St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church

Blue Hill ~ Maine

February 13, 2024

The Season of Lent

(photo with thanks to Peter Ralston)

“The real question of the Lenten season is how will I clear out the junk and garbage in my life so that I can be restored to God in some fresh way?  What are the disciplines that will open up space for God to create a clean heart and new spirit in me?”  

 Ruth Haley Barton


Ash Wednesday

February 14, 2024

Services at Noon and 5 PM

St. Francis by the Sea

From The Rev. Douglas Beck-

Dear Siblings in Faith,

I invite you to pray throughout this Lenten time of self-reflection, returning to God, and prayer: "God help me. You love me. May you and I cultivate the changes that I need together. Amen."

What if you and I entered Lent's framework with the utmost sincerity of commitment to it and our relationships? What if we make sincere choices to be the most loving community of support we can be? What does love look like right here and right now? 

When we receive ashes on our foreheads this week, we recommit our love to accepting God's free gift of grace.

May we let God's free gift of grace guide our keeping and respect of healthy boundaries. May we let God's free gift of grace carry us into daily practices of contemplation, spiritual reading, and still or walking prayer. Light a candle. Move through active praying with prayer beads. Read daily portions of scripture. Sit on the shoreline and experience the rhythm of the moving waters until you feel held. Gaze at an icon in meditation until you feel your reflection free before God; until you love differently; until you see, taste, hear, feel, and taste differently; until the space between your mind and heart open to one another; until you notice you're on the path to return to God daily and constantly, accompanied by Jesus inspired by the Holy Spirit here and now. 

"God help me. You love me. May you and I cultivate the changes that I need together. Amen."


The Schedule of Coming Events

Wednesday Seekers

Please join us (in person) as we continue to 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.

Wednesday, February 14, 10:00 AM Seekers (Sacred Space)

Wednesday, February 14, 10:45 AM Celtic Eucharist (Sacred Space)

Ash Wednesday Liturgy, February 14, noon and 5:00 PM (church)

Thursday, February 15, 10:00 AM Communications Committee (library)

Monday, February 19, Presidents’ Day Holiday, NO Lectio and Evening Prayer

Wednesday, February 21, 10:00 AM Seekers (Sacred Space)

Wednesday, February 21, 10:45 AM Celtic Eucharist (Sacred Space)

Vestry Monthly Meeting, February 21, 6:00 PM (Zoom)

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

We pray for the repose of the soul of Rick Cross+

For those with February Birthdays: Pam Berry, Diana Brown, Cheryl Coffin, Mary Crawford Joan D'Agastino, Mary Catherine Dunn, Giffy Full, Mary Alice Horrigan, and Joe Thompson

A Pancake Supper will take place this evening 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.

Last Sunday, February 11, Rev. Douglas spoke of the light and visions seen from Mt. Washington, Katahdin, and (somewhat jokingly) the very top of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak. Here is our Marcia Fenn at that very peak in 1978. She says the Kilimanjaro climb was exhausting...many did not make it all the way with her. But who could imagine Marsha not being right there?


More really good reading from The Rev. Douglas Beck+

The Diocese of Jerusalem is spread across five borders including the Church in the West Bank and in Gaza, making Bishop Naoum's work very interesting. I crossed paths with Hosam Naoum when working at VTS during our days living in DC. At that time, Hosam was the Dean of St. George's. He is most faithful and the American support of the Diocese is critical. The American Friends of the Diocese of Jerusalem is something folks, I hope, will want to know about as the crisis in that part of the world continues, whether folks decide to give or not.


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