top of page

37 items found for ""

  • Home | Ascension

    Welcome to Church of the Ascension All are welcome in Christ's community Weekly in-person Worship Holy Eucharist, Rite II Sundays at 9:00 am ​ ​ Our Rector Father Abi John We are pleased that The Rev. Abidhananthar John (Fr. Abi John) h as been installed as our new Rector. Since being called to Ascension, Fr. Abi has begun many important new ministries including his New American ministry, welcoming refugee families in the neighborhoods around Ascension and has overseen the reopening of our Sunday School. He has also been appointed as an advocate to the Global Episcopal Mission Network by Bishop Stephen Lane. ​ Fr. Abi John was ordained in 2004 in the Church of South India. He is blessed with his wife Angeline, who is a qualified post graduate science teacher and worked in India. As a fa mily, with their two children John and Alfina, they are committed to serve the church with the people of God for a meaningful faith engagement. ​ about Fr. Abidhananthar Weekly Worship Schedule Noonday Prayer, Tuesday 12:00 pm Eucharist, Sunday 9:00 am Learn more Service Archive Food Ministry Help Out Our Organ Be the first to learn about Ascension news and events by subscribing to our Newsletter

  • Leadership | Ascension

    The Rev. Adibhananthar John Rector Nicole Hercules Seminarian Cindy Smith Administrative Assistant Sarah Johnson Music Minister Angel Perez Sexton Vestry Christian Haller, Sr. Warden rin ​ Dyson Gay, Jr. Warden dysong y@ao ​ Mary Bickel, Treasurer maryk ​ Kate Stella-Begy, Clerk of Vestry ​ Father Abi John, Chair ​ ​ D ebbie Copenhagen ​ Bob Crystal ​ Patricia Frasca thepatriciafr ​ Kathy Kohler ​ ​ ​ Ryan McDermott ​ Kathy O'Leary Nancy Turchetti ​ Jerry Welcher ​ Bentley Church Dog

  • Tower Bells | Ascension

    Change Ringing on Our Tower Bells Welcome to our website entry. As a potential visitor to our tower, whether to ring (welcome!) or to watch us ringing and learn what it’s about, we will greet you warmly, take you upstairs to see the bells, show you how we raise and ring the bells, and answer all your questions. The sound of church bells has become an iconic symbol of worship in the Christian Church, informing hearers that a service is about to start, and inviting worshipers. That is particularly true in England, where the art of change ringing was developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (every second village in England has a bell tower, and towns and cities have several). The custom has spread around the world, mostly to places where the British had colonies. Rochester’s Church of the Ascension is pleased and proud to have such a set of bells, installed in its tower in 2015. ​ There are many things that make these bells a unique feature in the Rochester community. They are beautifully tuned, but because of the manner in which they hang, they do not ring tunes, they ring changes on the order of the bells. When the bells are well rung by experienced ringers, the result for listeners is a beautiful musical experience, although change ringing is not usually considered a performance art. Unlike a carillon or a chime, at which a lone person pulls or pushes or otherwise manipulates a large keyboard to ring a tune, a peal of change-ringing bells requires one person per bell. Each person pulls on a rope that hangs down from the bell chamber, on a floor above the ringing chamber. In Ascension's tower, the ringing chamber is at ground level, so it is easy to watch the ringers. There are ten bells at Ascension hung for change ringing (defined as the ringing of sets of church bells or handbells in a constantly varying order; see Wikipedia for basic and general information: .) Because of considerations of safety and volume , people cannot see the bells as they actually ring, but here is a brief clip of Ascension's ten bells swinging and sounding forth: ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ "Bristol Royal" rung on Ascension's Tower Bells From here in western New York, the nearest similar change-ringing bell tower is in Toronto, Canada (175 miles away); and if we stay in this country, the nearest are in Pittsburgh (300 miles), Kent School, Kent, CT (also about 300 miles), New York City (340 miles), and Philadelphia (350 miles). For more information about change ringing at other bell towers in North America, see . For more information about ringing and bells worldwide, see . Chris and Helen Haller, the major donors of the bells, selected the persons to be honored by having a bell named after them. Some are very personal choices, some are notable Rochester names, and some are notable national, international, or bell-ringing people. Our lightest bell, “Trudy”, weighs 375 pounds, and the heaviest, “Martin”, weighs 1267 pounds. That may sound intimidating to non-ringers, but the fact is that they are well counter-balanced and swing on modern bearings, so that it does not take unusual effort to ring them. Anyone weighing over about a hundred pounds can ring most bells. Each of our bells is inscribed with the name of the person honored, and one or two appropriate lines from Stanza 106 of “In Memoriam” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Chris Haller reading “In Memoriam” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson ​ The expert workers at Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London, England (a firm with centuries of experience) drew up the plans, cast and tuned the bells, and made the frame and fittings that enable them to swing. Everything was shipped to Church of the Ascension, and installed in the waiting church tower. The Ceremony of Blessing and Dedication took place on November 21, 2015, with The Right Reverend Prince G. Singh, Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester, presiding, and our Rector at the time, The Rev. Dahn Gandell, welcoming those attending. Here is a video showing highlights of some of those events: ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ The arrival, installation, and dedication of the ten bells at Church of the Ascension ​ ​ When at least three ringers are available, we ring the bells before and after the 10:15 AM Sunday service. We are fortunate to have a computer-actuated chiming mechanism also in place, that can chime changes before the service if fewer ringers are available. We have practices twice a week, for an hour and a half after the service on Sundays, and on Friday evenings between 6:30 and 8 PM. Yes, it takes plenty of practice to learn to ring and to improve and advance our skills. This is what change ringing looks like: ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ C hris Haller, Helen Haller and the English bell hanger, Neil Thomas, ringing on the first day the bells were rung ​ If you are considering a visit to ring or to watch the ringing, please check with Chris Haller (585-203-7457; ) to confirm that ringing will take place on your proposed date. Also call Chris if you think you are interested in learning to ring; a series of one-on-one lessons can be arranged at mutual convenience, to make you ready to ring with our band in the regular practices. ​

