Thanks to a recent announcement from Bishop Seage allowing churches to have more attendees at public services, The Church of the Ascension is making some changes for Sunday morning worship times.
Senior Warden Barbara Hammer announced through an email to the congregation that Ascension will now meet at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. every Sunday. The 9:15 a.m. service is suspended; however, members and guests at public services must still follow existing precautions against COVID-19. These precautions include a 50 percent reduction in capacity, mandatory mask usage, social distancing, and others.
Greetings to the people of The Church of the Ascension! We are thrilled to announce our doors are reopening for public worship! Even though The Diocese of Mississippi is allowing churches across the state to gather again, there are some changes to know about as we try to keep everyone healthy and safe.
Ascension’s doors will open for public services every Sunday following all safety guidelines recommended by Bishop Seage and Governor Reeves.
The biggest change is moving to three services rather than two. The 8:00 a.m. service will be basically the same as before the pandemic; however, the congregation of the 10:30 a.m. service must be halved to meet social distancing guidelines.
If your last name begins with A-G, please attend the new service at 9:15 a.m. If your last name begins with H-Z, please attend the service at 10:30 a.m.
If you are scheduled to read or serve in any capacity, please come as scheduled, regardless of where your last name falls in the alphabet.
“I apologize if the above schedule is inconvenient for anyone,” Senior Warden Barbara Hammer said. “If you live in a household in which two adults have last names that fall in different segments of the alphabet, just choose the 9:15 or 10:30 service. Please, if you feel unwell, stay home. If you are not comfortable getting out yet, please stay home.”
Although the church has been airing prerecorded and edited services every Sunday and Wednesday through the time of virtual services, Ascension is moving towards a live broadcast every Sunday to continue reaching people who are not comfortable with returning to physical worship yet. The live stream can be found on the church’s Facebook page by searching for Ascension – Hattiesburg. Several parishioners have donated better equipment, such as high definition cameras, microphones, a laptop, and other hardware and software, to help make the broadcast a better quality.
Other important points to remember before attending a public service include:
- Take your mask if you have one. There are a few available just inside the front door.
- Disposable bulletins will be used instead of Books of Common Prayer, hymnals, etc.
- Social distancing of at least six feet except for members of the same household
- No handshaking, hugging, or other contact during The Peace
- Hand sanitizer will be available
- An offering station will be available instead of passing the plates
- Communion of one kind will be served at a station rather than kneeling at the alter
- No Sunday school, Biscuits & Bibles, or Coffee Hour currently
- High traffic and common areas will be sanitized
An update from Senior Warden Barbara Hammer
Dearest People of Ascension,
My apologies for the information overload, however the situation changes from one day or hour to the next.
Services or meetings at Ascension will not be held Sunday March 15 through March 22, 2020. This includes Vestry and any weekday gatherings such as Centering Prayer, Tuesday Morning Bible Study, Wednesday Cursillo Group and Stations of the Cross. My sincere apologies. Hopefully things will resume Monday March 23rd. Stay tuned. Don’t forget to check in on those who may need assistance. May the Lord bless us and keep us. May the peace of the Lord be with you.
By the way, some good news is Rev. Scott Lenoir has agreed to be with us on Sunday, March 29th. Yay!
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Love to All,
On Sundays, you can watch the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preach, via YouTube, from the National Cathedral in Washington DC at 10 am CST if you’d like.
Join Ascension for the Holy Season of Lent, beginning with the sacred action of the Imposition of Ashes.
Our schedule for the 2020 season includes:
Ash Wednesday, 2/26/20: Imposition of Ashes (6 p.m.)
Wednesday, 3/4/2020: Stations, Meal, Journey to Jerusalem – Denial
Wednesday, 3/11/2020: Stations, Meal, Journey to Jerusalem – Debt and Gratitude
Wednesday, 3/18/2020: Stations, Meal, Journey to Jerusalem – Burdens
Wednesday, 3/25/2020: Stations, Meal, Journey to Jerusalem – God’s Promises
Wednesday, 4/1//2020: Stations, Meal, Journey to Jerusalem – Love and Forgiveness
Church of the Ascension t-shirts are now available in a new design! Order now to get them back in time for Annual Council! Most sizes are $18 with the exception of larger sizes: XXL shirts are $21 while 3XL shirts are $23. Proceeds will benefit community and parish activities.
Shirts are gray and a very soft material. They are screen printed with five colors. The logo includes the special cross design used by our DOK chapter.
Please contact Linda at the church office or complete the order form in the Parish Hall. Checks can be made out to Ascension with “t-shirt” in the memo line.
The Episcopal Church of the Ascension is currently in transition. As we seek God’s guidance on directing a new priest to lead our congregation, COA members, friends of the church, or those interested in joining our flock as a guest, member, or even potential clergy are welcome to learn much more about our Parish through the 2020 Parish Profile by clicking the link:
Ascension Parish Profile
Ascension’s famous gumbo is usually a quick sellout! Have no fear… we’ll be cooking again just in time for “the Big Game.” Pre-order NOW in time for pickup day on January 18, 2020! Quarts are $14 per container. Call the church at (601) 264-6773 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Advent is a warm, exciting time in the Episcopal Church calendar as we await the birth of Christ, and our Ascension family offers plenty of times for people to enjoy the celebration together. Besides our Sunday morning services, we have the special midweek offerings:
Wednesdays in Advent
December 4: Program and Advent Meal
December 11: Program and Mini Pig Roast
December 18: Program and Hor d’oeuvres
(Each begin at 6 p.m.)
Join us at 6 PM on March 6 for the Ash Wednesday Liturgy and Holy Communion. Subsequent Wednesdays will include Stations of the Cross, Lenten reflections, and a light meal.
Adult Sunday School – “Biscuits and Bibles” – meets in Grace House on Sunday mornings at 9:30.
Those who would just like to have coffee and fellowship (and a biscuit!) are invited to meet in the Parish Hall between Sunday services.
Fellowship continues after the 10:30 service with coffee and cookies in the Parish Hall.