St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church
Blue Hill ~ Maine
March 25, 2020

"But this is not exactly the welcome we were expecting, is it?"
From FR. Brent

Grace and Peace to you!

We all awakened to a lovely snow-fall this morning, not as much as our girls had hoped for, but they had fun with it. Then they got to their school work, reading and math mostly today. We have been homeschooling for years, so their life isn’t that different right now. (I am grateful for that). It is quite different for the most of us, though. Our habits, our patterns, who we see, what we do and how and when are all different right now, and might remain so for a long time.

How are you coping? 

I am working from home almost exclusively, as anything but emergency meetings are being discouraged. But the phone and internet are keeping me plenty busy, as I am trying to develop meaningful worship on line with two other churches!

I am reading. (Here is a link to a book list I was asked to put together: Book List for our Forced Sabbatical ) Send me what you are reading and I’ll share it (and maybe read it):

My Daily Office practice is doing well. If you are interested, check out your BCP (online for free at BCP Online ) or these two websites that walk you through the Office very gracefully:  Mission St. Clare Office or  St. Bede's Breviary

The gym is sorely missed, but we are going for walks with the dogs and I will get back to my Chi Kung practice one of these mornings.

I am not spending too much time reading the news; enough to know what is happening, but not so much as to overwhelm. I am keeping up with church news, though. Everyone is encouraged to sign up for the Diocesan newsletter.  subscribe here. See first-hand what a good job you did calling Bishop Brown.

We are playing games. We are learning Settlers of Catan right now, and the very simple dice game Farkel. I am not much of a game player, but it has been fun.

I am trying to stay out of trouble, not spending too much time watching movies, which always makes me feel lonely.  I encourage you to be mindful about alcohol consumption. It is an easy seeming way to pass the time. Keep an eye on that if alcohol is a challenge for you.

Mostly, though, I am just living, one day at a time, grateful for life, grateful for God and grateful for being able to serve God with you here. 

If you need anything, or have suggestions, or just want to talk, please call me. 207.412.8807.

In Christ,


*The Hospital in Blue Hill has just put out a telephone number for you to call if you feel you have symtoms of COVID-19.
It is: 844.489.1822
St. Francis Church
Next Sunday
March 29
10 am

The Rev. Dr. Brent Was
St. Francis by the Sea
Blue Hill, Me.
The Rev. Elaine Hewes
St. Brendan the Navigator
Deer Isle Me.
The Rev. Donna Downs
Trinity Episcopal Church
Castine, Me.

From Fr. Brent-

"Join us for Sunday worship. 10:00 AM, Sign in information to follow!

We have some new direction from the Bishop regarding how we are to worship. We are not sure how it will work, but it will happen and it will be easy (and accessible to folks with computers)."

Stay tuned!

No-no! This is not what these three priests are doing! Log on next Sunday for the real thing...kinks are being worked out! (Thanks, Lorna, for sending this!)
3 Currently Active Programs at St. Francis

The Phone Tree

Sue Grindle sends the following:
St. Francis Phone Tree is activated. We are rookies at this, so please don't get irritated if you receive more than one check- in call, just bask in your popularity! Everyone in the Friends List Directory has been matched to a caller. Please let Sue Grindle (374-5046, or ) know if you don't receive a call. We are starting today (March 23rd), so do give us about a week. Thank you!

St. Francis Shoppers

From Milissa LaLonde

We have grocery shoppers for those of you who need a delivery. Please call Milissa at
469-2155. She will give you the details and see that your groceries are brought safely to your door without personal contact. There are clear directions for shopping, payments and prescriptions.

Caring Cards
Please call or email Sarah Everdell or Judy Rountree with
names for our group of writers.
If the recipient is not in the Friends List, do remember to include an address. The Caring Cards Ministry is open to all.
Regarding the Prayer List-

Although eClare brings together a lot of the "lightness" of St Francis Church, the main reason for its existence is to communicate the life events of our church and parishioners. This especially includes the prayer list. Please continue to update our prayer list with your needs and the needs of others. Although our church administrator, Barbara Brady, is now working remotely, she receives emails through the church web address.

As always, if you wish to add another person's name to the prayer list, please be sure you have that person's permission.
We Pray for:

Kaylee Bland
Holly Colt
Ellen Day
Edward Dufresne
Diane Dumond
Brinley Hall
Dorine Harris
Kira Hartley
Alix Kirkpatrick
JoAnn Krestan
Jason and Owen Mc Farland
Bill Petry
Diana Robson
Dennis Robertson
Carla Rosensweig
Ed Rosensweig
Maren Rosborough
Sarah Semler
Cathy Smith
Donny Smith
Marshall Smith
Peter Smith
Gloria Smith
Fred and Nancy Stine
Brenda Swazey
Brad West
Martha York

Those with March Birthdays

Julie Boardman
Mary Boyd
Libby Buck
Ambrose Chung
Suzanne Decrow
Sally Falck
Steve Hayward
Fred Heilner
Prudy Heilner
Ed Manuel
Pam Peters
Maren Rosborough
Peter Smith
Colleen Spangler
Hannah Maeve Was
Jillian Weed
Gerald Wheeler

Those in the Armed Services    
James Crowe III
Andy Dittmer
Brian Haley
Sean Haley
Douglas Hamilton
Kyler Hall
Peter McGuyer
Kyle Carino Mings
Eric Partridge
Henry Shepley

We pray for the soul of
Barbara , sister of Lyn Swazey and comfort for her family
From Fr. Brent- Nancy Stine is recovering from pneumonia and a broken hip, and is doing well. Fred is asking for prayers, but is asking folks not to call at the moment. He’ll let Fr. Brent know if anything changes."
From Ruth Billings!

British Vicar Catches Fire Waiting for God's Answer
eClare , forever belonging to the parishioners and friends of St. Francis by the Sea, claims no responsibility for who we are and whatever craziness is brought to this newsletter! It's all Yours!
Be safe and healthy, everyone.
So many of the conversations we are having- online and on the phone-revolve around the effects of isolation, the settling-in of Social Distancing. Here is a beloved poet and said beautifully from her perspective...

(Mary Oliver)
How I go to the woods

"Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable.

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds 

or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of 
praying, as you no doubt have yours. 

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds, 

until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love you very much."
Thank you for being in touch, St. Francis! Here is some of your correspondence:
From Suzanne Decrow:

David and I are social distancing here at Sugarloaf but will be heading back to Sunset soon.
All has been well with us. 
David enjoyed being on the slopes this winter, although, the ski season came to an abrupt end a week ago.
His CT scan in February was clear once again so that was great news.
We continue to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. The prayers seem to be working so far!!
From Linda Sturtevant in Sanibel, Florida:

I was so sorry not to hear or read the sermon this morning. Being isolated in my house in Florida, reading the service was a consolation and I thank you so much. You will be amused to know that after I read the service from St. Francis, I went to the online service from my local church, St. Michaels in Sanibel. It’s built in the form of an upside down ark, quite beautiful, even as St. Francis is beautiful, perhaps a metaphor for our time. Don’t give up the ship! Stay well. And thanks again. Linda Sturtevant 
Reaching out to Marilyn Stewart
(From Sue Grindle)

Hello Sue,
Thank you so much for your concern for my mother and my family. Sadly, I am prohibited from seeing my mother. Her community has implemented a strict no visitors policy, which I think is appropriate. I have had some difficulty getting in touch with her by phone and so I have made a request for a video chat call as offered by her community. I think it would be lovely if you all would like to send her cards. Who doesn't love mail that isn't junk or a bill!😊 If someone would like to send my mother a note, please tell them to write in very large script. She cannot always locate her reading glasses. Here is her contact information and mine:

Marilyn M Stewart 
The Hearth at Drexel
238 Belmont Avenue
Apartment #1260 West
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Susan Brunsvold
2222 Brandywine St, Philadelphia, PA 19130
215-960-7668 - personal cell 

Thank you for reaching out Sue! Very kind of you and the St. Francis Family.
Take a look at the above photo of our beloved parishioner, The Rev. Persis Williams. Then take a look at the guys in the below photo...see any resemblance?
Persis' family and Norman Rockwell were personal friends. The referee in this Post Magaine cover (October 21, 1950) is Persis' Dad!

(FYI) Persis has her hands full with a few health issues but manages to walk to her mailbox every single day. She no longer has a computer but really loves to get a card or note in the mail. Her mailing address is : PO Box 1662, Blue Hill, Maine 04614
Chris Ramsay does it again!

First you get her awful -sounding recipe for Pine Needle Tea! (oops)

but then you get her really wonderful new bunnies!
From no less than three of you!
(We do have much frost heave!)
Here's a cool one from Sarah Everdell's friend in Bar Harbor!

From her neighbor:
"Greetings! The neighbor and I went a bit bonkers this morning. A bit too much sequestration, I guess. We regretted that we didn't have bottles of Corona...."
The blooming cactus and below video are from Margie Matter in Tucson appropriate ending!
Links to Websites of
 Special Interest: 

St Francis by the Sea  (website)

From our church office: We have a St. Francis Facebook Page. Link below... "LIKE" our page and keep up to date on all the news and happenings!!!

NAMI Maine