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Download January 2020 Messenger 2 - January 2020 Messenger Page 2 ASCENSION LUTHERAN CHURCH 5347 Donovan Avenue

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    MESSENGER “Loved By Christ Sharing Christ’s Love”

    Celebrating Sherry’s Service Dear people loved by Christ, “Good morning, Ascension Lutheran Church, this is Sherry, how may I help you?” Have many times have you heard this greeting when calling Ascension’s church office? Sherry Elliott, our Administrative Assistant, has been asking people, “how may I help you” for years—30 years to be exact! For 30 years Sherry has been a staff member at Ascension and has served and helped in countless ways. For Sherry, serving as Administrative Assistant is more than just a job. She cares deeply about God’s people at Ascension and Word of Life. She sees them as her faith family. Yes, Sherry does the important tasks that are associated with being a secretary, but, in addition to all these duties, she also ministers to people. Sherry prays with those who need prayer, cries with those who are sad, and rejoices with those who celebrate. Sherry truly cares! We now have the opportunity to show Sherry how much we care about her! Sherry will be retiring at the end of 2019. So, we have scheduled an opportunity to wish Sherry well and celebrate her many years on Ascension’s staff. On Sunday January 5, during the 11 am service, we will have a special time to say farewell and Godspeed as we pray for Sherry. Immediately after the service, there will be a luncheon and celebration in the Fellowship Hall. It will be a wonderful time to reminisce, rejoice, and give thanks. All are welcome! Looking forward to celebrating with you, Pastor Matthew Clark

    January 2020

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    ASCENSION LUTHERAN CHURCH 5347 Donovan Avenue

    St. Louis, Missouri 63109-2695 Church Office: (314) 832-5600

    www.ascensionstl.com

    REV. MATTHEW CLARK - Pastor MARIE MUHLKE - Administrative Assistant

    PAMELA FOX - Office Manager GABE MAICHEL- Director of Music

    JOSHUA BRAKHAGE – Pastoral Assistant BARBARA HARTUNG - Parish Nurse

    KATHY THIES - Housekeeper GAGAN GURUNG - Nepali Evangelist

    REV. ADAM & DEAC. MELISSA DEGROOT-New Mexico

    ERIN MACKENZIE-Dominican Republic REV. MATTHEW AND KALI WOOD-Indonesia

    DCE KRISTA & JOEL YOUNG-Africa Missionaries Supported through Together In Mission

    Pastor’s email address is pastor@ascensionstl.com

    Staff email addresses are “firstname”@ascensionstl.com

    ASCENSION MINISTRY COUNCIL MEMBERS Nathan Decker-President Rob Bremer-Vice President Marcia Passanise-Secretary Brad Muhlke-Treasurer Mike Gibbs-Member at Large

    Chhatra Gurung-Member at Large Anna Johnson-Member at Large Marla Lopez-Member at Large Mark Pfaff-Member at Large Debbie Schmidt-Member at Large Dianne Thies-Member at Large

    You can contact Council Members via email: firstname.council@ascensionstl.com

    ASCENSION ELDERS

    A to K. Clar - Rich Schaefer (314) 644-0897 Lew to – Morg – Randy Agne (314) 353-7633

    B. Clar to F – Joe Benda (314) 645-7938 Mort – Pra - Clarence Goetsch (314) 647-3077 G-Hofe - Mark Maxfield (314) 776-6001 Pre to Sl - Jack Pendleton (314) 353-5412

    Hofm – to Let – Jeff Stiles (314) 540-2746 Sm to Z – Gene Bockelmann (314) 752-1159 Elder at Large - Paul Brock Sr. (314) 556-7384

    Elder to Nepali Members Gagan Gurung – (314) 708-9554

    Elder Chair is Randy Agne - (314) 353-7633

    You can contact Elders via email: firstname.elder@ascensionstl.com

    ASCENSION WORD OF LIFE SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS

    President, Troy Hansen (314) 703-6037 Diane Bracken (314) 560-4152 Amy Hyde (314) 479-5715

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    Member Changes . . . Births: Harlowe Vida Hernton born on 12/16/19 to Markus Hernton & Tiffanni Watz Lutheran Family & Children’s Services appreciates the gifts and gift cards that were generously given for some of our foster children in care. Over the years Ascension folks have helped with everything food, diapers, coats, toys and on and on. Without your help we couldn’t serve as many children as we do. May you have a Happy Healthy New Year. If there is anything we can ever do to help you in anyway our intake worker is Jenny Thomas at 314 754-2807. So grateful,

