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

Service Times:

9 AM and 6 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
Carol Richardson
Cathy Galloway
Cody Bro
Janene Smith
Keri Westphal
Mary Ann Bradbury
Pedro Miranda
Wendy Marshall
Cathy Clark-Arnold
Thom Rindahl
Will Reimers

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

  1. Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to reach new people and incorporate them into the life and ministries of our parish.
  2. Make necessary changes to attract families with children and youth to our parish.
  3. 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.

October 1963
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.

Early 1965
Moved to Phoenix Country Day School on Stanford Drive -- services in auditorium.

Fall, 1965
Moved to First Federal Savings and Loan building at 20th Street and Camelback Rd. -- services in the basement.

October, 1965
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.

Fr. Daniel 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 Maters 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. Daniel reads voraciously, writes and trail runs.



Fr. Bill Young, Priest

Fr. Bill Young received his BA in History from the U of Texas, El Paso, then his M.Div. 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 ♪.



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.





Laura Tobin, Executive Assistant to the Rector

Laura comes to Christ Church of the Ascension as an accomplished professional, dedicated to serve and support our parishioners, clergy and staff. As the Executive Assistant to the Rector, Laura maintains the office scheduling, calendar, appointments, weddings, memorial services, community outreach along with supporting the body of work of the clergy, branches of each ministry, and growth of our parish.




Joshua Mungillo, Youth Ministry

Joshua Mungillo was born and raised in Phoenix. He's in college studying business and hopes to go into seminary once he gets his bachelor’s. He was a youth leader for an urban youth ministry in the metro Phoenix area for a year and half. He also serves at Chapel Rock as a counselor over the summers. He hopes to teach youth the importance of living like Christ through service and outreach. He's excited about this youth ministry and can’t wait to see what God has in store for the youth and the church as a whole.


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.






Palm Sunday
April 9th
(regular service times)

Holy Week Services
Monday April 10th 6:30 pm - The Anointing of Jesus
Tuesday April 11th 6:30 pm - Children of Light
Wednesday April 12th 6:30 pm - The Betrayal

Maundy Thursday
Thursday, April 13th
5:30 pm – Dinner
6:30 pm – Holy Eucharist with Choir
Foot Washing – The Stripping of the Altar

Good Friday
April 14th – Noon and 6:30 pm
Liturgy with Music @ 6:30 pm

Saturday Vigil
April 15th- 7:30 pm

Easter Sunday
April 16th
8:00 am & 10:15 am – Festival Eucharist
With Winds, Strings and Choir
All children are encouraged to worship in church with their families
6:00 pm – Holy Eucharist

**Child care is available for children ages 3 years and younger. If you need child care of any of the Holy Week services, please call the Church office at least 48 hours in advance.

Thanksgiving Day
Thursday, November 24
Service of Holy Eucharist – 10 am

Christmas Eve
December 24
Children's Service - 5 pm
Choral Eucharist - 8 pm

Christmas Day
December 25
Holy Eucharist - 10 am

Service Times

9 AM and 6 PM

10 AM Holy Eucharist

5 PM Evening Prayer

Morning Prayer for Men:
Mondays 7:30 AM Side Chapel

Directions to Christ Church

Scheduled Events & News