Your Parson’s Post
Praying in tongues
The early faithful sat in isolation. Just a few days before, some of them had witnessed the ascension of their Savior and friend, Jesus. Now they met to mark a festival. The Jewish faithful gathered for the annual celebration of the harvest and of the giving of the law on Mount Sinai.
This Jewish band of Jesus’ followers was likely bewildered and still fearing for their lives. God had raised Jesus from the dead. After his resurrection, their Risen Lord had been with them. But now on Pentecost, this group again sat in isolation. It’s recorded in Acts 2: 1–4:
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
This year, the church marks the Day of Pentecost on May 31. The Spirit continues to give the church ability. We gather for worship in different ways during these strange days of physical distancing because of a pandemic. We worship together, though apart, online by visiting ascensioncheyenne.org or Ascension’s Facebook page or by logging in for “live” worship via Zoom (available for all from a landline phone, a cell phone or Internet access).
When we gather for worship via Zoom, our “live” prayer sounds like murmurings. It sounds and seems like a “speaking in tongues” prayer. This particular prayer is the Lord’s. Even in confused language and time, the Lord unites us.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
May holy speech and resurrection language “as the Spirit gives us ability” sustain us in prayer, courage, hope and witness.
Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Starting in April, the First Communion class began meeting online by Zoom. The youngsters are only one of the groups who have joined the weekend worship schedule to meet in a virtual setting. Dozens and dozens of meetings have been scheduled in May alone on all days of the week.
Worship/meeting Zoom schedule during May
Contact the church office if you need the link to a particular event. Zoom meetings may be accessed through the Internet, landline telephones and cell phones.
We will meet by Zoom each weekend (Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 9:30 a.m.). Prerecorded services will supplement these worship services on May 9─10, May 23─24 and June 6─7 and may be accessed through the link at the top of this website.
Brad Abbott, executive director of Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp, will preach for our “live” worship via Zoom at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 9, and at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 10. Situated 55 miles west of Fort Collins, the camp is an outdoor ministry in the Rocky Mountain Synod, ELCA.
Two adult forums on China scheduled
Ben Houchen, instructor of leadership studies with Fort Hays State University’s International Partnership program in China for the past six years, was on holiday and became “locked out.” So he and his family came to Cheyenne to be near family and began attending Ascension. In China, he worked each year with 30–40 newly arrived Westerners on adapting to life and culture. During 11 a.m. forums on May 17 and 24, Ben will share cultural, political and religious insights about China and life as an expat.
Morning devotionals held weekdays
Monday through Friday a half-hour morning devotional will be held. It will start at 7 a.m. with virtual gathering and visiting; the leader will offer a brief devotion at 7:20 a.m.
Bible study planned Wednesday mornings
Bible study with Pastor Rebecca will be held from 11 a.m. to noon each Wednesday with a focus on the upcoming weekend’s Gospel. The schedule is as follows: May 6, John 14: 1–14; May 13, John 14: 15–21; May 20, John 17: 1–11; May 27: John 20: 19–23.
WELCA to meet May 19
The Women of the ELCA (WELCA) will meet at its regular third Tuesday of the month at 9:30 a.m. The May 19 Bible study is a devotional called “Plenty Good Room,” an African American spiritual speaking to the inclusivity so many people yearn to know in the body of Christ. The focus is on the verse Luke 24:28–29.
Although we were not together on Palm Sunday, we awoke to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle front page picture and story about the work led by Denise Martin and her volunteers to make palm crosses from frond leaves. The crosses were then mailed to Ascension members.
Rocky Mountain Synod assembly to go digital
Only a few weeks ago, Ascension Lutheran Church was preparing to be one of five sites of the Rocky Mountain synod’s two-day assembly at the beginning of May using the technology of teleconferencing. Ironically, the fact that the synod was already planning to conduct business via Zoom made it easier for the RMS Council to move the assembly to an all-digital format and collapse it into a half day.
Now the assembly will be from 8:30 a.m.─noon on Saturday, May 2. The agenda will include worship and morning prayer, passing the 2020─2021 budgets, approving updates to the RMS constitution, hearing the state of the synod address from Bishop Jim Gonia and hearing the keynote address and other programming.
