Ministries and programs are the heart of Church of the Ascension. Every Sunday, we bring the world into our church; every day our mission — our Great Commission from Christ — is to take the church into the world.
Below is the full list of our programs and ministries with links to more information below. To contact any of these, reach out to the church office at email@example.com or 519-451-7780
|Care & Compassion||Building Community
|Outreach||Teaching & Learning|
As well, we have a five-year (2018-2022) Mission and Ministry Plan to guide our planning over the next few years.
Care & Compassion
A list of people who have requested prayers is distributed by email each month. There are a number of reasons that we pray for people: illness, unemployment, grief, to name only a few. Members of the church are encouraged to pray for these people at home.
This is a confidential service for urgent needs of anyone, whether a church member or not. A small group of trained church members make it a discipline of their lives to pray for names on this list. Prayers are updated as changes occur and praises offered for answered prayer. We thank God in all our prayers, being confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion in Christ (Philippians 1:3-6, modified). “I called on the Lord and he heard me. He took away all my fear.” (Psalm 34:4)
Health & Wellness Advocacy Team
This group educates parishioners on health and advocates for those needing access to the health-care system, including helping them navigate the system. Responding to the Gospel call for compassion and healing, this team seeks to fulfill the call to charity and love as expressed in the Gospel story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). As Jesus points out in this story, we are called to be “neighbours” to one another and to offer compassionate care and healing. Christians through the ages have generously responded to people in need of care. Charity, the love of Christ, is at the heart of each team members’ response to those in need of assistance. Team members seek to offer Christ’s presence through their presence with their community and neighbours.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEMs)
This group takes the Eucharist, also known as Communion, to members of Ascension who are not able to come to church. Some LEMs and the people they visit have become friends over many years of these visits. Lay Eucharistic Ministers are screened, trained by the clergy, and approved by the bishop.
While praying for the recipient, volunteers knit or crochet squares that are later joined together into a prayer shawl. Each colour of wool reflects a desired blessing. The shawl is then given free to the recipient.
Anglican Church Women (ACW) (not yet restarted since pandemic)
The ACW meets regularly on the first and third Mondays of the month at 1:30 p.m. The women have a time of fellowship together and host special events such as card parties and fashion shows throughout the year.
The knitters and crocheters meet on Mondays at 10 a.m., except during the summer.
The knitters and crocheters group is open to both experienced people and learners. The experienced ones are happy to teach, and YouTube videos are always helpful. Lively conversation is also part of the session. It’s a positive, cheerful group.
The quilters meet Mondays at 9:30 a.m. at the church to work on quilts, except summers. Although their work brings in income for the church, the members speak first of friendships when they’re asked what they get out of the group. Quilters can be asked to make or repair quilts. They also work on quilts for organizations such as local shelters.
This ministry provides a Community Breakfast for all as well as bagged lunches and hot meals to homeless Londoners, shelter residents, and disability pension recipients in partnership with several social service programs and agencies in the city.
The free Community Breakfast is a sit-down meal of hot and cold breakfast foods held on the third Tuesday of each month, from 8 to 10 a.m., at the church. All will be welcome to come for breakfast.
The free bagged lunches are available for pickup at the church door on the first Tuesday of the month from 7:30 to 10 a.m.
This program is open to all in the community to meet a need for seniors to have a safe place where they can come for fellowship and a social time. It offers a variety of music styles, including country and 1950s rock, and a lunch. It is held noon to 3 p.m. on the last Thursday of the month (excluding December and January and summer). The program is self-sufficient with voluntary donations from those who attend.
Collections for Community and Church Organizations
- Christmas Share: St. Paul’s Social Services, based at the Anglican cathedral in the centre of our city, uses cash donations to buy gift cards, so that those without at Christmas may purchase what they would like most to give and receive. Donations are collected in November.
