FIELDNOTES
March 2022

 The Monthly Newsletter of 
St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church
Malvern, Pennsylvania

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.
What is “Membership” in the Episcopal Church?
“Membership” in a faith community can mean different things to different people, and may even differ in definition from one Christian denomination and another. Some people may consider themselves “members” of a parish or church if they are actively involved, make a donation, or attend worship regularly. Others may consider themselves “members” if they were active many years ago and have not been active in another church since. Some may consider themselves “members” of the church they were baptized in, even if they last attended worship as a child. To a certain extent, all of the above may be true, and, in terms of day-to-day interaction, the word “member” may generally be used to describe someone associated with a parish at any level. That said, in the Episcopal Church there are formal uses of the terms “member” and “membership” that have both important meaning and surprising benefits. 

In short, being a formal “member” of an Episcopal Church means that the associated parish has a record of an individual’s commitment to the Christian faith and community, and that individual is recorded in the official Parish Register of the congregation (a.k.a., “The Big Green Book”). This generally happens through either the act of water baptism, or by the transfer of membership from another congregation. Those persons recorded in the Parish Register are then considered “Baptized Members” of the congregation. This status is not conveyed automatically, however, for reasons of attendance, participation, or donation. (Note: The baptism of children in an Episcopal Church conveys membership on the one being baptized, but it does not automatically convey membership status to the parents.)

In addition to the benefits of full community participation and commitment, formal membership in a parish also means that certain “rites of passage” are officially recorded in the parish, and can be referred to in the future, as needed, for any number of reasons. Births, baptism dates, confirmations, weddings, dates of death and places of burial - for official members, all of these are kept on file in perpetuity, and can be cited for genealogical work, legal issues, family histories, or to ease the process of entering another congregation.

It does occasionally happen that an individual or family that is active and involved in the parish has not been recorded properly. There are a number of reasons why this can happen, some being more common than others. Over the coming weeks, St. Francis will be undertaking an audit of our Parish Register to correct any noticeable errors or omissions that may have happened through the years. Don’t worry! Any errors or omissions we find will have no negative impact on your relation to St. Francis. It is simply a matter of making our records match the reality of our congregation. 

Although becoming an official “member” of a congregation like St. Francis may seem complicated or unnecessary, ultimately it connects the individual and the parish in ways that go far beyond books and paper, and benefits both parties. If you attend St. Francis, but have not taken steps to join as an official member, you are still a valued part of our community. But we do hope you will consider contacting the office to start the process of having your records transferred to our community, and your name recorded in our register. And if you haven’t been baptized, please let Fr. Kevin know so we can make plans. Easter Sunday is a great day for baptisms!

For more information, please see the article in the “About” section of our website.

Fr. Kevin
Ash Wednesday – March 2

Ash Wednesday services will be at 11:15 am and 7 pm. 

The 7 pm service will be live streamed on Facebook and YouTube. 
Sabbatical Planning Committee - Purpose: Help guide the development of Rector and Congregational Sabbatical plans; communicate those plans effectively and transparently with the congregation; prepare the congregation for the Rector’s time away and assist in applying for grants and other financial resources to help fund the Sabbatical for both Rector and Congregation.
 
Dear St. Francis Family:

Hopefully by the time you are reading this Fieldnotes update, you have had the opportunity to read Fr. Kevin’s Sabbatical announcement letter along with the Frequently Answered Sabbatical Questions (FASQ’s) and was able to attend one of the three education sessions. Here is the link to the announcement letter for your convenience: CLICK HERE

Please plan on joining us on Sunday, May 1st at 11:30AM (light lunch will be provided) for an in-person conversation on Sabbatical with The Rev. Canon Arlette Benoit Joseph. Part of her responsibilities at the Diocese is Sabbatical education.

Going forward, the Committee will use this Sabbatical Newsletter for frequent communication with our church family. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Fr. Kevin directly, a member of the Vestry or a member of the Sabbatical Planning Committee.

Thank you.
 
