Welcome to Church of the Ascension
Opportunities to Serve the Community
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).
At Christmas time, the church displays an Angel Tree where parishioners can take a gift tag and return the unwrapped gift. Our Angel Tree supports various agencies in Pinellas County. We select two agencies each year. The agencies have included Clothes to Kids, Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, and the ARC Foundation. This program strives to ensure that every child experiences the joy of new toys and clothing at Christmas.
Belleair Elementary Reading Program
Volunteers from the Church of the Ascension meet with small groups of first graders at Belleair Elementary for one hour a week to help the children improve reading and comprehension skills. Because of this program, many students advance from below a first grade reading level at the start of the year to a second or third grade level by the end of the year. Each tutor works with two to four students at a time for two half-hour segments. In addition to our 48 volunteers able to commit to a weekly schedule, we also have need for substitute volunteers.
Clothes To Kids
Ascension collects gently used and new clothes, including jackets, new tennis shoes, and new packages of underwear for distribution to help children get ready for back-to-school. Clothes to Kids assists children from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Emergency Preparedness Team
The Emergency Preparedness Team has designed a plan to assure the viability of the parish, its associated ministries, and its assets. The plan, updated on a regular basis, helps our parishioners to plan for natural and other disasters. Before and after an emergency, we provide updates on our social media—the church website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We welcome volunteers for phone trees to call parishioners before and after a hurricane or emergency as well as to assist in preparation or recovery.
Faith, Action, And Strength Together (FAST)
FAST is a consortium of Pinellas County churches joined together for the common cause of making improvements in our community. We tackle safety problems, low-income needs, juvenile justice issues, and health concerns. FAST follows the biblical example by bringing together the mayor, city council, business leaders and other officials to hear solutions for community problems. FAST speaks to governmental authorities with one voice to address a variety of challenges. We ask parishioners to attend the Nehemiah Action meeting in the spring.
Little Free Pantry
Volunteers, one for each day of the month, buy non-perishable and easy-to-eat foods and stock the small cabinet on a post that is near the church parking lot bell tower. Anyone who needs food or is hungry for whatever reason may come and take food from the cabinet.
Volunteers on this committee work to respond to the needs of the local community. They keep the congregation informed, organize volunteers for one-time and ongoing activities, and allocate resources to appropriate community agencies.
Red Kettle Volunteers
Every year during Advent, we need ringers for the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign at the Belleair Bluffs Publix (corner of West Bay Drive and Indian Rocks Road). The Salvation Army suggests two people at a time so bring a friend. Church of the Ascension received an award in 2016 as the organization having the most volunteers.
Religious Community Services (RCS)
In 1967, Ascension was one of fifteen local congregations of varying faiths and ethnicities who came together to provide help & hope for people in need. Together they founded Religious Community Services, or RCS. The mission of RCS is “to feed the hungry, help families facing homelessness return to self-sufficiency and empower survivors of domestic violence.”
- RCS Food Bank provides nutritious food to our Pinellas County neighbors who need help stretching their grocery budget
- RCS Grace House helps individuals and families facing homelessness return to self-sufficiency. RCS provides families with 8 weeks of apartment style housing and other wrap-around services
- The Haven of RCS provides safety, security and support for women and children facing domestic abuse
- Goldsmith Gardens is sustainable housing and provides comfortable, safe, affordable housing that supports individuals and families
School Supply Sunday (Belleair Elementary)
School Supply Sunday for Belleair Elementary School is an opportunity for parishioners to donate school supplies or money to purchase supplies for the third- and fourth-grade classes. The school provides us with a list of needed supplies.
The Shed Thrift Shop
For over 25 years, Church of the Ascension has supported our thrift store, The Shed. This year-round outreach assists our customers who have limited budgets. In addition, one hundred percent of the funds generated at The Shed are given back to our community. This is done through donations to RCS & The Haven of RCS, Clothes-to-Kids, Pack-a-Sac, the Free Health Clinic, the Free Dental Clinic, etc. Last year we were able to donate over $22,000 back to our community.
This year-round outreach assists our customers who have limited budgets. In addition, one hundred percent of the funds generated at The Shed are given back to our community. This is done through donations to RCS & The Haven of RCS, Clothes-to-Kids, Pack-a-Sac, the Free Health Clinic, the Free Dental Clinic, etc. Last year we were able to donate over $22,000 back to our community.
The five downtown Clearwater churches—Church of the Ascension, Peace Memorial, First Methodist, St. Cecelia’s Catholic, and Crossroads Christian—provide a Thanksgiving Dinner to those less fortunate or who may be alone on Thanksgiving Day. The churches work together to cook, set up, serve the meal, and clean up afterwards. The churches rotate the location of the dinner each year.
Connect on Serving Opportunities
Use the form to inquire about community service projects and how to get involved.