Vestry Retreat

Last weekend we had our vestry retreat. On Friday we took part in the Stations of the Cross being put on by Deanery Eight, as it was conveniently located at our church. After the service, we retreated to the home of Bill and Shelly Zak where we all brought something to share and enjoyed a nourishing soup and salad supper. it was an amazing meal and a good time for fellowship. The next morning we met at the Malaga Cove Library, and spent several hours sharing our stories of how we came to church and what keeps us here.
These are the specific questions I asked:

  • What brought you into the church?  
  • What keeps you in the church?  
  • What is it that you love about Jesus at this moment?  
  • What is it that you love about St. Francis at this moment?  
  • Are those two things in alignment?  

It was great to hear people willingly share their stories, and we had some incredibly fruitful conversations about the challenges and opportunities facing the church today - not just our church, but the church in general. Everyone was in agreement that we live in a world hungry for connection, and that we offer that in a very real and meaningful way; the difficulty comes in how to meet the need for connection.

I reminded everyone that we weren’t having a marketing meeting; rather, my goal was for us to recognize that everything we do should be centered in Christ, and that Christ should be at the center of everything we do. The pinnacle of our service is not the music, homily, or the space where it’s held; it’s the breaking of the bread and the sharing of a common meal together. This seems like it should be common sense - of course Jesus is at the center of all we do. But I often find that when I’m thinking of how to grow the church or keep us viable, I’m not thinking about the Good News - I’m thinking about how we can be all things to all people.

The truth is that we can’t. If we take our goal directly from the Gospel, it’s not about growing the church - it’s about sharing God’s love for us with everyone we see. In our Book of Common Prayer it states that the ministry of the laity is: 'to represent Christ and his Church; to bear witness to him wherever they may be; and, according to the gifts given them, to carry on Christ's work of reconciliation in the world; and to take their place in the life, worship, and governance of the Church' (p. 855).

My ministry as a priest is similar: 'to represent Christ and his Church, particularly as pastor to the people; to share with the bishop in the overseeing of the Church; to proclaim the Gospel; to administer the sacraments; and to bless and declare pardon in the name of God' (p. 856).
Our call is not to convert or save - that belongs to Jesus. Our call is to invite, to simply say, “Come and see.” I am encouraged by our vestry’s willingness to participate in the hard work of invitation, and I pray that everyone learns to be comfortable saying to our friends and neighbors, “Come and see what we’re doing at St. Francis.” We have a wonderful church family, and the Spirit is alive and well; let us be a shining light on the hill, and invite our friends and neighbors to come and see what we’re all about.

Rector, St. Francis Episcopal Church
Rev. Jason's Week in Review...
March 9: Took Jennifer and Rachel to the airport to travel for a family wedding: photoshoot in the morning for Peninsula Magazine; interview in the afternoon for Peninsula Magazine; Elaine and Claire were rockstars and entertained Archie while I cozied up to the press.

March 10: Stations of the Cross at 6:00pm with Deanery Eight and the Vestry; Vestry Potluck dinner at the home of Bill and Shelly Zak - the start to a contemplative and fruitful vestry retreat.

March 11: Vestry retreat at Malaga Cove Library; we covered a lot of good ground.

March 12: The Third Sunday of Lent; the choir sang a BEAUTIFUL anthem at the 10:00 service.

March 13: Three years since Covid shut down so much; picked up Jennifer and Rachel at the airport; stayed home the rest of the day - this weather has been playing havoc with my sinuses.

March 14: Caught up on email, weekly review; pastoral meeting; prepared for Lenten program.

March 15: Prepared for Lenten program; staff meeting; met with Senior Warden; Lenten program.

It's easy to schedule a meeting with Rev. Jason!
Click on this link to schedule either an individual or group meeting with Jason+.
Picture of someone eating at a Lenten supper
Lenten Supper series Two Sessions Remain
Star Wars and The Gospel!
Wednesdays March 22, and 29, Parish Hall. 
Supper 5:30pm, program 6:15pm, finish with Compline at 7pm.
Rev. Jason will be leading our Lenten Series this year!
Join us for a delicious home-made supper prepared by our Friars (mens’ group). Each week a different chef from the group takes the lead!
Suggested donation for the supper is $10 for individuals, $15 for couples, and $20 for families. It would help with planning if you can rsvp in advance to Claire in the office (please say how many will be in your group for each date).
Free childcare will be available from 6pm to the end of the evening.
The sessions are livestreamed on our Facebook page. You can see yesterday's session here.
Check Out These Grades!

  • Fifty students
  • $340 donated
  • One centenarian
  • 6 amazing volunteers
  • And all of YOU!

For those who may not be familiar with the St. Francis Scholarship Outreach Program at St. Francis, the fund was started in 1998 by Mrs. Joni McIntyre, with the hopes of helping one student complete a college degree.
Fast forward to 2023, our fund has helped more than 50 students, some of which we have seen through 4 years of college earning their chosen degrees. Our total donations to deserving students is approaching $340,000. Our founder, Joni, is now almost 101½ and is still interested in our current activities and grateful that the fund has continued their work.
The Easter Bunny Needs You!!!
The Easter Bunny is back! All children are welcome to join us on Easter Sunday after the 10am service for an Easter Egg Hunt! Bring your camera so you can get photos with the Easter Bunny. And, bring your favorite Easter Basket to collect your eggs - we will also have bags available.

Easter Eggs wanted! Please help us prepare for our children's Easter Egg Hunt by donating candy filled, plastic eggs for the event. Please do not include any candy containing nuts. Eggs may be donated in the church office and we are asking if you can please turn them in by Sunday, April 10th. Thank you for helping us bring this fun event back to St. Francis!
Make a Dedication for A Loved One This Easter
As ever our church will look and sound triumphally joyful this Easter. You can make a donation in memory, or in thanksgiving for a loved one to help cover these costs. A sheet of all the dedications is printed and handed out with all our Easter Worship services. Be a part of it!
Meet Your Episcopal Neighbors at Stations of The South Bay 
Episcopalians from across the South Bay are joining together for the Stations of the Cross, which is a long-standing tradition in the wider church. Please come to others if you can, to meet your Episcopal neighbors, share our spiritual lives, and be in communion with one another.

Mar 17th, 6pm - St Andrews, Torrance
Mar 24th, 6pm - Christ Church, Redondo Beach
Mar 31st, 6pm - St Cross, Hermosa Beach


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!
IMPORTANT NOTE —Please continue to pray for Jill as she recovers from surgery. She is teaching on zoom for now. Please contact her for more.
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!