Lections: Genesis 9:8-17; Psalm 25: 1-9; Mark 1:9-15
Morning Prayer/BAS (11:00 a.m.) - Officiant: Rev’d David Burrows, Preacher: Rev’d. Lynn Courage, Reader: Kim Pike
Hymns (CP): 170 vs 1,4,5; 162 vs 2 &4;631 vs 1,3,4;
Table of Contents
Ministry & Mission at the Ascension
- Sunday Worship at the Ascension (Reminders):
- Live Streamed Services: If you are interested in viewing Sunday service, you can do so by logging in to the new church website ascensionnl.ca, and go to the Social Media tab. Once there, click on the Facebook tab (please note you do not have to have a Facebook account to view the service). This will link you directly with the service once it has begun on Sunday.
- Cancellation of Service/Storm Notice and Office Closures: If Sunday services are canceled due to inclement weather, there will be an announcement on VOCM and VOWR. You may also check the message on the church answering machine. Also, please check the church office answering machine to determine if the office is closed for any reason.
- Cancellation of Service/Storm Notice and Office Closures: Please refer to the church website, ascensionnl.ca, or check the church answering machine (368-5693) for up-to-date information on the status of services as well as the church office.
- Pre-Authorized Givings: If you would like to set up pre-authorized givings, please take a pamphlet from either entrance of the church or from the church office. Simply fill one out, drop it into the office, and we will set up your automated givings. Thank you!
- Birthday/Anniversary Sundays: We are once again designating one Sunday of each month as family Sunday. The worship for that Sunday will include the celebration of birthdays or anniversaries for that given month. Please send us a picture of yourself to include during the Birthday Sunday celebration portion of the liturgy. You can send your photos to [email protected]. We request that you submit your photos by the end of the first week each month to ensure they are included.
- Front Line Workers Fund: The City of Mount Pearl is coordinating a Care and Support Fund for front line workers who are operating Covid test sites in our area. If you wish to make a donation in thanksgiving for their work, please do so by logging in to the parish website at canadahelps.org/en/charities/parish-of-the-ascension-mount-pearl/. Use the drop down menu to select the Covid Front Line Workers Care Fund and follow the prompts to complete your donation. Thanks for your support.
- Pandemic Appeal: To date we have raised $6,415. We encourage parishioners to continue to support our Parish in this effort by donating to the Pandemic Appeal. Thank you to all who have donated thus far.
- Clergy Contact During the COVID-19 Pandemic: All pastoral visits/interactions will be via telephone, email or zoom appointment with either Reverend Burrows or Reverend Courage. To set up an appointment, please contact them via their email or cell phone. Reverend Burrows may be reached at 746-2095 or by email at [email protected] and Reverend Courage may be reached at 682-8500 or by email at [email protected]
- Weekly Prayer During Lent: Wednesday Evening Compline: Beginning Ash Wednesday, the adapted resource Lent In A Bubble will be available online at lent.thetransmission.ca. This resource will enable families in their own bubbles to use resources and means at hand to explore their lives in Christ Jesus. Each week we will share a video outlining one of the Lenten Activities, and give suggestions as to personal reflection, learning, and prayer. In addition, we will livestream a service of Compline each Wednesday evening at 8:00 pm, beginning February 24, at fb.com/anglicantransmission/live.
- Lenten Folders: The church office is closed to the public due to the recent Covid 19 outbreak. As a result, your Lenten folders are not available for pick up. If you wish to contribute, you may do so by placing your donation in an envelope and dropping it in the church mailbox located at the front steps of the church. You may also donate electronically on line at canadahelps.org/en/charities/parish-of-the-ascension-mount-pearl/. Thank you.
- AGM: Details regarding the AGM will be provided as the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic unfold. The AGM has been TENTATIVELY rescheduled for March 21,2021, however this date may change. Please refer to the church website or the weekly edition of the Chimes for further information.
- Tax Receipts: Your tax receipts have for 2020 have been put in the mail.
