Joining the Big-kids Table!

Yesterday I was able to have lunch with Bishop Edward Little, the Seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Indiana. Bishop Little ordained me to both the diaconate and the priesthood, and it was nearly 20 years ago that I sat in his office in South Bend and told him that I wanted to be a priest.

Bishop Little served as a priest in the Dioceses of Chicago, Los Angeles and San Joaquin, and eventually retired to Long Beach after serving as Bishop for 16 years. I was elated when I found out that he lived in Long Beach, and even more so when he reached out to me two weeks ago and asked if I would like to have lunch. When he arrived on campus I proudly showed him around the church and parish hall, and while I was a bit embarrassed by the state of my office, I couldn’t resist showing him the view from my window. He replied that when he was bishop in South Bend his window looked out onto a brick wall…
Bishop Ed. Little
Bishop Ed and I fell out of touch after my ordination; I was in New Orleans and then Mississippi, and he was in South Bend. He was my Bishop, and he guided me through discernment and then ordination, and while we were friendly, we weren’t necessarily friends. We weren’t going to watch the game together. I don’t mean that in a harsh way - I would have gone had he invited, and if he had the time I imagine the inverse would be true; it was the nature of our relationship. 

It was wonderful to be able to show him around; he is a combination of a professor, father, and priest, and he didn’t tell me to leave when I said that the reason I wanted to be a priest is because, “Jesus is cool.”

It was great catching him up on the highlights from the past 16 years, and to talk shop with him as a colleague, not an apprentice. We talked about the significant differences between Northern Indiana and California (not least of which is the difference in measuring distances in time vs. miles), liturgical styles, the beauty of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, inviting people to church, and our families.

We talked about the advantages and disadvantages of serving 30 years and retiring, the challenges of Covid, and the state of the church now. We talked about celebrating the Eucharist and the different Rites and types of language used, what our favorites are (Rite I for him, mostly Rite I for me - except innumerable benefits procured unto us by the same, which has tripped me up every time for 15 years), and in many ways it felt like I had finally moved to the big-kids table. 

We don’t always get to return to the people who brought us into the fold, the people responsible for shaping and forming our spiritual and religious lives, but when we do, it is an incredible gift. I am incredibly thankful that Bishop Ed listened to 26 year old Jason and allowed me to begin discernment. I am also thankful that I was able to meet with him and tell him how I’ve been doing, and my hope is that now that we are geographically close and colleagues, we can begin to be friends. 

Rector, St. Francis Episcopal Church

The Rt. Rev. Bishop Little is the author, most recently, of 'The Heart of a Leader', in which he explores Paul’s second letter to Timothy as “a training manual, a book of encouragement, and an outline of how a leader guides the church,” as he told his publisher, Forward Movement, in a 2020 interview.
Rev. Jason's Week in Review...
March 16: Took communion to parishioner; worked on e-news; pastoral visit; met with Scholarship Committee; met with Junior Warden.

March 17: Rachel’s birthday! Went to San Diego to celebrate with Jennifer’s family. Rachel set the menu for dinner: hotdogs, applesauce and chips, with chocolate cake for dessert.

March 18: Returned home from San Diego; sermon prep.
(Editor's note - clearly Archie enjoyed the sermon. Stood in awe the entire time!)
March 19: Fourth Sunday of Lent; we had several visitors to both services, and the choir continues to raise the bar, outdoing themselves week after week - the anthem this past Sunday was phenomenal. If you missed it, you can watch and listen here...

March 20: Supposedly the first day of Spring; pastoral visit; administrative tasks; caught up on email; met with Deacon Celeste; pastoral phone calls.

March 21: Jennifer and I took the kids to the pediatrician for their well-baby visits; prepared Lenten program; prepared for finance and vestry meetings; finance committee and vestry meeting.

March 22: Went to the doctor for my well-adult visit; pastoral phone call; staff meeting; prepared Lenten program; lunch with Bishop Ed Little; Lenten program.

It's easy to schedule a meeting with Rev. Jason!
Click on this link to schedule either an individual or group meeting with Jason+.
Last Chance!
Star Wars and The Gospel!
This Week - the Wisdom of Yoda!
Next Wednesday March 29, Parish Hall. 
It by Rev. Jason will be led.
Supper 5:30pm, program 6:15pm, finish with Compline at 7pm.
Join us for a delicious home-made supper prepared by our Friars (men's group). Each week a different chef from the group takes the lead!
Suggested donation for the supper is $10 for individuals, $15 for couples, and $20 for families. It would help with planning if you can rsvp in advance to Claire in the office (please say how many will be in your group for each date).
Free childcare available from 6pm to the end of the evening.
The sessions are livestreamed on our Facebook page, and all are available for re-watch.
Holy Week And Easter Worship at St. Francis
Next week is Palm Sunday - the start of Holy Week!
Holy Week and Easter Day are the crucial foundation of our faith. All our Lenten practices have been leading to this week.

On Maundy Thursday we remember His great gift to us of His of last supper - our Holy Eucharist - and we leave in solemnity just as He left His friends to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. We grieve at the cross on Friday, with excerpts from Fauré's famous Requiem sung by our choir and interwoven with scripture and prayer at 7pm., and finally - we meet the Risen Lord in Glory and Joy on Easter morning!
The Easter Bunny Needs You!!!
The Easter Bunny is back! All children are welcome to join us on Easter Sunday after the 10am service for an Easter Egg Hunt! Bring your camera so you can get photos with the Easter Bunny. And, bring your favorite Easter Basket to collect your eggs - we will also have bags available.

