THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF THE ASCENSION
NORTHWOODS, MISSOURI 63121
September 28, 2014
Dear Friends in Christ,
As Mary shared with the congregation this morning, she has been diagnosed with cancer and will undergo surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital on Tuesday to remove the upper left lobe of her lungs. Although terribly frightening, we are profoundly grateful that the tumor was detected early. We’re also humbled by the many kind words, hope and prayers already shared with us. Mary will be hospitalized for five or six days and, then, return home to continue her recovery. Any subsequent treatment will be determined by her physicians.
During the next week and until Mary is discharged from the hospital, my availability will be limited. However, The Reverend Michael Dunnington, rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church, has graciously offered to assist with any emergencies or pastoral care needs. He can be reached by contacting our parish office at (314) 361-0105. Next Sunday, The Reverend David Fly will preach and celebrate the Eucharist. I hope to be able to rejoin you on Sunday, October 12. In the meantime, please keep all within our Ascension community who are facing health challenges in your prayers.
The experience of the past 10 days has reminded me of the incredible health care privilege Mary and I enjoy – a blessing unavailable to far too many in our community and nation. We have insurance. In our own state, however, hundreds of thousands do not, and many more have limited access to the preventative care and treatment they need. Expanding Missouri’s Medicaid program is essential to addressing this fundamental moral issue, and I hope you’ll join in pressing the General Assembly to finally enact it next year.
Although my immediate attention is focused on Mary and her care, October is nonetheless a busy month at Ascension.
· The Bishop’s Committee will meet in the sanctuary on Sunday, October 19 from 12:30 – 1:00 P.M.
· Our 18th Annual Gospel Jubilee will be held in the sanctuary on Sunday, October 26 from 4:00 – 6:00 P.M., followed by dinner. This year, we’re soliciting “Distinguished Patrons” to help underwrite the cost of the Jubilee and the new furniture and art work in the Parish Hall. I hope you’ll consider making a special contribution to our work, as well as invite your family and friends to a joyful evening of song and food.
· Our Saturday K - 12 tutoring and ACT/SAT preparation program will begin again in October. Details will be available shortly. Please contact Marvalda Jones at (314) 382-1120 for further information or to enroll a child.
· Terry Baker, Betty Brown and Sylvia Thomas are organizing a prayer and support group for the women of our congregation, with the first potluck supper to be held in early November. What a wonderful gift this will be, and I hope you’ll share in the evening.
Painting has been completed in the Parish Hall, with only minor “touch up” work remaining. Please join me in extending heartfelt gratitude to Fred Pinkins for taking on this substantial project and the wonderful job he did. The floors will be cleaned in preparation for the arrival of new furniture and installation of art work within the next two weeks.
Many thanks, as well, to all who donated items to our yard sale, helped organize it and volunteered during it. Despite the persistent drizzle of rain, it was a resounding success.
Finally, I’m pleased to report that the Bishop’s Committee unanimously accepted the proposal submitted by Atelier3Design for the completion of a Master Plan for our facility and grounds. Work on the development of the plan will begin later this month, with preliminary drawings expected to be available for our review in December. There will continue to be multiple opportunities for each of us to offer our suggestions as the Master Plan is prepared, and I hope you will contribute yours.
May God bless all of us with grace, faith and love.