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November 2020  
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 
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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.

A Note from Solitude
This past week, I undertook a long-awaited private retreat in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania. The countryside, as you can imagine, was stunning. All the colors of autumn were on display, and the cool, cloudy, rainy weather gave just the ambience I want for personal solitude. A good book, a cup of tea, a cozy fire - and silence. The kind of silence that allows a person to listen. The kind of silence that comes when all the busy things in life are set aside for a time, and there is just you, teasing out as much as you can those inner whispers that are too long neglected.
It's a funny thing for me about this kind of retreat: I always over pack and over plan. I claim the need for solitude, but before now that has always meant making more room for the usual things. I tend to bring my world with me - a list of things to "accomplish" - and then I feel harried because there is so much to do, and guilty because I lack the time to do it all. But not this time. This time that inability to shut down, to actually "retreat", became part of the lesson itself. For once, I let it all go. (It took a few hours, to be honest.)  I dumped every expectation, and discarded every creeping mental to-do list. I gave myself permission to simply "be" with God. And when the cacophony of demanding inner voices settled down, when every notion of effort was silent, I heard one gentle, inner whisper over and over:
"You are wonderfully made and unconditionally loved."
It will be November when most of you read this, with a contentious election in only a few days, followed by weeks of media dissection and post-election drama. Then Thanksgiving rolls around, giving way to Advent, and the final descent toward Christmas. Even in this year of COVID - or perhaps I should say, "especially" in this year of COVID - there will be no shortage of voices vying for our attention. The mental clutter might be hard to cut through; expectations on ourselves - even religious expectations - can be unreasonable.
So if there is one message I would want to give you for these next couple of months; one simple mantra to return to, again and again, whatever life may bring, it would be those whispered words of the Holy Spirit that floated to me on cool, autumn winds and brought peace to my soul:
"You are wonderfully made and unconditionally loved."
Be blessed this month.
Fr. Kevin+


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

St. Francis-in-the-Fields Calendar 

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
Pledge Drive 2021
Even during this time of new and different ways of living, the care, love and work of our parish continues, and so does the need for all of our members to continue their support of our ministry. Pledges are necessary to support the members and work of our St. Francis community.
Please make your pledge for the 2021 year by returning your completed pledge card or sending an email to St. Francis stating your pledge. See below for details.
Thank you for taking the time to consider and make your pledge. We appreciate you and we are in this together!
This year, we offer two options for making your pledge:
  1. Traditional: Fill in the pledge card that was mailed to you at your earliest convenience and return it to the parish using the enclosed, stamped envelope.
  2. Electronic: Send an email to In your message, please give your full name and that of your spouse, indicate the full amount of your pledge, and your chosen giving recurrence. For example: "John and Ernestine Smith pledge $_______ to St. Francis for 2021. We will give monthly, in the amount of $ _______. This email address is secure and confidential, and is monitored by the Assistant Accounting Warden for receipt of pledges only.

Phase II - Update
The Phase 2 committee has been busy at work with Bernardon (Architect) and Warfel (Construction Manager) in confirming our scope and budget, as well as developing a preliminary timeline for our renovations. We are at a point with this exciting project where we would like to share more details with you than this article will allow.

Please mark your calendars for November 18 to virtually attend via Zoom one of two Information Sessions (4 to 5 pm or 7 to 8 pm). Your P2 Committee will provide an overview of the planned renovations, the proposed timeline, and entertain any questions you may have. Details will be sent out before these scheduled meetings so look for them in the weekly announcements.
From a financial standpoint, as of September 30, we have received $89,869 in Capital Campaign pledges out of $171,700 expected in 2020 (in other words 52%).   We urge you to keep up with your payments to the extent you are able, and are most grateful for what's been received thus far.

St. Clares Wreath and Poinsettia Sale
It's time again for the St. Clares Wreath and Poinsettia Sale!

Check your email for an order form or find an order form on the home page of the church website under "For Members." All the proceeds from the fundraiser go to parish needs or community outreach projects.

Orders can be mailed to the church. Checks should be made payable to St. Francis-in-the-Fields with the notation "St. Clares Flower Sale" on the memo line. Or you can pay for your order online using the church's page on the website - search for St. Francis-in-the-Fields in Malvern, PA on and then select "St. Clares Flower Sale."
Orders must be returned with payment by November 9, 2020.

