FIELDNOTES
March 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 
Mr. Joe Perry, Music Director
610-647-0130
stfrancisfields@stfrancisfields.org
stfrancisfields.org

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.
Melting Away
 
A little over two hours ago, Diane and I walked outside to share in our Wednesday “drive-in” Eucharist with a handful of other members of St. Francis. The day was glorious. Snow lay all around us, some of it piled up three and four feet high from these last few eventful weeks. But the weather was stunning: comfortable in the low-50’s, with clear skies and sunshine pouring down. The sound of melting snow rushing through the gutters and dripping from the roof of the church was an orchestra; a reminder that whatever else may come our way, spring cannot be stopped.

As March rolls around, a similar, long-awaited hope is all around us. Viral infection rates are dropping. Vaccines are (slowly, but surely) making their way into the community. Excitement is building that this heart-wrenching global nightmare might finally be reaching an important and positive turning point. The end may very well be in sight.

In this moment of our lives, I’m reminded of the faith of Abraham and Sarah, part of whose story we read this Sunday (Lent 2). No doubt, theirs was itself a long journey of hope and trust. They left their home, their people, to travel to an unknown land they were promised by a God they had hardly met. They left behind the comfortable, to pursue the strange, the new, the incredible.

But the promises of God were not just to Abraham and Sarah. They were also to their children, and to their grandchildren, and to the many generations which followed. (Genesis 17). And what wild generations they were! If the Hebrew Scriptures tell us anything, it’s that the family of Abraham went through even more crazy, scary times. Despite all that, however, the family of Abraham always retained its hope. Even today - after centuries of trauma - our Jewish brothers and sisters still retain the hope of that original covenant God made with Abraham and Sarah.

Why do I share this image? Because hope is intrinsic to those who follow Abraham’s example of faith (Romans 4). The expectation of spring is in our religious DNA. And so it is, in this moment, after these many, long months of COVID. There has been pain and suffering, loss and loneliness. It has been a long journey through a strange and forbidding land. And yet, if we look around and consider the signs, we can appreciate this orchestral moment of the thaw. The virus is melting around us. It is not immediate, and our joy should be cautious. There is more work to be done, and we must continue to be both wise and diligent for everyone’s protection. But we have walked together through these difficult times and we are moving forward - stepping out to see what new adventures await us in Jesus Christ.

Praise God, our sojourn in this strange land seems to be nearing its end. 
 
Blessings to everyone. Stay safe. Love your neighbor.

Fr. Kevin+
COVID/Re-opening Update
and Holy Week Information

Currently, St. Francis is continuing to offer streaming-worship only on Sunday mornings, with Holy Eucharist offered on Wednesdays at Noon and select Sundays. The COVID Safety Task Force is scheduled to meet Monday, March 1st. Any changes to the current schedule decided at that meeting (i.e., information about reopening, etc.) will be announced as soon as possible. The schedule and plan for Holy Week services will also be finalized and publicized once an overall plan for the next several weeks is in place. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. - Fr. Kevin+

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

Our triennial visit from the diocesan Bishop, the Right Reverend Daniel G. P. Gutierrez, is scheduled for Sunday, March 7. This year, the visit will completely virtual.

The Virtual Visitation will take place over two Zoom sessions. The first, starting at 1:00pm is for the whole parish and can be described as being a time of discussion with the Bishop. This will last one hour. 

After a short break the Bishop will then meet with the wardens and the vestry, beginning around 2:00pm. The wardens and members of the vestry should attend both meetings.

Zoom links will be sent out a few days prior to the visitation. All members and attendees of St. Francis are invited and encouraged to attend.
Time Change!

Don't forget to move your clock one hour forward before you go to bed on Saturday, March 13. Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 14. Spring Forward!!
Virtual Hands Only CPR

 
By learning Hands-Only CPR (CPR without mouth breathing), you can increase confidence and reduce hesitation in life-saving situations. This training also includes education on early heart attack signs and symptoms.

Forward Day by Day

The Forward Day by Day devotionals for February, March and April 2021 are available.  

