Our PK4 – 1st graders will wrap up the school year by studying Peter. We’ll take a look at how Peter and John healed a lame man, what happened when Peter healed Tabitha, what it meant for Peter to visit with Cornelius and what happened when Peter was imprisoned.
Our 2nd – 4th graders are starting a unit on the meaning behind the scenes depicted in our sanctuary’s stained glass.
Our Youth Group will continue to take a look at how to apply the scriptures from the Sunday service to their daily lives.
The Diolog, a publication of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas shares:
New Event In Houston Invites You To Touch-A-Truck
Touch-A-Truck is this Saturday, March 4th! This is a fellowship opportunity that gets you up close and personal with a wide variety of cars and trucks from all over Houston, including fire trucks, police cars, a boat, a motorcycle, a food truck, a trailer that delivers weekend meals in backpacks, and many more. In addition to being a family-friendly, no fuss, no food, no fee event, Touch-A-Truck gives people a chance to meet first responders in a safe, positive environment.
From 10-11 a.m., flashing lights and sirens will be put on hold for children with special needs to experience Touch-A-Truck in a calmer way.
The event will continue until noon, rain or shine. The three parishes supporting this event are Christ Church Cathedral, Trinity, and St. Andrew's, Houston. Everyone is welcome to attend. More information can be found here.
“Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble.” (BCP, p. 298) Baptism is much more than cleansing of sin or even as some fear "fire insurance". Baptism tells the story of our wandering ancestors brought home by a loving God in the story of Exodus. Baptism is a bond Christian’s share across denominations. Baptism is a promise made by God for our renewal in this world and the world to come. It's kind of a big deal, but Baptism is a step that is easy to make - God does nearly all the heavy lifting.
Many of us are baptized as infants or small children and that is what makes confirmation so important - confirmation is where we, as adults, “express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop.” (BCP, p. 860).
Get to Know Ascension
If you would like to be confirmed, reaffirmed or received into the Episcopal Church you’ll need to attend our Get to Know Ascension class. Don’t know what it means to be reaffirmed or received? That’s okay; we’ll talk about it in class! Over the course of four Sunday’s we’ll study:
After attending the class, you’ll have the option of being confirmed, reaffirmed or received into the Episcopal Church during the next Bishop’s visit.
You don’t have to be interested in being confirmed, reaffirmed or received in order to take this class. It’s also a great way to refresh what you already know and to deepen your understanding of our faith.
Get to Know Ascension Logistics
Get to Know Ascension will be held Sunday mornings from 9:00 – 9:45 in the church library from March 12th – April 2nd. Breakfast and childcare will be available, so please RSVP via email so that I can make sure we have enough food and age appropriate activities for you and your kiddos.
I am thrilled about the exciting changes in our ministry to children and youth. We have many dedicated volunteers who thoughtfully and prayerfully serve our children but I want to single out just a few people who have made these changes possible. Many thanks to Liz & Chad Goodman, Pam Schawbrow, Melinda Merwin, Funmi Falayi, Kimberly Bryant and Geraldine Liborio. This small group of volunteers have dedicated themselves to serving our children almost every single Sunday and this has allowed us to split our Children’s Sunday School classroom back out into two groups: PK4 – 1st and 2nd – 4th. It also allows us to start a youth group for our rising 6th graders and above.
Do you want in on this excitement? There is always room for new volunteers and for existing volunteers to help out more frequently! More specifically, we'll need folks to help with our Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Summer Fest - please contact me if you'd like to join the team!
Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Children of all ages are invited to participate in our annual Easter Egg Hunt following the 10:00 service on Easter day. There will be tickets in the eggs and a prize table where children can "buy" the goodies they'd like. We will have separate hunts for children ages infant through 3 years and 4 years and above.
Looking Ahead - Summer Fest!
We’re in the process of planning some fantastic opportunities for fun and fellowship for kids aged 5 through 100! We’re still working out the details of what exactly we’ll be doing, but for now take a look at this exciting schedule.
May 28 – Last day of formal Sunday School instruction for children, youth, and adults.
