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Welcome to St. Francis by the Sea

"Whoever you are and wherever you find yourself on your
journey of faith, you are welcome here, at God's table."

From the Rector's Study

A message from The Rev. Douglas Beck


Dear People of God,

This coming Sunday, April 14 at 4:00 PM we will gather for a special celebration. The Rt. Rev. Thomas James Brown, the tenth Bishop of Maine, will renew our shared ministry. The Bishop’s presence ties together the elements of our mutuality and continuity as St. Francis by the Sea.


Stewart Zabriskie, in the book, Total Ministry observes that “there is one ministry of the one body, which is Christ’s ministry as exercised through that body. All vocations contribute to the efficacy of that one ministry, expressed in mission. All baptized people – lay and ordained – participate in it according to the gifts given them.”


The framework of a relationship with a rector is rooted in understanding the responsibility of living our shared life with ordained pastoral leadership and oversight on behalf of the bishop that includes the ministry of the laity.


Our community is only complete, the Body whole, when all of our gifts get raised up. The success of our relationship relies on each on of us, and our ability to see God’s presence working for the good in and through all things. This is what we celebrate.


I am grateful that we can share in this celebration of our mutual ministry together. As Paul writes in the Letter to the Church in Phillipi, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Hear these words to the Church that is Christ’ Body present and active today. “We do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” May our mutual life together be shaped by this. Amen!

Faithfully in Christ,




Wednesday Seekers—April 3 through June 26, 2024.  

We are reading and discussing "Love is the way" by The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop.  “We were created by love, for love, to love and to be loved. And we are at our best when we live in God's love. And I believe deep down, it's what we all want. We don't want hatred. We don't want the abyss. We want Beloved Community. The way of love is how to live it.”  The book is available for free by contacting the church office to reserve your copy.

Celebration of New Ministry celebrates new ministry collaboration with our new rector. The Rt. Rev. Thomas J. Brown, Bishop of Maine, will be presiding, Sunday, April 14, at 4:00 PM with a reception following in the undercroft.


Sunday, April 28, Guest Preacher and Adult Forum Speaker, The Rev. Dr. Patricia Lyons

“Tricia” currently teaches evangelism, works with the Lifelong Learning team, and serves as the Senior Advisor to the Dean for Evangelism Initiatives at Virginia Theological Seminary. Tricia is a member of the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Strategic Cabinet on Evangelism and one of the original writers of the “Way of Love.” Tricia is an honors graduate from Harvard College, the Harvard Divinity

School, and received her doctorate from the Virginia Theological Seminary. She is the author of four books on faith formation, The Soul of Adolescence, Teaching Faith with Harry Potter, What is Evangelism? and her most recent, The Evangelist’s Breviary.

Evensong with guest choir Euphony under the direction of Francis Vogt, accompanied by Dr. Laura Artesani will take place Thursday, May 2 at 7:30 PM. Douglas, our rector, will be the Officiant. The service is a form of sung Evening Prayer from The Book of Common Prayer. This will be a beautiful evening of prayers chanted, sung, and spoken and an excellent opportunity to bring a friend who may have yet to enter our beautiful church.

Sunday, May 12
At the service we will hear about Frances Perkins’ inspiring life story as an Episcopalian, Maine resident, and first female cabinet seat as FDR’s Secretary of Labor. We’ve arranged for the traveling display from the Frances Perkins Center in Damariscotta (a National Historic Landmark) to come to St. Francis on this day for viewing in the undercroft at coffee hour. Francis Perkins is on the annual Holy Women and Holy Men Episcopal Church calendar for May 13. We thank Perkins Center Board of Directors member and Blue Hill resident Susan Kirk for obtaining the Center’s display for St. Francis on the day closes to Frances Perkins’ commemoration in our church.



