About Christ Church of the Ascension
Welcome to Christ Church of the Ascension, an Episcopal parish where our life together is built around Knowing, Loving, and Serving Christ. Our hope is that you feel the warmth and presence of the Holy Spirit here.
Knowing Christ begins in baptism. If you are interested in committing your life to Christ in baptism or confirmation, or just curious about the faith, please contact our priest or other staff members to arrange a meeting. We want you to know God in Christ as we do.
We know Christ in the Bible in his Spirit’s presence with us in prayer, and in the fellowship of community. We offer Bible study and classes for children, youth, and adults. Please see our announcements and website for times and availability. We have a number of groups that meet for prayer, recovery, and just to be together. Often times the voice of Christ speaks in another person’s voice over coffee.
Loving Christ is the center of our worship. We tend to be a traditional worshipping community. We use the Book of Common Prayer as our guide in both communal worship and private prayer. We believe it is so good that we invite you to take one with you if you don’t have one of your own. We would be happy to show you how to use it.
Our communal worship is liturgical, that is a traditional form of gathering, praising, hearing God’s story and word for us today, praying, and blessing, breaking, and sharing communion together. It is written to be an act of praise of God that includes all of us active in a dialogue of speaking and listening. Please join us in standing, kneeling, speaking, and listening as you are able. If this type of worship is new to you, simply do as you feel comfortable and watch those around you. All you need is usually in the bulletin and the Blue Hymnal in the pews.
Finally, we serve Christ in each person we meet. We offer opportunities to serve as a congregation to those in our parish and in the world, and we offer ways to serve each other within the community as well. More information can be found on the tables at the entrance or on our website.
Church should be simple. Our members study, worship, serve, and give in various ways. Some are here all week and others only on Sundays. Some serve in visible ways here like ushers and assistants at worship, and some in ministries across town or around the world. All of us give generously because we are grateful for all that we have been given.
We are here because Christ first knew and loved and served us, showing us the great love of the Father and filling us with his Holy Spirit to continue that revelation of love in the world. We are glad that you are with us and welcome you in the name of Christ.
The Rev. Daniel P. Richards, Rector
8 AM, 10:15 AM and 6:15 PM
10 AM Holy Eucharist
5 PM Evening Prayer
4015 East Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Rector: The Reverend Daniel P. Richards
Senior Warden: Lou Klejbuk
Junior Warden: Andrew Waite
Treasurer: Brian Rowland
Chancellor: John Travis
Clerk: Joyce Klejbuk
Cathy Clark Arnold
Mary Ann Bradbury
Merriam Webster defines the word "vestry" as "an elective body in an Episcopal parish composed of the rector and a group of elected parishioners administering the temporal affairs of the parish". CCA Vestry members are elected in the Annual Meeting in January. Usually members are elected to a term of three years. Also in the annual meeting, the Junior Warden is elected for a term of one year by the parish. The Senior Warden is appointed by the rector. The Vestry votes for the secretary and treasurer during the first meeting of the year.
Top Three Goals & Priorities of Christ Church of the Ascension
- Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to reach new people and incorporate them into the life and ministries of our parish.
- Make necessary changes to attract families with children and youth to our parish.
- Further develop ministries that work toward healing those broken by life circumstances in our community and beyond.
Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month to discuss the budget, large expenditures, outreach opportunities, and up-coming events in the life of the church. These meetings are open for any member to attend.
To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
We recognize with gratitude that the Five Marks of Mission, developed by the Anglican Consultative Council between 1984 and 1990, have won wide acceptance among Anglicans, and have given parishes and dioceses around the world a practical and memorable "checklist" for mission activities.
Christ Church of the Ascension is located in Paradise Valley, a community in Phoenix AZ.
As Episcopalians, we are followers of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and we believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Episcopal Church has members in the United States, as well as in many other countries in the world.
The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and traces its heritage to the beginnings of Christianity. Our liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer retains ancient structure and traditions and is celebrated in many languages. Holy Communion may be received by all baptized Christians, not only members of the Episcopal Church.
First organization meeting with Bishop Harte.
