Institution of the Eighteenth Rector


The Wardens and Vestry of
The Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes
Request your prayers and presence at
The Celebration of New Ministry and Institution
of
The Reverend Dominique François Peridans
as
Eighteenth Rector
The Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes

The Right Reverend Mariann Edgar Budde,
Ninth Bishop of Washington, Presiding

Evensong
Sunday, the Tenth of September,
Two Thousand and Seventeen
Four o’clock in the afternoon
Corner of 12th Street & Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Reception to follow

Clergy: White Stoles or denominational equivalent
R.S.V.P.: parish.office@asa-dc.org

Table Scraps Have Never Tasted So Good

Together We Are Called

Dear fellow parishioners, and friends,

Following the arduous work of the Discernment Committee, and that of the Vestry, and your many months of prayer and conversation, Walter Vance, our Senior Warden, confirmed the call of me as your Rector this past Sunday. This call ultimately comes from Jesus. Jesus, of course, does not call us because we are perfect, but because He loves us. And, all He really asks is a willing heart. In His gra-ciousness, Jesus has asked that I continue this sacred journey with you, as the one, imperfect though I may be, to lead the parish to verdant pastures: rich prayer and liturgy, engaging fellowship, enriching formation and service to the broader community. This is a collaborative venture with you, and I willingly and gratefully accept.

I receive this responsibility with trust in the faithfulness of our Lord in my personal life and to our parish, with joy and with a sense of gravity. More than a hire, this is a call. More than a contract, this is a covenant. Ours is a covenantal relationship rooted in the love of Christ that binds us to one another beyond all of the familiar categories. The words of St. Paul (Galatians 3:28) ring ever so true: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” I will need your help in realizing and maximizing the abundance that we have at Ascension and St. Agnes. Our Lord, in whom, in all our diversity, we are one, is eager to bless us. We can, therefore, be certain that the road ahead is a hopeful one. All we must do is yield to His love and light, and therein seek to be lavishly welcoming of one another and all those who pass through our doors, and all those to whom our Lord will send us.

I will also be counting on your prayer. I will be counting on your honest dialogue. Please know that my door is always open. And, know of my prayer for you. Again, it is my great wish that we grow per-sonally in faith, hope, and love, and, as a parish, together and in number. It is my great wish, along with St. Peter (I Peter 1:23) that “we love one another deeply from the heart” always bearing in mind that we “have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed”. Imperishable seed: God’s irrevocable gift of grace, ours for the journey. Let us rejoice in our merciful Lord Who is indeed watching over us.

Yours in Him,
Fr. Dominique
Rector

From Walter Vance, Senior Warden

Please welcome our new Rector – Father Dominique Peridans!

It is with great joy that I am letting you know that the vestry, through its discernment process, called Father Dominique Peridans to become our permanent Rector; and Father Dominique accepted that call. I am grateful to God to be able to share this news with you.

To prepare this announcement I first looked back at what I had written to the parish on October 2, 2015 when I was letting everyone know that Father Dominique was coming to us as our Priest-In-Charge. As a portion of that communication I wrote “Several of the folks we talked to about Father Dominique during the hiring process have remarked that he has a real ‘heart for Jesus’ and we are grateful he has agreed to be with us and look forward to our spiritual growth and parish development under his leadership.

Please join the vestry in praying for Father Dominique’s ministry here at ASA. Pray that his ministry helps us to grow spiritually, in numbers, and in service to God’s kingdom” Our junior warden – Rex Tomb (to whom I am forever in debt) and myself believe that these initial hopes and prayers communicated to you over 18 months ago have been fulfilled.

As you know, the selection process took several months and involved both our Discernment Commit-tee, the Vestry—indeed, the entire parish. Under the leadership of Susan Hawfield (with a major assist from Elizabeth Vish), a survey was prepared and disseminated to all active parishioners, including members of the Vestry. Information from the survey was then closely analyzed by the Vestry. The en-suing vestry conversation was prayerful and honest. We sought to hear all voices, all opinions. Throughout this process your Vestry, brothers and sisters in Christ, was united and focused. The Holy Spirit was (and is!) in our midst… I want to assure you that every step of the way, God’s guidance was sought by all involved. All of us desired that His will be done. Our mission, to which we were committed as a group: to find a Rector capable of bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to both our im-mediate community and to the city at large. I believe that our selection was a result of that “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit speaking to us. I was proud to have been involved in this process, and hope that I’m not being presumptuous when I say that all involved feel the same way.

