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FIELDNOTES
June 2020  
 
The Monthly Newsletter of 
St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church
 
689 Sugartown Road, Malvern, PA 19355
The Rev. Kevin Dellaria, Rector
610-647-0130
stfrancisfields@stfrancisfields.org
stfrancisfields.org
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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.

** Worship at St. Francis during COVID-19**

Please note: In compliance with state restrictions, and under the guidance of the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, all public gatherings for  worship, administration, service and fellowship at St. Francis are currently suspended. During this time, however, we are using a number of available technologies to continue our worship, mission and ministry as a parish.
The Work of Re-Gathering for Worship
 
First of all, as we enter the third month of COVID-19 restrictions, I want to thank you for your continued prayers and support for our parish. Although these have been some of the strangest weeks many of us have experienced in our lifetime, the love and faithfulness of St. Francis has only continued to grow. Even in the midst of this time of separation, our faith community is strong. That being said, I am aware that questions continue to arise about when and how we will return to gathered worship.
 
As you are no doubt aware, returning to communal worship during the COVID-19 pandemic presents a number of challenges. Typical services are conducted in an enclosed space, limiting opportunities for social distancing, while congregational singing and other shared elements of worship elevate the risk of viral transmission. Additional areas of concern include traditional displays of greeting and affection (handshakes and hugs), and common use equipment from offering plates to prayer books to restrooms. When it comes to resuming common worship in our facility, all angles and aspects of worship must be considered, and our plans not only must incorporate the present situation, but also be made in the light of a possible resurgence of the virus at a later time.
 
For these reasons, the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania (DIOPA) has issued guidance to all constituent parishes regarding the re-opening process CLICK HERE. Each parish in the diocese must develop a plan for the safe conducting of worship, present that plan to the Bishop, and receive the Bishop's blessing for re-opening. To that end, a COVID-19 Safety Task Force is being assembled to oversee our re-opening. This committee will coordinate with the various areas of ministry to establish a reasonable level of safety for all worshippers and ensure our compliance with diocesan expectations.
 
At the present time, per DIOPA guidelines, resumption of gathered worship is not allowed until Sunday, June 14th (or possibly June 21st) at the earliest. On that date, per DIOPA, parishes may be allowed to re-open, presuming that those parishes have discerned it to be the proper time for their community, and have met all requirements and expectations of the diocese. That being said, many parishes in our diocese have already discerned any mid-June dates as being too soon for their congregation to re-gather, and those parishes will delay their opening for several additional weeks or months.
 
As I shared in my recent video, during our meeting on May 12, 2020, the Vestry of St. Francis discerned unanimously that the above "soft open" date was untenable for our congregation. While we understand that many members of our parish are anxious to return to our gathered life - including many members of our vestry - we also realize the risks invited by rushing to come together too soon. At our meeting in June, the Vestry will again consider dates for the resumption of public, gathered worship.
 
When we begin re-gathering for worship, we will do so safely and slowly, in accordance with all recommendations. It will be difficult and, at times, annoying or frustrating. I humbly ask for your patience. In these unusual times our re-entry must be thoughtful and cautious. Our Diocese, our Vestry and our COVID-19 Safety Task Force will lead the way, assessing and sharing best practices, overseeing implementation, and encouraging compliance. Then, together as a congregation, we will face and overcome this challenge, and be stronger in the future for the insights and faith we have gained.
 
