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Identity Statement –
Who We Are
Church of the Ascension is
an energetic community,
beloved by God, embracing one another in Christ,
and open to being church
in new ways
Vision Statement –
Where We Intend To Be
We are becoming life-giving, Spirit-empowered disciples
living out God’s love
Prayer for Our Parish
Creator God, inspire us to lead with love and courage
in the year ahead.
May we share our God-given gifts with abandon as we nurture and strengthen
one another for Christ’s mission in the world.
God be in our joy, our songs, our laughter, and our tears,
filling us with hope and passion. Amen.
We are now entering the final year of our three-year Capital Campaign for Our Church Home.
When we started this in the spring 2017, Ascension was facing a $98,000 roof repair. And then it got worse – both heat exchangers cracked at the same time, forcing us to shut them down immediately. And the bill to replace them, plus some associated work, was $25,000.
It seemed impossible that we would ever raise that kind of money.
But you responded with Spirit-filled generosity to God’s work in this place and in this community.
Mark tapped his musician friends and pulled together a benefit concert on extremely short notice. You went out and sold those $100 tickets with equal speed. You may also remember us having to hold a special vestry meeting only a few hours before the concert was to begin to meet the Diocese’s requirement to launch a major fundraising campaign.
That concert and a few early generous donations got the ball rolling with enough money to fix those heat exchangers. And the seven-week Capital Campaign for Our Church Home followed immediately to go about collecting the pledges needed for the rest of the work.
In the end, fundraising and pledges totalled $168,000, giving us a cushion of about $40,000 for other repairs that we know are coming up.
Phase 1 of the roof repair was done in the summer of 2017. We now have enough money in hand for Phase 2 this spring or summer, depending on when the roofer can fit us in.
We already know some of the work that must be done with the $40,000 cushion. The light bulbs in this sanctuary need to be replaced and we want to take that opportunity to switch to LED lighting not only in here but throughout the building because that will conserve energy and save on hydro bills.
We have to repair the siding – some of it for safety reasons and some of it for aesthetic reasons.
We also have to fix the drainage on the east side of the building.
In other words, even though the two most urgent projects are nearly done, your pledges are still very much needed.
We have said this many times before, but it bears keeping in mind. These repairs are not being done for the sake of the building itself. They are being done in order to shelter, protect and keep safe the programs and ministries that we do at Church of the Ascension and the people who attend them. Our stewardship of our building can never be separated from our love and service to God. With that in mind, let us finish strong in the final year of this campaign.
If you have brought in your commitment card today, it can be placed on the collection plate, where it will be blessed along with other monetary gifts to the church. We hope all cards have come in this week, but if you have forgotten, next week is also possible.
Over the last several weeks, we have been uplifted to hear talks by members of our congregation and our community about the wonderful strengths of Ascension. We are a big hug to visitors, a strong community, a place for healing and joy, and a family – only better. We are grateful to God for the gifts we have in these areas.
We also have areas where we are fragile and must build and grow. If we are the body of Christ, these are our weak muscles that must be strengthened. We need those stronger muscles so that we can walk the challenging financial road we have ahead of us. We need those stronger muscles so that we have a greater number of us committed to the mission of Jesus Christ in East London. If we can leverage our strengths and live with gratitude to God and to one another, Ascension can continue to express our love and service to God far into the future.