WE ARE THE LIGHT OF CHRIST.
 

First of all, welcome to our website!   My prayer is that, when you finish viewing the site, you will have found what you’re looking for. But before you look further, let me tell you a little about me and about our community of faith.   St. Francis has been my home for almost twenty years and each year has brought new blessings.   The Spirit has been a mighty presence in this place and the fruit of that Spirit can be seen and felt when you visit us.  


As you approach the entrance,  you will notice two things in particular.  First, there is a large cedar cross in the memorial garden.   My husband Joel made this cross and gave it to the church as a sign of the Jesus we worship.  Second, over the door there is a sign that reads, “Enter a stranger but once.”  Those words need no explanation. When the Spirit is present, you will feel it.  You will sense that you have come home, perhaps for the first time, and the warmth of this church family will add to what you feel when you enter the sanctuary.

                               The blessing that you will hear at the end of every service says it all: 

May the Lord who walks on wounded feet, walk with you to the end of your road;
May the Lord who serves with wounded hands, teach you to serve others;
May the Lord who loves with a wounded heart, help you to love each other;
When you go out, may you see the face of Jesus in everyone you meet, and may everyone you meet see the face of Jesus in you. Amen.

 

Retirement Announcement

Given at the Annual Meeting of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church

January 27, 2019

 

Today is a very important day for me—and for you!  Today I get to talk about the worst-kept secret in our church that many of you already know.  But today I make it official.  For those among you who are new to the Episcopal Church, there is a mandate regarding clergy retirement age.  I will reach that mandate on January 1, 2020, which means my last Sunday as your Rector will be December 29, 2019.  My wish for that day is perhaps a noontime lunch, followed by some memories, and having our Sunday worship in the late afternoon instead of in the morning.  The highlight of our relationship together is our worship of Almighty God.  My relationship with the people of St. Francis began over 20 years ago with worship, and my desire is that worship will be the final experience we have together.  Now, I’m sure we’ll talk more about that later, but right now we have something more important to think about.  In this year of transition, the most important thing for us is our mission.  And it starts with disciples.

 

   

 



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News & Info

 

The Collect


       Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan:  Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.


The Old Testament Lesson (Deuteronomy 26:1-11)

The Psalm (91:1-2, 9-16)

The Second Lesson (Romans 10:8b-13)


The Holy Gospel  (Luke 4:1-13)


      After his baptism, Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.  He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished.  The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.”  Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’”  Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.  And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please.  If you, then will worship me, it will all be yours.”  Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’”  Then the devil took him to Jerusalem and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’”  Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”  When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time. 



 
Sermon


THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT


Ash Wednesday: Blessed Are You  


 

Today we begin our Lenten Preaching Series under the heading of “The Sermon on the Mount” and our first installment of the series is entitled “Blessed are you.”

In this cold and flu season, how many times do you hear that!  “Bless you” comes rather cheap in that form, isn’t it.  You can sneeze on an airplane and receive two or three blessings on the spot, and a few unfriendly looks as well.  Wherever you might be, if you hear a sneeze, you’ll say, “Bless you.”  You might even say, “God bless you!”  Around here you will sometimes hear, “Have a blessed day” at the end of a phone conversation.  But beyond that, we don’t hear the word “blessed very often.

In the Bible God is blessing people all over the place.  God’s very first blessing came on the fifth day of creation.  After creating birds and fish, Genesis tells us that “God blessed them” (Gen 1:22) with the promise that they would multiply.  Later God blessed Abraham and sent him packing—leaving his familiar territory into an unknown place.  Later he blessed him again and again and again.  At the other end of Scripture in Revelation there are no less than seven blessings from God scattered throughout the book.

 The word the original New Testament uses for “blessed” is makarios.  “Mak” as in “Macro” means to make large or long.  It’s the word Jesus used in his well-known Beatitudes which is at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount.  To bless someone is to extend or make greater that which one has by giving it to another.

Jesus’ beatitudes, however, are not wishes.  He isn’t saying, “May you be poor in spirit” or “May you hunger and thirst after righteousness.”  These are messages to those who will live and witness in the kingdom.  More than that, the Beatitudes are exclamations, even celebrations, of those who will follow Jesus.  We might picture Jesus sitting on the grassy hillside, holding children in his arms, and speaking his powerful message.  But it is much more than that.  He may very well have children in his arms, but he is exclaiming:  “How blessed are the meek!” or “How blessed are the peacemakers!”  Given how early the sermon comes in Jesus’ ministry and the slowness of the disciples to grasp the kingdom message, one can only admire Jesus’ confidence that eventually his hearers would get it, that sooner or later the kingdom would take hold in people’s lives!

As this Ash Wednesday, three of Jesus’ blessings stand out for us.  The first is, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Yesterday, according to a 16th century custom, we feasted on butter and fat and oils, confessed our sins, and were “shriven”—forgiven.  We come this day “poor in spirit.”  We come with nothing to offer God but our fallen nature and our needs.  We come just as we are “without one plea,” as the old hymn says.  Today, we will receive a cross of ashes on our foreheads, and to us sinners—this very day—comes the kingdom with all the grace and forgiveness we need to be blessed.