In the coming weeks, as the Task Force does its work, you will learn more about the process of resuming public worship at St. Francis. In the meantime, here are a few examples of the particulars you can expect when that time comes, although some may be modified or expanded upon by the work of the Task Force. These are considered temporary, but could be in place for an extended period of time. The following list is not intended to be comprehensive:
 
  • Services will consist of no more than 25 people, and some form of "reservation" arrangement will be implemented. Depending on the need, multiple services may be offered throughout the week.
  • Physical distancing before, during, and after worship will be required.
  • Masks and hand-washing and/or sanitization will be required for all in attendance.
  • Pedestrian "traffic flow" will be monitored and regulated to increase space at common congestion points (entry doors, communion lines, etc.)
  • Music will be instrumental only. No congregational singing.
  • The physical worship space will be thoroughly disinfected between each service, with access to certain areas of the physical plant temporarily prohibited.
  • Contact tracing guidelines will be implemented. All records of those in attendance will be securely held, to be utilized only in the event of an outbreak.
  • Streaming worship services will continue to be a primary offering of worship.
  • Any future resurgence of infections could return us to the current (red) level restrictions for a period of time.
I fully realize that even this limited and inconclusive list of protocols may seem onerous. I assure you, no one desires to linger long in this mode of worship. However, as I said earlier, we must re-enter the practice of gathered worship cautiously, and we must consider the safety of everyone among us. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit," St. Paul encouraged the church in Philippi. "Rather, in humility value others above yourselves." 
 
It is with this spirit, then, that we will resume public worship at St. Francis. We will do it with a robust intellect, a loving heart, and firm resolve, and we will do it together, because St. Francis is one, strong body serving one, merciful and loving God. As you have questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to me or our Rector's Warden, Connie Scanga. It is the desire of everyone that we undertake this moment with the utmost care and sensibility. And as always, may we strive both together and apart to be "instruments of God's peace".
 
Faithfully, 
 
Fr. Kevin Dellaria
 
 

Our Graduates!!  Congratulations!!

Kathryn (Katie) Ackerman  
 
Katie will be graduating from Henderson High School in West Chester virtually June 3 and then hopefully in person on July 26. Katie received the West Chester Area School District Spellman Humanitarian Award  and the Mary A. Croll Scholarship. She will be attending Duquesne University majoring in Nursing.
 
 
 
 
Brian Damerau
 
Brian will graduate from Georgetown University, Washington, DC,  with a BS Degree in Physics.  He has been accepted into the PhD Physics program at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL beginning this fall.
 

 
 
 
 
Don E. Huggins, Jr.  
 
Don will graduate from Bayard Rustin High School and will attend West Chester University and major in Business. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Brett Kelly
 
Brett will graduate from Temple University with a BSN Nursing degree and is working at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bridget Katherine Morgenweck
     
Bridget graduated from the  Bellisario College of Communications at PENN STATE UNIVERSITY Main Campus with a B.A. in Advertising/Public Relations, a Minor in Psychology and a Minor in Global and International Studies.  She looks forward to starting her new job as an Allocation Analyst at TJX Companies main headquarters in Boston MA.

 
 
 
 
Ryan Vogel   
 
Ryan graduated from the University of Maryland on May 22, 2020, with a degree in Economics. He will be employed by AXA Advisors in Cherry Hill, NJ.

New Arrival!

Judy's and my oldest child, Katie, and her husband Rob, welcomed our first grandchild, Harrison James Rastetter. Birth date May 11, and they all arrived home on May 14.   All are doing very well.
 
David and Judy Culver

Project Shields - Thank You!
 
Thank you St Francis providing Philadelphia Catering's staff with some much needed work and for feeding the volunteers of Project SHIELDS.

"Virtual" Bible Study 
 
Lectionary Bible Study meets on Wednesdays mornings at 10:00 to pray and discuss the readings for the following Sunday. Anyone may attend.  Currently, the Bible Study is meeting remotely, using the parish GoToMeeting account. Watch for an email on Monday of Tuesday of each week with login information.

Library News

Need something to read?  With the libraries closed due to the pandemic, please remember that the church has a wonderful library with many books to choose from.  Please feel free to come over and check out a book.  Call Diane in the church office at 610-647-0130 or email at stfrancisfields@stfrancisfields.org to schedule a time to come over.   
 
Office hours are Monday thru Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  
 
We look forward to having you come over to choose a book or two!   
 
Happy Reading!!  