Your purchase will be available Saturday, December 5 between 9 and 10:30 am. This year we will be having a drive-through pick-up in the parking lot at the back of the Parish Hall. Stay in your car and we will bring your order out to you!
Any questions, please contact Carolyn Grillo or Susan Callahan.
If you are in need of an order form please contact the office at 610-647-0130. 

Vestry & Deanery/Deputies to Diocesan Convention

Each year at the annual meeting the parish votes for new Vestry members and Delegates to Deanery/Deputies to Diocesan Convention.  All are elected to fill 3-year terms.   
This year we will need to elect 3 new Vestry members and 2 new Deanery/Convention delegates.  The Vestry Nominating Committee is seeking interested parishioners to fill these positions.   
f you would like to know more about either role or you want to nominate yourself or someone else, please contact Connie Scanga, Rector's Warden.

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. 

Howard Thurman's classic work,
Jesus and the Disinherited
A source of profound wisdom and challenging theological insight, Howard Thurman stands as one of the great philosophical mentors of the Civil Rights Movement.
Disinherited is intelligent and penetrating, but it is also relatively short (132 pages) and accessible. The book is listed as one of the primary texts in the "Sacred Ground" anti-racism program of The Episcopal Church. Thursdays, 1 - 2 p.m. in the Courtyard.  
This is an in-person discussion group. We will run the discussion for 4 or 5 sessions. In inclement weather, we will meet in the Narthex, practice social distancing and provide fresh air flow. Chairs will be provided. Please bring a mask.

High School Youth Group

On Sunday, November 1 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 mask!


Deacon Diane
Book Group

Friday, November 20, 7:30 pm

The Sound and the Furry, Spencer Quinn
Chet and Bernie, the best canine/human P.I. team in the business, encounter a prison work crew that includes Frenchie Boutette, an old pal they sent up the river. Frenchie begs Bernie to go find his brother Ralph, a reclusive inventor who has disappeared from the bayou.
In bayou country, Chet and Bernie meet the no-good Boutette family and their ancient enemies, the maybe-even-worse Robideaus. At first it looks like Ralph's disappearance is tied to a dispute between the two families over a load of stolen shrimp. But Chet turns up a buried clue that sends them in a new and dangerous direction involving the oil business. The more they find out about Ralph and what he knew, the less their chances of surviving to do anything about it.
This will be a virtual discussion.  
Topic: Zoom Meeting
Time: Nov 20, 2020 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 962 7010 2944
Passcode: 007017
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There is no discussion group in December.
The Book for January is Educated by Tara Westover.
This book is available as a Chester County Library Book-club-in-a-bag.  
Please contact Elizabeth Pitt in December to arrange to pick up a copy.

Safety & Security Committee - Update

In the April Safety and Security Committee update, we reported that after two years of working with PA Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), which is under the umbrella of Homeland Security, the church submitted a Nonprofit Security Grant in March. The grant is specific to nonprofit organizations who are at high risk of terrorist attack.
After several months of waiting through a very competitive and rigorous process, St. Francis Church was notified in July that we were awarded a $60,000 grant. The grant will be used to addressed recommendations and best practices outlined in the Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Study conducted by PA State Police Department in July 2019.
The specific recommendations and best practices we will be addressing are as follows:
  1. Replacement of door #1 (main door) and door #4 (Narthex)
  2. Installation of outside perimeter cameras
  3. Electronic keyless access control system
  4. Additional lighting - outside perimeter of the building
A total amount of $1.9M was awarded to thirty Houses of Worship in Pennsylvania and St. Francis Church was the only awardee in Chester County. We are extremely pleased since this is our first time applying.
We are currently in the process of completing the paperwork required by the Federal government. As soon we get the green light to start the project, the work will be integrated as part of the Phase 2 overall project.
Safety and Security Committee

Pickleball at St. Francis-in-the-Fields

Come one, come all,
Let's play Pickleball!
Pickleball is held in the back parking lot at St. Francis. All are invited!  Check the weekly Parish News email for day and time.
For more information please contact Suzanne Steinberg.

Changes in the Cemetery in 2020

This year saw some aesthetic changes in the cemetery related to landscaping and hardscapes. The cemetery was created in 1970 and was laid out with 394 plots designed for casket burials. The cemetery was landscaped in 1972. Trees grow up and old and we had to remove 11 dead Blue Spruce Trees along the fence line with our neighbor this spring. In addition, PECO removed three large and dying Pin Oak trees along Sugartown Road as they installed new poles and electrical grid. The good news is that PECO removed the trees and we did not have pay for those removals but will have the stumps ground. We do need to restore the landscaping around the cemetery and grounds.