- Services During the Week:
- Wednesday morning, Feb. 24: 10:00am, Streamed on-line fb.com/anglicantransmission/live and lent.thetransmission.ca
- Wednesday evening, Feb. 24: 8:00pm, Streamed on-line fb.com/anglicantransmission/live
- Sunday, Feb. 28 (Lent II): 11:00am, Family Service/WWB streamed on-line at ascensionnl.ca
Turn, return, and turn again
February 15, 1996 I was driving on a slushy and snow covered highway on the way to work as a youth worker at a Presbyterian church. As I drove over the road, I lost control of my vehicle and the vehicle was hit by a transport trailer. I will never forget the image of the side window shattering, and seeing the trailers large tires scraping against the car and finally driving over my front bumper. I gripped the wheel and spun out of control for about half a kilometer and then landed in a snowbank, miraculously not hitting any other vehicles. I was in shock and I didn’t have time to process the situation and the results very well. I responded by instinct and moved through the next hours and days as if it were a blur. Three weeks later, with the car newly fixed, I was again driving on the same patch of highway, on an evening, heading in for Lenten activities at the church. The truck ahead of me hit black ice and almost tipped over. Another car hit the back of the truck and went into the ditch. I geared down as best as I could, slowing to less than 40km/h and then slowly touched the brake. As I did so, the car began to spin once again. This time I was fully aware of what could happen. I gripped the wheel and I was very much afraid. I was angry that I had gotten into this situation once again. As the car spun off into the centre median, it hit a small metal stake. Again the car was damaged, and I was visibly shaking, knowing the journey ahead: repairs, sore muscles, fear, uncertainty.
I share this memory with you, for it is one of the images that is coming to mind today. It is Ash Wednesday. Once again the province is in total lockdown as we try to contain the Covid19 virus and its variants. So many people have had their lives affected. Like the car spinning out of control, we perhaps are uncertain of the damage and injury we will experience along the way. Like the anger, fear and pain I experienced, so many of us are back in a situation, knowing some of the parts of the journey from last year, and fearful of the days and weeks ahead.
With all that, it is Ash Wednesday, and Christians begin a season of fasting, prayer, almsgiving and reflection as we journey forty days to Easter. In our own bubbles, we are starting the journey of a Holy Lent. We at the Ascension are called to enter into this holiness with passion and determination, with hope and perseverance. We believe that Lent is for a time, and leads us to the journey of passion and resurrection. We believe that Lent is a time for us personally and as a community to meditate and discern humanity’s relationship with both the Creator and all creation: We take this time to establish a rule of life that will draw us closer to the Holy One, and become more at peace with our neighbours, all creation, and the entire cosmos. At times, one may feel overwhelmed in Lenten journeys of discovery. This year will be no exception. The advent of Covid19 into our midst has meant our lives and our responsibilities have shifted greatly. So many are challenged and vulnerable at this time. I fear for my journey through Lent, as I realize the pressures and challenges of isolation and lockdown will bring much fear and helplessness. I will need to remind myself daily of my fragility and of the fragility of the community round about me. I will fail; yet I will try and try again, because I believe in the hope and steadfast love of the Holy One. I believe in this hope and steadfast love, and I attempt daily actions to stay grounded in that hope and love – and share it (though distanced and in lockdown) with the community round about me. There are ways in which we struggle and fail, no matter how good our intentions. For me the image of turning and re-turning helps immensely. There is a continuous need for orientation each day, during Lent and well beyond. At the rising of the sun, and with its setting, we are invited to see how close we have journeyed with the Holy One, and the places where we may have walked separately. In my personal journey, I find great frustration and challenge for I rarely live into my Lenten discipline in the ways in which they are envisioned.
The Scripture for today, from the book of the prophet Jo’el, reminds us that there is depth and meaning to our actions and discipline. Jo’el records the voice of the Holy One,
‘return to me with all your heart . . . rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing’ (Jo’el 2:12-13).
The actions that we make cannot be completed out of routine or mindlessness. The Holy One is reminding us that we need intentions from the heart to make our offering to God, to others, and to all of creation. For me, this means being constantly reminded that the efforts I offer to bring hope and steadfast love are not to look good, not because it might be in fashion. The efforts I offer are because of my response to the great love God offers, and I receive, which compels me to live a life loving and caring for humanity and all of creation.
