from Bishop Hollingsworth
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Only in Matthew’s Gospel are we told who rolled away the stone that covered Joseph of Arimethea’s burial cave, in which the body of the crucified Jesus had been laid. “Suddenly there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone, and sat on it.” (Mt 28:2) The other evangelists simply report that the stone had been removed and that Jesus was gone. The angel in Matthew’s account then speaks words of comfort, assurance, and direction to the two Marys, filling the emptiness of their hearts with hope.
These centuries later, on Easter Day the emptiness of Good Friday and Holy Saturday is replaced by the same reassurance and expectation. In our churches, images of new life fill the liturgical and spiritual space we left vacant only two days before. Lilies and forsythia decorate the chancel where last Sunday’s palms were spread; the altar stripped on Maundy Thursday is adorned with festival vestments and polished silver vessels that will hold the sacramental elements. For most of us, the day will bring comfort and the renewed assurance of God’s generosity and grace.
In communities where resources are scarce and freedom limited, the promise of renewed hope is sometimes more deeply embraced, perhaps because the emptiness it meets is more extreme. To those for whom the tomb of death is always near in the form of poverty, oppression, or despair, the liberation to new life delivered by Jesus’ resurrection is profoundly yearned for and gratefully welcomed. For them, the angel who roles away the stone is truly a godsend.
In our vocation as Easter people, as followers of the risen Jesus, we are called both to proclaim our own experience of deliverance from evil and paucity of spirit, and to role away the stone for others, that they might experience the same. It is our responsibility, as those who have seen the empty tomb and been to the Galilee to find that Christ indeed is risen, to make the triumph of good over evil come to life for others.
In response to the Resurrection of Jesus, how will you and I roll away the stone to reveal that Christ is alive and bring deliverance from fear and repression to those seeking a new life of freedom and grace? Empowered by Jesus’ triumph over death, how will we be angels of God’s mercy and justice to the lost, the lonely, and the stranger?
With every Easter blessing,
The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr.
Bishop of Ohio
All are welcome to find a spiritual home at the Church at Ascension. Father Vincent Black has a Message of Welcome for you.
We are community that encourages questions, seeks answers, and strives to use Jesus’s example in our daily lives. We’re family friendly and offer the opportunity to find peace, reflect on our spirituality, and experience God’s never ending love, compassion, and grace.
For those wishing to use their time and talents to make the world a brighter place, Church of the Ascension has many active Community Outreach programs.
Join us to begin or renew a relationship with God.
God Loves You! No Exceptions!
The Church of the Ascension offers two services with different worship styles. The 8am service is shorter because there is no music and there are fewer people. The language is older and more poetic with “thee, thou, takest, etc.” It is quieter and more intimate. There is a simple hospitality offered afterwards of usually coffee and cookies.
The 10:30 service has music, more pageantry, and is about 15 minutes longer. There is Sunday school for children during the first part of the service from September to the end of June. There is also a nursery available for infants and toddlers for the duration of the service. After the service there is usually a more elaborate hospitality time with a range of foods and refreshments.
The Royal Wedding
Did you watch the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan? Did you hear the preacher at the wedding? We are those Anglicans, we are the Episcopal Church. We try to walk in love as Christ loves us. We believe that God loves you, no exceptions. You are welcome any time!
Keep In Touch!
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Need To Talk?
Father Vincent encourages you to make an appointment with him to discuss anything on your mind or heart. He is available on most Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Use the form found here:
Email Rev Black
or call the office at 216.521.8727 to set up an appointment.
The Choir is collecting clothing for St. Luke’s Episcopal Church’s clothing drive. This clothing will be made available to the needy free of charge. If you would like to clean out your closet, the “re-choir-ed” clothing box is located next to the office.
What Is The Church's Stance On...
We’ve all heard Fr. Vincent tell us that he isn’t here to give us all the answers to our spiritual questions. Rather, we should rely on him for help as we wrestle with our faith, doubts, decisions, and questions. This is a common response within the Episcopal Church, but why?
We are all involved in helping the Church shape its doctrine. How does this happen? What does it mean that we are part of the Anglican Communion? These questions and more are discussed in a resource document that examines the history of the Episcopal church, our Anglican roots, decision-making within the church, and more.
Watch the video for a brief primer on the document.
Issued by The House of Bishops, the document can be read or downloaded by clicking on the title Re-Membering And Re-Imagining: Essays On The Episcopal Church.
An Interview with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church
The Most Reverend Michael Curry became presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church last November. Judy Woodruff of PBS’s Newshour sat down with Bishop Curry to learn how he is leading the church – Click the link below to see the interview.
I have been in the Episcopal Church my whole life. We are a better Episcopal Church because we really are trying to welcome all.
Nursery and Sunday School
The Church of the Ascension is happy to offer a Nursery for babies and toddlers as well as a Children’s Service, for children who aren’t quite ready to join the adult celebration. Our trained nursery leaders are here for your child(ren), so you can reflect, reconnect, and recharge. In our Children’s Service, kids can expect to be entertained with projects, crafts, and stories that illustrate God’s love. The class also helps to prepare the children to join their parents and the greater church family during the main service. Kids start with their families and are escorted to class after the welcome message, returning during the exchange of peace.
Church of the Ascension adheres the guidelines outlined in Safeguarding God’s Children, which includes more than one adult attending to children at all times. Parents are always welcome to join or observe either group at any time.