Ruthanne Ward
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Dear Ascension Family,

I know it is not officially autumn yet, but it's only a week away! This is often a busy time in the church, though not really the beginning of our church year (that is Advent) it does feel like a new year in many ways.  I want to draw your attention to a couple of things and ask you to consider how you might be called to participate.

Revitalization Sundays

If you've been to church lately, you've heard us speaking about this.  The first event will be on Sunday September 30th, with two more events to follow (October 28th & November 25th).  Our worship will be a little different on these Sundays.  

We'll start at 9:15 am for our usual worship time together.  The official service part will be a bit shortened, but our worship will continue as we gather in the hall immediately following the Eucharist.  There will be a light breakfast provided along with coffee, tea and juice.  We will gather around tables in groups of about 8 people and will be led in conversation.  The conversation will take us through where we are presently, some reflection on past ministry that has thrived, and into some thinking and dreaming about where we might venture in the days and months to come.  

The is an opportunity for us to prayerfully listen to each other.  You are the people of Ascension and 
God chooses to work through you.  We are the beneficiaries of a substantial amount of money that is to be used towards ministry - thanks to the sale of St. John's Blackstock.  As we consider how to use that money it behooves us to do so with some intentional reflection and listening.

I cannot encourage you enough to please attend these Revitalization Sunday's - that you can share what you are thinking, so you can listen to others and together we can discern what God is up to in our midst in this place.

If you can't make one Sunday, please try to make the others.  There is no need to sign up, please just show up!

Energy

This is an active parish and that is a great blessing - both for those of you who attend this church, and for the many neighbours in Port Perry who benefit from this ministry.  Many of you, if not most of you, have been involved in one way or another.  As wardens, as lay readers, as servers, in the choir, making coffee and inevitably, putting away folding chairs!

There are seasons to each volunteer job in the church, and there is constantly the need for new people to take on new tasks.  So I ask you to prayerfully consider the following...

1. Are you involved in a ministry at the church right now and find that you are feeling tired, burnt out because of it?  If so, I want you to come and speak directly with me about that.  Too often we allow ourselves to get overtired doing something out of a sense of obligation or guilt.  God calls us to participate in ministry so that both those who benefit, as well as those who offer it, experience life.

2. Have you thought of trying something a bit different?  Sometimes a change is as good as a rest (though I am a proponent of resting too).  Perhaps you could consider trying a new area of ministry.  Below you will find a list of areas where we need new volunteers.  Please take some time to think about this.

3.  Be aware that your priest and leaders know that you work hard!!!  We don't always tell you (we'll try to get better at that) but we do appreciate everything you do that keeps this church open and running.  From counting money, to making coffee, to setting up Sunday morning, to greeting people to, yes, putting away folding chairs.

One of the reasons we've pulled back a bit on our fund-raising activities this fall is because we know they demand a lot of energy and we need that energy in other places - like our time together on Revitalization Sundays.  And also for the day to day work of the church.

We are in need of new volunteers in these areas:

Counters (this is urgent - as we need two people to count the offering each Sunday for legal reasons, and we are currently running short of people - the more that volunteer, the fewer times you have to do it!)

Intercessors - even if you feel unsure about this, if you are curious, speak to Ruthanne, there is training

Communications - we have a new website, new newletter coming out and Facebook to maintain - would love to have one or two more people on this committee

If you are interested in another area of ministry in the church, do not hesitate to speak to myself (Ruthanne) or to one of the wardens.  You never know where God might lead you.  Don't be shy!

May this season of harvest and change bring you into a place of gratitude and new blessings.  I write this letter with my own deep gratitude for your spirit in this community and for the ways you share and express God's love in this place.

In Peace,  Ruthanne