Sabbatical Planning Committee Members: Jane Brooks, Mike Burke, Don Jenkins, Fr. Kevin, Nancy Needhammer, Joe Perry, Jill Quinn, John Woodcock (Pastoral Consultant) and Shirley Warren (Chair).
Lenten Rector's Study: Braving the Wilderness
7-Weeks, beginning Sunday, March 6
(ending Easter week)
 
Do you ever feel isolated or alone? In one of the great ironies of our age, we are more connected than ever before, and yet the sense of disconnect and loneliness is pervasive and growing. Meanwhile, political rancor and cultural subdivisions have only worsened the problem. To find our way out, we need to find ourselves again, and learn how to truly and fully bring those selves into the practice of community. Throughout the season of Lent, Fr. Kevin will lead a two-part, weekly discussion of this topic using Social Scientist and Episcopalian Dr. Brenè Brown's (PhD, LMSW) book, Braving the Wilderness (2017).
 
From the cover: "[Brown] ... has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives - experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame and empathy. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarisation. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping out a clear path to true belonging. Brown argues that what we're experiencing today is a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other.
 
Class will be held in two-parts: Part 1) On Sunday mornings, from 9:00 to 9:30, Fr. Kevin will offer an in-person and virtual ("hybrid") introduction to the chapter assigned for the week using biblical themes and illustrations. Part 2) Fr. Kevin will lead one or more 1-hour, virtual discussion groups, using questions and ideas from the chapter assigned for that week.
 
Pre-registration is not required to attend. However, Fr. Kevin needs to know how to construct the weekly discussion groups. So if you plan to be part of this Lenten study: #1.) Please order the book in advance. #2.) Please let Fr. Kevin know that you would like to participate by emailing or calling. Exact times for the virtual discussion sessions will be decided based on responses. For more information on Dr. Brown and her work, visit: brenebrown.com.
Supporting Humanitarian Response to the Crisis in Ukraine
 
Episcopal Relief & Development is mobilizing with Anglican agencies and other partners in order to provide humanitarian assistance to people fleeing the violence in Ukraine. 
 
Working through the Action by Churches Together Alliance  Episcopal Relief & Development will provide cash, blankets, hygiene supplies and other needed assistance.
 
“Ecumenical and orthodox faith networks are on the ground in the border areas of Poland and Hungary,” said Abagail Nelson, Executive Vice President, Episcopal Relief & Development. “We will continue to coordinate with these networks, in order to meet the needs of people who have been displaced.”
 
Please pray for all those affected. Donations to Episcopal Relief & Development’s International Disaster Response Fund will provide humanitarian assistance for the crisis in Ukraine.
 
For over 80 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for close to 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.
Episcopal Relief & Development

The work of Episcopal Relief & Development with Anglican and Ecumenical partners creates sustainable, transformational change in close to 3 million lives around the world each year.

This year, the Lenten Meditations will focus on that transformation. These reflections are organized into Episcopal Relief & Development’s priorities: Women, Children and Climate, and include a focus on their Disaster Resilience & Response work. Episcopal Relief & Development invites you to read them throughout Lent and share with those close to you. As a part of their goal to become a carbon-neutral organization, Lenten Meditations are now delivered only via email and as downloadable PDFs. CLICK HERE

They hope that the 2022 Lenten Meditations will give you a glimpse into their meaningful work happening across the globe. May we continue to work together for lasting change in the lives of those most vulnerable.
Youth Group - Lenten Discipline

During Lent the Youth Group will be collecting items for the Thistle Hills house in Coatesville sponsored by Trinity Episcopal Church, Coatesville. Please be as generous as you can. Since the need is great, delivery will be once a week after Sunday and collections will continue until Palm Sunday. Donations will continue after Palm Sunday and delivery will be once a month.

Thank you very much from the Youth Group of St. Francis-in-the-Fields. All donations are greatly appreciated!
Easter Flowers

Flowers to decorate the church for Easter in memory/thanksgiving/celebration of a person or event are available for a donation of $30.

You can find the form in the Narthex of the church, on the website or by calling the church office at 610-647-0130.

The deadline for the donation and the form is Friday, April 1, 2022.
Calendar
 
For the calendar of events, please click the link below to the website.
Oblation Bearers Needed!

