Important NO CHURCH Today After All

Claudia has been out in the snow and driving is treacherous!  SO Church is cancelled today, February 18th.  Be Safe!

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Lent Has Arrived!

Dear friends,

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

In recent months I have heard many of you say that you are feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information (often conflicting) coming at you. The sheer volume of words is making our heads hurt and our spirits disquieted. So when for a number of reasons our usual Lenten routines were not seeming to come together, I have to wonder if in fact it is not the Holy Spirit saying that we are all in need of some quiet time this Lenten season.

That said, I encourage you all to use the 40 days of Lent as a time to journey though a time in prayer and reflection.  If you are like me and like to journey with others as guides, I suggest that you check out the following options: 

Stop, Pray, Work, Play and Love is a perennial favorite from The Society of St John the Evangelist (SSJE). “So much of our stress and anxiety derives from our pollution of Time. God has given us the gift of time, and called it holy, yet we often experience time as a curse,” say the Brothers of SSJE. Join the Brothers in rediscovering time as a gift.

Join the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in the Good Book Club  – read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts during Lent and Eastertide.

Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John. This is a six-week journey and reflection offered by SSJE and the Center for the Ministry of Teaching. They say, “Have you ever wished to deepen your relationship with God? To experience a warm friendship with God? Maybe even fall in love with God – again – or for the very first time?” This is a FREE and robust resource – with prayer journals, facilitation guidance (for small groups), videos and emails.

You Are the Way: Devotions for Lent 2018 are available from Augsburg Fortress publishers for $3. This beautiful, full-color devotional explores one or more “I am” sayings of Jesus during each week in Lent. The pocket-sized version is breakfast table ready! Large-print and ebook editions are also available.

May this time of quiet refection be a holy time in which the love of God is made abundantly clear to you in the life and teachings of Jesus.



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This Sunday’s Sermon and Service for You! *

The Rev. Elaine Hewes

The Transfiguration Sunday February 11, 2018, 10 am Sermon by The Rev. Elaine Hewes:


The Last Sunday After the Epiphany February 11, 2018  10 am Full Service Celebrated by The Rev. Claudia Wyatt Smith rector of St. Francis by the Sea:


*Just a quick note: We attempt to post the sermon and service each week as soon as possible. Most weeks it is late evening of that day. But, for various reasons, sometimes it is not until Tuesday Morning. Thank you for your inquiries and understanding.

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Ash Wednesday

There will be two services at St. Francis  Wednesday, February, 14th
Noon & 5 pm


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A Gift To You!!

There was a Christmas present for the St. Francis Family and it was opened on Christmas Eve with help from young Ambrose Chung.

This gift was specifically directed by the anonymous donors to be used to upgrade the kitchen.  We are in the planning stages and will share more information as soon as it is available.  So stay tuned.


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A Surprise in Church???

It can happen!!   On Sunday November 12, 2017 the Rector St. Francis by the Sea Blue Hill, Maine the Rev. Claudia Wyatt Smith was serenaded by the Sunday School Singers under the direction of organist Lorna Russell. It was part of a surprise for Claudia’s 10th anniversary at the helm of St. Francis. The celebration was coordinated by a number of parishioners under the leadership of Charity Chung and Brenda Higgins

Claudia was visibly touched:

Dear Friends,

As you are aware, I am rarely lacking words and yet that is what happened to me last Sunday. Not only did you totally surprise me with your amazing gifts, but also I was so deeply touched by your love, that it was beyond my ability to find the words to express my thanks at the time. That said, I hope you will now accept my thanks and appreciation for all that was done to celebrate my tenure here. In truth any celebration is one that needs to be shared among you all since all of the good things that have happened at St Francis have very much been a combined effort.

So thank you…thank you…thank you for the amazing party last Sunday AND thank you… thank you…thank you for the past 10 + years together. May God continue to bless our work in the days to come.

With love and thankfulness for the people of St. Francis,
















Among the gifts,  a color painting of St. Francis by a parishioner 


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How to deal?? Pray!

