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About Ascension

You are invited to our open table.

Thank you for your interest in Ascension Lutheran Church.

When and Where

Please note! Ascension will continue to have a single Sunday worship service at 9:30 a.m. during the 2017-18 school year. Sunday school and Adult Christian Education will be at 10:45. Saturday evening worship continues to be held at 5 p.m., with a fellowship meal afterward. Thank you!

Worship Times

Contemporary:
Saturday Evenings 5pm

Traditional:
Sunday Mornings
9:30am

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Pastor’s Piece:

Seasonal highs and lows

Our confirmation classes often include a little assessment of where we are in the church year. I recently asked, “What season are we in?” A would-be comedian answered, “Winter!”

A couple of miscalculated answers followed. Then an astute young man collected himself and correctly answered, “Epiphany.” I explained epiphany means “realization,” “disclosure” or “revelation.” I drew a star on the whiteboard and suggested that the magi’s guiding star may be an apt symbol for the season of Epiphany. “Illumination” might even be another suitable definition.

The responses to my next questions were more encouraging. “What season are we approaching?” “Lent!” answered everyone. “And what service kicks off the season of Lent?” “Ash Wednesday!”

I began to write these seasons and services on a timeline on the whiteboard and was again struck by the remarkable movement of the church seasons and festivals.

I explained the season of Epiphany ends with the brightness and glory of Transfiguration Sunday, when Jesus’ clothes turned an unearthly white. Some of the students were able to supply further details: Jesus went up a mountain with some of his disciples; there was a “mist” [a cloud actually], and a voice proclaimed from heaven, “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Transfiguration Sunday not only concludes the season of Epiphany with an exclamation mark but it also sets us up for a plunge into the darkest season of the church year—the 40-day season of Lent. The subject of Lent prompted a chorus of confirmation class anecdotes about “giving something up” including one boy’s recollection of having successfully set aside television for Lent—“except for three days”!

Perhaps the best Lenten discipline is the discipline of introspection, sitting quietly or standing in front of a mirror to take stock of our fallible, mortal selves. Fortified by a half-dozen midweek soup suppers and a taste of jubilation on Palm Sunday, we enter Holy Week. On Maundy Thursday we extol acts of humble service and have a quiet Last Supper. Good Friday is the nadir of the church year. Trial and crucifixion are recounted, and candles are snuffed out until there is darkness like a Christmas Eve candlelight
service in reverse. There is darkness.…until we are plunged into light again on Easter morning!

The church calendar—with its seasonal highs and lows, its plateaus and bright festivals—offers us a pattern by which to order our spiritual lives. Our highs and lows become bonded to its highs and lows. It makes the whole arc of Scripture accessible and imparts the Gospel story in a way that helps us conform our lives to the life of Christ. Its seasons accord with the seasons of nature, and it flows with a similar inevitability and drama. A keener awareness of the church year is an awareness worth cultivating—for
confirmation students and church veterans alike.

Pastor Wes Aardahl

The local ELCA churches (Ascension Lutheran, St. Paul’s Lutheran and Christ Lutheran) will combine to provide some worship and fellowship. The Wednesday evening services will utilize the Holden Village’s “Prayer around the cross,” called one of “timeless beauty and quiet dignity.”
Those attending the daytime services may bring a brown bag lunch (coffee/water to be provided) and should be finished eating before the 12:15 p.m. service, lasting 20–30 minutes.

Shrove Tuesday Dinner
Tuesday, Feb. 13 • Ascension
5:30–6:30 p.m.

Ash Wednesday
Wednesday, Feb. 14 • Ascension
7 p.m.

Midweek Healing Service
Wednesday, Feb. 21 • St. Paul’s
12:15 p.m.

Lenten Service
Wednesday, Feb. 21 • St. Paul’s
6 p.m. • Soup Supper
7 p.m. • Service “Church Universal”

Midweek Healing Service
Wednesday, Feb. 28 • St. Paul’s
12:15 p.m.

Lenten Service
Wednesday, Feb. 28 • St. Paul’s
6 p.m. • Soup Supper
7 p.m. • Service “Sick and Injured”

Art gallery needs Valentine photos

To honor those people who make Valentine’s Day special to us, a new display is planned for Ascension’s art gallery. But the organizers need your help.
Shelves to be separated by decades will be provided for you to display your wedding picture and cake topper if it will stand on its own. “Widows and widowers are also encouraged to provide pictures,” said Sid Strand, noting that “pictures should show your most recent spouse.”
Pictures should be brought to the church by February 4 for the month-long display.

WELCA Bible study to meet Feb. 20

The Women of the ECLA (WELCA) will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 20, in the upper fellowship hall. The Bible study from the Gather magazine is by Mark Allan Powell titled “Multiple meanings: learning from other interpretations,” session two from Luke 3:13–17. For questions or more information, contact Shirley Toppenberg at 634-4946.

Feb. 18 COMEA volunteers sought

Volunteers from the congregation are needed for the next COMEA meal preparation on Sunday, February 18. Six to eight cooks/servers are needed each month to prepare and serve the dinner. Food preparation starts at 2 p.m. and continues until 5:20 when the dinner is placed in vehicles for transport to the COMEA shelter. Serving takes place from 6–7 p.m., then back to the church to finish cleanup and unload utensils. A sign-up sheet is available in the narthex. For information, contact RC Reiman.

Church book club to begin

Pastor Wes Aardahl has announced the creation of a book club at Ascension with “Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson as the first selection. “It’s a noteworthy book, so you should be able to find it at the library, a used bookstore, Barnes & Noble, or that ‘gargantuan.com’ place where you can order anything!” pastor said. “I’ll set out some sheets of discussion questions beforehand.”

Where and when should the group meet? A “think-outside-the-box” option could be the Paramount Cafe, 1607 Capitol, from 6–7 p.m. A more practical but deeply “inside-the-box” option would be Ascension’s upper fellowship hall from 7–8 p.m. The best days would be the Thursdays when Church Council or its executive committee do not meet or the Tuesdays when the Mutual Ministry Committee or Internship Lay Committee do not meet.

Let pastor know your preferences as soon as possible.

Personal Lenten thoughts needed

As we begin our annual Lenten journey, Christ Lutheran Church has asked for help in creating a wall hanging for its narthex. Peg Edwards, an artist and worship planner at Christ, wants to make a piece that includes a shell, Lenten colors and a blank space for people to write a line or thought or paragraph that signifies their Lenten journey whether it be a joy or a sorrow. To assist with this project, you are invited to participate during the combine churches’ Lenten Wednesday day/evening services.