Vestry Update

The St. Francis-in-the-Fields Vestry met via Go-To-Meeting on May 12. Topics of discussion included:
  • Approval of a resolution to apply for a federal loan through the CARES Act / Paycheck Protection Plan. The Diocese has encouraged churches to apply for the loan.
  • Discussion of return-to-worship plans for our parish, with support from a detailed document prepared by the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.
  • Development of two new task force committees
    • COVID Safety Task Force to help with the safe preparation for our parish's return to in-person worship
    • Audio/Visual Task Force to support efforts to stream Worship services and other ministry programs.

Next Vestry Meeting
Tuesday, June 9 - 7 pm
Conference Call via GoToMeeting
Audio/Visual Task Force seeks new members and support
 
With the impact of stay-at-home orders during the COVID19 pandemic, the St. Francis Chancel has taken on a new role as TV studio for Fr. Kevin as he live-streams Worship services every Sunday. Additionally, prayer groups, committee meetings, fellowship events, religious education and church announcements are all taking place on platforms including GoToMeeting, Zoom, Facebook and YouTube. This transformation has taken place rapidly, and enables the St. Francis community to remain connected and vibrant during our physical separation.
 
Even when we begin lifting social-distancing regulations, the parish expects to continue streaming services and making a variety of parish ministries available remotely. A new task force has been initiated to explore this process. Improvements to our audio-visual technology are needed, and we strive to develop a broader reach through social media and streaming to connect with parishioners and visitors. Anyone with an interest and/or experience in the A/V field is encouraged to contact Fr. Kevin or Cindy Claffey. We value your expertise.

In addition, all parishioners who are on Facebook are encouraged to LIKE and FOLLOW the St. Francis page. Also SHARE the St. Francis Worship events and updates on your own Facebook page. Perhaps invite a friend to join a virtual service and see the blessings of our parish. In these simple ways, our blessings can reach a wider circle.

Zoom Coffee Hour

St. Francis Zoom
Coffee Hour was a go on Sunday, May 24! 

We had the following join us:

Barbara Pearse
Doug and Cindy Claffey
Ida Guckes
Karen Richards
Shirley Warren
Chris Pitt
Carol Estornell
Steve Castellan
Sharyn Huffman
John and Sandra Healey
Carol Cashon

We all joined together for a bit, then we went into two different rooms and Ted and Grace were able to zoom in and out of the groups. It was about an   hour  total and it was great to see everyone.

Grace & Ted will host again on Sunday, May 31!

Safety and Security Update
 
The Safety and Security Committee held a call in April and there are two updates that parishioners should be aware of:
 
1.    A combination lock box to secure the "hanging entry key" located at door #1 (parking lot entrance) was installed in April. To access the key, please contact the church office at 610-647-0130 for the lockbox combination code.
 

2.  Two Ring doorbell cameras were also installed in April, as a temporary safety measure until a permanent solution is implemented in the near future. One camera is installed on door #1 (parking lot entrance) and the other on door #4 (Narthex). Thank you.



Capital Campaign - Phase 2 Renovations
 
Phase 2 Renovations Update
 
As communicated in our May update, the committee met with the architecture firm Bernardon, and was waiting on a proposal outlining the scope and cost for their design services. As a reminder, Bernardon was the firm St. Francis utilized for our 2005 renovations. The committee has received their proposal and after review has unanimously agreed to move forward with executing a contract with them. A follow-up meeting to discuss several questions and finalize the agreement is slated for June 3. A critical next step is to select the general contractor who will oversee the renovations and obtain an estimate for the work we have prioritized for Phase 2.
 
As of the end of April, we have roughly $130 thousand available in the Capital Campaign account which represents about 25% of what is anticipated for 2020. Of course, this excludes the funds received last year which were used to pay off our two mortgages. We wish to thank those who have made payments, and request that you continue to fulfil them to the best of your ability in this challenging time.

Remote Giving

St. Francis continues to function during the pandemic, offering livestream worship, conference call meetings, online Bible studies and (physically distant) pastoral care. We continue to meet our financial commitments to our staff, our property and service providers, and the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. Keeping our parish connected and building our community however we can is a top priority. However, we also know that, during this crisis, many are facing unexpected financial challenges. 
 