In 1995 the church designated a special Columbarium section for cremated remains. At the same time the church created a center memorial space, a cross, an altar and a Serenity bench under a pergola. Twenty-five years later, the wooden pergola had deteriorated. The Vestry approved replacement of the pergola this summer and the work was completed this fall. From working in the vegetable gardens and on the landscaping in the cemetery, I have been surprised by the number of people who come and spend time in the cemetery to honor those here. The latest funeral was October 24 for David Rowland, and his son mentioned how nice it is to be able to drive by on the way to work and remember his dad.

If you have questions about the cemetery and would like to talk and walk the cemetery, please contact me. 

Mahala Renkey

Vegetable Garden Bounty 2020

The raised bed gardens started in 2009 as an idea formed by the Bible Study Group. The garden was created with materials such as wood for the six raised beds, soil, and importantly, fencing from The Chester County Food Bank.

Our county is one of the few with this type of emphasis and action to feed those in need. More information may be gained at

We have 6 raised beds and our goal is to have three crops per bed per season. We start in April with seeds and seedlings provided by the Chester County Food Bank farm several times in the growing season. Because of the pandemic, we began the year by taking fresh produce to the weekly food cupboard at The Church of the Good Samaritan in Paoli. Then the West Chester Food Cupboard opened again and we went back to taking food there.

This year we harvested and delivered over 400 pounds of produce ready for people to take home and use. So what do we grow and harvest: radishes, lettuces, parsley, white turnips, spinach, green beans, golden beets, broccoli, scallions, snap peas, cucumbers, basil, collard greens, snap peas, and lots and lots of different kinds of peppers.

We meet once a week in the garden, and we time our work days to harvest days to deliver food FRESH to the Food Cupboard. Mary Wong has been our faithful waterer this season, and it does make a difference. Lynd Meyer, Esther Underhill, Mary Wong and Mahala Renkey are the steady crew with help from Laura Petersen and Jill Quinn too. This ministry gives a lot of joy and companionship and we welcome anyone. We have maintained safe social distancing as we move around the 6 raised beds and wear masks. It is now time to put the garden beds to rest for the winter and remove all traces of plant material. See you in the spring when we start the gardening cycle again.

Mahala J Renkey

Altar Flowers

The Altar Guild is still creating flower arrangements for the Altar each week.   
We welcome people to remember loved ones for any occasion with a donation of $50 per week.  Flowers are taken to parishioners after the service.  We have been able to deliver more with preplanning on ensuring the safe delivery protocol. 
Mahala J Renkey
The form for dedicating Altar Flowers can be found on our parish website at:

Holy Eucharist & SignUpGenius

St. Francis-in-the-Fields is now holding inside Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. and outside Holy Eucharist at 11:30 a.m. in the courtyard.  At 10 a.m. the seating limit is 30 and at 11:30 a.m. the seating limit is 40.   
A separate email will be sent with the date and link to sign-up each week for inside Holy Eucharist or Outside Holy Eucharist.    
Please remember that you are to wear your masks, practice social distancing (6 ft. between you another person) and use hand sanitizer. Masks will be provided if you don't have one and hand sanitizer will be available. Ushers will direct you where you are to sit when you get to the church courtyard. In case of inclement weather, outside Holy Eucharist will be cancelled.   
We hope to see you and share in the Eucharist.
"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 or Tuesday of each week with login information.
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 ( Just look for the "Give" button toward the bottom of the page.
Qualified Charitable Distribution

Have you heard of the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD)?
The tax laws are confusing to most of us, but there is one rule that should definitely be understood by anyone age 70 ½ or older. The QCD rule allows an individual to make donations directly from their IRA accounts to the church, without having to pay tax on the distribution. A donation done this way can save a considerable amount of federal tax, and this is especially true under the new tax laws. To learn more, please see Mike Quinn with any questions.

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.
Here is contact information for the West Chester Food Cupboard:
431 S. Bolmar St., West Chester, PA  19382

Fieldnotes Deadline - December

The deadline for the November Fieldnotes is  
Monday, November 23, 2020!.