Voting members from Ascension are Keren Meister-Emerich and Tim Leberman.
Church can mail copy of Christ in Our Home
If you would like us to mail a copy of the April/May/June issue of the Christ in Our Home daily devotional, call the church office at 634-6575 and leave a message or email your request to [email protected] Our usual number of booklets has arrived; they are waiting for you. We simply need your help in knowing who would like to receive a copy.
Pastor Rebecca has invited Ascension members to “see” one another through a variety ways. “During these days of physical distancing the many challenges of being a school kid, being a family provider and/or being a patient person are all tested,” she said. She offered “gratitude for all who help with these varied opportunities of worship and community life.”
‘Let us make and break bread together’
During worship April 26, Pastor Rebecca preached on the Road to Emmaus story from Luke in which two disciples saddened by the death of Jesus do not recognize Him on the road but invite the man to dinner. It is when Jesus becomes the host that their eyes are opened. “At that ordinary table they catch a glimpse of His kingdom,” she said, “and everything is made new.” Pastor noted that this “story sets the pattern of our worship each Lord’s day.”
For many years at Ascension, Shirley Kaetzer has baked communion bread and had planned to demonstrate the process to the First Communion class. With physical distancing preventing that, Shirley created a video to show us all how to “make the bread” until we can “break bread together on our knees,” as the old spiritual says.
Now we have a “church yarn that knits us together” not only during this pandemic but also for many years to come. Watch it here:
Church Yarns Knit Together
Perhaps you have sons/daughters/grandchildren/siblings who live a distance from Ascension, but who have positive messages that might be shared in a prerecorded worship service as a short video or audio recording. For example, “I now live in (state) and have this memory about being part of Ascension as a child when I (attended VBS; sat in worship with my grandparents during summer vacation; recalled the Christmas celebrations with the congregation; carried the Christian vocation in my livelihood now (as a parent, teacher, woodworker, etc.), and I remember being inspired to think about ‘Christian calling’ when I rubbed elbows with the ministry of Ascension.” Written memories would also be accepted. Contact Pastor Rebecca if you have an idea that might work for this project.
Continue sending us your selfies
We continue to request selfies of our Ascension households to put on the gallery page of our website (without names). You may also email a photo you already have or mail to the church office a hard copy of a photo, which will be scanned and returned. All of this is a way to “grow” our file of who’s who.
Written ideas sought for $70,000 gift
While you are social distancing at home, the Church Council wants you to put on your thinking caps and provide input on what to do with the $70,000 gift from Christ Lutheran Church upon its Holy Closure. The first step in the process is to gather ideas and thoughts on how to utilize part or all of the money by submitting them in writing to Council member Rick Flohr or any other Council member. Make sure each idea is on a separate sheet of paper; be specific about your idea(s); include any necessary details, and explain the importance to Ascension. After the ideas are gathered, the next step will be a town hall-style meeting. For information, email Rick at [email protected]
Please watch this video about our Faith Builds work which we share with area volunteers, beside the Stephenson family, as we build their home in Cheyenne.
Ascension scheduled to work August 22 on Habitat home
Ascension Lutheran Church will provide work crews for the Cheyenne Habitat for Humanity Faith Builds project on Saturday, August 22. We will work shifts from 8 a.m.–noon and 1–5 as well as provide the meal and snacks that day.
On May 1, a “ground blessing” has tentatively been scheduled at the home site at 1305 Sonata Lane in south Cheyenne near West Prosser Road.
This is the first Faith Builds house project in Cheyenne and the 50th house locally and is made possible through an $80,000 Thrivent Financial matching gift.
The home is designed for Jamie Stephenson and his three children, ages 13, 8 and 6, who work with church partners to construct a home for themselves.
Several ways outlined to help pantry
The Free Little Pantry continues to be filled but continues to empty. So your donations to this neighborhood ministry do make a difference. You may safely fill the pantry yourself. If you would like to donate without venturing out, leave a message on the church phone, and someone will arrange to pick up your donation. Another option is to send to the church a check with a notation for the Little Pantry, and your offering will be added to the Social Concerns committee budget for the pantry.