The Episcopal Church of the Ascension is a progressive, multicultural Christian community in metropolitan D.C. with a passion for service, diverse worship, and life long spiritual formation. Ascension is part of the larger mission of the Diocese of Washington with its 40,000 members in 88 congregations, and the Washington National Cathedral. We belong to The Episcopal Church, which is also part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, with 70 million members in countries circling the globe. Ascension’s parishioners reflect the global diversity that is common throughout the Anglican community.
A History of Ascension Parish (pdf)
At Church of the Ascension, we believe that:
- God continues to be revealed in all cultures in every era. We treasure the opportunities for mutual evangelism we encounter in our church and in our world.
- Our worship is a celebration of God’s abiding love. We are a community of unconditional welcome, inviting anyone to our worship community. We endeavor to speak newcomers’ languages and meet them in the cultures of their homes.
- Christianity means action. We see a fundamental connection between the freely given life of Christ and the giving of our lives in the service of others.
- The Christian journey is a lifelong pursuit. We have a tradition of living a life in Christ by enriching our understanding through study, and converting our hearts through shared spiritual practice. – Seamus Welsh
The Episcopal Church of the Ascension formally adopted the “policy of welcome” advocated by Integrity USA, an Episcopal group inviting faith communities to actively welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals into their communities. The vestry adopted this statement as an affirmation of the kind of community Ascension already is. We have a long history of recognizing the universal nature of the Gospel’s welcome, without reservation or restriction. You need not study the life of Christ very long to see multiple examples of this radical kind of inclusiveness. By adopting this statement, we want to add our voices to the growing number of Christian communities that choose not to exclude people on the basis of sexual orientation. The statement adopted by the vestry on May 24, 2012 reads:
“Our membership and leadership draws its strength from its diversity. We are young and old, long-standing and newly churched, married, partnered and single, gay and straight, rich and poor, and comprise a broad array of origins and hues. We represent and celebrate the wonderful multiplicity that makes Gaithersburg what it is. We welcome all to our community as we live out our Baptismal Covenant and “respect the dignity of every human being.” We strive to include a place for everyone at God’s table and believe there should be no outcasts in the Episcopal Church.”
We have registered our community with Integrity USA and express our hospitality in various ways to members of the LGBTQ community.