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Ascension Day 2016

At Saint Paul's, Seattle Michelle Heyne, OA; Bryan Carr, COA and Bob Gallagher, OA joined in the parish's celebration. There was Evening Prayer on the eve of and the day, and a mass that night. 

Gawain de Leeuw, OA celebrated mass that morning. He reports that "after mass, I had an omelette at a pancake house across the street from the Verizon building with a few parishioners. I saw the workers striking, and after decided to spend some time with them."  Bob Gallagher's reflections on the day included this, "My own belief is that in the end incarnational religion is true and that sentimental religion is illusionary. It matters that we wear the cross, put on the habit, talk with workers, fight for the poor and working class parishes that are left, shape a healthy parish culture, and have mass for construction workers. It matters that we focus our parishes on the reality and dignity of the baptismal ministry in daily life rather than institutional religion in which the laity exist to serve the parish church and its programs." 

Lowell Grisham celebrated two Eucharists on Ascension Eve and "made special intentions for OA but also for Mary Laney and told a bit about her story and our hopes." Scott Benhase, OA noted "It’s all about connection and relationships in the retail work of the parish." and that he had  "a big confirmation mass tonight at Collegiate Church of St Paul the Apostle in Savannah." 

Michelle Heyne, OA wrote "I've spent this morning reminded of the challenges of being salt and light where we actually find ourselves, and how easy it is to be blind (or inured to) vocational issues in secular life. I'm speaking on a panel about financial industry ethics next week and about professional liability and related protections next month.  The general expectation is that I will provide checklists and black-and-white answers about how to effectively control these scary arenas. There's also an assumption I will provide magic talismans that will allow "good" people to avoid the consequences of the "bad" behavior generated by their nameless, faceless corporations. Instead, I'm attending to the grey (hope you appreciate that, Lowell) and re-focusing the discussion around the system and the individual's own responsibility for exercising influence responsibly and for engaging difficult questions. It remains to be seen how this will go over...and I'm experiencing a lot of energy about how we reinvigorate the lay apostolate in these directions."

'Liz Schellingerhoudt, OA wrote, "Blessed Feast of the Ascension to all of you, too. I am in El Paso studying immigration at the border. We started the day with morning prayer using the readings for Ascension, and are spending the rest of the day with border patrol, hearing their perspective. The rest of the week has been spent with various agencies advocating justice for migrants. A powerful week." 

Royster Hedgepeth, OA reports that "St. Paul's Rector, Dena Bearl, and I are doing an adult formation class Sunday focused on the Ascension. Kathryn and I have spent a good bit of this week helping prepare two apartments for an eight member refugee family from the Congo -- St. Paul's is sponsoring them in coordination with Interfaith Refugee Ministry."