    Bev Schaefer, Foster Care Coordinator Thank you to all who helped make Advent by Candlelight become a reality on December 7. Almost 150 women enjoyed a wonderful evening because so many of our members (and some of their friends) partnered together for weeks ahead of time putting in lots of energy and tons of organizational skills. I don't want to list individual names of everyone who helped for fear of missing someone, but the groups that were involved included the Youth, Young Adult groups, Men's Club and other male helpers, WINGS, and the adult choir. Individuals who helped included all the table hostesses, table name-card creator, the readers, the babysitter, the artist for the covers, the program designer and assembler, the musicians and music planner, the greeter, the reservation taker, the tablecloth washers, the men who set up the sound system, and the women who are my right hand workers that are always willing to pitch in where needed. God bless all of you, and may you have a wonderful New Year! Lisa Holderle DONATE FROM YOUR SMARTPHONE! Scan the image you see here by using your phone's QR code reader (bar code scanner). You will be taken directly to Ascension's on-line giving page. Simply set up your account, using your credit card, debit card, or checking account and donate electronically. Smart Phone users can also download the GIVE+Mobile app from the Apple or Google Play Store

    As of November 30, 2019, we had a positive November, so we now have a $4,976 surplus due to Contributions exceeding budget while expenses were held in check. Donations also began coming in to support our Capital Campaign. Thank you for your continued support of our ministry! Total Cash received year-to-date in 2019 was $905,442, not including the $26,345 endowment fund distribution received on January 15, 2019. In 2019, there have been several larger donations and bequests to support our ministry, and several large donations were made in November to start the support of our Capital Campaign. Through November 2018, we had received $708,205 in cash. Total Expenses year-to-date in 2019 was $622,948, while it was $583,348 in 2018. In 2019, contributions were $82,303 over budget, and expenses were $37,219 over budget (primarily due to boiler, heater, plumbing and A/C repairs). If you have any questions or comments about our financial position, please do not hesitate to speak to anyone on the Ministry Council.

    YEAR-END GIVING DONOR - RETIREMENT PLANS/IRA’S IRAs, 401(K), 403(B) and other retirement accounts grow tax-deferred, often becoming quite large over the years. Unlike many other types of investments, funds withdrawn from retirement accounts can be taxable to you and, eventually, to your heirs. Designating Ascension Lutheran Church as the beneficiary of your retirement account may be a very tax-savvy thing to do. Retirement accounts left to the work of our church are removed from your estate for federal estate tax purposes. Plus, there is no income-tax assessed against your estate or your heirs when the funds are transferred to Ascension, allowing you to avoid multiple taxes.

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    CAPITAL CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FOR 2019 can be made using a Designated Gift envelope or a plain envelope; be sure to clearly mark "Capital Campaign" on the envelope. Please return your pledge sheets as soon as possible. The envelope can be placed in the offering basket or in the locked wooden box on the shelf in the narthex. In 2020, there will be yellow-bordered envelopes in the offering envelope boxes that can be used for Capital Campaign contributions. Thank you for your participation!

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    FOUR-PART FOCUS Who are we as a congregation? What are Ascension’s priorities? Where do we focus our stewardship of time, talents, and treasure? How do we live out our mission “Loved by Christ, Sharing Christ’s Love?” To help answer these questions, Ascension has

    adopted a Four-Part Focus: 1. Outreach through Word of Life 2. Christian Friends of New Americans Partnership 3. Worship and Spiritual Life 4. Multigenerational/Intergenerational Ministry.

    Partnership with Christian Friends of New Americans Updated Goals

    1. Nepali representation on Ascension’s Ministry Council and Board of Elders 2. Increate Ascension members’ participation in the ministry of CFNA 3. Build bridges between Nepali and American youth 4. Raise funds for new Americans who attend Word of Life (especially preschool) 5. Equip current ethnic leaders for greater service and leadership

    For many years Ascension Lutheran has helped support mission work through Together in Mission (TIM). By partnering with missionaries in their global ministry, we have the opportunity to journey with them and share God’s Word with all the nations. We have the opportunity to pray for missionaries, encourage them through communication, perhaps send a short-term team to work

    alongside them, and help financially support our missionaries. Ascension’s Ministry Council has decided to support four missionaries as a congregation. Our goal is to provide $2,500 in annual suppor