Covid-19 Questions

Is the church open for services?

Our in-person services have currently resumed. Please RSVP here if you plan to attend, so that we can prepare during this social distancing time.

Face masks are required to attend worship and meetings at the church

Our Sunday services can be viewed on our website via BoxCast or on our Youtube Channel. Our clergy, lay staff and volunteers are working diligently each week to bring you the fullest expression of worship available within current safety guidelines. It brings us joy to continue to provide this service for you, and we appreciate your ongoing support.

  • 8:00 am  Traditional Rite 1 Worship and Eucharist
  • 10:00 am Family Service Traditional Rite 11 and Eucharist
  • 5:00 pm Worship with readings, silence, song & Holy Eucharist

How is the church responding to Covid-19?

Ascension’s Response to the Covid-19

Our Diocese (SW Florida) has adopted the protocols of the ERD (Episcopal Relief & Development), the CDC (Center for Disease Control), and WHO (World Health Organization).

  • Face masks are required to attend worship and meetings at the church
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Stay home when you are sick or caring for someone who is sick. However, if you are well please join us for worship.

  • Use the sanitizer and wipes provided at the church entrances to clean your hands and the area around you.

  • The entire church and the altar area are being wiped down with sanitizer prior to every worship service.

  • The priests sanitize their hands prior to worship and prior to communion.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

  • Sharing the Peace: waving or a fist bump is perfectly acceptable in place of shaking hands or hugging.

  • Communion: You may abstain from communion or receive only the bread; use of the silver common cup with purificator presents relatively low risk; intinction will not be offered.

Read official recommendations from EpiscopalChurch.org

Where should I sit in church?

Normally, you may sit anywhere. During this time of social distancing, ushers are escorting all church goers to and from the pews in order to maintain safety guidelines and everyone is asked to use the hand sanitizer provided entering and exiting the church and to wear a mask for the duration of the service (except if you wish to partake of the communion wafer which will be brought to your seat) If you need special seating for any reason please inform our ushers when you arrive. If you have special needs, for example you need communion brought to you, you have children who need changing facilities, access to bathroom close-by or gluten allergies the ushers can help you.

A typical week brings hundreds of people to Church of the Ascension for ministries, fellowship, education, community programs and other activities specific to each age and stage of life. Our church is a welcoming place, and we look forward to saying hello, showing you around, and making sure your experience makes you want to return often! To schedule a tour outside of worship times, please contact the church office at office@churchofascension.org or call us at 727-447-3469.

How can I give to the church?

If you are worshiping from home with us and would like to make an offering, you can make a one time or recurring gift on our giving page. We appreciate your support of our ministry and outreach partners.

Is the church distributing bulletins?

In an effort to minimize the potential transfer of Covid-19 to attendees, we are currently not distributing printed bulletins during the service.

Service bulletins are uploaded to Service Listings prior each week for you to download directly. Check the events section on our site for the 8am, 10am and 5pm services to download your copy.

General Questions

Where should I sit in church?

Normally, you may sit anywhere. During this time of social distancing, ushers are escorting all church goers to and from the pews in order to maintain safety guidelines and everyone is asked to use the hand sanitizer provided entering and exiting the church and to wear a mask for the duration of the service (except if you wish to partake of the communion wafer which will be brought to your seat) If you need special seating for any reason please inform our ushers when you arrive (these are the folks giving out bulletins). If you have special needs, for example you need communion brought to you, you have children who need changing facilities, access to bathroom close-by or gluten allergies the ushers can help you.

Where are you located?

701 Orange Avenue Clearwater FL 33756
A few blocks north of Morton Plant Hospital

What time are your services?

Sunday Morning

  • 8:00am Traditional Service & Holy Eucharist.
  • The 8:00am Sunday service lasts from 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.
  • 10:00am Family Service & Holy Eucharist. The 10:00am Sunday service lasts from 1 hour, 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes.
  • Childcare is provided for both 8:00am & 10:00am services

Sunday Evening

  • 5:00pm Worship with readings, silence, song & Holy Eucharist
  • The 5:00pm Sunday service lasts 50 minutes.

Wednesday Morning

  • 10:00am Healing Service & Holy Eucharist

Where do I park?