The History of St. Francis by the Sea by Suzanne Decrow


"In the beginning...Blue Hill had no Episcopal Church. In 1975 a small group of local Episcopalian folks first started meeting at the Blue Hill Library then Rowantrees Pottery and then Bar Harbor Bank until 1984 when they moved to the Blue Hill American Legion Hall. Each Sunday a small altar was rolled out of a closet, a cross was hung on a wall, hymnals and prayer books were put on folding chairs and a sheet was hung to cover the American Legion Preamble. Smells of percolating hazelnut coffee from Blue Hill Tea and Tobacco would waft in during the service through the open door into the kitchen area. As the Senior Warden, David Witter was charged in the winter with turning on the water when he arrived and then baling the toilet at the end of the service. Milissa has it so easy these days... 😉 


The first St. Francis Fair was in 1991 in the front yard of the Legion Hall. The idea was Tommie Duncan's as a means to raise money for the church purchase and move. Junque only needed 3 tables for the "treasures" that year as compared to the 70+ when the fair ended at the Blue Hill Fairgrounds location. That first fair also offered the Gentlemen Grillers and a sale of art by local artists, most of whom were St. Francis members. The fair locations changed as the fair grew in size... the small lawn in front of the Legion Hall, the lawn in front of Rufus Wannings house, the parking lot of the Congo church, the Blue Hill Elementary School, the back field at St. Francis to its final years at the fairgrounds.


The term Junque for Jesus was coined by our first part-time priest John Hedger. He came down the street on fair day, saw the tables of "junk" for sale and made that comment. Emily Chaney then "classed" it up by changing the spelling to Junque.


By 1989, the congregation grew and more space was needed. The vacant Methodist Church on Rt. 15 in Penobscot was purchased, the parcel of land on Rt.177 was generously donated by the Leach family and the church was cut into 4 sections and moved down the road to the present location. The next time you drive by the Blue Hill Garage imagine seeing a church steeple sticking out of the garage doors!!! The hardworking small congregation- young and old- had it moved there to be scraped and painted one weekend before being placed back on the church!!! 


Since its initial move to Blue Hill, the church had a number of additions before the first Building Fund Campaign in the late 1990's. An architect and builder were hired. During the construction our services were held at the Congo church. They graciously adjusted their service time to accommodate us. The campaign was very successful and provided for the new space that is enjoyed today along with a percentage of the funds raised set aside as outreach to support local organizations.


The idea for a church cookbook came about in 1991 again as a means to raise money for the purchase and move of the church. After enjoying some delicious entrees brought to the church potlucks and researching that a local cookbook had not been published for over 10 years, Suzanne Decrow proposed that the church create one. The Bishop's Committee approved the venture and recipes were solicited from the congregation and the community. With the expert computer assistance of Sharon Cousins, 163 pages of recipes were collected, edited and printed. The first printing of 1000 copies sold out in less than 3 months!! The second printing of 1000 also sold out!! Due to the success of the first cookbook and the number of new parishioners at St. Francis, a second volume of new recipes of Cooking with St. Francis by the Sea Volume II became a reality in 1996. Those books are still available.


The potlucks of St. Francis are always a memorable occasion. In the past we have had many: after the Christmas Eve service, one to celebrate Mardi Gras with live music by the New Trad Trio (and dancing), a First Feast of Easter lamb barbeque, summer picnics at various locations... any excuse to gather and share food seems to be the way it goes.


The Christmas ornament tradition was started in 1997 when we first had 2 trees set up behind the altar during advent and through Christmas. They looked pretty barren so the idea was to make some ornaments to have the trees be more festive for the Christmas Eve and Christmas day services. Also, they were to be a gift from St. Francis to all the church attendees at those services. The first ornament was one of St. Francis. Since that time they have been all types of Christmas items- stars, angels, sheep, trees, snowflakes, snow covered pine cones, etc. etc... Many folks have collected them over the years and look forward to what will appear each year."

shell ornament.jpeg

Mission Statement

We are a welcoming, engaged and diverse community of faith dedicated to the spiritual, physical and social well being of ourselves and our neighbors.  Whoever you are, whatever your beliefs, come explore and experience with us the mystery of God’s love.


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