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October 2020  
The Monthly Newsletter of 
St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church
689 Sugartown Road, Malvern, PA 19355
The Rev. Kevin Dellaria, Rector
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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.

Building Community in the Wilderness

Some years ago, the late theologian Eugene Peterson wrote a book on Christian spirituality entitled
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. It wasn't profound. It wasn't revolutionary. And the material Peterson covered wasn't new. But it was honest and it was challenging, and it was a necessary reminder that the practice of the Christianity is a slow, deliberate pilgrimage, rather than a quick-fix religious scheme. 

It would be an understatement to say that COVID has overstayed its welcome. What we initially thought might last a few weeks has now been with us for nearly eight months, and will likely be with us for many more months yet to come. We are wandering in the "unknowns" of the wilderness, and that makes us understandably anxious.

Yet even in the wilderness there is blessing, even new life! In Genesis 1, God creates from a wilderness (the void). In Exodus, the Hebrews build their nation in a wilderness. The prophet Isaiah spoke of God's mercy as springs of water in the wastland. In the Gospels, Jesus rejuvenates and finds strength in the desert. According to Scripture, the wilderness is where miracles abound.

As with every community of faith, our invitation and our challenge over these coming months is to remain engaged as a community any way we can. Certainly, we can pray alone. We can study alone. We can even worship alone. But Christianity has always underlined the importance of the gathered congregation. In the Episcopal Church, the most common alternative term for "Eucharist" is "Communion", a word almost identical to "community". The intent is clear: the most sacred and important act we undertake is rooted in the sharing of our lives, both with God, and with each other.

All that said, I hope you are finding ways to stay connected with St. Francis. Whether you attend worship in person or online, attend a fellowship gathering or just drop a note - every way you can stay connected is a way we can continue to share communion (little "c"). It is a great challenge for all us, in this COVID wilderness, to keep our community together and thriving. But facing and winning that challenge not only strengthens our fellowship, but also our discipleship. We will grow through this time, together. 

May God be with you always, and I hope to see you soon.

With Love,

Fr. Kevin+
Phase II - Update
The Phase 2 renovations committee has selected Warfel to be our construction manager. Like our architecture firm Bernardon, Warfel also worked with us on our 2005 renovations and they have significant experience partnering together on projects.  
Over the past two months, they have visited our facility and met with key members of our committee to understand our priorities in detail. We are in the final stages of working through project costs and will present these to Vestry in October. Once that has been completed, we will be working to develop timelines for construction.  
We look forward to sharing these plans with you. As you are able, we ask that you continue to fulfill your Capital Campaign pledges.

St. Francis Day
Drive-Thru Pet Blessings
Virus or no virus, it wouldn't be St. Francis Day without our annual pet blessings! Pets will be welcome at the 11:30 outdoor service of Holy Eucharist, and Fr. Kevin will bless any pets in attendance after the service (pets do NOT count in the attendance cap.)  
In addition this year, to stay as safe as possible, and to bless those pets that cannot come to the service, we will offer drive-thru blessing in the circle drive at the front of the church, starting around 12:20 pm. To prevent traffic build up on Sugartown Road, drivers are asked to enter the circle drive from the main parking lot.  
It's going to be so much fun! (But please . . . don't let your pets drive!)

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:

High School Youth Group

On Sunday, October 4 from 5 till 6:30 p.m. the High School Youth Group will have their first meeting.  We will meet in the courtyard of the church and enjoy a fun night with pizza and a fire pit.

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

Looking forward to the first meeting and getting to know the youth of our parish!  Don't forget your mask!


Deacon Diane

Boscov's Friends Helping Friends Helping Friends 2020
Guyana America Partners has been invited to participate in Boscov's Annual Community Fundraising Event " Friends Helping Friends".
This year, due to COVID -19 restrictions, shopping passes have been eliminated. Supporters can shop in store or online on Wednesday Oct.14 and Thursday Oct. 15 from 9AM to 9 PM and receive 20% discount on most items. 
All family members are free to shop. This is a great opportunity to purchase gifts for birthdays, Christmas and other anniversaries. Free shipping if you spend $59.00 or more.
At checkout, mention Guyana America Partners as the non-profit you are supporting and this organization will receive 5% back on your purchase.
All Boscov's stores will participate in this event. Enjoy your shopping.
May you, your family and friends stay safe and healthy.
Many thanks for your continued support.
Cicely Peters
Book Group

Friday, October 16, 7:30 pm 
Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others,  
Barbara Brown Taylor
The author recounts her moving discoveries of finding the sacred in unexpected places while teaching the world's religions to undergraduates in rural Georgia.
In Holy Envy, she contemplates the ways other people and traditions encounter the Transcendent, both by digging deeper into those traditions herself and by seeing them through her students' eyes as she sets off with them on field trips to monasteries, temples, and mosques Taylor returns to her own tradition for guidance, finding new meaning in old teachings that have too often been used to exclude religious strangers instead of embracing the divine challenges they present.
Our September discussion was virtual. Please check your email, "This Week at St. Francis", to find where and how we will meet for the discussion in October.

Red Cross Blood Drive - Sign up information

St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church and the American Red Cross are hosting an upcoming blood drive.
Please join our lifesaving mission and schedule an appointment today!

Drive Details:
Site: St Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church 
Address: 689 Sugartown Road, Malvern, PA, 19355
Room Name:Parish Hall
Date:Tues. October 27 and Wed Oct 28, 2020
Time: 2:00: PM - 7:00: PM
Blood Program Leader Name: Caroline Keyser
The need for blood is constant and only volunteer donors can fulfill that need for patients in our community. Nationwide, someone needs a unit of blood every 2 to 3 seconds and most of us will need blood in our lifetime.
Thank you for supporting the American Red Cross blood program!

Download the Red Cross Blood Donor App on the App Store, Google Play or text BLOODAPP to 90999. Schedule appointments, view your blood type and results of your mini-physical, and track your donations.

Garden News!

So far, as of the end of September, St. Francis has as a church organization delivered 321 pounds from our six raised beds and Everett Warren has delivered 46 lbs. from his garden.
Mahala J Renkey

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.
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 - November

The deadline for the November Fieldnotes is  
Monday, October 26, 2020!. 

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

St. Francis-in-the-Fields Calendar