May 25, 2020
FROM ASCENSION PARISH FINANCE COUNCIL
As mentioned in Ascension's Holy Week mailing, our Parish
reached an agreement with a Bay Area company, allowing them to utilize our parking lot for a monthly fee.
The company recently informed us that their employees will begin using the church parking lot in early June.
Employees of this company will park their cars in the center section of our parking lot as well as the row of spaces closest to Prospect Avenue in our primary parking lot, and then they will catch a bus from the local public bus stop to their place of business.
The parking lot will only be used during the workweek. The use of the parking lot will not interfere with holy days for Ascension or our neighbors next door at Congregation Beth David.
Initially, this additional income will be used to cover our existing budget deficit. In the future, when donations return to normal levels and the standard budget is covered, then the Finance Council will responsibly allocate this income towards projects that are much needed around the parish. These projects will be prioritized by the Building and Grounds Committee, discussed with the Finance Council, and ultimately decided by the pastor as to whether the budget will allow for such fulfillment.
The Finance Council asks that everyone continue with contributions to the Sunday collections, which will provide the freedom and ability for the income raised from the use of the parking lot to be first directed toward replenishing any budget deficit, followed by tackling much-needed projects around the Parish.
Thank you for your continued support.
May 24, 2020
A REVAMPED PARISH WEBSITE
Today, the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, the feast day of our community, we start a new parish
website with a new design and updated content. The website also bears a new domain name, ascensionsaratoga.org, because the website revision needed new tools and technology that were not available at the old site with legacy technology. Among suggested names, ascensionsaratoga.org seems
specific enough, not too long, and easy to remember.
This is an attempt to make our website more user-friendly and mobile-friendly as the number of people checking websites with their cell phones or tablets keeps growing. As a result, menus are simplified with larger
and bold letters, and users should be able to find any information with no more than three mouse clicks (the
In this age we are inundated with information 24 hours a day, and many read texts on a screen instead of in a
book. Thus it is little wonder that a lot of people now avoid reading long articles, or any article at all. They just
sample the first line of a text, then word-spot through the rest of the article. Instead of deep reading, “skim reading is the new normal,” declared Maryanne Wolf at UCLA, two years ago.
In order to keep users engaged on the pages, the new website supplements texts and images with other types
of media, such as video, audio, graphics. During this pandemic, Bishop Oscar Cantú has had several good
video messages for the entire Diocese or groups of people, such as young candidates for First Communion,
Confirmation, and adults preparing for Christian Initiation.
After the launch of this website, we will continue to improve the site as necessary and add more content to
it: updates, calendar of events, reflections, faith formation for different age groups, etc. The website is
only a tool, and it is as good as its content.
Finally I would like to thank our webmaster Ruthann Stolzman, who has faithfully maintained the parish
website for two decades, and has also kept the community informed through Constant Contact emails. As she’s ready to pass the torch, we are blessed that Ha Dinh is ready to step up to the plate,
volunteering to help in this needed upgrade and in the transition until we find another webmaster. Ha, not
related to me, is the Coordinator of the Vietnamese Faith Formation at St. Martin Parish in Sunnyvale, my
previous assignment. His technical
skills and willingness to help made this
new website possible; for this we are
Happy Feast Day of the Ascension of
May 22, 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on individuals and communities, organizations and churches, including Ascension Parish. With no public Masses for months and a drastic drop in income, we have to reduce spending while keeping what is essential.
Consequently some of our parish staff have their work hours reduced, benefits affected, others take on added work, and learn to work remotely. We hope to go back to normal soon, but are not sure when it will happen. We have to accept several restrictions as a new normal as long as the viral spread is still a threat.
After serving our community for three decades, Ann Liebmann will retire at the end of May. We thank Ann for her faithful service to the Parish and several generations of children. There will be an opportunity to honor her when our church reopens.
Thank you as well for your continued support and prayer.