That is the recommendation of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

In the wake of the deadly shooting at the First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, Texas The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry says, “We pray for those who suffer and for those who have died”.


You can view the video he posted by clicking here.

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Helping Heal Hurricane Hurts

When disaster strikes many of us want to help in some way. Presiding Bishop The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry reminds us not to send food, clothing or other items because affected dioceses have limited or no capacity to receive, store or distribute goods. It is more efficient and better for the local economy to make a donation. He strongly suggests a donation to Episcopal Relief & Development is an excellent way to do it. The reason is that Episcopal Relief & Development already has actions in place for assistance.

Give to ERD’s Hurricane Relief Fund and help people recover. This fund will support affected communities in the Caribbean and the US devastated after hurricanes and tropical storms. Your donation will help meet urgent needs after Hurricane Irma and other storms by providing critical supplies such as food, water and other basics and offering long-term assistance as needed.

As Saint Francis by the Sea Rector, The Rev. Claudia Wyatt Smith explained during the Sunday Announcements:

· To donate to the Hurricane Response Fund to support impacted dioceses as they meet the needs of their most vulnerable neighbors after this event, click here.

· Sign-up on the Ready to Serve database to register as a possible volunteer in the here. Episcopal Relief & Development staff share these lists with dioceses when they are ready to recruit external volunteers.

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Where do we go from here: chaos or community?

In this video Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry shares his thoughts and prayers about the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the interesting timing of the readings of Scripture Episcopalians heard this Sunday.

Updated Resources | Episcopal Church



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Behind The Scenes — The Unsung Heroes

Holy Moly it’s the Holy Mowers.

By Terri Stephens Smith

One of the things that makes the local church a success is the volunteers that take a special interest in blessing the church with their talents and time. We wish to share with you our current heroes and invite you to join them.
Now, we will be enlightening you with our “Holy Mowers” volunteers. This group keeps the outside of St. Francis by the Sea looking neat and green to those that attend our church and those that drive past. Organized years ago by Peter Smith, this summer group of volunteers meets every other week for 2 or 3 hours to mow the lawns, trim the bushes, etc. And then meets at Marlintini’s for lunch and socialization.

The 2017 group includes Brent Follweiler, Brinley Hall, Steve Hayward, John Higgins, Kevin Hunt, John Paul LaLonde, Bob Publicover, Ralph Topham, Tom Boardman, Giffy Full, Peter Smith, Simon Wesley, and Coordinator, Page Williamson.


More help is still needed to help with tree trimming, and flower beds. Also, it would be great if the shed behind the church could be enlarged to fit all the lawn equipment in it.

Left to right Steve Hayward, Page Williamson, Brent Follweiler and Ralph Topham re-hydrating at Marlintinis after and morning of Holy Mowing!


If you have an extra weed whacker, we could certainly use it. Please call Page Williamson at 207-359-0903 if you can be a blessing to this group. Women are encouraged to help, also.

Photos by Marshall Smith

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How Did The 2017 St. Francis Fair Do?

Fair co-chairs Mary Hartley and Nancy Doane were happy to share the news during a packed 10 am day after the fair service.:

Congratulations to the more than 200 volunteers who made the Fair possible and all those who donated items for sale.  It will be a “few weeks” before anyone starts to think about collecting items for the 2018 St. Francis Fair.

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27 Years and Counting

It was a somewhat gloomy start to the 27th St. Francis Fair held this year on August 12th at the Blue Hill Fairgrounds. Despite the fog and drizzle (OK, rain at times) the crowds came.

For more than a quarter century St. Francis has donated more than $120,000 to local organizations that have partnered with us including Tree of Life, Habitat for Humanity, CFO, THAW, Peninsula Ambulance Corp, H.O.M.E, Nichols Day Camp, and this year our partner was The SPCA of Hancock County.



This is a yearlong project for St. Francis led by unsung dedicated volunteers.