Parking is available at the corner of Turner Street and Bay St. Additional parking is available on Orange Street in front of the church, behind the education building and we have a grass parking lot with our beautiful Live Oak to the east of the church accessible from Bay St.

What should I wear?

You are invited to wear whatever feels comfortable. Most men wear a collared shirt, some still wear a jacket. Most women wear “dressy casual” (you’ll see everything from heels to sandals and dresses to nice slacks). Our youth, which is anyone under 30, will wear almost anything from jeans and t-shirts to dressy attire.

Who are you? What do you believe?

Church of the Ascension is an Episcopal Church and part of the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion is the gathering of Anglican and Episcopal churches from around the world.

Today, the Anglican Communion comprises more than 80 million members in 44 regional and national member churches in more than 160 countries.The Episcopal Church is part of the Anglican Communion, and is comprised of 109 dioceses in 16 nations. At the head of the Anglican Communion is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

For more information about the Episcopal Church in North America, click here.

“The Creeds are statements of our basic beliefs about God” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 851).

We will always have questions, but in the two foundational statements of faith – the Apostles’ Creed used at baptism, and the Nicene Creed used at communion – we join Christians throughout the ages in affirming our faith in the one God who created us, redeemed us, and sanctifies us.

What do I do with my kids?

Children are welcome to attend and participate in all of our services although the 10 am Family Service features a children’s story and classroom activities during service (Sept. – May) for children ages 3-6 and grades 1-5; children return during Communion. During all services, there is a child-friendly space in the chapel on the north side of the church where kids can color or play quietly together. We also offer Youth Education after church (Sept. – May) from 11:15 am -12:15 pm for youth in grades 6-8 and Middle School Youth Group meets from 12:15 – 2 pm. Staff are trained and there is high staff to child ratio. Our director would be happy to discuss your child’s needs and answer any questions.

What if I am not an Episcopalian?

Many who visit Church of the Ascension come from other faith traditions, and all are welcome and encouraged to participate. In most of our worship spaces you will be given a service in the bulletin as you come in. The Book of Common Prayer, Hymnal and Parish Songbook are easily available in the pews and seats. All of our services use screens to display the announcements and some prayers to participate. The staff and clergy offer several educational opportunities to learn about the Episcopalian faith and bible teachings. This is not required but we hope you will take advantage of available classes and resources to get started.

What if Adults or Children have special needs?

Everyone is welcome. If you yourself have, or if you have children who have, some sort of special need you may have additional questions. Food restrictions, hearing, mobility, sight and ESE are all covered below. Please let us know if you have a need we have not covered.

Dietary restrictions:
Gluten. Our Eucharistic Services all have a Gluten free option. When you come to the rail, simply tell the priest you need gluten free bread. Gluten free bread is available at all Sunday Services.

Alcohol:
Our wine contains alcohol. If, for any reason, you would rather not receive the wine, please just cross your arms across your chest. Usually the chalice-bearer will stop and say “The Blood of Christ” but will know to then move on. Receiving communion in one kind (just bread or just wine) has long been understood to be just as good as taking both.

Mobility issues:
Wheelchairs: All our venues have space for wheelchairs (including electric chairs). There is a ramp with automatic door on the north side of the church, adjacent to the carillon tower. Handicapable parking is also available in both of our main parking lots. If you are attending formation in the second story rooms of the Parish Center, there is an elevator available off the courtyard, just before the DaySchool classrooms. Please ask if you need assistance and note that we are updating signage for ease of use.

Other mobility issues:
We do have a wheelchair in the Main Sanctuary if you cannot get in from your car. If you are with someone please send them in to ask an Usher. If you are on your own, please call ahead so that we can look out for you. We will always bring communion to you, please let the ushers know.

Hearing issues:
We have enhanced listening devices available in the main sanctuary. Please ask and Usher for assistance.

We understand children have a wide range of needs, and we hope to provide a safe place where every child, including those with different abilities, can grow in faith. All children are welcome in our worship services. If your child has a special need which would require greater expertise than a general volunteer can provide, a parent is welcome to accompany the participant at programs for children or youth, or we can work together to find a volunteer who has professional special needs expertise to support your child. To discuss your child’s needs and how best we can support them, please contact the church office.