January 2021

 The Monthly Newsletter of 
St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church
689 Sugartown Road, Malvern, PA 19355
The Rev. Kevin Dellaria, Rector
The Rev. Diane E. Faison, Deacon 
Our Vision:  
We aspire to be a growing community, worshiping together, celebrating our diversity & lay ministries, and offering God's healing love to all people.
Our Mission: 
We seek to foster spiritual growth & renewal while spreading God's message of love, healing and peace.
Fade Out, Fade In

One of my favorite episodes of M.A.S.H. is the two-part episode "Fade Out, Fade In" that ended season 5, and ushered in season 6, with a "Major" transition (pardon the pun). As season 5 comes to a close, the ill-tempered Frank Burns (Larry Linville) finally cracks up over the marriage of his erstwhile lover, Margaret Hoolihan (Loretta Swit), to another man, leaving the 4077th in desperate need of a surgeon. As a result, Burns is replaced by the haughty and disdainful Charles Emerson Winchester (David Ogden Stiers), who feels overqualified (if underprepared) for his new and unexpected assignment. In terms of the show, the "fading out" of Burns and the "fading in" of Winchester is a welcome change. But it takes time for dynamics of the show to resettle, just as it does for Major Winchester. The show itself grows through the change and becomes better; a classic.

As I write this article for the January newsletter, it is still December, but with the stroke of midnight only a few hours away. Soon 2020 (in my mind, a very "Frank Burns" year) will "Fade Out" and 2021 will "Fade In". Everyone is looking forward to the turn of the calendar; to some kind of new start. Soaring in on the wings of the COVID vaccine, 2021 comes with so much hope and promise. Time to be together again; to be close to others without concern or suspicion. Time to fill the pews again. To sing and laugh together. Time to finally let Zoom rest a bit, and meet again around a table. I expect the show to pick up where it left off last March, before the episode ended and we entered the Great Pause between two seasons of life.

And that will happen, of course, over time. As immunity grows and people increasingly feel safe, much of the life we knew will slowly revive. We will return to in-person worship and fellowship; to restaurant dining and baseball games (yeah!) and dinner parties. Together, finally, we will mourn those we've lost, and together we will (hopefully) step into a post-virus future. But I must admit, that's a lot of pressure for the fledgling 2021. The expectations are high. The character change is desperately needed, for sure. But we need faith - and patience - to allow the show to change and grow for the better.

One of my favorite prayers in the Book of Common Prayer - used at Christmas time, and also at all ordinations - is a not-so-subtle nod to this "in-between time" that we currently inhabit, and to the workings of God during these times that can lead to new life. It's a reminder that when the old fades out, the people of God can have faith that the new, the vibrant, and the life-giving will mostly surely fade in. That God is with us - not just in presence, but in will and work as well. God is for us. No matter what we face in any given year, God is always on our side.

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquillity the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were being cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Be blessed, my friends, and welcome to 2021!

In the Faith of Jesus Christ,

Fr. Kevin+
For the calendar of events, please click the link below to the website.
Virtual Annual Meeting and Nominees for Office

The Annual Parish Meeting of St. Francis will be held on Sunday, January 31, following morning worship. The meeting will be held virtually. More information about how to participate will be sent in January.

We are very grateful for our outgoing Vestry members whose term will end at that meeting: Connie Scanga (Rector’s Warden, 2019-21), Mahala Renkey, and Sig Fleck. Each of these Vestry members have served two consecutive 3-year terms. We also give thanks for David Brooks, who served a one-year term as Deanery Representative and Convention Delegate.

Our new slate of nominees to Vestry is as follows: Jill Quinn (for a 2nd, 3-year term), Sue Lenkaitis, and Mike Burke. Our nominee to serve a new, 3-year term as Representative and Delegate is Ted Wingfield.

