The Rev. Jason Shelby
Is Lent about Suffering and Loss?
A week from now we will be in Lent. For the longest time Lent meant sacrificing something I enjoyed; it was done for the sake of suffering and to experience want and loss. I usually gave up video and computer games; in the second year of my priesthood my waistline had expanded some and I gave up potatoes for Lent. I lost five pounds in forty days. 

When I was in college I started taking things on, in addition to giving them up. I would read the daily lectionary, or journal every day; the former lasted longer than the latter, though I could only get through the lectionary by skipping the psalms. I haven’t given anything up or taken anything on for Lent in some time; Lent isn’t some self-improvement project, nor is it a time to suffer and experience want and loss.

Lent literally means spring or awakening, and it is about returning to God. There is no season when I am not actively trying to return to God and to get my life right (I get it right for a little bit, but it never seems to stick…). God doesn’t want us to suffer or experience loss. God is our creator - our mother, father, grandparent - and God wants to see us shine. God also wants our attention - God wants to hear from us. We give things up in order to turn our attention to God. “I sure would like some chocolate, but wait, I gave it up for Lent…please God, help me not eat chocolate.” It’s just like that. In my experience, shortly after that prayer I would get a text that draws my attention away from chocolate and everything else and points me towards doing the work we are called to do (love). We take things on for the same reason. Suffering for the sake of suffering is not of God; if you want to suffer, at least make it mean something and do it in service of others. 
I’ve often had people tell me they don’t know how to pray; they don’t know what to say or where to start. I’ve found that the best place to start is with Jesus; just say His name. That’s a prayer. Or pray as He taught us. If you don’t like paternalistic imagery, switch it to Our Mother who art in Heaven, or Our God who is in Heaven; rewrite it altogether into something that sounds good to your ears but means the same basic thing. God wants to hear from us, and I’ve found that more often than not, God responds. In my experience it’s not been the Cecil B. DeMille booming voice from the mountaintop that replies, but someone who needs help, or to talk, or to simply stand with another person so they are not alone.
I’ve seen God reply through birds playing in a mud puddle and fish jumping in a pond. This Lent, talk to God; we have a whole book of prayers you can use. It’s online at I’m sure we have a couple extra in the church if you want a hard copy. Talk to God; the creator of all things wants to hear from us, to know that we acknowledge God’s love for us, and that’s pretty awesome. 

Rector, St. Francis Episcopal Church

It's easy to schedule a meeting with Rev. Jason!
Click on this link to schedule either an individual or group meeting with Jason+.
Meet the Shelby Family!
Thank you to Harry Bellows for these gorgeous photos of Rev. Jason and his beautiful family. Wife Jennifer, and little ones Rachel and Archie. Welcome to you all!
Ash Wednesday is next Week
Ash Wednesday is February 22! For 2023 we have familiar practices for you PLUS a new way to honor the full meaning of Shrove Tuesday (fear not - there will still be pancakes!).
New this year!
Shrove Tuesday – February 21—Service (5pm) followed by Pancake supper, 5:30pm.
Come to a short and simple service of Healing and Reconciliation, at 5:00pm in the Chapel followed by a fun-filled pancake supper at 5:30pm in the Parish Hall.

Rev. Jason explains - 'Shrove is the past tense of the word shrive; it means to be absolved of one’s sins. We are shriven the day before Lent, in order that we may begin Lent as pure as possible. Lent is a season of preparation, a time for us to prepare for the betrayal, death, and resurrection of our Lord. We begin Lent by acknowledging not only our sinful nature, but our mortality and complete dependence on God. So how did pancakes get mixed up into all of this?' Read more here...

Ash Wednesday
12:00pm – Liturgy of the Word and imposition of ashes in the Chapel.
6:00pm – Full service, with imposition of ashes.
Lenten Devotional
Our much-loved Parish Lenten Devotional is back! Entirely written by members of our church community, there is a devotional for each day in Lent, based on the lectionary scriptures of the day. Print copies will be available from this Sunday, or click here to download your copy.

Lenten Supper series
March 8, 15, 22, and 29, Parish Hall. 
More details to come on the above, but as is our tradition, our Friars (mens’ group) will be preparing a delicious home-made supper, before a program which this year will be led by Rev. Jason.
Church Office Closed
The church office will be closed this Monday - February 20, for Presidents' Day.
Save the Date! The Antiques Show is back!
Information meeting this Sunday Feb 19, 11:30am, library
After several cancellations, we are pleased to announce that St. Francis will host the 52nd Annual Palos Verdes Antiques Show and Sale June 1-3, with an Opening Night Party on Wednesday evening, May 31. Over the past 50 years, the annual Antiques Show has raised more than a half million dollars that has supported the Mission and Outreach Ministries of St. Francis Parish. This show is one of the longest-running charity antiques shows in California. Produced by the Episcopal Church Women of St. Francis Church, the Show is run and staffed by parishioners and volunteers. Come to the meeting to hear our ideas, share your own or just find out how you can help!

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!
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
It's quick and easy to sign up - just pick a day. More than one person or household can sign up on the same day, so you don't have to be on your own.
  • We'll show you what to do.
  • We reimburse expenses.
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!