News from
 St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church 
Blue Hill ~ Maine 
(A Special Christmas Edition)
December 21, 2017    

*The 4th Sunday of Advent Service, December 24 at 10 am  

*Sunday, December 24
5 PM
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 5:00 pm
-followed by St. Francis traditional Christmas Eve Dinner

*Monday, December 25
Christmas Day Service
10 am (Weather permitting)

*Sunday, December 31
"Lessons and Carols"
10 am

Greetings to All  from Parishioners and Friends of  St. Francis by the Sea

Christmas Greetings 
- from The Rev. Claudia W. Smith

Dear Friends,
In these final days of the season of Advent, at the risk of rattling the liturgical purists among us, I want to wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS! In truth my hope is that you will hold both the somber message of Advent with all of its focus on carving-out a space to be still and prepare for what is to come; as well as the joyful celebration of God's being birthed in our midst yet again at Christmas; in your hearts this year. The reality is that we do need to make space and clean our lens a bit if we are to truly see and appreciate what it means to have God come to us in the vulnerable form of the baby Jesus.

When I look back at my ten+ years at St, Francis, I see how much this rhythm of reflection and rebirth has played itself out. This year we can joyfully celebrate that there is new life in our little parish and a spirit of enthusiasm among us: on any given Sunday there are new faces in the congregation, our fiscal health is good and our mission of reaching out to our neighbors to share God's love, is growing.  God's spirit has indeed been born here. And as surely as the season of Advent proceeds Christmas, this new birth would not have happened without a lot of prayerful reflection and active listening for God's guidance. 

So dear friends, I guess my message this year is that even when the big day comes and the presents are opened, may we remember that Christmas is not a single day that comes and goes, soon to be forgotten until the next time we decorate the tree. Christmas, as in the celebration of God's becoming human in the vulnerable form of the baby Jesus, is a part of much larger picture and is an ongoing story. This year, as I think on all of you I will celebrate the many ways you embody God's spirit even as I pray that amidst all of the busyness of the holidays you will find moments of quiet to allow God to be born in your life anew.

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas and New Year to come,

-from our Senior Warden, Bob Publicover

May the TRUE spirit of Christmas wrap itself around your heart! 

A Message from Connie Hegarty

"Hello, my friends!  It's nice being near my family in CT, although I miss Maine and all of you. At my new church, Grace, Windsor, I'm active on Vestry, I'm Stewardship Chair, lector, counter, pastoral visitor and facilitator of a spiritual reading/discussion group I started called Grace Talk.  You are all so lucky to be in the St. Francis by the Sea family.

Enjoy each other and never stop giving all you can to keep it alive.

Have a joyful Christmastide and a fruitful New Year!"

Sending joyful wishes to our St. Francis family 
-from Cathy and Ed

Greetings from the Decrows
- at the top of the Super Quad lift on Sugarloaf getting ready to head down the Tote Road trail.

"Winter has arrived!!  We are looking forward to spending our first Christmas here with newly married Lindsay , her husband Aaron and my oldest son and his wife.
We ski most every day- at least when the temp is a little above zero degrees.
There are lots of folks here from the Blue Hill area so we see old friends often and are meeting lots of new ones.
Will miss being with you all on Christmas Eve- first time since 1990!!
Happy Holidays to one and all!!"

XO Suzanne and David

  Peter Smith sends this photo and message:

Dear Friends, 

"The most common greeting these days is "Hi, how are ya?" For the octogenarians among us that can be a difficult question to answer. None of us want to lie and yet we really don't want to complain. 

So what do we say in response? I usually say, "spiritually wonderful!" I base my feelings on two scriptures, Philippians 4:11 and Proverbs 17:22. Now the King James Bible presents the thought more beautifully than this but I think of it as "I'm happy and content." Donny and I miss seeing our St. Francis family every Sunday but we are with you in sprit and pray that you all will continue to grow in grace and the love of God."

From Pam Siewers

Greetings from South Portland!  Ralph and I are both settling in to our new lives.  Here's my favorite picture from 2017, taken at the Vicarage by the Sea, where he has built a new and meaningful life within his capabilities, surrounded by a loving and respectful staff.  Pam
Christmas Greetings from Marilyn Stewart

"I just wish all of you were here!'
Have a wonderful Christmas wherever you may be."

Christmas with Ruth Freeman
(Before moving to Portland, Ruth was Senior Warden at St. Francis several years ago.)

       "I love my teaching and my students who are learning English. But my biggest news is that I had a novel for children published this past March, One Good Thing About America. It's gotten great reviews. It was inspired by my wonderful students.The other piece of news is that my son Ned and partner Erin had a baby boy a week ago! Six weeks early (surprised everyone!) so he will be at Maine Med for a few more weeks but he is thriving. And, of course, he is absolutely beautiful!" 

Merry Christmas! Ruth
For more about Ruth and her writings, click here:

From Nancy and Fred Stine

"We send blessed wishes for this holy season as well as for 2018 to you all. And we are not that far away and would love to have anyone come see us here at Dirigo Pines in Orono and join us for lunch. We are attending St. James church in Old Town. Saturday morning will find us making wreaths and swags to decorate the church afterwhich we will share soup and cookies.Then we will go caroling to some of our shut-ins."

We send lots of love,  Nancy and Fred

The Rev. Canon James Elliott Lindsley
Hillbrook, New York

"We wish all of you at St, Francis' the best possible Christmas and new year. We can never forget the "specialness" of that certain white church on a hill near the sea."
Barbara and Elliott Lindsley

From The Heilner Family

Both Madeline (Clark College, Mass.) and Alexander (Stetson University) are college seniors..and both found
the schools that really suited them!  They have been on the Dean's Lists and were inducted into the honor societies for their respective majors. When Madeline graduates this May it will be with a Psychology major and a Management minor.  Spring of 2019 she will get an MBA.  She is hoping to do an internship in Worcester this summer.  Alexander will graduate as an Accounting major in May.  He will be applying to Stetson's Masters in Accounting program while he is home over Christmas break.

From Brinley Hall

"We went to Phoenix at Thanksgiving to watch our two grandsons play in an ice hockey tournament.  And we enjoyed a special Thanksgiving repast prepared by a Blue Hill friend Kris Henderson.  He and wife Hanna who spend much of the year in their home on Parker Point also winter in Arizona.

I am looking forward to getting back to Maine. Merry Christmas to all at St. Francis and the very best for 2018." 


From: Colleen Spangler-
Melding Christmas with summer!
Well, folks, ❤️
I received my first emailed Christmas greeting this year and I thought it was a terrific idea, considering this is the electronic age. So I include a photo greeting hoping that you can see my family is healthy and happy and that you and yours are too. 
Love you all ��
Merry Christmas  ��  
Happy New Year  ��  
Colleen and Clan

From Tricia Quirk, who is in California and had family in harms way during the massive fires-

"My family is fine, my nephew saved his house.  I know the praying made a real difference as only one fire fighter was lost in that terrible blaze."  


"Grand-dog and Granddaughter"
Rooster and Frances-Two one-year- olds meet at the home of Judy Rountree

From Maren and Will Rosborough
"The last twenty one years have been perfect! We love you and miss you.  Have a wonderful Christmas!"

with love, Maren and Will
From Alix Kirkpatrick

Best Wishes for a very Blessed Christmas and a happy and healthy New year!
Alix, Ken, and Chung Ko #5

From the Chungs to
St. Frances by the Sea!
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