I would like to thank Father Dominique, the members of the vestry (including our very able treasurer Hamilton Cook), the members of the discernment committee (Babs Bailey, Roland Dedmon, Susan Hawfield, Craig Metz, Chuck Partridge, and Elizabeth Vish) and the entire parish for your involve-ment with this process. At our ASA annual meeting (Sunday June 11th) we will publicly thank all of the individuals on the vestry and discernment committee and also give more details about the survey and discernment process.

Please join me in welcoming Father Dominique as our new Rector. God Bless Father Dominique and God bless Ascension and St. Agnes.

The Road to Emmaus

The story of two disciples of Jesus. On the road, dry and dusty, despair and discouragement at every turn. On the road away from Jerusalem. Their leader, their teacher, their friend: arrested, tried, and killed. All in the span of a couple of days. Hopes and dreams dashed.

We all have been on that road-at one time or another. Some of us are there right now, trying to walk away from something that weighs upon the heart: a conflict that cannot be resolved, a career that fizzled, a family member lost to illness, a friend who has left us dazed and confused, physical abilities that have diminished, certain familiar routines or connections at church that seem to have disappeared. There are many reasons to be on the road that leads away from Jerusalem.

Notice, however, the end of this story. What occurs? The disciples “returned to Jerusalem”. What causes the change in direction? The presence of Jesus. Jesus meets them in their despair, and touches them deep in their hearts-beyond their awareness. Such is why they do not initially recognize him. It is with the breaking of the bread, an early Eucharist, that their eyes are open. And, in the hope of “open eyes”, the disciples rejoin those to whom Jesus had connected their hearts: “the eleven and their companions.”

We gather each Sunday, as disciples of Jesus, sometimes walking the road away from Jerusalem. And, Jesus meets us right where we are, with whatever heaviness of heart there may be, to touch us deeply, to fill us with hope. In a special way, it is in our Eucharistic encounter with Him that this occurs, that our eyes are opened in faith.

Let us be open to a fresh encounter with Christ, Who resets us on the road to “Jerusalem”, that is, to the Church, to one another, sisters and brothers in Him, to all those to whom He has connected our hearts.

Yours in our Risen Lord,

Fr. Dominique
Priest-in-Charge

The Riches of Loving-Kindness

Christ is risen! Indeed, he is risen!
Christós Anésti! Alíthos Anésti! 

Happy Easter to you

​On this glorious feast of everlasting life overflowing into our daily lives, I wish you much joy, the joy of our Lord.

Yours in Him,
Fr. Dominique
Priest-in-Charge

From a “Paschal Homily” by St. John Chrysostom (+407)
read aloud Easter morning in the Eastern part of the Church

Are there any who are devout lovers of God?
Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!

Are there any who are grateful servants?
Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!

Are there any weary with fasting?
Let them now receive their wages!

If any have toiled from the first hour,
let them receive their due reward;
If any have come after the third hour,
let them with gratitude join in the Feast!
And they who arrived after the sixth hour,
let them not doubt; for they too shall sustain no loss.
And if any delayed until the ninth hour,
let them not hesitate; but let them come too.
And they who arrived only at the eleventh hour,
let them not be afraid by reason of his delay.
For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first.
He gives rest to them who  come at the eleventh hour,
as well as to them who toiled from the first.

Continue reading “The Riches of Loving-Kindness”

Hosanna!

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Palm and Passion Sunday, a day of great awe and gratitude: Our Lord journeys to the complete gift of Himself, to the Father, for us.

We begin our celebration by recalling the triumphal entry
of Jesus into Jerusalem, cloaks and palm branches covering His pathway . . .

Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!

This is what we proclaim at each Mass, as we move to the altar and prepare to receive the particular triumphal entry that is the Eucharist.
 Indeed, we can understand the Eucharist as a “triumphal entry” of Jesus.

