St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church

Blue Hill ~ Maine

May 8, 2024

“With each daffodil, nature writes a love letter to the world, promising the beauty of fresh starts.” -Emily Dickinson

 A message from The Rev. Douglas Beck

Dear Friends in Christ,

As we approach the close of the Easter Season, Jesus prepares to leave his friends ascending to God’s presence. Ascension Thursday is this week. We will celebrate in the Sacred Space with Holy Eucharist at noon.

The ascended Jesus goes on to do the further work that God has in mind for him. Between now and Pentecost we will hear how Jesus gives his friends all they need for the unfolding of their lives.

The 2009 film entitled Up is based on fantasies about escaping life when it becomes too irritating. Childhood friends Carl and Ellie share dreams of adventure. When they grow up they fall in love and marry. When Ellie dies, Carl discovers Ellie’s childhood scrapbook from when they were children. The scrapbook is labeled, “Stuff I’m Going to Do.” In it are included things done by Carl and Ellie with a note written by Ellie. “Thanks for the adventure.” In his grief of losing Ellie, this is just the reminder that Carl needs, reminding him of all the adventures he and Ellie shared in their lives together. He realizes that part of him has gone on with Ellie when she died, while part is still present in the here and now. Ellie’s death means she now lives into her resurrected life. She does so leaving Carl with a gift that reminds him that he has all that he needs. Carl feels he may live into whatever lay ahead as he feels comfort in the memory of all he shared with Ellie when they were together.

This week through the Day of Pentecost is an opportunity for each one of us to look around. What is near us that reminds us that Jesus already has something of us with him, and all whom we love and see no longer, who have gone before us? What have they given us so that we may remember that, even so, we have all we need through faith.

In Christ,


Coming right up!

This Sunday, May 12 

Thank you, Susan Kirk

At the service we will hear about Frances Perkins’ inspiring life story as an Episcopalian, Maine resident, and first female cabinet seat as FDR’s Secretary of Labor.

We have arranged for the traveling display from the Frances Perkins Center in Damariscotta (a National Historic Landmark) to come to St. Francis on this day for viewing in the undercroft at coffee hour. Francis Perkins is on the annual Holy Women and Holy Men Episcopal Church calendar for May 13. We thank Perkins Center Board of Directors member and Blue Hill resident Susan Kirk for obtaining the Center’s display for St. Francis on the day closes to Frances Perkins’ commemoration in our church.

Future Events

Sunday, June 16 8:00 AM Liturgy of Holy Eucharist Rite I

summer schedule resumes and continues through August 18.

Sundays June 16 through August 18, 9:00-9:40 AM 

The Gospel of Mark: Coffee, Tea and Conversation (Rector’s study)

Tuesday, June 18 at 7:00 pm. A Benefit Organ Concert with Fr. Douglas A. Beck All proceeds will benefit St. Francis Outreach programs.

Also, this coming Sunday!

From Milissa-

Happy Mothers Day and may you all feel deep appreciation for all the little and big things which come with being a Mom.

Come celebrate with a pancake breakfast after the service this Sunday May 12. There is no cost for breakfast, though any monetary donations will go toward scholarships for Camp Bishopswood. 

We will have an alternative for anyone not able to eat pancakes so please join in the fun!! Happy Mothers Day!


An addition from Milissa-

A birthday celebration for all will be held during coffee hour on Pentecost Sunday, May 19.

Instead of our usual coffee hour fair, we will have a number of birthday cakes (hopefully 12) to celebrate each of our special days in addition to the birth of the church. If you enjoy baking please sign up to bring your favorite: Milissa will be making a carrot cake. A sign up sheet is posted outside the kitchen.

We pray for our loved ones:

Mary Boyd, Bill Cary, Cynthia, Bill Casale, Cynthia, Kathy Caudill, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry+, Julia, David McBeth, Lorelei McKinnon, Ronan, Dinny Robson, Donny Smith, Rod Smith, Peggy Smith, Robert Tobin, Tracey Hair, and Persis Williams. 

