Enquirers classes are offered periodically throughout the year. They are particularly useful to to anyone interested in joining Church of the Ascension and The Episcopal Church or learning more about our history, polity, and liturgy. They can also be a way of preparing for Confirmation, Reception, or Reaffirmation. Please check back here and/or in our weekly newsletter for announcements regarding future sessions.
Previous Faith Formation Programs
Pastoral Listening 101: Sessions Begin June 5th, 2022
Fr. Robert Petite leads a series of programs on pastoral listening skills. Sessions are held on Sundays in St. Michael's Hall following the 11:00 a.m. Mass. Lunch is provided. Please see the newsletter for information on how to RSVP.
- June 5: Creating Sacred Space: The Importance of Hearing and Responding to the Story.
- June 19: Moving from a Friendly Visit to a Pastoral Conversation: Who does the talking and what to talk about
- June 26: Feelings as Messengers: The Suffering is not your Problem to Solve.
- July 10: Prayer: Entering the Canopy of Vulnerability
Join the Conversation: Anglican and Episcopal? Anglo-Catholic?
Have you ever wondered what makes Ascension Anglo-Catholic? Or why we call ourselves an Anglican-Episcopal church? Beginning Monday, January 10, Fr. Bob Petite and Mthr. Murphy-Gill will host a series of conversations about Anglican identity. We’ll explore our roots in the Church of England from the time of the Reformation, the establishment of the Episcopal Church in the United States, the influence of the Oxford Movement from across the pond, and the growth of Anglo-Catholicism in America. We’ll discern together how this history has shaped our particular Anglican-Episcopal corner of Christianity, its liturgical, theological, and spiritual expressions, and how we can live more deeply into this identity today.
"We should talk..."
Periodic Discussions about the Church and the World
September 15, 5:15 p.m.
Looking for the Beauty of Holiness--Converting to Anglo-Catholicism
In 2019, Christopher Poore put a few fateful words into a Google search bar: "Anglo-Catholic," "church," "Chicago." Little did Christopher know that this Google search would lead him into a world of incredible splendor and, let's admit it, puzzling oddity! The beauty of holiness, cottas, thurifers, the monstrance on the altar and in the heart of those in need: these were just a few of the things he learned about at Ascension. Join us for a conversation about the lifelong journey of becoming catholic.
September 22, 5:15 p.m.
RefugeeOne: "Refugees--Afghanis and Others"
Sarah Spoonheim, Development Director, RefugeeOne Chicago
Recent news from Afghanistan and the hundreds of thousands fleeing their home country have made many of us at Ascension wonder what we can do to help. In this conversation, led by a representative of RefugeeOne, we’ll get both a global and local perspective on refugees. RefugeeOne will present on where refugees are coming from and why as well as share the work of resettlement agencies here in Chicago. We’ll also learn some of the ways our faithful community can get involved in providing a warm welcome to newly arriving refugees from around the world.
September 29, Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, 5:15 p.m.
Angelology in Patristic Writings
Dr. Greg Wiebe, Canada Mennonite University
Are angels more than invisible people with wings, flying this way and that, occasionally performing miracles? The conviction of the early church that angels exist was not, in fact, an arbitrary, credulous, pre-scientific assertion that there are beings "out there" that we cannot perceive. Instead, it was part of a coherent account of how the world, its peoples, and its nations work. In anticipation of Michaelmas, Dr. Greg Wiebe will lead us in a discussion about what it might mean for the Archangel Michael to be the "prince" of Israel, how God "set the boundaries of the nations / By the number of God's angels," and what any of that might have to do with the angels standing eternally before the throne of God, crying out to one another, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts."
October 6, 5:15 p.m.
Praying the Holy Rosary
In honor of the eve of the Commemoration of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7), Ascension and Society of Mary member Samuel Sommers will discuss a brief history of the rosary in the Western church as well as some of the pious legends. We’ll share our own individual stories about how we came to the rosary as a personal or public devotion and share things we find helpful for meditating on the rosary mysteries.
October 13, 5:15 p.m.
The Rev. Meghan Murphy-Gill
In anticipation of her upcoming ordination to the priesthood October 16, Deacon Meghan Murphy-Gill will share her story of hearing and then following a call to ordained ministry. She’ll then lead us in a discussion about how “vocation” applies to all of the baptized, not just ordained ministers and those in religious life. We’ll talk about how God beckons each one of us to serve and how we might better discern and follow our own call.
October 20, 5:15 p.m.
Duncan Moore, a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Chicago, will present tools, resources, and ideas that we at Ascension can consider for doing the important transformative work of anti-racism. Now in their fourth year, the anti-racism team at St. John’s is modeling for fellow Episcopal churches how to form their own teams and engage in anti-racism work within their own particular parish contexts.
October 27, 5:15 p.m.
Your Body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit: Yoga and Spiritual Embodiment
Awareness of the body is an important and yet often undervalued part of Christian spirituality. Parishioner, staff member, and lifelong Episcopalian Gary Alexander has been practicing yoga for nearly two decades and teaching for a dozen years. In this interactive discussion he’ll offer some basic background on yoga, lead a short guided breathing and meditation exercise, and discuss how the traditions of Anglican spirituality and the practice of yoga can not only coexist but enrich each other.
November 3, 5:15 p.m.
How We Honor the Dead
The Rev. Dr. Robert Petite
“We will have unity without uniformity.” This statement from Queen Elizabeth I of English in the 16th century still captures the ethos of the Anglican Spiritual tradition. A corresponding phrase from St. Paul might be “All things are permitted, but not all things are helpful.” (I Cor. 10:23) Both Elizabeth and St. Paul are trying to strike a middle ground, what we Anglicans call the “Royal Way” or the “Via Media.” We have strived for this balance and variety in almost everything we Anglicans believe and practice. This is true in the way we honor and remember the dead, as it is in any other liturgical or teaching aspect of our spiritual tradition. Join Fr. Bob Petite for a brief presentation and conversation on how we Anglicans (Episcopalians) celebrate and remember the faithful departed.
November 10th, 5:15 p.m.
The Spirituality of Writing
Ascension's Curate, Mother Meghan Murphy-Gill, was a professional writer and editor for nearly 20 years before becoming a priest. While journalism and marketing writing paid her bills, in recent years, writing has become a spiritual practice, a way to pray and a way to listen for God. Join us Wednesday evening for a conversation led by Mother Murphy-Gill on the art of writing spiritually, which will include a short writing exercise to practice it yourself.
November 17th, 5:15 p.m.
Ascension's Sunday Worship Schedule
During most of the pandemic, the parish reduced its schedule to one Mass on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. Based on the results of a survey and several discussions with staff and lay leaders, we may be adding a second Mass on Sunday mornings beginning with the first Sunday of Advent. Zoom in to hear the latest on the updated schedule and to ask any questions you might have.
"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness."
Church of the Ascension
1133 N La Salle Dr.
Chicago, IL 60610-2601
Sunday Worship Schedule
7:30 a.m. - Morning Prayer, via Zoom
9:00 a.m.-In-person Sung Mass (with organ voluntaries and hymns )
11:00 a.m. - Solemn High Mass (In-person and streamed on Facebook and YouTube)
Our free parking lot is located on the northeast corner of La Salle Boulevard and Maple Street.