St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church


Blue Hill ~ Maine

Sunday, February 4, 2024

10:00 am

Fifth Sunday after the


In the lectionary cycle, we find ourselves amid the healing stories of Jesus as told by Mark. I'm sure we can relate to physical challenges that cause need, at one time or another, for us and our loved ones.

It's natural to need assistance. 

The practice of gratitude can be our nature, too. We thank God for the loving care that surrounds us at just the time when we need it most. Such gratitude that comes from such times can remind us to take very little for granted. I recall my encounters with Archbishop Desmond Tutu on more than one occasion when he spent time in the area we once lived, declaring, "It's all gift." 

Oh, to have the sense to notice the gift of the every day, even the small and the mundane. One day, my friend John, who had an incurable cancer diagnosis, heard Arch say these words. "It's all gift." John's endurance of his remaining days was made all the more illumined by three simple words spoken by Arch. John's demeanor softened, his acceptance clear of what he could not change, and any suffering was greatly diminished by his acceptance that deepened his faith as he left a young wife and three small children to enter into God's nearer presence. 

When Jesus arrived in people's lives and relieved their spiritual and physical needs, his gentle touch and healing presence, his kind face and deeds to match, must have inspired such gratitude and hope for what lies outside our seeing. Jesus did these things without asking too many questions. He didn't require applications. No one was put on hold. Jesus didn't require those who came to him to take a number; such is Christ's love. We will always be in the presence of Christ's love. 

I pray for each of us, that Christ's presence in and among us inspires us to do likewise as we navigate through God's wounded and yet so beloved creation. Arch was on to something. We can be on to this something, too. 

Know how I give thanks for you. You are gift, too.



Ash Wednesday is February 14th. We will have two services. Noon and 5:00pm

Holy Week Services -- Save the Dates

Palm Sunday, March 24 at 10:00am

Maundy Thursday, March 28 at 7:00pm

Good Friday, March 29 at 12 Noon and 7:00pm

Easter Vigil, Saturday, March 30 at 7:00pm

Easter Day, Sunday, March 31 at 10:00am

Fr. Douglas thanks all who have reached out making appointments ranging from casual conversation, to pastoral issues, to providing a deep listening ear. He'd love for this level of conversation to happen with everyone at St. Francis by the Sea. We can continue to help him to settle in and get to know us better by reaching out to arrange a suitable space for such conversations. He appreciates it when we contact him directly by e-mail or phone (church or mobile). His information is provided in the current Members/Friends List. 

REMINDER: Fr. Douglas’ work days are Sun-Thurs.


Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper will take place at St. Brendan the Navigator, 627 North Deer Isle Rd, on Tuesday, February 13 from 4:00-6:00 pm. Menu items include pancakes (buttermilk or gluten free), blintzes and latkes, sausage, applesauce, sour cream and lots of maple syrup. RSVPs appreciated:, or 207-348-6240. Donations accepted for Episcopal Relief and Development Fund.

Wednesday Seekers Continues through March 20th.

Please join us as we will read and discuss John Philip Newell’s

The Rebirthing of God. We will have a closing Eucharist at the end of each session. The book is available at Blue Hill Books (with a 20% discount). Join Us!


Adult Forum meets after coffee hour. Our first book is Ladder to the Light by the Rev. Steven Charleston, former Bishop of Alaska, and an Indigenous Elder. Please join us:

Weather Cancelation Notice

In the event of bad weather and we need to cancel church on Sunday, we will send out an email notice by 7:00am. We will also have a listing on WABI TV 5.

Happy Ground-Hog Day! ICYMI, Punxsutawney Phil that famous groundhog from Pennsylvania has predicted and early spring. Woot, woot (groundhog speak for let me go back to sleep).


Diocesan News

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for those watching on Facebook

Services, Meetings and Events at St. Francis

Monday, 4:00 pm, Praying the Lectionary and Evening Prayer (rector’s study)

Tues.—Fri., 8:45 am, Morning Prayer (Zoom)

Wednesday,10:00 am, Wednesday Seekers (sacred space); 10:45 am, Celtic Eucharist (sacred space)

Thursday, 4:00 pm, Choir Rehearsal

Friday, 9:15 am, Contemplative Prayer (Zoom)

Sunday, 10:00 am, Holy Eucharist Rite II; 11:45 am, Adult Forum (sacred space)

Click here: Zoom Link!


Meeting ID: 543 976 0613