Another image I offer is of sticks and stones, which was from a prayer session with youth in our parish a few years ago. We were invited to consider themes for which to pray and how these themes might shape our response to friend and neighbour, family and stranger. Many times we may pray for less anger, more forgiveness, and clarity. Many times we may long for peace, understanding and love. Unless we hold these prayers in our being AND in our acting, then we fall short of our intentions. We turn. We return again, for personally, I know each of those rock prayers has been a struggle for me at times.
This Lenten season we have a daily challenge that invites us to turn and return again to the Holy One as we embrace a deeper relationship with the community and with the world all around us. Examples of these have been seen most effectively with the care and concern that Dr. Fitzgerald has offered in her daily updates. Kindness and compassion are key in our community at this time. Every act should be offered considering love and hope, kindness and compassion. These simple acts are both subtle and profound. Our Lenten journey must invite us to break away from models that disregard kindness and compassion. We must not spin out of control; instead we are called to prayerfully journey with the Holy One, and with community, as we take the steps of care that offer us hope and steadfast love. I commend to you the resources we have compiled in Lent in a Bubble at www.lent.transmission.ca and at www.ascensionnl.ca. May our response to the Holy One and to all our neighbours show steadfast love, care, and heartfelt meaning. May we move with hope and compassion. May we turn, re-turn, and return again in all our journeys.
Prayers of the People
We are baptized to lift up, day by day, all the needy world to God. Let us pray for all who are in need, saying: Have mercy, O Lord.
For the church, that all who have found God’s promise in the waters of baptism may enter gladly into the testing time of Lent, we remember Samuel our Bishop, for the parishes of Brooklyn South and Buchans, for our brothers and sisters in South Africa, we pray: Have mercy, O Lord.
For the church, those preparing for Baptism and Confirmation, called to be ready for Easter baptism, may walk with us these forty days and know both Satan’s testing and God’s reign, we pray: Have mercy, O Lord.
For the work of Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund which is committed to a vision of international development and global justice. We give thanks to those who contribute, to those who volunteer and to those who respond to make a difference in the world, we pray: Have mercy, O Lord.
For our World, that all living creatures may find goodness on the earth, our home, where life and death may both be God’s blessing, we pray: Have mercy, O Lord.
For deliverance, that in the wastelands made by our greed and indifference we may fast from evil and grow hungry for justice, we pray: Have mercy, O Lord.
For ourselves in this assembly, that we may strain forward toward Easter, caring for our sick and needy, especially all who are impacted by the pandemic, those undergoing testing, those who received positive results, those in isolation, all front line workers and health care professionals and all those who are working tirelessly to combat this Pandemic, remembering our dead, believing in our every deed the good news, we pray: Have mercy, O Lord.
For all those who have died, and for those who mourn their loss, we pray : Have mercy, O Lord.
God of wild beasts and of angels, of waters and wilderness, remember us; remember all whom we remember; remember the covenant you made with every living creature, for that is our bond with you now and forever.
Ascension Prayer Cycle: Aden, Ann, Aubrey, Audrey, Barbara, Baxter, Bob, Brenda, Brian, Brittany, Brandon, Carl, Cathy, Christina, Cindy, Claire, Clarence, David, Debra, Delilah, Dennis, Don, Donna, Doreen, Dot, Doug, Dulcie, Edgar, Elaine, Erin, Finnley, Frederick, Fred, Frank, Flo, Garrett, George, Gerry, Glenda, Gordon, Harry, Hilda, Ike, Ina, Ingrid, Ira, Jack, Jason, Jennifer, Jenny, Jim, John, Josephine, Judy, Junior, Kent, Kevin, Kim, Laura, Leo, Leonie, Lindsay, Lori, Louise, Madeline, Marie, Marsha, Mark, Marion, Maurice, Maxine, Maxwell, Melissa, Melvin, Michelle, Mike, Moana, Nancy, Pam, Phyllis, Rachel, Randell, Renee, Rodney, Roland, Ruby, Ruth, Rita, Sean, Shirley, Stephen, Susan, Tina, Todd, Tom, Valerie, Vera, Victoria and Wayne
Anglian Church of Canada One Licence #733242-A Book of Alternative Services The Taizé Community Book of Common Praise GIA Publications Wee Worship Book The Iona Community CCLI License # 1733318Resources for Chimes from the above sources