St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church

Blue Hill ~ Maine

January 30, 2024

(photo with thanks to Peter Ralston)

“Listen to silence. It has so much to say.” — Rumi


The Season of Lent

(February 14-March 28)

From The Rev. Douglas Beck-

Lent will soon be upon us.

The word Lent comes from the Middle English. It means "Spring." It is the time of lengthening days. Beginning on Ash Wednesday (February 14), we enter a fasting period lasting forty days. We do so in solidarity with Christ, whose ministry began wandering the desert wilderness, fasting, and praying.

The desert is an apt archetypal image of our lives' dry spells. Lent reminds us that dryness is part of this physical life, but we are not meant for dryness. We are meant to move through it, leaning into our relationship with God and all of creation. Our destination is not dryness but reconciliation and renewal as the snow and ice melt and the earth give way to regreening.

The notion that Lent is meant for us miserable sinners, and it is somber indeed and that it is embarrassing to ask for God's mercy is a late incursion. My first invitation is to give up this notion and enter the ancient thread of Lent as a time of moving from inactivity to activity. This is to say, activity with the intent to live most fully the life that God's Spirit moves us. The call of Lent is to fast from what feels dry, frozen, and otherwise zaps the direction of that which gives us life that is God directed. This takes space physically and spiritually. To what fast will we commit? What spiritual practice will we take up as we move toward Holy Week?

If we begin to set your intention now, we will be well prepared to accept Ash Wednesday's invitation. Services will take place at noon and 5:00 PM.

When Lent arrives, I invite you to a holy observance, by self-examination, repentance by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditation on God’s holy Word.


The Schedule of Coming Events

Wednesday Seekers

Beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, January 31

at 10 AM

Please join us (in person) as we will read and discuss John Philip Newell’s The Re-birthing of GodWe will have 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 again!

(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.”

An Indigenous Elder's Meditations on Hope and Courage

(also on Amazon)

We Pray for our loved ones:

Mary Boyd, Cynthia, Kathy Caudill, Presiding Bishop, Rick Lord +, Michael Curry+, Alison Eaton, Mark Ford, Giffy Full, Julia, Chris Koch, Margaret, Lorelei McKinnon, Ronan, Dinny Robson, Donny Smith, Carolyn Taylor, Robert Tobin, Tracey, and Persis Williams 

A Pancake Supper will take place at St. Brendan's 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:

Pastoral Care

Fr. Douglas looks forward to all the ways he may be present to us pastorally, including home and hospital visits. Please do not hesitate to reach him directly. He prefers to hear directly from the person(s) requesting the visit, a family member, or through one of the parish wardens or Barbara in the office. His e-mail and mobile number are available please contact the church office for that information.

Links to Websites of

Special Interest: 

St Francis by the Sea Our website is up-dated and looking good! From Heather to Barbara to all of us...take a look!

From our church office: We have a St. Francis Facebook Page. Link below... "LIKE" our page and keep up to date on all the news and happenings!!!

St Francis by the Sea Facebook Page

Episcopal Diocese of Maine

St Francis' email address (to

contact the church office)

Healthy Peninsula

NAMI Maine