Welcome, Pastor Martin Lee!

Ascension Lutheran Church is pleased to announce that Pastor Martin Lee has accepted the call to serve as our Intentional Interim Pastor. For those who would like to know more about Pastor Lee, he has provided a brief biography which can be found below.

Biography

I was born into a bi-racial family and named after Martin Luther King Jr., who of course was named after the first Martin of the Reformation.  By the age of 7, I had lived in seven foster homes and was then adopted by two incredible Lutheran school teachers. God is good. I attended Lutheran schools from Kindergarten through 12th grade.

I received a BA degree from Concordia University, Ann Arbor, MI and a Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, IN, and am a doctoral student at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO.  While a student at Concordia Theological Seminary, I also studied at the US Navy Chaplain’s Candidate School and graduated from the officer’s school in Newport, RI. Since graduating from college, I have been a professional church worker in ten different churches (four with schools) over the last twenty-six years.  I have served in small, program, large, and corporate sized congregations; in positions varying from youth ministry to senior administrative pastor.

My first call out of seminary was to a “mission” congregation in southern California requesting me to seek outside employment. I was hired by UBS PaineWebber, where I had oversight of a large portfolio of private investments, including many non-profit endowments. I have served in the securities industry providing financial planning advice, developing planned gifts for churches, and developing estate and retirement benefit plans for church workers over the last 20 years.  I also serve as the financial and recording secretary on the Intentional Ministry Conference (IMC) Board of Directors.

In 1994, I married Anne R. (Lockwood), who is an estate planning attorney. Together we have been blessed with five children: Kyle (23), Kelsey (20), Justin (18), Rachel (16), and Katie (12).  I enjoy spending time with my family, running, landscaping, and reading. I also love spending time with God’s people, and am passionate about working with congregations in times of transition.

 


 

 

 

Be Still!

God has given us many good things to do while we are in the world but our commitments often exhaust us and make us lose focus on what is most important. To restore and rebuild our exhausted hearts, minds and spirits, God calls us to rest in His presence. He calls us to come to Him and He’ll bear our burdens. He’ll remind us of our glorious, eternal future and bring perspective to our chaotic lives. Take time this week to be still and focus on Christ every day. You WILL feel less burdened, less anxiety, less worried and less irritable. He promises!

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2018, marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. Ash Wednesday emphasizes two themes: our sinfulness before God and our human mortality. The service focuses on both themes, helping us to realize that both have been triumphed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Join us for worship services today at 1pm and 7pm. There will be free pre-service meals at 11am and 5pm.

What’s Your Why?

What’s Your Why? Everyone has a Why. Why do you get up in the morning? Why do you exist? Your Why is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 12 of our collective “Why” — “God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense” — G.R.A.C.E. Christ carried all of our pains, our ugliness — all of the things wrong with us. God piled all our sins, everything we’ve ever done wrong, on him and him alone. He took the punishment for us and made us whole. His sacrifice for us is our Why. Inspired by that, what then do you do? That’s where our current Whole Life study takes us next. There is one thing for certain: when you think, act and communicate starting with this Why, you can inspire others.  Join us on Sundays at 9:30 for worship and family education immediate to follow.

Passover Seder Meal – March 28th, 2018

We are excited to announce that we will celebrate Jesus in the Passover on Wednesday evening of Holy Week, March 28, 2018. We will start serving dinner at 6:00 pm. Those who cannot make it at six can be served up until the presentation begins.

At 7:00 Abraham Sandler, Congregational Leader of the Rock of Ages Messianic Jewish Congregation, will lead us in the ritual of the Seder with an emphasis on seeing Jesus in the Passover.

More information on Pastor Abraham can be found at http://www.rockofagesmjc.org

Ascension Music Team Kicks Back!

After a busy holiday season of singing, the members of Ascension’s Choir and Praise Team kicked back for a party. Lots of ’80’s songs were belted out and many, many lyrics were forgotten but a good time was had by all! Thanks to the Candreva’s for being wonderful hosts!

Pastor’s Blog: The Cost of Following Jesus

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At first blush, it’s almost hard to believe that Jesus said to “let go” (and in some translations “hate”) our parents, spouses, kids and friends in order to follow Him.  Don’t be confused — Jesus wasn’t telling you to cut these people out of your life in order to be a follower of Christ.  Rather, this message was about rightly ordering relationships in your life.  Make no mistake, the most important relationship must be with Christ.  He tells the gathered crowd, not just his disciples, to put him first and warned them that they must be “all in” and following Him won’t be easy.

If you’ve ever heard someone refer to a “come to Jesus” moment — well this fits.  Jesus is telling everyone that they can’t just fit Him in to their current lives wherever they have room.  On Sundays when the kids don’t have soccer practice?  No thanks.  Christmas and Easter?  Not gonna do it.  Whenever you’re feeling down?  He doesn’t want that kind of transnational relationship.  He wants to be the center; the rock upon which your life is built and ordered.

You have a different kind of love for all of the people in your life.  Love for your parents is different than the love you have for your kids.  Same thing holds true for love for friends and spouse.  These are all great but they cannot compare to the unique love that Jesus has for us.  That love, agape love, is a giving love. It is a sacrificing and selfless love.  It is love without a net.  If you can accept that love into your life, it will enhance your ability to love everyone else in your life.  It will also help to free you from the aspects of those relationships that tend to take your focus away from Christ.

RALLY DAY 2016

rally-dayRally Day 2016 is Sunday September 11 at 9:30AM!  Following worship we will have our annual picnic at the Ranch House in North Park. Invite family and friends to join us. Side dishes, desserts or drinks would be appreciated. No cost. Directions: Take McKnight Road to the North Park exit (Yellow Belt) and continue on Ingomar Road. Turn left onto Kummer Road. The Ranch House will be on the left.