June 4 – Pentecost Sunday. We’ll kick off Summer Fest with our annual Happy Birthday Church celebration. There will be food, a bouncy house and other fun activities.
Other Summer Fest dates during the summer - June 18, July 9, July 23, August 6
August 20 – Back to School Blessing and our last Summer Fest. We’ll celebrate going back to school by blessing our children and their backpacks. After the service there will be food, a bouncy house and exciting games.
September 10 – First day of formal Sunday School instruction for children, youth, and adults.
Pastor Todd's class began a unit on the acts of the apostles in January. We're continuing in Acts where things go from peace, love and happiness in chapter 4 into how lying is not good for your health in chapter 5. As we move to chapter 6, Peter gets tired of being a waiter and Stephen steps in. In March, we'll get to chapter 7 but I can’t tell you what happens, you have to come to class to find out!
I hope this blog will become a great source of information for everyone involved in Christian Formation at Ascension. Much of this site is still being constructed, but eventually you'll be able to find information about what's going on in our various Bible Study Groups, our Adult and Children's Sunday School classes, and the Youth Group that we're working hard to establish. There will also be a schedule for our many wonderful volunteers who teach Sunday School.
To get started, let's take a look at what Ascension's children will be learning over the next several weeks.
When you hear the word parable, you probably think of a few memorable, simple stories that Jesus told to large crowds or used to answer direct questions. But, did you know that they form approximately one third of Jesus’ recorded teachings? A quick search on Wikipedia will show that:
Scholars have commented that although these parables seem simple, the messages they convey are deep, and central to the teachings of Jesus. Christian authors view them not as mere similitudes which serve the purpose of illustration, but as internal analogies in which nature becomes a witness for the spiritual world.
Many of Jesus' parables refer to simple everyday things, such as a woman baking bread (parable of the Leaven), a man knocking on his neighbor's door at night (parable of the Friend at Night), or the aftermath of a roadside mugging (parable of the Good Samaritan); yet they deal with major religious themes, such as the growth of the Kingdom of God, the importance of prayer, and the meaning of love.
This spring the Children’s Sunday School class will start a unit on parables. We’ll study the following:
February 19 – The Sower
Agriculture was a major business in Galilee, so a sower was a very common sight. After talking about where the seeds land and what happens to them, Jesus explained that the seed is the Word of God. He ended this parable with a challenge, “Everyone who has ears should pay attention.” We’ll talk about how we can listen to God and how we can be “good soil.”
February 26 – The Good Samaritan
This is more than a story about a man helping a stranger. Jesus’s target audience, the Jews, hated Samaritans enough to destroy their temple on Mt. Gerizim. The Samaritans equally hated the Jews and desecrated a Jewish temple during Passover with human bones. It’s safe to say that these two groups did not think of each other as neighbors. But, we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves if we want to enter into God’s Kingdom and Jesus uses this story to tell us who our neighbors are. We’ll help the children understand the greater meaning of the word neighbor and talk about ways to show love to all people.
March 5 – The Lost Sheep and The Lost Coin
Both of these stories share the theme of loss, searching, and rejoicing. They remind us of God’s grace and of our own personal value despite the fact that we are all imperfect sinners. Jesus tells us repeatedly about the joy experienced by God and the angels in heaven when one sinner repents. Luckily for us, that joy is greater than the joy experienced from “ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (from Luke 15:7)
March 12 – The Prodigal Son
It would be insulting to any father for a child to demand their inheritance, but in this context the request would have made the son dead to the father - the two men would have never spoken to or seen each other again. When the son was forced to become a hired hand feeding pigs it would have been devastating to him and not just because he had been rich and now he was doing a poor mans job. In Jewish tradition, swine are more than simply unclean animals that can’t be eaten. A pig is the only non-kosher animal that a Jewish individual is forbidden from raising for non-food purposes - Jews can raise a horse to use for riding, but they can not raise a pig to produce leather.
When the son decided to return home to his father he risked a great deal. The community could have turned him away, his father could have made him a slave or, even worse, stoned him. We’re not going to expose your children to the horrors of stoning, but we are going to help them understand that our father in heaven is equally as loving and forgiving as the prodigal son’s father.