If you can continue your pledge or regular giving during this period, it is much appreciated. If financial constraints make giving or maintaining your pledge a hardship for you or your family, that is completely understandable.
 
For giving, personal checks and online bank transactions are still accepted. Also, for your convenience, an online giving option is now on the front page of our website (stfrancisfields.com). Just look for the "Give" button toward the bottom of the page.
Circle of Friends
 
Circle of Friends is a  pastoral ministry of card-writing and encouragement that  meets  every 1st Wednesday
of each month. All supplies are provided. Anyone is invited to participate. During this period of physical distancing, "The Circle" is meeting remotely, preparing notes from the safety of home. Thank you to everyone who shares in this ministry.
Thank You from Karen Greene
 
"Recent life has been so hard, and I'm only now beginning to come out of the shock of Dick's terrible accident and subsequent passing to eternal life April 23rd.  Your beautiful cards and kind words of condolence are a source of great comfort to me as I march through the grieving process. Some of your references to our St Francis wedding in February of 2000 have even brought a smile or chuckle! 
 
I thank each of you for your support and besides your messages of sympathy, I am incredibly grateful for your offers of assistance: i.e. food deliveries, telephone calls, errand help and all the strangeness that the pandemic has brought forth for high risk persons like myself. I wouldn't be getting through this painful time without your help. 
 
Again, thank you so much for your support. You have given me much comfort during a very painful time of my life and for that I will be eternally grateful.  
 
In peace and love,
Karen"

Hibernation Happy Half Hour

June 4H - Hibernation Happy Half Hour!
The next Hibernation Happy Half Hour  is scheduled for Saturday, June 27at 5:30 pm.
If you are interested:
  • Email Sharon Fernandes BY May 8!
  • Indicate if you would like to be the host or a participant.
  • On the day of your 4H Club Meeting, grab a drink and appetizer, connect to the meeting and ENJOY!
You can set up Zoom ahead of time on your phone, iPad, or computer, or just click on the link that your Host sends you right before the 4H Club time. You will need a camera on your device to see the other people in the meeting. Otherwise you could just use the audio function.
 
Go to Zoom to join.
  • You can see daily live demos: Live Demos
  • How to join a meeting: Join
  • The only challenge is that is does not work well with Windows 7 or earlier
  • Google Chrome is the best browser to use for Zoom
 
  
Primary Election

Our Pennsylvania Primary election is
Tuesday, June 2.

Donations Needed!
 
The West Chester Food Cupboard has had to drastically reduce the amount of food they are able to give people.  They are in need of any and all food donations.  Monetary donations are probably the best right now so that they can reduce any contact.
 
Here is contact information for the West Chester Food Cupboard:
 
431 S. Bolmar St., West Chester, PA  19382
610-344-3175
wcfood@gmail.com 

Altar Flowers

Did you know that you can dedicate the Sunday Altar Flowers in honor of a friend or family member, in remembrance of a loved one, or for some other special recognition? Altar Flower dedications are just $50.00, and helps provide a fresh arrangement each week. The form for dedicating Altar Flowers can be found on our parish website at: https://stfrancisfields.com/wp-content/uploads/Altar-Flowers-Dedication-form.jpg

New Email Address!

The parish office at St. Francis-in-the-Fields now has a new email address.  Please start using this email when contacting the church office.  The old one will be phased out.

New email address:    stfrancisfields@stfrancisfields.org
The Dellaria Family Has Moved!

Please make a note of the new address for Fr. Kevin, Donna, and the kids:

303 Weatherstone Dr.
Paoli, PA 19301

Phone numbers have not changed.
Fieldnotes Deadline - July

The deadline for the July Fieldnotes is  
Monday, June 22, 2020!
Calendar

For the calendar of events, please click the link below to the website.

St. Francis-in-the-Fields Calendar