This Year’s Emily Award

2020 has presented many challenges but in so many ways St. Francis and its people have continued to strive and thrive. A case in point is our Emily Award recipients Ministers of Music The Rev. Dr. Carlton and Lorna Russell. The announcement was made during the Zoomed Annual Meeting by Senior Warden Milissa LaLonde, “Lorna and Carlton have given us the gift of music for years but never has it been as challenging and as needed as now. Their gifts have made us a better church family.”

As you might expect Carlton & Lorna looked shocked on Zoom and they were:

Lorna and I were totally surprised and quite overwhelmed to receive this award.

The honor brought to mind not only Emily herself and her important contributions to St. Francis — including but not restricted to her rôle as parish historian — but also the many devoted parishioners who have so richly merited their receipt of the award, and the many more (future recipients?) who also deserve it. St. Francis consists of many and varied individuals contributing unique gifts, which makes the church what it is: a vital instrument of Christ in this corner of God’s world. The Russells feel privileged to be able, through the ministry of music, to enhance the worship and to support the faith of this blessed community of memory, hope, and love.

The Emily Award, though unexpected, is nonetheless symbolic of the support we have always received and appreciated throughout our 35 years of connection to St. Francis, Blue Hill. To the extent that we needed special encouragement in this choir-less time, the surprise award surely provided it, and we are grateful.

At the beginning of the CoVid19 Pandemic Lorna and Carlton Russell felt that our necessarily Zoomed services needed music so they worked very hard to find a way to make it work. And they succeeded beautifully . Each week they have gathered with one or two choir members at the St. Francis Organ and recorded the Gloria, each week’s Anthem and final hymn. Through the magic of high tech Fr. Brent has been able to play the beautiful sounds from where ever he is broadcasting live be it his home, or the near by beaches on Cape Rosier, Caterpillar Hill in Sargentville/Sedgwick or the Blue Hill Park on the bay.

 The Emily Award was established in 2009 in order to honor the many people who have engaged in a variety of church related activities over a long period of time that are critical to the mission of the church.  It was named after Emily Chaney who was the first recipient of the award. Emily was selected in order to publicly thank her and to honor her work on the Communications Committee, as well as her long history of involvement in other church activities and community involvement. Recipients of the Emily Award receive a special plate from Rackliffe Pottery with a drawing of the church or St. Francis and the date inscribed.

In addition, the recipient’s name will be added to the plaque hung with the names and dates of each recipient on the wall outside of the Sunday School area.

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