Suzanne Decrow has been a part of the Fair longer than anyone else, from its inception when Junque for Jesus was called the White Elephant Table.DSCN8679Once again she and her very loyal crew handled this gigantic yard sale, and Joe Thompson graciously, once again, offered his barn for storage. He also heads up the Tool Booth.

David Decrow was in charge of the beverage booth again but what he does behind the scenes is really his gift to the Fair.

Kevin Hunt & John Chappel wrangled all the set-up and take-down chores in addition to solving last minute problems.

The Grillers have become an institution led for years by  Brinley HallDSCN8754 who has passed the “grills” on to Brenda Higgins this year. Few can pass up the sausage or hamburger offerings, or the aromas.


Nor can many pass up the delicious offerings at the food table chaired by Chris Ramsay and Judy Rountree. DSCN8472Almost everything sold out quite quickly. MaryBoyd1


And, of course, next to the food is the ever popular Strawberry Shack chaired by Mary Boyd which also will sell out on a hot day.

Thousands of books DSCN8478are for sale by a committee headed by Julie Boardman and Marcia Fenn and a number of others who spent the early spring sorting books in Marcia’s basement.

Another other very popular booth, of course, is Jewelry and Scarves chaired by Sandy Snow who always does a wonderful job of organization and presentation.

Granny’s Attic (all things kids) is back again led by Everdell and Judy Rountree offering new and very slightly used toys and books and will again be DSCN8602located in the same tent as Children’s activities organized by Andrew Chung where face painting and crafts are free as is the horse-drawn wagon ride.

Sums up the Fair with a smile!

Children’s Books are again being lovingly cared for by Kathy DeSilvey.

The Treasure Chest, with chairs Milissa LeLonde and Katie MacLeod, will have wonderful antiques and modern discoveries, and there will also be a small silent auction as part of the overall booth.

The incredibly popular Garden Shed is back and chaired by Sue and Pudge Grindle. This  offered all things gardening including plants, herbs, arrangements, tools, books, vases, and even free advice from master gardeners.

DSCN8640There is always a lot that goes on behind the scenes including the coffee cart with Fred and Prudy Heilner which started early on Saturday morning providing coffee and donuts to not only everyone setting up, but also to the many who are lined up waiting to get in.

Jack Joyce and Page Williamson  were once again masters of ceremony making important announcements and  coordinating music including the very talented Scott Grindle.  Who entertained for four hours and whose ‘gratuity’ filled jar realized more than $200 dollars of donations for St. Francis and our partner  The SPCA of Hancock County.

Joe Lendvai has agreed to photograph the whole event as he has been doing for over 15 years. Anne and Brent Follweiller always take care of any signs that need to be put up or taken down, and Judy Rountree does an exceptional job of publicity.

Elaine MacLean handled the Package Check, a very necessary addition to the Fair, and unseen by almost everyone, Jon Dullnig is our security force on Friday evening throughout the night. He is our Wyatt Earp.

The “Money Man” was once again Tim Thomas who making sure there was change for you when you spent your money to help St. Francis and our fair partner The SPCA of Hancock County.

Nancy Doane, Fair-Co-Chair, (on the right) as a past fair chair is ever-present, from helping to count the money, to working at the Treasure Chest, to making sure the chair is organized. The Fair could not happen without her gentle and gracious support.

The magician who pulled it all together this year: Fair Chair Mary Hartley who has been going full throttle for months and after Fair weekend needs some well deserved rest. Thank you, Mary and your all-volunteer staff.

This was a truly wonderful afFAIR.

StFrancisFair2010_webAnd Thank You!!!

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The St. Francis Sunday School Singers

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Holy Week 2017 Service Recordings

Holy Week which begins with Palm Sunday and concludes with Easter is the holiest time of the Christian calendar. A time of spiritual excitement, spiritual dread, spiritual shock, then a renewed spirituality and joy. It is a week of roller coaster emotions and 2017 was filled with incredibly moving and inspiring services. You can listen to all of it, or just parts of it by clicking here: Continue reading

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