December 24, 1963
Christmas Eve -- First worship service at Cudia City (40th Street north of Camelback Road) -- Vicar, Canon George McNeill Ray. First choir director, Millie Wesley.
Moved to Phoenix Country Day School on Stanford Drive -- services in auditorium.
Moved to First Federal Savings and Loan building at 20th Street and Camelback Rd. -- services in the basement.
Diocesan Convention grants change in status from Mission to Parish. First Rector is Canon George McNeill Ray. Church site purchased from Peggy Goldwater Trust (8 1/4 acres on Lincoln Dr) for $42,000 which was one-half than-current value of $84,000.
CHRISTMAS EVE, 1963, saw the first worship service of Christ Church of the Ascension, then the newest mission of the Diocese of Arizona. A small group of approximately fifty people asked The Reverend Canon George McNeill Ray to be the Vicar of the Mission. The first location was an old abandoned movie and television studio at 5100 N. 40th Street. An overflow crowd attended the first service – 273 people – and 103 people attended on Christmas Day. Bishop Harte complimented the Mission by presiding at both services.
Early in 1965 the Bishop’s Committee decided that another location should be found. At the end of 1965, the mission was granted parish status and Canon Ray became CCA’s first Rector. In addition, the church acquired the 8 ¼ acres on which the church is now located, half of which was a gift from the Margaret (“Peggy”) Johnson Goldwater Trust.
The search for the new Rector resulted in a call to The Reverend Dan J. Gerrard and in March, 1966, Father Gerrard (affectionately called “Padre”) became the Church’s second Rector, a position he would occupy for 22 years.
Padre and the Building Committee secured the services of the well-known architect, Bennie Gonzales, to design the entire campus for the future Church. Following this plan, the first building erected on the Church’s “own ground” was dedicated on November 19, 1967. The building, consisting of a Parish Hall/temporary worship area, offices and classrooms, was named “Craig Hall” in honor of Canon Craig. On Sunday, February 23, 1975, the main Church building was dedicated and consecrated.
Further fund drives in the 1980’s were used to renovate classrooms and improve the space between Craig Hall and the Church by creating a courtyard. The Memorial Garden Project began in 1980. The Garden was privately funded and continues operating today on outside resources, but is answerable to the Vestry. The Memorial Garden Trustee Committee members are elected by the Parish.
Father Gerrard retired the end of June 1988. The Reverend Dr. Harvey G. (“Jerry”) Cook, Ph.D., was called as the third Rector in November 1989. In addition to his ministry with the Episcopal Church, he was also an active military chaplain reservist, holding the rank of Captain in the U.S. Navy. Father Cook oversaw construction of more CCA improvements, and the new parish hall, named Rectors Hall to honor all the Rectors of the Church (past, present and future) was dedicated on April 6, 1997.
Father Cook retired in June 1998. The Reverend Kenneth J. G. Semon became the Church’s fourth Rector on February 1, 1999. Father Semon oversaw the final development of the Church’s campus with the construction of The Canon Dan Gerrard Christian Education Center, Ascension Chapel for children’s worship, a bookstore, a library, and a major renovation of the interior of the Church.
Christ Church School opened in the new facilities in September, 2003. The school began as a preschool and has grown to include a thriving elementary school. The school serves students 16 months old through 4th Grade.
Father Semon resigned in August 2007 and Bishop Smith appointed The Reverend Phillip A. Jackson as Priest-In-Charge. Father Phil assumed his duties on October 1, 2007. In less than a year, the Vestry asked Father Phil to become permanent Rector. He agreed and served as the fifth Rector until December 2014 when he became rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Wall Street, New York.
The Reverend Daniel P. Richards came to Christ Church of the Ascension in December 2015 from Traverse City, Michigan, where he had served as both Rector for Grace Church and Dean of the Grand Traverse Deanery in the Diocese of Western Michigan. Father Daniel was ordained in Arizona and returns to serve the CCA parish with his wife Amy and their three children.
