St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church

Blue Hill ~ Maine

March 13, 2024

The Quiet Season of Lent

(photo with thanks to Peter Ralston)

 “If you walk into a forest - you hear all kinds of subtle sounds - but underneath there is an all pervasive silence.”

- Eckhart Tolle

From last Sunday's Worship Service

(The Prelude)

and, below that, a written message from

The Rev. Douglas Beck

Dear Siblings in God,

Through a number of years of research and study of Episcopal churches, “RenewalWorks” discovered that the continuum of spiritual life within a congregation determines its vitality. Where parishioners name that they are exploring, growing, deepening or centering spiritually; vitality is found.

The catalysts for spiritual growth are a willingness to engage with scripture, telling of how the eucharist transforms everyday life, deepening of prayer life, and committed leaders to the previous three while demonstrating personal warmth and caring.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how St. Francis is doing considering the above. How do you think we are doing considering the research of “RenewalWorks?”

As you look back on your life, have there been periods of spiritual growth? What were the catalysts that caused them?

Were there times when you felt stalled or stuck spiritually? What were the catalysts behind such experiences?

How do you react to the idea of a spiritual continuum? Do you think that spiritual growth has a linear dimension? Are there other ways of thinking about spiritual growth?

How do you react to a spiritual vitality index? Do you think that spiritual vitality can be measured? Why or why not?

As we approach these final weeks of Lent, this being the traditional time of the year in the Church when we talk about renewal; I invite you to reflect on these questions leading up to Easter.

It’s a privilege to be on this Lenten journey with you.


We Pray for our loved ones:

Mary Boyd, Bill Cary, Cynthia, Bill Casale, Kathy Caudill, Cynthia, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry+, Allison Eaton, Mark Ford, The Fowler Family, Giffy Full, Julia, Chris Koch, David McBeth, Lorelei McKinnon, Ronan, Dinny Robson, Donny Smith, Peggy Smith, Carolyn Taylor, Robert Tobin, Tracey, and Persis Williams 

For those with March Birthdays: Julie Boardman, Mary Boyd, Libby Buck, Ambrose Chung, Suzanne Decrow, David Falck, Steve Hayward, Prudy Heilner, Fred Heilner, Ed Manual, Sandy McCurdy, Pam Peters, Bill Petry, Maren Rosborough, Colleen Spangler, Hannah Maeve Was, Gerald Wheeler

Holy Week Services

Holy Week Services -- Save the Dates

Palm Sunday, March 24 at 10:00 am

Maundy Thursday, March 28 at 7:00 pm

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

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

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

Notes from our Chair, Sarah Everdell

The grant from the Brooklin Garden Club has been fulfilled with help from Anna Wind, head of the Magic Food Bus. The money was used to purchase books focused on nature, gardening, conservation, and healthy eating. Blue Hill Books gave a generous 20% discount and most of the books were distributed by the Magic Food Bus volunteers and coordinator. According to Anna, “families were extremely excited to see such beautiful and high quality books available and chose them enthusiastically.” Almost 100 books were donated.

Simmering Pot at St. Francis has been going on now for a year led by chefs Brooke Dojny and Fred Heilner. A faithful crew including Mary Hartley, Nancy Brown, and Lee Holmes chops the vegetables for a vegetarian, gluten-free soup option, and our primary ladlers are Anne and Brent Follweiler. Many thanks to all of them.

H.O.M.E. reports that the Hannaford gift cards continue to be well received. Tracey Hair is no long the executive director. Judy continues to be the Outreach liaison with the new directors. There will be a fundraising spaghetti dinner for Julia DeMaree to raise money for medical bills.

Judy has been in touch with Allison Eaton who is well enough to clean with Christopher, but still has an operation pending. The family continues to be grateful for the many Christmas presents. St. Francis Church shines-more ways than one.

Anne Follweiler has agreed to be the liaison with the Maine Episcopal Diocese on Indigenous Relations and Kathy DeSilvey will be the liaison on Creation Care. Judy and Sarah will be the liaisons on Community Support. Peace and Racial Justice still need liaisons.

The Schedule of Current Events

Wednesday Seekers

10 AM

(Wonderful is not too late to join this lively group)

Please join us (in person) as we continue to read and discuss John Philip Newell’s The Rebirthing of GodWe are having a closing Eucharist at the end of each session. The book is available at Blue Hill Books with a 20% discount! It is never too late to join in the conversation. The book is also available on Amazon to download.

Adult Forum is Active!

(following our 10 AM Sunday Service)

Ladder to the Light by the Rev. Steven Charleston 

-former Bishop of Alaska, and an Indigenous Elder. Please join us:

“In the darkness, in the valley of shadow, we can feel isolated and afraid. But once we have the light of hope, we begin to see just how many people share in our struggle. The first step toward community is recognizing our common humanity. Instead of seeing strangers in the dark, we recognize fellow climbers in the light.”


Future Events

Bach's Birthday Bash Concert presented by Blue Hill Bach featuring Dr. Kevin Birch. Friday, March 22 at 5:00 PM. Tickets are available at

Celebration of New Ministry celebrates new ministry collaboration with our new rector. The Rt. Rev. Thomas J. Brown, Bishop of Maine, will be our celebrant, Sunday, April 14, at 4:00 PM with a reception following in the undercroft.

Evensong with guest choir Euphony under the direction of Francis Vogt, accompanied by Dr. Laura Artesani will take place Thursday, May 2 at 7:30 PM. Douglas, our rector, will be the Officiant. The service is a form of sung Evening Prayer from The Book of Common Prayer. This will be a beautiful evening of prayers chanted, sung, and spoken and an excellent opportunity to bring a friend who may have yet to enter our beautiful church.

The Gifting and Blessings of our Lois French

and her beautifully hand-crafted Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Lois French, talented artist, long-time St. Francis parishioner, gifter of her carefully hand-made prayer shawls and Ukrainian Easter Eggs. Father Douglas was in awe of them, as are we all!

Lois was the first Treasurer of St. Francis church when we were only a "Preaching Station"

She has wonderful, funny stories to tell.

Lois' soft, warm knitted Prayer Shawls, available for the asking!


St. Francis Continues the Special Tradition of our Salt Bowl.

Everyone is welcome to drop by the church, sit for a bit, and bury our thoughts and concerns in the Salt Bowl. This tradition began with the now-permanent gift of the beautiful copper bowl donated by Carla Rosensweig - an idea prompted by her discussions with The Rev. Claudia Smith. It was at another time when jobs were lost and worries seemed everywhere. People were encouraged to drive by and bury their worries in salt and the new tradition was born.

All of the messages are buried in the deep salt, never read, and burned on the evening of our Easter Vigil service. Please come into the sanctuary on any week-day morning when Barbara is in her office.

The Flower Guild and Coffee Hour ministries are in need of volunteers. Won’t you consider sharing your time and talent and have fun too?

Maybe not this particular Green Cake?

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! Behave...lots of Irish in our St. Francis Church!