St. Francis Episcopal Church in Rutherfordton, NC

News and Events

Episcopal Explanations: Reserved Sacraments, the Tabernacle, and the Sanctuary Light

Have you noticed the red light that hangs above the altar? It’s called the Sanctuary Light, and when “on” it indicates there are reserved sacraments in the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is a secure cupboard or receptacle used to keep sacred vessels, sacraments reserved for later use, and oil consecrated by the bishop for anointing the newly baptized and folks who come for healing. At St. Francis, the Tabernacle was built into the altar so that all we see of it is the brass door on its front. It’s inappropriate for the light to be on if there are no reserved sacraments in the Tabernacle, so its absence means that no sacraments have been reserved. At St. Francis the Sanctuary Light is almost always on, except after the reserved sacraments are removed on Maundy Thursday. On that day the light is extinguished, then turned back on once reserved sacraments are again placed in it. The light will be turned back on this Sunday after we place reserved sacraments in the Tabernacle. For clarification, the reserved sacraments are bread and wine consecrated but not consumed in our celebration of the Eucharist. Our Eucharistic Visitors take bread and wine that has been consecrated specifically for that use, and these elements become a way for sick or homebound members to connect to the Body of Christ here at St. Francis. We have a good roster of faithful Eucharistic Visitors, so I normally don’t take communion when I visit parishioners unless the circumstances are unusual and on those occasions I use reserved sacraments. If you have any questions about the reserved sacraments and how they are stored or used, ask me! CFB+

Sabbatical Countdown

Some of you may be wondering why a priest needs or deserves sabbatical time. The Episcopal Church encourages its clergy to take sabbaticals, and our diocese includes a sabbatical provision in the Letter of Agreement between priests and their parishes. Your vestry has been preparing for this since I arrived by reserving funds each year to cover the costs of clergy services while I’m away. May 31 marks the end of my sixth year at St. Francis. The time has gone by quickly as we’ve shared many ups and downs: baptisms of babies, deaths of beloved members, new members coming and old members leaving. My family has experienced its own ups and downs during this time, most notably my husband’s illness and death, my son’s marriage, and the births of two beautiful children. My life and ministry feel stable now, but I’m acutely aware that stability can easily become complacency and stagnation. This sabbatical time is an excellent opportunity for all of us to think about our future. For me, it will be a time of rest, reflection, and renewal, a transition from the past to the future, and an opportunity to discern how God is calling me to lead our parish when I return. While I’m away, each of you also has an opportunity to think and pray about what’s ahead for us together. Where have we come from, and where are we going? I hope you’ll give that some thought and prayer, so that when I return we can talk about our visions, hopes, and dreams for St. Francis and how we can work together to accomplish them. Next week I’ll share with you some of the specific things I’ll be doing while I’m away. As always, I invite you to talk with me if you have questions or comments. Chris+

Sunday Morning Christian Formation

Over the past several months, our Parish Hall class has been discussing various chapters from a book by Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, The Bible Doesn’t Say That, and we’ve had interesting and lively conversations about faith matters, including Creation and Evolution, the Virgin Birth, the Rapture, and Marriage, just to name a few. Over the next two weeks, we’ll focus on what the Bible says—or doesn’t say—about Homosexuality and Abortion. The Commons Room Bible Study led by David Lloyd continues its study of the Gospel of John. Both classes are happy to welcome newcomers on Sunday mornings at 9:30. Children’s Church continues with Godly Play at 10:30 each Sunday. May 21 will be the last Sunday for Christian Formation classes before we break for the summer. A nursery will be provided during the 10:30 service for children aged 5 and under during the summer break.

Good Job, Volunteers!

Congratulations to Susan Keith and Doug Tribou, both of whom were honored at the Volunteer Rutherford meeting last month. Susan was honored at last year’s dinner for her work in the church, specifically with the Daughters of the King, despite her health limitations. This year she was presented the Governor’s Award for that work. Doug was honored as a member of the Habitat for Humanity Construction Crew, one of five finalists for this year’s grand award. We’re proud of both of you and thankful for the work you do for our community and our church.

Mid-Week Eucharist with Healing

Don’t forget our midweek Service of Healing with Holy Eucharist each Wednesday evening at 5:30 pm in the Commons Room of the Parish House. Anointing for healing is part of the service but is not a requirement for those who attend. All are welcome!

Yokefellow Donation Item

May - August
Canned Meat


8:00 a.m.-Holy Eucharist Rite I
9:30 a.m.-Christian Formation 
10:30 a.m.-Holy Eucharist Rite II (with choir) 

To see pictures of what goes on at St Francis outside of these walls click on the photo.

Coming Events

Sunday, May 7

8:00 a.m. - Holy Eucharist Rite I
9:00 a.m. - Coffee Hour
9:30 a.m. - Christian Formation
10:30 a.m. - Holy Eucharist Rite II
12:00 p.m. - Potluck

Monday, May 8

7:30 a.m. - AA

Tuesday, May 9

6:00 p.m. - AA

Wednesday, May 10

7:00 a.m. - Joe Middleton Group
12:00 p.m. - AA
5:30 p.m. - Healing Service with HE
6:30 p.m. - Brotherhood of St. Andrew Prison Meeting
7:00 p.m. - Choir Practice

Thursday, May 11

Friday, May 12

Saturday, May 13

Sunday, May 14
Youth & Graduation Sunday

8:00 a.m. - Holy Eucharist Rite I
9:30 a.m. - Christian Formation
10:30 a.m. - Holy Eucharist Rite II
11:45 a.m. - Reception for Youth & Graduates

Home | Staff & Vestry | Newsletter | Calendars | About Us | Programs & Ministries | Links | Sitemap

395 North Main Street, Rutherfordton, North Carolina 28139
Office: (828)287-3888 | Email:
©2011 St. Francis Episcopal Church