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 in honor of her grandsons Noah Dean Brown and Everett James Buckner by Allie Brown.

The white rose on the altar is given in celebration for the birth of Stella Stair, daughter of Russell and Sarah Stair.

Today is Seminarian Sunday // Today we are honored to have Claire Brown, Sewanee seminarian, as our guest preacher. A portion of each church’s Diocese Asking goes towards funding seminary education. Please take a moment to greet Claire after the service.

FOMA Presents: Washington Cornett and Suckbutt Ensemble // Next Sunday, 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 Approaching! // Mardi Gras is fast approaching and that means we need your sign-ups for dinner. Chef Gary Harper is wanting to get a head start on shopping for the dinner and we need to know how many are coming to Mardi Gras. Don’t forget that there IS childcare from 6:00-9:00 pm, but please note their attendance in the children’s notebook in the foyer. Donations are still being accepted. Fill out a donation form from the table in the foyer and drop off material items in Brett’s office.

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

Quaker Steak and Lube Fundraiser // Thank you to everyone who came out for the Quaker Steak and Lube Fundraiser. What a great time it was for the parish to come out for food and fun. Thank you for your support of the Kanuga parish wide retreat.

Do you need childcare scheduled for your ministry event? Email for information at least one month prior to your event.

Ascension Trekkers Adding More Hikes // In 2018, the Ascension Trekkers are adding another day of hiking each month to the schedule for more opportunities for fellowship, communing with nature, and fitness.  The Monday hikes all will be easy for those concerned about difficulty. If new to hiking, it is recommended that one prepare for the easy hikes by walking at least 2 miles without difficulty. Typically, hikers gather at the church for 9 am departures for each hike (there are exceptions to this depending on the distance to a trailhead).  Here are the hikes for February: Wednesday, February 7 – Hen Wallow Falls from Cosby Campground, 4.3 miles round trip, moderate difficulty; Saturday, February 17 – West Prong near Tremont – 5 miles round trip, easy-moderate difficulty;  Monday, February 19 – Little River Trail at Elkmont – 4-6 miles round trip (distance to be determined by the group, very easy; Contact Emily Vreeland ( or 865-470-2518) if you have questions and to RSVP for any other hikes.

The Sisterhood Goes to The Chop House // Wednesday, February 7, 6:00 pm, The Chop House, 9700 Kingston Pike // The next “ladies night out” will be at The Chop House. Please RSVP to Charlotte Wood at or 615-594-1781 by February 5, 2018. We decided to change the date this one time because the regular “ladies night out” is scheduled the week of Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day, and who would want to miss out?

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 // Our theme for this semester is “What does the Bible say about the purpose of the Church?” We will cover various topics including purpose, history, systems theory and more.  Our format will include small group discussion as well as guest speakers.  Rev. Christopher Hogin will be presenting this Sunday on the history of the Episcopal Church.

The Sojourners // New Transept-Parish Hall // Jerry Vreeland will lead a discussion on the history of Ascension from its founding in 1957 to the present (if time allows). The document “Ascension History Abridged” can be accessed online at and in the parish library.

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.

Girls’ Reading Crew // The Girls’ Reading Crew will continue today from 4:00-5:00 pm in the garden room. Girls in grades 4-6 are welcome to join in as we continue Anne of Green Gables. It is not too late to begin reading this classic novel.

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 at the home of Fr. Christopher Hogin for a Super Bowl Party. AYG for Middle School will meet Wednesday at 6:30 pm in the Youth Room.

Introducing Dinner Angels! // Introducing Dinner Angels, 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 Lock-ins // We are having an AYG Lock-in! We are asking that all interested teens please RSVP to GiGi by the Monday before their Lock-in is scheduled. The Lock-ins will run from 6:00 pm Friday to 8:00 am Saturday. We will need release forms for all teens attending the lock-in. The Middle School lock-in will be February 9-10. Please email with any questions.

Super Bowl Party @ Casa de Hogin // On Sunday, February 4th starting at 6:00 pm we will be having a super bowl party for our High School teens at the home of Fr. Chris Hogin. Teens should bring a snack, dessert, or two liter beverage to share.

Confirmation // In anticipation of the Bishop’s visitation in June, we will be starting Confirmation classes in early February. Confirmation is open to teens currently in grades 9-12. Contact GiGi at for more info or to sign up.

Happening #75 // Happening is a spiritual awakening and renewal weekend where high school youth have a face-to-face encounter with Christ through Christian community. This is done through a series of talks given by youth about their experiences in faith and life. It’s honest. It’s up front. Happening #75 is February 23-25. Registration is available online thru February 4th:

AYG High School Mission Trip 2018 // Our Mission Trip for 2018 will be the week of July 22-27 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.

Wednesday Night – Food for Body and Soul

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

Parish Supper // Wednesday, February 7, 6:00 pm // The Wednesday evening parish supper will feature hot chicken casserole, roasted vegetables, mixed greens salad with mandarin oranges, sunflower seeds, and feta cheese, bread, and dessert. The price is $10/adult, $5/child, and $25/family maximum. Sign-up in the parish office by Tuesday, February 6, or by emailing

Contemplative Dimensions of the Gospel // Old Transept-Parish Hall, 6:45pm // We have recently heard Bishop Brian Cole’s great presentation on Thomas Merton, one of the most loved contemplatives. We have also heard Fr. Brett Backus speak to us “God is RIGHT HERE”, pointing to our hearts. This class will prepare us to hear about the Contemplative Dimensions of the Gospel from Fr. Tom Ward (who will be offering a Centering Prayer Workshop at Ascension on February 17th and preaching to us on February 18th) and will offer insights into the peace and love we can find in prayer. Come join us!

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 // 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. Be on the lookout for a special “pillow drive” to help support one of Family Promise’s efforts to comfort families in the program.

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.

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 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 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, Elsie Guilford,
Caroline Leahy, Genny Ledford, The Mast Family, Beau McClanahan,
Jennifer Monroe, Margaret Nelson, Ned and Beth Patterson

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.