign up.

Please note that “Compline & Contemplation” or “Say Goodnight to God” has been canceled until further notice.

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 difference in our area through Family Promise, or for general information about the program, email Mary LeMense at director@familypromiseknoxville.org.

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.

Distinguished Scholar Series

The Rev. Ed Bacon to appear at St. Elizabeth’s // March 3 & 4 // Former Rector of All Saints Pasadena, CA, and author of 8 Habits of Love, The Rev. Ed Bacon will appear at St. Elizabeth’s on their Distinguished Scholar Series with a presentation of alternatives to fear-based Christianity. Crediting Fr. Henri Nouwen, Fr. Thomas Merton, and Rabbi Edwin Friedman, Fr. Bacon will unpack his understanding of a Christianity deeply rooted in love and grace, free of reward and punishment notions about God. The cost is $30/person or $75/family and includes lunch. Contact the parish administrator at st-elizabeth@etdiocese.net to register by February 27. 

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 andrew@knoxvilleascension.org.

Navigating Lent

“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.”

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 https://www.knoxvilleascension.org/the-stations-of-the-cross/ 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 21, 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 tristen@knoxvilleascension.org 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 www.meetingjesusinjohn.org 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 info@knoxvilleascension.org.

Please keep these individuals in your prayers this week:

Corinne Bell, VA Branum, Pam Brock, Mary Chobanian, The Finch Family,
Anna Fraser, Marti Greenwood, Genny Ledford, Lewis and Maggie Lovett,
Jill Monroe, Ned and Beth Patterson, Harry and Dottie Stickley, Dick Strehlow

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.