Forward Day by Day is still available in regular or large print. Please email the church office at stfrancisfields@stfrancisfields.org if you would like to have one mailed to you, and please specify what size you need.
 
You may also stop by the church to pick up a copy. They will be on the table by the stairs in the Narthex. 

There are also several options for receiving Forward Day by Day directly via email, Facebook, etc., may be found by clicking HERE

The Daily Prayer and Meditation may also be read on-line by clicking HERE.

God's Peace,

Diane and Fr. Kevin
Drive-In Eucharist

Drive-In Eucharist is offered on Wednesdays at Noon and Sundays when the High School Youth Group meet. To be part of this short service, simply park in the St. Francis parking lot, stay in your car, and tune your radio to 92.7 FM. A bulletin will be provided to follow the service, and Fr. Kevin and/or Diane will bring communion to your car. All services are subject to weather.
Phase 2 Renovations Update
 
Things are really starting to take shape with our upcoming renovations!  Warfel, our construction manager, plans to begin work the last week of March and finish up in the middle of June. Our design sub-committee has finalized selections for our flooring styles and cabinet finishes, and are now busily deciding upon wall and trim colors. We recently designated two of our P2 committee members with responsibility for organizing plans to store various items that temporarily must be moved during construction. Within the next few weeks, keep on the lookout for an announcement regarding a work weekend to clean out impacted areas and transfer items to a storage pod we will be renting. The exception is library books, which will remain inside the church. We need your help with this effort!
From a financial standpoint, 2021 is off to a great start. Our pledge goal for this year is $122,350. In January, we already received over $29,400 in payments! St. Francis is incredibly blessed with your generosity and commitment to our much-needed renovations!
If you have any questions about Phase 2, feel free to contact Connie Scanga at 610-996-7057 or cbscanga@gmail.com
High School Youth Group
West Chester Food Cupboard Collection

Please support the High School Youth Group with this endeavor. The need is great and any donation would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Diane if you have any questions at 610-647-0130 or 610-420-2674. You can also email Diane at coachfaison@hotmail.com.
St. Francis-in-the-Fields
Library News!

Our library is open and ready for you to check out books!! New books have been purchased and are ready to be checked out! Mondays are new book previews by email!

Office hours are Monday thru Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you can't come by between those hours, please call the office at 610-647-0131 and arrangements can be made!

Happy reading!
Virtual Coffee Hour
 
 Virtual Coffee Hour on Zoom 1st Sunday of the Month.
 
Join us at the link below 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.
 
 
Meeting ID: 837 112 1983
Passcode: 323860
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, www.stfrancisfields.com and is also sent out on a Constant Contact email to the congregation.   All are welcome.
High School Youth Group
 
The HS Youth Group will meet Sundays, March 7 and March 21 from 5 till 6:30 p.m. The High School Youth Group will meet in the parish hall. The meeting will be preceded by Holy Eucharist in the parking lot at 5 pm. All are invited to join us for Holy Eucharist.

Don't forget your journal and your mask!

Blessings
Deacon Diane
Book Group
 
Friday, March 19, 7:30
Garden of Beasts: A Novel of Berlin 1936, 
by Jeffery Deaver

Paul Schumann, a German American living in New York City in 1936, is a mobster hitman known as much for his brilliant tactics as for taking only "righteous" assignments. When he gets caught, the arresting officer offers him a stark choice: prison or covert government service. Paul is asked to pose as a journalist covering the summer Olympics taking place in Berlin. He's to hunt down and kill Reinhard Ernst — the ruthless architect of Hitler's clandestine rearmament. If successful, Paul will be pardoned; if he refuses, his fate will be Sing Sing and the electric chair.
 
Garden of Beasts is packed with fascinating period detail and features a cast of perfectly realized locals, Olympic athletes and senior Nazi officials — some real, some fictional. 
 
The discussion will be held on Zoom. Please join us at the link below.
 
Meeting ID: 861 4395 8423
Passcode: cP6Ac8

**************************************
 
Friday, April 16, 7:30
A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope, by Tom Broka
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, www.stfrancisfields.com.
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, www.stfrancisfields.org. 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