“At Ascension, We Are Free To Question” – New Learning Opportunity

During Epiphanytide we are offering a presentation and discussion series on “What It Means to be Episcopalian.”  If you’ve always had questions, or just wonder why we do things the way we do, come and ask!  Marilyn will lead at 9 a.m. in the Parish Hall.  This week’s topic is “Authority in the Anglican Communion.”  Join us!

The book, “The Episcopal Way” is available and is similar to the presentation. See   Marilyn+ to purchase a copy or go to Amazon or other sellers. ISBN-13: 9780819229601.

Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry Community Offering

Saturday, January 13; 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. in the Parish Hall.

The Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry (HTSM) team of Ascension will offer their monthly community healing touch sessions this Saturday in the Parish Hall. Healing Touch Spiritually Ministry is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition of laying on of hands, healing prayer, and anointing with oils. This form of spiritual self-care is known to alleviate stress and balance the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies. Many report a deep sense of peace and calm after receiving a healing-touch session as the body’s natural healing process is restored.

All ages are welcome. Sessions run 20 to 30 minutes in length. Community Healing touch is offered the second Saturday of each month. Contact Anne Gerber for questions (651) 353-8707.

Free Episcopal Faith Classes

Did you know that The Episcopal Church in Minnesota (ECMN) offers college-quality classes for any Episcopalian to take? That means you! Some of these classes meet completely online from the comfort of your own home. Some meet online with a couple of meetings in person. For a limited time, they offer some classes for free.To learn more, click here: https://schoolforformation.org/2017/12/07/take-your-first-course-free-in-spring-2018/

For a list of all classes, both free and those for a fee, click here: https://schoolforformation.org/learn/course-calendar/

Buff+

Get To Know Our COHI Volunteers – Linda Francis

As a cradle Episcopalian, I have deep roots in the church. Recently, I needed to know the date of my great grandfather’s death for a genealogy search. I went to the church where I was baptized and found the information I needed. I still have that connection to my church roots in the city where I was born.

I have has been a member of Ascension since 1990. I have served the greater church on many levels: Dean of Region V, various diocesan committees, Cursillo leader and Council member, Youth Group leader, and a delegate to the annual convention for many years. I have worked in our church office five times. Because of those positions I have a connection to the greater church in Minnesota. The church is my family.

Serving at the altar is my favorite place to be. Training others to participate is a joy. I live in Stillwater with my husband David. We have four children and six grandchildren.

Volunteers Needed for Valley Outreach

Dear Ascension members,

Our Church, along with a dozen other local churches, provides volunteers to staff Valley Outreach food shelf during the year. We participate quarterly by providing four people per day for three days to assist our neighbors in a free grocery shopping experience.

We are scheduled for Wednesday, Jan 17, and Friday, Jan 19, 2018. (Valley Outreach is closed on Monday for the Martin Luther King holiday.) Times are 9:30 a.m. – 12 noon. The dates for the rest of the year are: April 2, 4, 6. June 18, 20, 22. Sept 5, 7. Nov 19 ,21, 23.

As part of our participation, we are asked to bring grocery bags. Last fall, Kate and Erin Davis had a grocery bag drive and collected 400 bags for Valley Outreach! Congratulations girls! What a great mission project. We want to build on their success and collect bags prior to our volunteer week. Please bring bags to Church. Leave them in the grocery cart in the entryway to the Parish Hall.

If you would like to volunteer or need me to pick up bags, please call or email me. Thank you all for willingness to help those in our community who are food insecure.

Frank & Sue Langer fslanvel@hotmail.com Frank’s cell 651-245-4532

Knit Together – January 16th, 6:30pm

Bagpipes and Bonfires is over and the holiday season has come and gone. Now there’s time for coming together and sharing an evening of handwork around the fireplace. Join us the third Tuesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to knit, crochet, embroider, tatt, felt (or any other type of handwork) and exchange ideas of how our work can become a part of our spiritual practice. Possible topics may include: working together in community, needlework as a form of meditation, or creating for the greater community. Very informal and fluid.

First meeting is  January 16, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Parish Library. All are welcome!

Call Sue Langer if you have questions.  651-439-5766 evenings.

Annual All-Parish Meeting and Meal: 1/21 11am

On January 21, following the 10 a.m. Eucharist, we will gather for our Annual All-Parish Meeting.  At this meeting we’ll recognize outgoing members of our Vestry, elect new Vestry members, review church finances and 2018 budget, and consider changes to our church bylaws.  After the meeting, all are invited to a meal in the Parish Hall.  The church will provide the entree of smoked-pulled chicken. Bring a dish to pass.  Everyone is invited to attend this informative once-per-year meeting.  Confirmed members are encouraged to attend and vote.  Future articles in the Font will highlight 2018 nominees to the Vestry and proposed bylaws changes.

