Ascension Day was yesterday, May 21; it's a floating holiday that falls forty days after Easter. The Christian belief is that after Jesus died on the cross, he rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, and walked the Earth among his followers for forty days, continually teaching them. Then, according to St. Luke, on the fortieth day "...lifting up his hands, he blessed them, ..... and while he blessed them he departed from them, and ascended into heaven...."
- In past years, we celebrated this special Christian event, as well as commemorated our church's namesake, with a special church service. Of course, the church part is not possible at this time but the importance of the Ascension remains the same. We are to focus on the mission that Jesus gave to his disciples at his leaving, a mission that is held for all Christians - to go forth and proclaim the Gospel of life and love, of hope and peace, by the witness of our lives, being true disciples everywhere we go.
- I trust you were able to enjoy last Sunday's live-streamed service. However, if you ever miss those Sunday services, they are posted to our Parish's facebook page and you can view them there.
- How are you doing with your Pentecost growing project? Continue to care for it and take a picture of your growing plant next week, submit the picture to [email protected] so that it can be included in our online worship on Pentecost Sunday, May 31. Deadline for submission is no later than 5 p.m. on May 28.
- Tonight is the night that many are going to 'sleep without their beds' to raise funds needed to end furniture poverty in our region. They are part of the Heads without Beds campaign. Thanks to all who have supported the work of Home Again in the past and continue to do so. You are still able to donate to this worthy cause. The recent copies of the Chimes give details on the different ways you can donate in support of Rev'd David as he is one of those who will sleep without his bed tonight.
- The Parish of the Ascension is still receiving money on behalf of all the congregations in Mount Pearl for distribution to the three Mount Pearl foodbanks. This fundraising will continue until the end of June, 2020. If you would like to help, please log in to gofundme.com and search for Parish of the Ascension. Follow the prompts to make a donation. Thanks so much for helping those families in need.
- Of course, the need for food donations is still great. If you would like to donate to the food bank, you can drop your donation directly to St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank at either St. Peter's Parish Hall on Ashford Drive or Mary Queen of the World on Topsail Road. All donations are gratefully appreciated.
- As you reach out to others during this pandemic, please make it known to one of the clergy if you, or someone you contact, is struggling at this time. The clergy is aiming to make contact with everyone but our parish list may need to be updated. If you have not had a call or an e-mail, or you know of someone who hasn't, please send your updated information to [email protected] or call the parish office at 368-5693 and leave a message.
- There's an Online Church Service this Sunday at 11 a.m. Once again the Parishes of St. Michael and All Angels, St. Mary the Virgin, the Good Shepherd, and the Ascension are hosting Morning Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer. Come and join us at easter2020.ca. (You do not need to be on Facebook to view the live service.)
- With respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently in Alert Level IV, which continues to require physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and following the Public Health guidelines. Regarding public places and gatherings: gathering at funerals, burials, and weddings are restricted to no more than 10 people, as long as physical distancing can be maintained. Visitations and wakes remain prohibited. No public worship is to be permitted at this time. The Parish Centre, Sanctuary, Chapel offices, and facility remain closed. All parish activities will be conducted through our parish website, email, Facebook, and telephone. By the way, a new website for the Church of the Ascension has been launched. You can now find it at ascensionnl.ca.
- On Sunday, May 24, we were to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation at our evening service. However, due to the present circumstances, confirmation will not take place for our confirmation candidates this year. Continue to pray for these wonderful young people. We look forward to the day when we will celebrate their confirmation with them.
- We have special Greetings from the Godly Play: "Well at this time of year we would have been getting ready for our year-end closing on June 14, but the pandemic has other plans for us. We teachers have been thinking about the children and their families and hoping they are keeping safe. This is a difficult time for everyone especially the children. They are missing their friends and all their activities. I liken it to when we change our candle in the Godly Play Baptism story. The light is not put out, just changed for a while. Even though we can't see it at this time, please have faith that things will be waiting for us when we are ready to return. (Doreen Hunt)
- Don't forget "Thursdays in Black." Every Thursday the Parish of the Ascension will host a zoom hour with the Rector. Your Chimes outlines the importance of the hour and how you can link to the zoom meeting. It will be streamed live to the Parish of the Ascension Facebook page. The Chimes will also give you a new link for the Zoom check-in. All are welcome!
- Just a reminder that Food First NL works with communities in Newfoundland and Labrador to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, healthy, and culturally appropriate food. Please visit their website at foodfirstnl.ca/covid19 to find updates to NL Community Food Programs.
- We have a Resurrection Reminder "Lord of the Impossible" given by Reverend Charles Green: Few would doubt that we are going through a strange and stressful period in our lives as a result of the pandemic. We are asked to become accustomed to new behaviours and are forced to confront challenging questions with respect to our future and our common life together. Perhaps, too, as Christians, our anxieties prompt us to think of the disciples and of how they felt when their beloved master was cruelly taken from them. So much of what they had almost taken for granted, and loved, had been tragically withdrawn and redemption of any kind seemed to be impossible. The future looked grim. But that was not to be, for they overlooked a central reality - God was in this. He exercised His love and power and raised Jesus from the dead, and a whole new life began for the disciples. Not only that, but even death itself was placed in a new context. And there was even more. Jesus' ascension and the sending of the Holy Spirit brought to all the followers of our Lord the knowledge and experience that they were not alone and that, through physically unseen, he would be with them always. They would know his presence both in their joys and sorrows, in their crises and in things they did not understand, and that, as the ancient psalmist discovered centuries earlier, he would every accompany them "through the valley and the shadow of death." May we, as members of the Parish of the Ascension, and all who seek to follow Jesus, in these strange days of the pandemic, and in the midst of whatever fears we may have, be sustained by that same faith and hope and never leave the "God of the Impossible" out of our equation.
- Another reminder - if you are interested in continuing to donate to the parish ministry during the pandemic, there are a number of ways outlined for you in the Chimes which you will find on the parish website and on Facebook this weekend.
Have a safe weekend.
God Bless you all,
Jean (On behalf of the Ascension)