Blessings and praise to God for all the wonderful leaders in our parish!
Michael Burke - Mike and Kathy, his wife of 58 years, joined St. Francis in 2017, having been received into Episcopal Church in 2003. Previously they were Roman Catholics. Mike was a professor of history at Villanova (specialty in Latin America) where he also directed the Honors Program, led student learning experiences in Mexico, taught at Graterford prison, and initiated a Latinx outreach program.  In 2000, their children grown, they left Delaware County for southeast coastal North Carolina, where they carved out a very different life of volunteer work. Mike worked with undocumented immigrants, welfare moms, ex-felons, low-income adults seeking a college degree, and the uninsured in need of health insurance; Kathy worked with abused women, at a food bank, and at a free clinic.They returned to the Delaware Valley in 2017 to be closer to their sons. At St Francis Mike has been involved in adult education, the anti-racism committee, and serves as a reader.
Don Jenkins - Hello St Francis, my name is Don Jenkins. My wife, Eileen, and I joined the parish in August of 2019, just in time to receive a warm welcome, which has sustained us through the last crazy year. I am a cradle Episcopalian, and have served in various roles in my churches. I am currently serving as a lay reader at St. Francis.. Eileen and I raised our four children at Trinity Episcopal Church, Gulph Mills, where we were members for over 20 years. I am an emergency medicine physician. I enjoy hiking, mountain climbing and spending time with our ten month old grand-daughter.
Sue Lenkaitis - My family joined St. Francis over 10 years ago, when Mother Glynn baptized our three sons (Cade, Drew and Ryan). Since then, my husband, Mike, and I have loved our time at St. Francis and enjoyed watching our daughter, Bryn, and Ryan participate in the youth group and serve as acolytes. Currently, I am a member of the Circle of Friends, serve as an usher and am a member of the COVID-19 Safety Task Force. I live in West Chester and work full time as a communications consultant for the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. I enjoy reading, binging Netflix and podcasts and walking my dog, Crosby with Mike. I look forward to serving as a member of the Vestry.
Ted Wingfield - graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy Graduate in 1989 and was a submarine officer in the navy. He left the Navy and married Grace Wong in 1994. Ted worked engineering jobs for BOC Gases and PECO/Exelon Energy before starting with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2003. Ted and Grace have two daughters (Sarah & Emily) in college, live in East Goshen Township, and have been attending St. Francis since 2010.
Advent Food Collection

The food collection by the High School Youth Group was a great success! Thanks to all your donations we delivered 547 pounds of food and also $255 in monetary donations!

Thanks to Mahala Renkey and her son for their help delivering the food!

We look forward to our next project for the West Chester Food Cupboard during Lent.
The Outreach Committee again thanks the many caring St. Francis parishioners who supported the recent Backpack Project for Our Brothers’ Place in Philadelphia, continuing a tradition started over 25 years ago. Our parishioners’ generosity again provided a large volume of warm clothing and personal supplies. I feel very fortunate to be able meet and talk with some of those people directly impacted, and I want to pass along how truly grateful they are to receive these gifts.

Thank you very much! Jim Borum.

Virtual Coffee Hour
 Virtual Coffee Hour on Zoom 1st Sunday of the Month.
Join us at the link in the Friday email to check in with St. Francis of the Fields Community Members following the 10 AM Virtual Service. If the group is large enough we will break into smaller groups for a portion to make conversation easier.

Lectionary Bible Study

Lectionary Bible Study meets on Wednesdays at 10 am on Zoom to pray and discuss the readings for the following Sunday. The Zoom link is on the website, and is also sent out on a Constant Contact email to the congregation.   All are welcome.
Fellowship Committee

The Fellowship committee is wishing everyone a happy, healthy New Year! We can’t wait until the day we can safely enjoy each other’s company once again!
St. Clares Wreath and Poinsettia Sale - Thank You!

The St. Clares would like to thank the parish for your support of the Wreath & Poinsettia Sale in December. Thanks to your generosity, with the profits from the flower sale, St. Clares will be making donations of $500.00 each to three local charities:
  • West Chester Food Cupboard (
  • Friends Association for Care and Protection of Children (, which provides emergency shelter and prevention services for families facing homelessness or housing instability in Chester County
  • Community Volunteers in Medicine (, which provides free healthcare to uninsured, low-income families and individuals in the Chester County region
Thank you again for helping St. Clares help those in need in our community.
Phase II Renovations – Power Point Presentation

The Phase II Renovations Power Point Presentation is on the St. Francis website. Click Here to access.
Anti-Racism Committee
St. Francis is in the process of forming a parish Anti-Racism Committee.
The Anti-racism Committee at St. Francis will help support our church in its commitment to exposing the unfaithfulness and passiveness in ourselves that propagates exclusion and provides solace to unjust society. 
The committee will help develop and see through action steps to help us live more fully into the vows of our Baptismal Covenant to strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being. 
Any interested members of St. Francis should email Grace Wingfield to join. 
High School Youth Group
On Sunday, January 10 from 5 till 6:30 p.m. the High School Youth Group will meet at St. Francis.

All youth attending need to have permission from their parents/guardians to attend. They may send their permission to 

Don't forget your journal and your mask!

Deacon Diane
Book Group

Friday, January 15, 7:30

Educated, Tara Westover
This is the unforgettable memoir of a young woman who was born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her.
This book is a Chester County Library Book-club-in-a-bag. Elizabeth Pitt will pick up the books on December 7. Please contact her to make arrangements to pick up a copy. You can keep the book until our discussion in January and then return it to Elizabeth or the church office.
Friday, February 19, 7:30
The Daring Ladies of Lowell, Kate Alcott
Want to know more about us?

St. Francis-in-the-Fields is an active parish, even during COVID-19. For more information about our worship, outreach, and other ministries, visit our parish website, Our monthly parish newsletter, Fieldnotes, may be found by clicking HERE. Stay current on events by following our parish on Facebook.

Our Global Communion

St. Francis-in-the-Fields is a parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, a member of The Episcopal Church, and part of the worldwide Anglican Communion