Today Christ Church of the Ascension offers worship services in the Episcopal tradition, along with a variety of other Christian activities for all ages and backgrounds. Activities include choir, book clubs, Bible studies, dinners, Vacation Bible School, mission and camping trips, musical and theatrical programs, and outreach programs of all kinds. Friends and newcomers are sincerely welcome at the Church every day of the week and every week of the year. Come worship with us!
Christ Church of the Ascension is located in Paradise Valley, a community in Phoenix AZ.
Mission of Christ Church of the Ascension
A traditional Episcopal Church on the slopes of the Phoenix Mountains tucked into Paradise Valley, Arizona. Founded in 1963 and continuing to worship and make disciples of Christ of all ages. We are committed to being a place where people find a sense of home at both altar and table, where Scripture is read, studied, and honored, where those in need find prayer and assistance, forgiveness and health. We are friends and strangers, made a family in Christ. We are both deeply reverent and quick to laugh.
Our mission is simple: to know Christ in Study and Prayer, to Love Christ in Worship and Care for others, and to Serve Christ both in the church and in the world.
The Reverend Daniel P. Richards, Rector
Fr. Daniel is a passionate preacher and teacher who fell in love with liturgy in college. That love of liturgy led him from a Southern Baptist childhood to ministry in the Episcopal Church. Daniel earned his Masters of Divinity from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in 2003 after serving at St. James Episcopal Church in San Francisco as a worship leader and intern and at the Diocese of California as Associate Coordinator of Young Adult Ministries and Church Development. His undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Worship from Grand Canyon University. Fr. Daniel reads voraciously, writes, and enjoys trail running.
The Reverend William K. Young, Priest
Fr. Bill Young received his BA in History from the U of Texas, El Paso, then his Masters of Divinity from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in CA, in 1978. He was Rector of All Saints Episcopal in Watsonville, CA for 17 years, then came to AZ and served as Rector of the Church of the Advent in Sun City West for 7 years, and Interim Rector of St. Christopher's in Sun City, for 4 years. After retiring in 2008, Fr. Bill served monthly at All Saints, Phoenix, also singing tenor in their choir.
A Navy veteran, Fr. Bill+ served as a Lieutenant on active duty 2 years in the Vietnam War, then 2 years as a legal officer at Naval Schools Command in San Francisco. He also served on the staff of San Francisco's Grace Cathedral as Deputy Verger and assistant organist for 2 years, having sung in the cathedral's Choir of Men and Boys while in the Navy. An organist, he continued his education at Union Theological Seminary in New York where he earned his Master's Degree in organ and choral-conducting from the seminary's School of Sacred Music, then served as an organist and choir director in CA and in TX, before going to seminary in 1975.
Fr. Young has been active in his dioceses, chairing both the Liturgy and Ecumenical Commissions in California's EI Camino Real, serving on their Diocesan Council, Budget Committee and Standing Committee. He was also a General Convention delegate 3 times and served on the Provincial Synod of the 8th Province, organizing and directing its liturgies. In the Diocese of AZ, he chairs the Liturgy and Music Commission and has served on Diocesan Council and the W. Region Council.
Fr. Bill and his wife, Kay, reside in Sun City West. They met and married in seminary (where Kay earned an MA in Church History from CDSP and the Graduate Theological Union). Their son Mike, 20 years U.S. Army Intelligence, received his MA in Counseling from ASU in 2012; their daughter Kelley, formerly a teacher, is now a fitness advisor living in CA with her husband and three children. Fr. Bill came to Christ Church in 2012 and often celebrates & preaches at our 6pm service, as well as some of our Sunday morning services - and both he and Kay sing in our parish choir ♪.
Allison Brown, Parish Administrator
Allison is a native to Phoenix growing up downtown in the house that is now the University Club. She started coming to Christ Church 5 years ago. Her background has been primarily in retail management in California and Arizona. Over the course of her career, she has served on three non-profit Boards, one of which was at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California College of the Arts in Oakland, California and a Certificate of Graphic Design. She has two adult children and enjoys photography, gardening, walks with her dog and traveling.
