Please take a moment and consider participating in our In-reach Program at Ascension. The program has been greatly appreciated by those in our own parish who were in need of a helping hand, a meal, or a ride at a critical time. More help is needed, though. If you are interested, please contact the Parish Secretary at 301-863-8551 for an application form to let us know how you are interested in helping out. If you want to continue with your current participation, there is no need to complete a new form – Only those new to the program need to register. THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!
Please let the Rector if you or a fellow church member could use a hand. Ascension’s In-Reach is there to help our members in times of need, providing meals, rides, or companionship.
As worship is the central event of our faith, opportunities to lead in the services is an important part of Christian Education. We have a great group of young people in middle school and high school currently participating as acolytes. We welcome newcomers to contact Tim Matthews via the church office at 301-863-8551 to get your child/children involved with the acolyte group. Training is provided.
Members of the Alter Guild serve the ancient and sacred function of preparing the alter for each service. If you would like to have an opportunity to serve your church in a big way that doesn’t require much time, you may want to consider becoming a member of the Alter Guild. There are presently four teams, with approximately three members each, and members typically serve on a rotating monthly schedule. The alter is set up Friday or Saturday prior to the service. Change-over occurs between the 8:00 and 10:30 services, and the take-down occurs after the 10:30 service. The Alter Guild also prepares the alter for weddings, funerals, and other special services.
Team members share duties and new members serve on a team of very experienced members until they feel comfortable working without direction. Your help is needed, whether you attend the 8:00 service, or 10:30. Please consider joining us in serving God as members of Ascension’s Alter Guild. For more information, contact Connie Khinoo-Olsen via the church office at 301-863-8551.
The Church of the Ascension has two choir groups. The Senior Choir consists of high school age through adults and rehearses weekly. The choir for children and youth provide programs at Christmas and Easter. Rehearsals for children 3rd grade and above will begin prior to the seasons. Our Choir Director Diane Trautman has been with the Church of Ascension for years and is always interested in new voices. If you are interested in becoming a member of one of our choirs, please contact Diane via the church office at 301-863-8551.
Diane Trautman has started an English Handbell Choir for teenagers and adults. If you are interested, please contact her via the church office at 301-863-8551 or speak to her at church.
Lectors and Lay Readers are lay people who read lessons during Sunday services. Layreaders (Chalice Bearers) are able to assist in distributing communion during the service on Sunday morning in addition to other duties. Training is provided by the Diocese and a license is issued upon completion of this training. Contact the Secretary at 301-863-8551 if you would like more information about these ministries.
Could you spare a couple of hours a month? Why not consider sharing your time with the sick or homebound by becoming a Licensed Eucharistic Visitor (LEV). We have a large number of shut-ins and currently we only have 4 people qualified to be LEV. The diocese has not set up training yet, but if we have at least 5 people we could possibly have a training session here in the area.
Ushers are responsible for greeting people and distributing Sunday bulletins as they enter church services, help latecomers find seats, collect the offering during the service and help the Rector greet newcomers as they leave church. Ushers are also responsible for putting pews in order after the services, taking attendance count and reporting the number to the Rector.
Tom Clarke is the coordinator for the ushers and makes up the usher schedule. He needs folks to work in pairs as they work as a team. The schedule normally assigns teams for about two Sundays in any three month period. Ushers are not restricted to men – husband and wife teams are acceptable, or any woman who would like to usher can talk to Tom. Father and son teams are also welcome.
USHERS NEEDED Anyone interested in being an usher is asked to call Tom via the church office at 301-863-8551.
In times of crisis it is comforting to have others pray for you and your loved ones. The Church of the Ascension has a prayer chain just for this purpose. Gladys Dement is the coordinator for the prayer chain and would like to give newcomers and all parishioners the opportunity to become an important link in the existing chain.
The Prayer Chain needs your help. With so many people on the move our callers have diminished. Please contact Gladys via the church office at 301-863-8551 if you wish to volunteer. The prayer chain is updated regularly, so call today to become part of this extremely vital ministry!
As I faced my Maker at the last Judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives, like the squares of a quilt, in many piles. An angel sat before each of us sewing quilt squares together into tapestries that represented our lives. As my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life.
I saw hardships that I had endured, which were the largest holes of all. I glanced around me. No one else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty. Finally, the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light. . . the scrutiny of truth.
The others arose, each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been! My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to arise. My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness and death, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again.
I had spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully; each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the critical gaze of those who unfairly judged me. And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it had been.
I arose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with eyes wide. Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image.
The face of Christ.
Our Lord then stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, “Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.
May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through.