  • Ascension Choir | Ascension

    Ascension Choir ​ The Ascension Choir is a dedicated group of volunteers, joined by four Choral Scholars from the Eastman School of Music. Ascension has a long history of excellent choral music; the choir sings on Sundays at the 10:15 am service from the beginning of September until Pentecost, and currently rehearses on Wednesday s from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. Our Choral Scholars this year are: Maeve Berry Madelin Morales Adam Catangui The mission of the choir is to support and adorn the liturgy at Church of the Ascension through hymnody, Anglican chant, plain chant, and weekly anthems. Towards this goal we sing a wide range of repertoire sourced from the Renaissance to today, and often collaborate with the Ascension Youth Choir to encourage the next generation of musicians. We are always happy to welcome new choir members; please be in touch with Minister of Music Sarah Johnson if you are interested in joining or trying out the choir - all are welcome! ​

  • Rector | Ascension

    The Rev. Abidhananthar John Rev. Father Abidhananthar John, Abi John, has been an ordained priest since 2004 under The Church of South India and currently serves at the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, New York at The Church of the Ascension. He has pastored to both rural and urban congregations in the Madras Diocese and served among the grassroots level for Dalit Christian Communities. For a decade, he has served as the Director of Dalit and Adivasi concerns in the Diocese of Madras for a four- year term. He writes sermons in Tamil to equip the lay leadership towards a bold theological vision. Abi served in nearly 78 parishes in 8 different Pastorates which gave him ample opportunities to have team time with leadership. As the associate director for the lay department in the diocese of Madras, Father served in Saint George’s Cathedral as its associate priest. Under the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, Abi was called as Rector at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church during 2017 – 2018. Here, the issues of poverty, unemployment and drug addiction prevail. He was actively engaged with the local community and paved a way for building hopes to make the American Dream possible for his parishioners. His association with the fire department made some remarkable avenues in the growth of the church, also. Eventually, he was called to be the Priest-in-Charge at Saint James’ Episcopal Church, Watkins Glen and Saint John's Episcopal Church, Catharine, New York. He envisioned many programs during the covid pandemic, especially calling women from both churches to align together with the International Women’s Conference which has been continued since 2017. The last conference was held on Zoom. Abi and Angeline coached the people of God for a meaningful ministry in Schuyler County… Christmas Caroling, Summer School of Love for all children, and sharing Pongal and the feast. Abi wrote the curriculum for the Summer School of Love, involving laity and the public to carry on the vision. The Pongal Festival enhances the plural design of God. Barnie Parker Sharing Shed was begun allowing for food items for poor and needy people to be available, anytime. The International Women's Forum Seminars led to “Women Helping Women” a training for unemployed women sponsored by a grant from the S E District. There have been rural migrant ministries at local dairy farms, Valentine’s Day programs with the elders and widows, a Children's Scripture Program, Portable Gardens for the young children in collaboration with Girl Scouts to bring awareness about our planet and its eco systems. The Learning Pod Program sponsored by the Lions Club helped students during the worst of Covid-19. Community gardens, at both the churches, helped to stock the shed. Free coffee in the winter was handed out during February before school or work. These are some of his initiatives during Abi’s ministry at St. James’ and St. John’s. During his service at Watkins Glen, Abi also helped a youth to discern his calling to do ministry by enrolling at CRCDS. After a two-year contact at Watkins Glen, Abi had an invitation from the Church of the Ascension, and the vestry called him as a priest in-charge on September 13, 2021. Eventually he was installed as the Rector of the Parish on November 12, 2022 after being called in March. He is deeply engaged in the refugee ministry and joyfully works with the people of Ascension in doing effective ministries. Since 2019, Father Abi has been a member of COM and his passion for mission, prayerful and diligent ideas and his experience in the Church do complement the discernment engagement to COM towards a powerful ministerial engagement. He engages with a diocesan team in equipping young people to discern their ministerial call for a passionate ministry grounded with the philosophy of love. ​ He studied under the late Dr. James H Cone, the Father of Black theology, at Union Theological College (Sacred Theology-STM 2014-2016) New York, which envisaged him to do a comparative study between three religious philosophies grounding three great personalities, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X and Ambedkar. He also did his research on Dalit Christian Reservation, Dalit Politics in Tamil Nadu as well as about the Dalit Religion. In India, he has organized many seminars, rallies, and workshops to educate and empower Dalits to assert their rights. He had his schooling at Dharma Murthy Rao Bahadur Kalevala Cunnane Chetty Hindu Higher Secondary School, Tiruvallur, TamilNadu, India. He is a political science graduate (B.A., M.A., M.Phil.,) from Madras Christian College, Chennai, and completed His Bachelor of Divinity (M.Div.,) at Gurukul Theological College, Chennai. He was an active member of the Student Christian Movement of India and represented it in a political camp held in Italy at Agape Ecumenical Center, Prelim, in the year 2002 as an exchange student. He was a resource person at New York SCM- WSCF team in March of 2014. He achieved the highest level as resource person at the College in the year 2003 and was honored with eight awards in the class. Father Abi John was also awarded the “Derick Prize for Regions” by the Senate of Seram pore in the year 2004. Currently, he is doing his part time doctoral program at CRCDS while Church of the Ascension continues to grow in numbers, programs, and spiritual services which are open to all people of all genders. Beyond his work in the church, he is pursuing a Doctorate at Colgate-Rochester Divinity School, where he studies part-time on his day off. Church of the Ascension is proud to support his endeavors and leadership through loving team wo rk. ​ To be in touch with Father Abi please email him at .