Rebuilding Villages and Restoring Hope in Kenya and Uganda

A group from St. John the Evangelist is planning a mission trip to Uganda March 1-13, 2018 in partnership with “Give Us Wings” www.giveuswings.org. They focus on health, education, and economic sustainability by working directly with families since their founding in 1999. Six volunteers are planning to go, including Deacon Brenda, with room for five more. Cammie and Rob Beattie, members of St. John’s, have made several trips there and are the leaders for this trip. The cost is $2500 plus airfare. An informational meeting will be held Thursday, January 4th, 7 p.m. at 1287 Hartford in St. Paul. Contact Cammie Beattie for further information at 612.860.7821 or cbeattie96@gmail.com. She would be happy to meet with you personally and help you fast track the application. To carpool for meeting, contact Deacon Brenda, 763-482-6014.

Lunch Bunch Meets

The Lunch Bunch will meet after the Wednesday class at Boutwells on January 17thWe will meet in the Boom Site Café about 12:15 pm.  If you are attending the class please plan to join us for lunch.  All are invited!

Contact Linda Francis 430-3361 or Vicki Kramer 439-7103 if you need transportation.

Legislative Breakfast on housing held at Ascension

Tuesday, January 9, 8:00 a.m.

Legislators including Karen Housley and Kathy Lohmer will attend a Legislative Breakfast at Ascension hosted by the MICAH North East, a coalition of churches dedicated to creating affordable housing in our area.

The Twin Cities is experiencing a rental crisis, and the number of people experiencing homelessness is increasing. Find out what our state and local officials are thinking at the MICAH 21018 Legislative Breakfast. Breakfast is served by Our Community Kitchen for a freewill offering starting at 8:00 a.m. and panels with local policy makers begin at 8:30 a.m.. For more information contact the Rev. Brenda Hoffman at b.hoffman@aechurch.org.

Epiphany Pageant

Please join us this Sunday, January 7, during the 10 a.m. service for the Epiphany Pageant. All children are invited to bring up the crèche pieces to the crèche while the ninth grade Confirmation students read the Gospel story. There will be a short rehearsal at 9 a.m. with the narrators. Come and select the piece you would like to carry to the front. Please meet in the Narthex. Questions? Email mindy@aechurch.org

New Learning Opportunity: What it means to be Episcopalian

This week we begin a presentation and discussion series on “What It Means to be Episcopalian.” It you you’ve had questions, or just wonder why we do things the way we do, come and ask. Marilyn and Buff will lead at both 9:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall (most weeks).

This week’s topic is “Identity: Who We Are and Who We Are Not.” Join us!

Get To Know Our COHI Volunteers

Mary Ann Litfin

I joined Ascension this past April because I was impressed with a community that opens its doors Our Community Kitchen breakfasts, Healing Touch, the reverence of the parish liturgies, and the warmth and friendliness of your clergy and members.

A native Minnesotan, I grew up in Richfield and Bloomington. During my “hippie” days of college, I got a BA in the humanities and, later, a degree in Nursing so that I could make the mortgage payment. I have a son in San Diego with his family including my only two grandchildren and a daughter and son-in-law in Chaska.

I’ve lived in Stillwater on the South Hill for 10 years. I retired as a staff nurse at St. John’s Hospital and now volunteer there doing Healing Touch and massage. The Healing Touch group here at AE has truly been a life-changing experience for me. The HTSM Team members have taught me more about energy work than all my training classes in Healing Touch. For years, I’ve wanted to start a Tai Chi group in Stillwater like the one I enjoyed in Arizona and am overjoyed to be doing so in the Parish Hall each Wednesday morning.

My hobbies include regular attendance at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, live jazz and blues. Camping and hiking, and sustainable agriculture and organic farming are special interests. During two recent summers I spent the whole season living and working on local organic CSA farms.
I lucked out when Marilyn pulled together her pastoral care team when I arrived. What a blessed opportunity. I’m lucky many times over. So happy to be here!

Proposed Bylaw Changes

At the Annual All-Parish Meeting on January 21, 2018 we will consider the following bylaw changes: click to view changes

You can find a copy of the full bylaws of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension on our website by clicking here.

Buff+

Parish Survey Results

Dear Ascension Parish,

The Vestry extends a heartfelt thank you to all who completed the recent congregation survey.  As we indicated, the survey was administered to ensure that we understand what congregants want and need from the church; how well Ascension meets those wants/needs; and what opportunities we have to improve.

For a portion of the survey results click here.

We are happy, though not surprised, that respondents overwhelmingly reported that they value the Ascension community and staff.  We are certainly blessed to worship and serve alongside wonderful people.  We are also lucky that Ascension has many strengths and a strong history and foundation to build upon.  That being said, your input will help guide decisions on planning, programming, and the budget.  We look forward to providing a more in-depth analysis of the survey results and implications at an upcoming congregation meeting.

We thank you again. Stay tuned!

Vestry Members Angie Pilgrim & David Haslam