Ascension maintains a healthy financial picture. We finished the last year debt free with a surplus as a result of careful monitoring of expenses. The coming year present some challenges with the current economic climate, but we have every reason to expect another good year.
The challenging times in which we live can cause us to see the world with eyes of scarcity rather than abundance. We look around and see shortage and this creates a certain fear in our hearts. It’s a fear of not having enough and it can lead us to cling tightly to control and to our blessings. Christians, however, are called to see things with a different vision. We are called in times like these, and in all times, to look at and for God’s blessings, give thanks and respond in kind. The blessings of God are all around us, if we open our eyes to see.
We have all been blessed with gifts. We have resources, talents and abilities that God uses to shine light into a weary world. Our offering of these gifts allows us to come together as a community of faith and fulfill the mission God has given us in this time and place. Are we good stewards of the blessings?
Stewardship is what we do with our lives. Everything we have is a gift from God. We are stewards of what has been entrusted to us. God’s love offers us a gift that goes beyond anything we can imagine. It is most perfectly shown in God coming to us, loving us and giving himself for us in Jesus Christ. How do we respond to such a gift of grace with our lives? Do we respond at all?
These are questions not only of stewardship, but also of spiritual awareness and health. If we have been touched in any real way by this gift, we want to show gratitude and respond with everything we are. We seek to show this through love of God and neighbor, and we do this first by giving thanks and then by sharing the gifts God has entrusted to us. As we share our gifts and accept the gifts offered to us by others, we live into the community of faith to which God calls each of us.
God continues to bless the Ascension with meaningful worship, exciting study for adults, youth and children, and a supportive, welcoming sense of community. We share fellowship with our church family and others throughout the year at various events. Our Ascension family continues to reach out, taking the love of Christ into the community and world through various outreach projects and grants. It’s this outreach that shares the love of God with each other and the community. It’s this love that ultimately leads people to the fount of hope and life we have in Jesus Christ.
Many look at stewardship particularly that involving our money as a chore, but it’s really an opportunity. It is an opportunity to offer back to God a portion and percentage of the bounty and blessings we enjoy. It’s an occasion to give God thanks and join with others as we live out the greatest commandment, to love God with all our soul and mind and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mt. 22:37-39). Stewardship also gives us a chance to recognize that God is the source of our wealth. It is God who gives us the “power to get wealth” (Deut 8:18). The biblical standard for giving many cite is the tithe, or 10 percent of our income (Lev. 27:30-32). However, there are many ways to look at the ancient tithe and percentages. I think Saint Paul has a good way of looking at giving, and that is to recognize the need to give, but to do so according to our ability (2 Cor 8:12). This may be more than a recommended percentage or less, but either way we are accepting the opportunity to give back, and that is a blessed action.
We need your help to continue the ministries of the Ascension. We need your time, talent and treasure. You will want to look at the ways God blesses you and how you can offer a portion of this back to God. This is good stewardship and good stewardship of all that God has entrusted to us is a way of life in the Kingdom.
God asks each person to give according to his or her individual ability. By this measure, many of the Ascension's members provide generously for the work of the Church.
- Sunday: 8:00 am – Holy Eucharist, Rite I; 10:15 am – Holy Eucharist, Rite II.
- First Sunday of Every Month: 7:30 pm -Compline - chanted (with music).
- Third Sunday of Every Month: 5:00 pm - Evening Eucharist (chancel-informal-come as you are)
- Monday-Friday: 8:00 am - Morning Prayer (chapel).
- Tuesday: 8:00 am - Choral Morning Prayer (chancel).
- Wednesday: 6:00 pm - Holy Eucharist, Rite II (chapel).