- St. Paul’s Social Services Food Bank: As a pilot project for 2022-2023, Ascension will be holding major collections for the St. Paul’s Social Services Food Bank at St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in downtown London at certain times of the year rather than continuously. Collection dates will be announced in advance. Things you might consider donating during these collection periods are:
- Peanut butters, jam and other spreads
- Canned vegetables
- Personal care products such as toothpaste and toothbrushes, deodorant, tampons and pads
- Canned fruit
- Baby food
- Canned fish and meat
- Pasta and sauce or mac-and-cheese kits (e.g., Kraft Dinner)
- Eye glasses: Old eye glasses are collected and refurbished for use by people in developing countries. (Please do not donate eye glass cases. They cannot be shipped due to space and weight restrictions.)
- Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy: A drop box for the donation of used items is located at the front of the church parking lot. OFCP’s primary focus is the collection of clothes, shoes, coats, bedding and linens.
- Pop can tabs: Tabs are collected and donated to organizations that sell them to scrap metal dealers and use the cash to purchase wheelchairs for children with disabilities.
- Wool: We collect odds bits of wool to make prayer shawls — shawls knit with prayer — for people dealing with illness, injury, or trauma. It’s a way to find a use for partial balls of wool left over from other projects.
Teaching & Learning
A Bible Study takes place every Wednesday morning following the 9:30 a.m. worship service, often taking a break for the months of June, July, and August, and over Christmas and New Year’s. All are welcome to attend.
Special educational series are held occasionally, especially during Lent or Advent. These series may involve Bible or book studies, courses regarding aspects of church life, and more.
As COVID-19 infection rates continue to rise and fall, keeping up attendance at a full Sunday School program has become a challenge for families. For this reason, Ascension has recently focussed on making Sunday worship services welcoming to children and youth. Several have enthusiastically become Servers and Crucifers assisting the clergy during the service. There are activity bags for younger children. Ascension members are delighted to have youngsters in their midst.
Theology Student Placements and Learning Support Groups
Ascension often hosts a theological student to assist them in their training to become a member of clergy. A handful of parish members are chosen to become members of Learning Support Groups for the students while they are at Ascension, giving them feedback on their parish work.
Guild members perform duties in the Sanctuary on the Saturday before services, such as preparing the altar, linens, communion items, and memorial flowers, and changing the wall hangings according to the church seasons. They also help decorate church for special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The team supports the weekly 10 a.m. worship service by providing audio and video work, including projecting the complete service on screen and setting up the YouTube live-stream and broadcasting at 88.1 FM. Besides its work with the weekly worship services, this team also provides A/V support for other events in the church and the All City Choir. They support outside groups with audio and visual services as needed.
Teams volunteer to provide beverages and snacks for Coffee Hour, a social time held after the 10:00 a.m. worship service. They are also responsible for setup and cleanup in the parish hall and kitchen for the coffee hour.
Counters are scheduled on a rotating basis to count the weekly donations immediately after the 10 a.m. Sunday service.
Greeters (not yet restarted since pandemic)
On Sunday mornings, greeters are a welcoming face at the door. They’re also there to assist people entering the church.
Lay Administrators of the Chalice
They assist the clergy at communion by serving the wine during communion.
Flowers are place in the sanctuary every Sunday. Donations for Memorial Altar Flowers are always appreciated.
Music at Ascension’s 10 a.m. Sunday church service is a blend of a contemporary style with a jazz-blues vibe along with some traditional hymns set in an updated style. Our music director, Alex Baerg, is a pianist, conductor and singer. Volunteer musicians play guitar, keyboard, and flute at various times. The choir provides choral accompaniment to Easter and Christmas worship services. Learn more on the Music page.
They read the passages from the Bible during the service.
Wearing white robes, these people carry the cross and candles during the opening and closing of the service and help the clergy throughout the service, especially at communion time.
These people assist those attending the 10 a.m. Sunday service, including directing traffic during Communion time and collecting the financial offerings from the congregation.
Mission & Ministry Plan
The Bishop of Huron has asked that every parish/regional ministry in the Diocese create a Mission and Ministry Plan for the five- year period of 2018-2022. The intention is to identify a way forward for every part of the Diocese, with clearly identified mission purpose and concrete goals to support that purpose.
The template is divided into sections: five based on the Five Marks of Mission, and others on Ministry and Leadership, Congregational Health, Long-term Future, Buildings, and Finances. Each section includes an explanation and room for goal-setting.
Ascension’s Plan as a PowerPoint presentation:
Ascension’s Plan in the original template (pdf):