The role of Oblation Bearer is brief, simple, and important: they bring the offerings of wine and bread to the Altar before Eucharist. A sign-up sheet to serve as OB is in the Narthex, along with printed instructions. When your Sunday comes, the Ushers will be glad to guide you in this quick, simple, but important moment in our worship service. Please consider signing up for an upcoming Sunday.
Fellowship

The Fellowship committee is looking for additional people to help plan social events for the church over the next year. If you’re interested,

Please contact Suzanne Steinberg at 610-608-0830 or suzberg831@comcast.net.
Refugee & Immigration Ministry

St. Francis has established its first team to serve with Nationalities Service Center (NSC) in setting up a home for Afghan Refugee families in NE Philadelphia. More teams, and more opportunities, will arise in coming months. Additionally, St. Francis is developing a hands-on ministry option based out of St. John’s Episcopal in Norristown. If you are interested in our growing ministry of welcome toward refugees and immigrants, please let Fr. Kevin know so you can be placed on the distribution list.
Dear St. Francis Family,

Our brother in Christ, Theodore "Ted" Snowe died on December 5, 2021. The funeral will be at St. Francis-in-the-Fields, Malvern on Saturday, March 26, 2022 at 11 am.

The service will be followed by a luncheon in the parish hall.

May Ted's soul, and the souls of all our beloved departed, through the mercies of God, rest in peace and rise in glory.

Fr. Kevin+
Book Group

Friday, April 8, 7:30
Please note this is the second Friday

The Hope of Glory:Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross, by Jon Meacham.

Last month we watched a video of Jon Meacham’s interview with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. We will follow with this book by Meacham. A good lead up to Easter.
 
A former vestryman of Trinity Church Wall Street and St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, Meacham delves into that intersection of faith and history in this meditation on the seven phrases Jesus spoke from the cross.
Beginning with “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” and ending with “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,” Meacham captures for the reader how these words epitomize Jesus’s message of love, not hate; grace, not rage; and, rather than vengeance, extraordinary mercy. For each saying, Meacham composes an essay on the origins of Christianity and how Jesus’s final words created a foundation for oral and written traditions that upended the very order of the world.
Writing in a tone more intimate than any of his previous works, Jon Meacham returns us to the moment that transformed Jesus from a historical figure into the proclaimed Son of God, worshiped by billions.
 
Friday, May 20, 7:30
The Giver of Stars, by Jojo Moyes
Based on a true story, this is a novel set in the depression of a woman who becomes one of the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.
Community Community Community!

As Father Kevin noted during the Annual Meeting, we know that so many of you are regularly out in the world doing God's work.  

Whether or not your work is formally related to a particular St Francis ministry, your good work makes up part of who YOU are, and YOU make up a part of who WE are! Most importantly, WE make up part of the BODY OF CHRIST.

IWC would love to share your work on the St Francis Facebook and Instagram pages. Please consider allowing us to briefly interview you - or if you prefer, write a little summary yourself. We would love to accompany the post with a photo of you doing your stuff, but that is not necessary. Did you see the photo of 4 lasagnas posted before the snowstorm?

Any questions? Contact Eileen Jenkins (610)639-8721 or eileenjenk@gmail.com
And please, don't forget to like, love and share liberally!
Circle of Friends

Circle of Friends is a pastoral care ministry of note writing (birthday, get well, thank you, encouragement, etc.)

The Circle of Friends will meet in person on Wednesday, March 23 at 6:30 pm. We hope you will join us!

For more information please contact Sherri Lewis.
Letters for Rose

Letters for Rose is a volunteer opportunity to bring cheer to residents in retirement communities, and a special project of Sophia Schnackenberg, one of our St. Francis youth.

A collection box is near the Letters for Rose poster in the narthex and collections will continue through spring 2022.

 Letters for Rose is not associated with Circle of Friends, the note-writing ministry of St. Francis.

More information can be found at lettersforrose.org.
Lectionary Bible Study

Lectionary Bible Study meet on Wednesdays at 10 am to pray and discuss the readings for the following Sunday.

The Bible Study is both in-person and virtual. To join virtually, see the weekly email link.
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.

St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church
689 Sugartown Road
Malvern, PA 19355
610-647-0130
stfrancisfields@stfrancisfields.org
stfrancisfields.org

The Rev. Kevin Dellaria, Rector
The Rev. Diane E. Faison, Deacon & Parish Administrator
Mr. Joe Perry, Music Director

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