 Only Jesus can give this blessing because only Jesus ushered in the kingdom of heaven by emptying himself and taking the form of a suffering servant in our place.  He earned this blessing for us by becoming “poor in spirit” in our place.  His humility took him all the way to the cross.  There he “preached” his greater sermon on the mount.

 Another blessing which is especially our today comes with Jesus’ second beatitude, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  It’s a blessing that we know and understand the power of sin.  In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, he writes, “For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation.  There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow.  But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death” (2 Cor. 7:10).   Remember those times you deeply disappointed your parents?  No doubt you will remember the look on their faces or even what they said.  The sadness you felt inside was profound.  Some people never get over that sadness.  The same is true many times over in our relationship with our heavenly Father.  Sin is not objective or neutral.  It is deeply relational.  When we sin, we deeply disappoint a loving Father, and it leaves us sad.  It’s this godly grief combined with our faith which brings us to repentance.  In sorrow, we turn from our sin to face the cross of Jesus, and we are forgiven.

 Here again only Jesus can give us the comfort and assurance we need.  Why?  Because Jesus bought our forgiveness with his own life.  This Son never disappointed his Father.  There was no sin in Him, yet he  took our sins on himself and died for us, so that we might have the same relationship with His Father in heaven.

 A third blessing comes to us this Ash Wednesday when Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”  It’s worth noting that this blessing clearly flows from the previous two.  It’s not enough to be humble and repentant.  This would leave us alone with God.  This beatitude reminds us that we have a life to live and people with whom we live it.  So our hunger and thirst for righteousness reveal in us a deep desire to be right with God and right with others.

 In a best-selling book entitled Same Kind of Different as Me, a once homeless man named Denver Moore says, “There’s something I learned when I was homeless:  Our limitation is God’s opportunity.  When you get all the way to the end of your rope and there ain’t nothin’ you can do, that’s when God takes over.”  Along this same line, I remember a line in a sermon given by a professor at seminary who had just lost his wife of 60 years a few days before.  He said, “I’ve been to the bottom…and it holds!”

 So it is with a yearning for righteousness.  We will always reach the end of our rope.  The righteousness we seek is only a righteousness God can give, and it does not come cheap.  It costs Jesus his life.  This is a righteousness of the heart which we receive through faith in him.  His perfect righteousness becomes ours as we place our trust in him.  From His righteousness flows all of our right decisions, right relationships, and right actions.  And we are satisfied…and blessed in Christ.

 As we begin our Lenten journey, as we make our way through life, we Christians will look different from the rest of humanity.  Our Christ-like humility, our holy grief, and our righteousness faith mark us as unique.  In these blessings of Christ, we can look at each other and say, “You are the same kind of different as me.”  Amen.

 ___________





 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

 

Saturday

2/23

Vestry Retreat – In the library

Saturday

2/23

ECW-sponsored Soup / Salad / Dessert Event, 4pm—6pm

Sunday

3/3

An Afternoon of Music w/Graeme Arbuckle, 2pm, followed by coffee & dessert

Tuesday

3/5

Pancake Supper

Wednesday

3/6

ASH WEDNESDAY, 9am and 6pm

Saturday

3/23

ECW-sponsored Quiet Day, 8am—2pm,

Retreat Leader: Fr. Deke Miller

Sunday

3/31

Special 5th Sunday, one service at 10am w/pot luck and amazing documentary on St. Francis filmed in Assisi, Italy!



 
Schedule

       

 

 

 

 

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ANGLICAN EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Church Services:

 Sunday March 17th

8 am & 10:30 am


THURSDAY

Holy Communion w/Healing - 9:00 am


http://stfrancislpfl.com/

 

 
News / Events

 

 



As the Light of Christ, we strive to bring the Love of Christ into every heart through worship, mission and the building of relationships.

 

 

This week at St. Francis…


 

   

TODAY is March 10, 2019 – 1 Lent

9:30am – Vestry Meeting (library)

 

          

 


           Tue. 3/12          10am             Thrift Store help needed – hands and trucks

                                                            Clean out of Rt. 27 storage units


 

       Wed. 3/13        12:15pm       Stations of the Cross

                                        4:30pm       Bible Study


 

Thu.  3/14                9am        Holy Communion (chapel)

                                1pm        ALPHA class  (library)

                            6:45pm        Choir rehearsal


Fri. 3/15 and


     Sat. 3/16        8a—3p        Thrift Store Yard Sale (541 Cottonwood Drive

                                                                in Buttonwood Bay)


 

 Sat. 3/16                    2pm    Baby Shower (Sarah Creekmore)



 

NEXT SUNDAY: 

March 17, 2019 – 2 Lent

10am – Ashes Interment:  Joann Hill (Memorial Garden)




.......and always remember the homeless, the hungry, the lost, those who are being persecuted for their faith, and those in the military, especially those recognized on our military display… thanking God for his many blessings.

 

 

 

 

 

                  St. Francis Veterans Table...



 

 

Parish Office (863-465-0051)

43 Lake June Road, Lake Placid, Florida 33852

www.stfrancislpfl.com

 

 


If you miss a Sunday, check announcements and sermons at     www.stfrancislpfl.com

Church’s e-mail address is comeandsee@stfrancislpfl.com  

Website assistant:  Tim Priest: 863-441-1062. 

Photos can be e-mailed to him at rsi1002@hotmail.com