Welcome to Ascension!  YOU are invited!  YOU are welcome!

 We invite you to take time to look through this web site to learn specifics about this congregation.

Here are some highlights:

Sunday Mornings at Ascension:

Worship at 8:30am and 11:00am

Study for all at 9:45am

Nursery staffed beginning at 9:30am

 

The Situation in Baltimore:

What Can I Do?

Some possibilities suggested by the rostered leaders of our metropolitan area:

Do something around anti-racism education in your community. One resource might be www.lhra.org. In the Delaware-Maryland Synod, we have our own Racial Justice Ministry Team who can help you plan and facilitate such educational experiences. Click here for contact information.
Come to Baltimore! Worship and study with us. Pray with us. Eat with us. Support City businesses by coming to visit! Coordinate a church visit with our Conference Dean, Bill Gohl (pastor@god-is-love.org).

Help us staff a peaceful presence at Zion Church at City Hall Plaza, where we want to maintain a presence to pray with people, provide water, etc. Visit Zion at www.zionbaltimore.org and coordinate your willingness to help by emailing Eric Deibler (pastoreric@celconline.org) and Bill Gohl (pastor@god-is-love.org). Supply our witness with drinks and snacks – water bottles, soda cans, cheese and crackers, fruit snacks, cookies, etc. We’ll get them into people’s hands at demonstrations – on both sides of the barriers!

For the full list, please click here.

 

Want more information about Ascension? Join us in worship. Our Parish Notes, found in the Sunday worship bulletin, will detail opportunities for fellowship, service, and giving.

Want more information about Lutheran beliefs and teachings?  As a member congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we invite you to visit elca.org.

To receive e-Notes, our weekly electronic newsletter, please click here.

Find us on Facebook:
Like us on our pages “Ascension Lutheran Church” and “Ascension Lutheran Church Nicaraguan Partnership.”
Join our groups “Ascension Lutheran Church – Towson, Maryland” and “Ascension Lutheran’s Youth Group“.

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Click here to read recent selected sermons.

Read a special letter from the Finance Committee here.

 


Latest News:

 

Discernment Scripture for the Week of May 17

 

Developing Our Strategic Plan – How Will We Pursue the Vision?

Discernment Scripture for the Week of May 17     

 

Camp Letts

 

Have a notebook and pen/pencil handy. At the time set aside, prayerfully read the lesson appointed for the week.  Read slowly, pausing to reflect on each phrase. Whenever a word, phrase or idea “comes out to you,” stay with it for a while. Meditate on it; pray about it. Then continue on with your reading.

 

The reading for the week of May 17, 2015:

 

Genesis 12:1-3 and Genesis 15:1 (NRSV)
Abraham’s Vision

 

12 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

15 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”

 

After you have finished reading the lesson, reflect upon and write down your responses, insights, or impulses to the following questions:
    1. What does this scripture tell me about God?
    2. What does this scripture tell me about God’s vision?
    3. What is God telling us at Ascension Lutheran to be and to do?

Close with a prayer for Ascension Lutheran Church, the members of the Council and the Transition Team, your family and yourself.

 

An Important Update from the Transition Team:

 

 

  • The gatherings for May and June as previously announced are being replaced with other forums to hear your thoughts about the future of Ascension.
  • We will be sharing the results of the survey you are now completing in early June.
  • During the summer, we will host small gatherings after the worship service to continue the conversation about a vision for our life together.
  • We are also reflecting on the work completed at the first two gatherings and will be sharing that with you.
  • Please delete the dates for gatherings for May and June from your calendar.
  • Continue to read the scripture and pray for our work.
  • The CAT survey has been extended through May 18. You’ll find a link in e-Notes and Parish Notes.

Discernment Preparation for the Week of May 10

Discerning Our Vision – What is God Calling Us to Do?

 

Have a notebook and pen/pencil handy. At the time set aside, prayerfully read the lesson appointed for the week. Read slowly, pausing to reflect on each phrase. Whenever a word, phrase or idea “comes out to you,” stay with it for awhile. Meditate on it; pray about it. Then continue on with your reading.

Reading for the week of May 10, 2015: Mark 6:32-44 (NRSV) 

Jesus Feeds 5000

32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34 As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 35 When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; 36 send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.” 37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii[a] worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” When they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And all ate and were filled; 43 and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.

Footnotes:

  1. Mark 6:37 The denarius was the usual day’s wage for a laborer

 

After you have finished reading the lesson, reflect upon and write down your responses, insights, or impulses to the following questions:

    1. What does this scripture tell me about God?
    2. What does this scripture tell me about God’s vision?
    3. What is God telling us at Ascension Lutheran to be and to do?

Close with a prayer for Ascension Lutheran Church, the members of the Council and the Transition Team, your family and yourself.

The full list of weekly readings to help us reflect upon God’s purpose for the church:

  • Week of April 19 – Luke 11:1-13
  • Week of April 26 – Matthew 14:22-31
  • Week of May3 – Mark 10:46-52
  • Week of May 10 – Mark 6:32-44
 

Summary of Gathering One: “What is God Doing among Us?”

“What is God Doing among Us?”

Assessing our past: Summary from Gathering One

March 15, 2015

 

Sixty-eight members gathered on Sunday, March 15, 2015, to review ways God has been active in the life of Ascension. We shared memories of events from the past, posted them on a timeline, and then reflected on our journal notes from the scripture readings.  [To read this timeline, please click here .]
Using the scripture and the history of the congregation, we looked for patterns or milestones. The strongest themes to emerge were worship and music, preaching and teaching, pastoral care, social justice, community outreach, education and longevity of programs. Also named were building additions and renovations, effective lay leadership, care for pastors, high Biblical expectations, and a place to share major life events.
Many initiatives have continued over decades while some had a shorter shelf life. Contemporary worship was successful for several years. Others that were significant for a period of time were pulpit exchanges, handicap accessibility, new programming and help with refugees.
Some described the congregation as having a narrow comfort zone regarding change.
Using these patterns, we considered Ascension’s values: actual and perceived. Actual values are what we do while the perceived values are what we would like to do.
The strongest actual values (what we do) are: worship, education, compassion/caring, community outreach and fellowship. Named as actual values, but not as often were: faith, welcoming, eldercare, and music. Also named one time were: faith, managing resources, emphasis on children, family oriented, visitation, preaching, encouraging individual service, witnessing, risk taking, communication, consistency, structure, international worship, comfort and excellence. Some of the actual values named less frequently fit into the categories of the ones most named. For example, music was included in statements about worship.
Perceived values are what we would hope to do or how we would like to be engaged in mission. One of the most desired perceived values was a desire to serve the community. Named most often were: long-term local community outreach, diversity, hands-on service to the community, inclusivity, outreach in evangelism and compassion. Looking both internally and externally, preferred values were: stepping into God’s truth with boldness, loving one another, generosity, openness, flexibility/tolerance, teamwork, understanding the Word, youth participation in worship, and witness. Some challenged the group by adding discomfort as a preferred value, suggesting we need to look beyond our comfort zones.
The values will be the beginnings of the discussion in the next gathering scheduled for April 19, 3 to 5 P.M. in the great hall. We hope to see you there.



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