Julie Lyons, Director of Family Ministries
Julie has lived in Arizona since 2001. She comes to Christ Church with a multidisciplinary background. Julie earned her B.A. from San Francisco State University and her MHI from Arizona State University. Before coming to Christ Church, Julie worked as the Director of Marketing and Development at Christ Church School. Julie has also enjoyed serving as a children’s leader in Bible Study Fellowship and a substitute teacher at Scottsdale Christian Academy.
Julie is honored and humbled to have the privilege of serving the children and families of Christ Church. Her desire is to continually draw near to God and to do the work He puts in front of her.
Julie and her daughter Abigayle live in Phoenix with their two dogs. Julie loves to spend time with her daughter, cooking, swimming, and reading.
Tom Peterson, Music Director
Tom is an Arizona native and a recent graduate of the Royal College of Music in London. He came to Christ Church in 2010 and has previously served as tenor and Associate Music Director.
He teaches music theory and history at Phoenix College and loves reading and hiking. He and his wife, Teriann, live in Phoenix with their dog, Roxie.
Joshua Mungillo, Youth Ministry
Josh grew up in church and has been a Christian for a majority of his life. He grew up in a non denominational church before discovering the Episcopal church. Josh has been doing youth ministry since he was in college. Before coming to Christ Church he was a youth leader for an urban youth ministry at St.Judes Episcopal church. Josh joined the CCA staff in the summer of 2014 and has loved every moment of his time at CCA. He also has spent every summer since 2013 at Chapel Rock as a counselor and Head Counselor.
Josh has his degree in Marketing from GCU and is currently working on his Masters. His hobbies include reading random Theology books (and the Bible). He loves to hit the gym and read a good book while eating redvines!
Beth Wickstrom, RN, Parish Nurse
Beth is a Registered Nurse with over 30 years of nursing experience having graduated from the first nursing class at Scottsdale Community College in 1974. Beth's professional experience includes; Psychiatric Nursing, Allergy & Immunology, School Nursing, Teaching IV Therapy and most recently, Occupational/Community Health. Beth completed the RN Re-entry Program in 2004 and recently completed the DUET Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course.
Faith Community Nursing has been in existence in Arizona since the 1990's. The practice of a Parish Nurse combines professional nursing and health ministry and values the Scope and Standards of Faith Community Nursing Practice (ANA,2005).
With the Clergy and close association with DUET, Partners In Health & Aging, Beth has found the support to begin a Faith Community Nurse Ministry here at Christ Church Of The Ascension.
Beth has been a member of Christ Church Of The Ascension almost all of her life. Married to Jon, they have two children, Dylan and Ebbie. Beth enjoys walking with her friends & dog, Bentley, traveling and living in Arizona.
Ann Hollman, Church Organist
Ann Hollmann has been organist at Christ Church of the Ascension for 10 years, and has been a church musician for 45 years at various parishes. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance. Ann and her husband John live in Mesa with their dog, Jake. Ann and John have been married for 37 years, and have a daughter Sarah, son Paul, daughter-in-law Sharon and grandson Leif.
Thursday, November 23, 2017
10:00 am - Holy Eucharist
Sunday, December 24, 2017
10:15 am - Holy Eucharist (no childcare)
4:30 - 5:00 pm - Carol Sing
5:00 pm - Family Eucharist & Blessing of the Creche
7:45 - 8:00 pm - Carol Sing
8:00 pm - Holy Eucharist (no childcare)
Monday, December 25, 2017
10:00 am - Holy Eucharist (no childcare)
Holy Week Services
March 24, 2018
(regular service times)
March 26, 2018
6:30 pm - The Anointing of Jesus
March 27, 2018
6:30 pm - Children of Light
March 28, 2018
6:30 pm - The Betrayal
March 29, 2018
5:30 pm Dinner in Parish Hall followed by 6:30 pm Holy Eucharist service with the Choir; Foot Washing - The Stripping of the Altar
March 30, 2018
Noon - Holy Eucharist service
6:30 pm Liturgy with Music
March 3, 2018 - 7:30 pm Vigil
April 1, 2018
5:00 am 10:15 am - Festival Eucharist services with Winds, Strings, and Choir (all children are encouraged to worship in church with their families)
6:00 pm - Holy Eucharist
**Child Care for Holy Week services: