Allelulia. Christ is risen!

This is the proclamation of our faith as Easter people. We believe that even though the Empires of the world killed Jesus, God didn’t let that be the final word. Instead, as our Christian faith teaches, Christ…the cosmic Christ of John’s Gospel that has existed from before time as we know it…has been raised never to die again.

The Rev. Claudia Wyatt Smith Rector St. Francis by the Sea

The Rev. Claudia Smith
Rector St. Francis by the Sea

Since the enlightenment, this great mystery of God has perplexed many, leading to a host of questions about what happened to the actual body of Jesus. But it is interesting to hear the teachings of those scholars such as John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg who write in their highly informative book, The Last Week, that these were not the questions of those who lived in the first century after the crucifixion. They had after all, been waiting for God to bring about the great “clean-up” of the world by the vindication of all those faithful martyrs who had died in service to God over the years. So for first century believers, talk about Jesus being raised would have been seen as the beginning of this process. We can see this documented in the earliest Christian writings we have, that being the letters of Paul, where in 1 Corthintians (15:20) Jesus’ resurrection is called the “first fruits.” In other words if Jesus was raised it must mean the general resurrection of the martyrs has begun.

So those living in the first century would have asked for proof that something had changed. They wouldn’t have been worried so much about whether the tomb of Jesus was empty or not, but rather was God bringing about the Kingdom of God for which they had been waiting. I believe that is still where we need to be focusing our energies as Easter people. Even our liturgies point to this when at both the Easter Vigil and Easter morning, we recommit ourselves to our Baptismal vows, promising that out of our love and commitment to God and our desire to follow the teachings of Jesus, we will “seek and serve Christ in all persons,” loving our neighbor as ourselves. This is what is implied when we say Christ is risen….it means that we, as the church have become Christ’s physical body in the world. Continue reading

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Holy Week at St. Francis

St. Francis by the Sea held four services during Holy Week, commemorating Jesus’ finals days before his death, and resurrection. These services are: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, an Easter Vigil, and an Easter Sunday Celebration.

Thursday, April 2, 7 p.m. The Maundy Thursday Service was held to commemorate Jesus’ last supper with his friends and his commandment, “As I have loved you, you should also love one another.” (John 13:34). Hear the Maundy Thursday sermon by the Rev. Steve Hayward by clicking here.
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Following the ancient tradition, based on Jesus’ washing of the disciples feet, RalphPamMaundythe congregation was offered the option to participate in having their feet washed by The Rev. Claudia Wyatt Smith or by someone else of their choice as well.

 

The service ended on a poignant note as the alter and all decorative furnishings were removed and the lights were dimmed; communicants left in silence.

 

Friday, April 3, noon. The Good Friday Ecumenical Service was held to commemorate Jesus’ crucifixion.

Clergy and members of the congregations of the First Baptist and First Congregational churches in Blue Hill joined those from St. Francis in a deeply meaningful service of The Stations of the Cross.

The ministers depart in solemn silence: Rev. Deborah T. Breault,  First Congregational Chuch of Blue Hill;The Rev. Doug Drown, First Baptist Church of Blue Hill; and The Rev. Claudia Wyatt Smith of St. Francis by the Sea, Blue Hill.

The ministers depart in solemn silence: Rev. Deborah T. Breault, First Congregational Chuch of Blue Hill;The Rev. Doug Drown, First Baptist Church of Blue Hill; and The Rev. Claudia Wyatt Smith of St. Francis by the Sea, Blue Hill.

Click here to hear the Good Friday Stations of the Cross

Using the various medium of art, music, prayers and meditation, this service enabled participants to walk the final steps of Jesus on his way to the cross, without ever leaving their seats.

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It was a very moving service.

Continue reading

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You can listen to Sunday’s St. Francis Sermon

April 26, 2015 The Fourth Sunday of Easter Sermon by Heather Ford

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There were poets before Shakespeare?

Yes! Consider all of the “Poetry In The Bible”. And now you can learn all about it.

“Poetry in the Bible” is being taught by our own Vesta Kowalski.
Dates and Time: Tuesdays, April 7,14,21,28 from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm
Location: Right here at St. Francis by the Sea

The Bible is, although often not thought of as, a library of literary materials in a variety of genres. Many of those genres use poetry to convey their divers kinds of messages to a generally pre-literate society. After a brief introduction to the mechanics of Hebrew poetry, participants in this colloquy will read and discuss samples of poetry from a number of genres, with a focus on how poetry makes the messages more memorable. Passages to be discussed will include liturgical poetry (Psalms); erotic poetry (Song of Songs); aphorisms and moral instruction (Proverbs); sermons and theological teachings (Prophets); philosophical reflection (Job); and epic poetry (Psalms and Wisdom of Solomon).

Vesta Kowalski is a more-or-less retired Episcopal priest whose Ph.D. is from the Jewish theological Seminary. Her chief delight in life is discussing Biblical topics with interested adults.

This program is through the Colloquy Downeast. To register go to www.colloquydowneast.org
There is a $50 fee to participate in this program.

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A Beautiful Church – A Wonderfully Dry Building!

2014 St. Francis by the Sea Building Construction Project, Phase I Summary Report

-Submitted by David Decrow-

North Wall – BEFORE

Construction Contract – Planning and Work Scope

On June 13, 2014, a construction contract agreement was signed by St. Francis by the Sea and general contractor E.L. Shea, Ellsworth, Maine. The contract work scope was based upon architectural plans and specifications prepared by Lewis & Malm Architecture, Bucksport, Maine. The contract sum was structured as “cost of the work plus contractor’s fee” with a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) not to exceed $ 394,003.00 with a substantial completion date of September 26, 2014. Construction work commenced on June 16, 2014.

North Wall AFTER!

North Wall AFTER!

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Outreach at St. Francis by the Sea…is this our identity?

by Judy Rountree

Picture any parishioner of St Francis by the Sea…year-round or summer…and you will see someone who is involved with “reaching out” in love and kindness to each other, to the needs of our community, and well beyond.

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“Reaching Out” ranges from our largest ongoing project, The St. Francis Fair,

 

 

 

 

 

 

to telephone calls and brief notes of support. Continue reading

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