During our Eucharistic celebration, our King comes to us, reigning as He does, as only He does.  How does He reign?  He reigns in and with love.
 Loving implies giving oneself.  Jesus is King in laying down His life for us, for “no one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Indeed, “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).

Jesus comes not to reign by “lord it over us.” (Cf. Matthew 20:25)
 Jesus comes to reign from within, not from without, in our hearts. 
 This is not always easy to grasp, for such is not really the case with worldly kings.  Moreover, kings normally do not die. 
This king dies. 
Jesus dies in order fully to exercise his kingship.  Divine love knows no bounds.

In His love,

Fr. Dominique
Priest-in-Charge

Jesus, our divine friend

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This Sunday’s gospel (John 11:1-45) is the moving story of the raising of Lazarus from the dead, in which Jesus reveals Himself as “the Resurrection and the Life”, the One by Whom, as St. Thomas Aquinas says in “Commentary on the gospel of Saint John” (chapter 11), at the last, “everyone will rise in their souls and in their bodies”. In the same Commentary, St. Thomas underscores two things about friendship with God, in considering the sisters’ initial message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”

His sisters do not say, “Lord, come and heal him,” but simply to mention his sickness, he is ill. This indicates that it is enough merely to state one’s need to a friend, without adding a request. For a friend, since he wills the good of his friend as his own good, is just as interested in warding off harm from his friends as he is in warding it off from himself. And this is especially true of the one who most truly loves: “The Lord preserves all who love him” (Psalm 145:20).​
These two sisters, who wanted the cure of their sick brother, did not come in person to Christ, as did the paralytic (Luke 5:18), and the centurion (Matthew 8:5). This was because of the confidence they had in Christ due to the special love and friendship which he had shown for them; or, perhaps it was their grief that kept them away: “A friend, if he is steadfast, will be to you as yourself” (Sirach 6:11).

​We are called to be friends with Christ, Who knows what we need and in Whom we can have complete confidence. He the friend par excellence, Whose love knows no bounds and Whose faithfulness is perfect. Lent is about divine friendship.

In Him,

Fr. Dominique
Priest-in-Charge

A Sermon for Christmas Day 2016

The Birthday of Life

Luke 2:1-14
Today is Christmas. Christmas began last night and lasts until the Epiphany on January 6, when we celebrate the wise men, the Magi, bringing gifts to  Jesus and, in them, the wider world knowing about Jesus’ birth. For some people, Christmas began the day after  Thanksgiving, ‘lac# %riday, and ends today.(ops.)et$s tell them* not so “ast, we ha&e only +ust begun, and resist the trend and do not put the Christmas tree at the curb tomorrow.e +ust read the story o” the birth o” Jesus and the rst &isitors to him and his “amily.-ard to understand that od could become human, huh/-ard to belie&e, huh/ Than#”ully, we do not need so much to understand it as to eperience it.e #now it in “aith, deep in our hearts, e&en though we cannot pro&e it.nd so, those without “aith can thin# it &ery strange.‘ut, we can as#, why would God become human, starting as a baby/t is &ery simple* 3
God is love
4, and so -e wants to share -imsel”, and come close. The angel says something &ery important here, to the shepherds, 5which an angel says earlier to !ary and to  Joseph*3
Do not be afraid
.4aaaaah.od became human, starting as a baby, so that we not be afraid. e are normally not a”raid o” babies, right/od is big, but -e is also close, and approachable, li#e a baby. Jesus is od come close.-e is 3
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
4, all at the same time.Christmas is all about -im.ithout
Christ 
, there would be no
Christ 
7mas.nd, so, as wonder”ul as is opening presents, and spending time with “amily and “riends, really,  thin#, the most wonder”ul thing is to be here with  Jesus. Jesus is, o” course, in our homes, but li#e at ‘ethlehem, in the manger,  Jesus comes close to us in a special way, in Communion. Jesus in Communion is li#e Jesus in the manger* power hidden under “ragility “or the sa#e o” lo&e8

nd suddenly there !as !ith the angel a “ultitudeof the heavenly host, #raising God and saying,$Glory to God in the highest heaven,and on earth #eace a”ong those !ho” he favors%$