Easter Eggs wanted! Deadline is Wed. April 5. Please help us prepare for our children's Easter Egg Hunt by donating candy-filled, plastic eggs for the event. Please do not include any candy containing nuts. Eggs may be donated in the church office. Thank you for helping us bring this fun event to St. Francis!
Make a Dedication for A Loved One This Easter
Deadline Sunday April 2
As ever our church will look and sound triumphally joyful this Easter. You can make a donation in memory, or in thanksgiving for a loved one to help cover these costs. A sheet of all the dedications is printed and handed out with all our Easter Worship services. Be a part of it!
Listen Again - or in case you missed it
This beautiful anthem was sung last Sunday. Cellist Mark Bassett accompanied our choir to give us Craig Courtney's 'God Gives the Song'
St. Luke's Outreach
St. Francis serves the unhoused in Long Beach.
Every other month we serve the unhoused in Long Beach. On Saturday mornings from around 7:30 – 9:30 a.m., we provide a nourishing breakfast of hard-boiled eggs, warm soup, crackers, muffins, fruit, hot coffee and chocolate. The St. Luke’s Breakfast and Shower Ministry always loves new volunteers, including families with children of middle-school age or older.

Ministry Shepherd Gayle Taylor at the clothing donation desk.
Coffee and
some healthy food
So many who need our help. There, but for the grace of God go any one of us.
Meet Your Episcopal Neighbors at Stations of The South Bay Only 2 opportunities left.
Episcopalians from across the South Bay are joining together for the Stations of the Cross, which is a long-standing tradition in the wider church.

Tomorrow - Friday Mar 24th, 6pm - Christ Church, Redondo Beach
Friday Mar 31st, 6pm - St Cross, Hermosa Beach
Check Out These Grades!

  • Fifty students
  • $340 donated
  • One centenarian
  • 6 amazing volunteers
  • And all of YOU!

For those who may not be familiar with the St. Francis Scholarship Outreach Program at St. Francis, the fund was started in 1998 by Mrs. Joni McIntyre, with the hopes of helping one student complete a college degree.
Fast forward to 2023, our fund has helped more than 50 students, some of which we have seen through 4 years of college earning their chosen degrees. Our total donations to deserving students is approaching $340,000. Our founder, Joni, is now almost 101½ and is still interested in our current activities and grateful that the fund has continued their work.
No Financial Worries
In light of the widely publicized troubles faced recently by a few banks and their depositors, some of you might be wondering if St Francis’ funds are in danger. In this week’s Finance Committee meeting this issue was addressed by our treasurer Fred Henry, who assured us that our accounts are safe.

The two financial institutions holding our cash and securities, Malaga Bank and Charles Schwab, are financially sound, and are backed up by various safeguards, including FDIC and SIPC insurance and additional brokerage insurance provided by Schwab through Lloyd’s of London.

Sundays - Holy Communion
8:00 a.m. - Rite I in-person worship in the Chapel, with hymns. This service is not live-streamed.

10:00 a.m. - Rite II in-person worship in the main church with music. Live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube, and available for watching later.

Please contact Kristina Pelá to arrange for a Lay Eucharistic Minister to safely bring you communion.

Yoga with Jill!
Jill is recovering well from surgery—please continue to pray for her healing. She is currently teaching on Wednesdays in the Boardroom at 9:00, via Zoom.
A spiritual mind and body practice!
  • Mondays 11:15am - 1:00pm - Level 1/2 Hatha Yoga
  • Wednesdays 9:00-10:30am Level 1 Gentle Yoga
Parish Hall. No set fees - classes are free-will offering. Questions? Jill Fenske

Thursdays from 9:30-10:30am in our church sanctuary; masks optional. Please join us for meditation, followed by a time of conversation.
Contact - Susie Zimmerman
Coffee Hour Ministry
To volunteer to help one week, see the sign-up sheet at Sunday coffee hour.

Sunday School

Bring your children to Sunday School for our wonderful Montessori-based, Godly Play curriculum.
Godly Play makes meaning through story, wonder, and play. Nurturing spiritual lives by honoring the centrality, competency, and capacity of children. You and your children will be blessed by these teachings.
Remember - the Parish Directory is Online
Need someone's email, or even map directions to their home?
The password is Romans12:4-5
Bookmark the link on your phone or computer and let your browser save the password and you will always be up to date with information!
In a later email we will tell you how to access the Member Portal so you can edit details of your own listing.
Need Help of Any Kind?
Physical, Spiritual, Psychological, or Material?

We are here to do our best to help you with whatever you may need. We know circumstances can be difficult at any time. For help of any kind, or just a phone call, please email or call Jason+.

Enews Submission Deadline: 3:00 pm Wednesdays
Enews is sent weekly on Thursday afternoons: email Susan with your requests.
Staff Directory
Office main line - 310 375 4617
The Rev. Jason Shelby 310-594-7984 - Rector
Mark Bennett 310-594-7416 - Director of Music
Claire Erbeznik 310-375-4617 - Office Administrator & Receptionist
Susan Marshall 310-594-8427 - Communications Specialist
Elaine Mistele 310-594-8268 - Business Manager

You are not interrupting our work - you ARE our work!