For those with May Birthdays: Abby Martin, Elaine MacLean,

Sarah Everdell, Mary Ann Taylor, Marilyn Heinemann, Dennis DeSilvey, John Paul LaLonde, Donny Smith, Carla Rosenzweig, Susan Schneider, Sidney Peck, Jane Nesbitt.

There will be a Memorial Service for Susan Reddy, Saturday, May 11 at 11:30 am. (See below)


(Tuesday, June 18, 7 PM)

A very special concert, more gifting by our own Rev. Douglas Beck

From Outreach Chair, Sarah Everdell:

We are all invited, along with all of our neighbors and friends, to St. Francis Church on Tuesday, June 18th at 7:00 p.m. when The Rev. Douglas Beck will give an organ concert as a fundraiser for the programs of St. Francis Outreach.

Douglas studied at Peabody Conservatory of Music of John Hopkins University earning both a Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in Organ Performance. He is also a folk harpist and has performed as a keyboard musician and choral conductor in the US, Canada, England, and Germany, including St. Thomas in New York, venues in Canterbury, Bristol, Oxford, and London, and Cologne, Germany.

He earned a Master of Divinity from the Atlantic School of Theology, Halifax, graduating with honors.

St. Francis Outreach is a dynamic program of our church. We support a wide variety of community organizations on the Blue Hill Peninsula including Simmering Pot, the Magic Food Bus, H.O.M.E., Emmaus Center, Community Compass, Peninsula Ambulance, and special programs of George Stevens Academy. Through our Outreach program, St. Francis Church also steps up for unexpected community and family needs including fuel on cold winter days and assistance with emergency shelter.

Our Outreach Committee is especially grateful for Rev. Douglas’ support and his gifting of music for this special concert. All donations will be given to the above programs. We can expect a wonderful evening together!


Happy 95th Birthday, Gerald Wheeler!

Jean Wheeler in a recent photo, giving skiing lessons at SugarLoaf

From Jean-

"It was a phone call with Allan Sandlin in spring of 1995 that birthed the idea of Gerald applying as new music director at St Francis…. G was considering “ downsizing “, retiring from Christ Church Cathedral where he had been Director of Music for 30 years, had read of the St Francis job, and I had asked him to call about it as I knew of Blue Hill from fellow sailor friends. The Holy Spirit was in charge as G and Allan talked for 45 minutes !


We visited, fell in love with the people of St Francis and this coastal peninsula. Plans evolved for the new organ to be donated, with Gerald working with old friend Karl who had built the marvelous organ Gerald played at Christ Church Cathedral. The organ at St Francis is still Gerald’s favorite small organ to play, and he delights in the practice time kindly allowed him."

-from Kate Mulrenin

Adult Forum

The God of the Garden: Thoughts on Creation, Culture, and the Kingdom

Our current book is God of the Garden by Andrew Petersen. The Blue Hill Bookstore has copies of this wonderful read. Join us!

Wednesday Seekers

From a reviewer:

"A readable, upbeat discourse on the power of redemptive love. A book I read, loved, gave as a gift, and a book that I will re-read again. An enjoyable and hopeful message! So well written!"

This study continues and all are welcome!

An eClare Editor message regarding Susan Reddy

It was more than twenty years ago that I began attending St. Francis Church and somehow landed on the Communications Committee...a fearful moment under the watchful eyes of Emily Chaney! 

We were listening to Rev Claudia and trying to get a grip on why she felt St. Francis Church needed any "extra" communications other than the wonderful monthly Franciscan. Finally, we woke up and I said I would give it a shot (with much-needed help) as I knew nothing about writing a newsletter.

The next order in that same conversation was what to call the thing if we figured out how to create it?

It took only a second or two for Susan Reddy to pop up with eClare...

and we all laughed and said "why not"?

Susan moved to California years ago, but she and her sister, Jane Heizmann, who is a much loved parishioner at St. Francis Church, will both be in our hearts this coming Saturday for Susan's memorial service.

Susan was a gift in so many ways and loved St. Francis Church.