  • Calendar | Ascension

    Church Calendar Be the first to learn about Ascension news and events by subscribing to our Newsletter

  • Calendar | Ascension

    Church Calendar Be the first to learn about Ascension news and events by subscribing to our Newsletter

  • Calendar | ascension

    Church Calendar Be the first to learn about Ascension news and events by subscribing to our Newsletter

  • Ascension Youth Choir | ascension

    Ascension Youth Choir If you love music and are in grades 3 through 10, The Church of the Ascension Youth Choir is for you! Join us for rehearsal to make new friends, learn to sing together, and have lots of fun! AYC learns and performs a diverse and educationally enriching repertoire ranging from traditional sacred hymns to gospel and folk tunes at venues across the Greater Rochester community. Best of all, our program is free of charge. Our team of star volunteers and staff works tirelessly to make sure AYC is accessible to any interested student. For more information on enrolling in our program, or with questions on accommodations for your family (transportation or otherwise), please email or call the church office. ​ The AYC team would like to thank all of our donors for making this ministry possible. If you are interested in making a contribution to our program, please contact our church office at (585) 458-5423. Blessings - we are grateful for you!

  • Women's Group (ECW) | ascension

    Women's Group (ECW) The women's group (currently suspended) meets the first Thursday of each month in the church library at noon. Women bring brown bag lunches and will often have a guest speaker. They have an annual Christmas luncheon at a local restaurant. The women's group does a lot of work behind the scenes and provides financial support for many different ministries. All women of Ascension are welcome to be a part of the Women's Group!

  • Worship | ascension

    Services Noonday Prayer, Tuesday 12:00 pm Bible Study, Thursday 9:30 am Beginning July 3rd we will offer one Service with Eucharist and music at 9:00 am Beginning on September 11th we will resume Services at 8:00 & 10:15 am We are glad to offer in-person services each Sunday 10:15 am, and 8:00 am. Since March 2020, we have provided Sunday morning live-streamed services on YouTube and Facebook. We also offer a Noonday Prayer service on Tuesdays an 12:00 pm and Bible Study on Thursdays at 9:30 am, both on Zoom. ​ Online Services are premiered Sunday at 10:15 am on both YouTube and Facebook. ​ ​ ​ Passcode: 420173 ​ Music Our services include music lead by Sarah Johnson. Currently the choirs are suspended, but our Choral Scholars allow us to hear hymns in church every week. Church of the Ascension is the home to one of Rochester's best organs--a Skinner organ donated by a parishioner who purchased it from the Rochester Auditorium more than 50 years ago. The organ has more than 3,500 pipes and attracts many talented musicians. ​ Children's Programs Special programs are offered for Children and teens and nursery services are provided for our youngest children. These programs are currently suspended. ​ Home Visitation For those who are temporarily or long-term unable to attend in-church services and receive the Holy Eucharist, home visitations can be arranged through the church office (585) 458-5423 Eucharist, Sunday 10:15 am Eucharist, Sunday 10:15 am

  • Get Involved | ascension

    Get Involved There are many ways to get involved at Church of the Ascension. In addition to attending services , participating in Bible Study , attending fellowship events and dinners , and subscribing to our newsletter , we have many opportunities to get involved in our community! Our Acolyte Guild, Altar Guild, Men's Group, Ushers & Counters, and Women's Group are very active. Read a bit more about each group below! There are also events throughout the year that could use a helping hand - check the calendar to stay up to date on these events, or email the church office at to learn more. Acolyte Guild Ushers Altar Guild Women's Group Men's Group Calendar

bottom of page