St. Francis Episcopal Church in Rutherfordton, NC

News and Events

Episcopal Explanations: Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, this year on February 14, is the first of the forty days of Lent, and is named for the custom of placing blessed ashes on the foreheads of penitents. Ashes are a biblical symbol of purification and have been used in Christian rites through the centuries. The ashes used on Ash Wednesday are the residue of palms used at a previous Palm Sunday service and burned specifically to mark the foreheads of those who come to be reminded of their mortality through the familiar words spoken by the Celebrant, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Surprisingly, the imposition of ashes at the Ash Wednesday service is optional, but for many of us, beginning the season of Lent with the smudge of an ashen cross on our foreheads is a critical part of our Lenten discipline. As in recent years, there will be two opportunities to observe Ash Wednesday at St. Francis. For those who have time constraints, Mother Chris will be present at the altar of the church to impose ashes from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Prayers from the proper liturgy for Ash Wednesday will be printed on leaflets available at the back of the church, and it is strongly suggested that those who wish to receive the imposition of ashes first spend a few moments in prayer before coming forward. The Ash Wednesday liturgy, with Imposition of Ashes and Holy Eucharist, will be celebrated at 5:30 p.m.

Living Well Through Lent

Lenten devotional books from Living Compass will be available at the back of the church this Sunday, February 11. This year’s resource is entitled “Loving With All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind.” The supply is limited, so don’t hesitate to pick up one of these booklets for your family’s use.


Over 18% of people in Rutherford County live in poverty, according to the US Census of 2016. We have one homeless shelter program, the Grace of God Mission which houses men and women in separate shelters. For our service project this Lent (starting February 14th), we will collect socks and foot care products (such as clippers and lotion) for the homeless. Maybe you could ask friends and family to contribute. Lightly used and new socks would be helpful. Stay tuned for more information! Judi Gustafson

Last Call for The Reason for God Discussion Guides

Deadline for ordering your discussion guide for our Thursday Evening Lenten Study is this Friday, February 8. Cost is $5.00 each, payable to St. Francis.

Speaking of Thursday Evenings in Lent…

If you’re planning to attend the Lenten study but will not be ordering a book through the church office, please let Mother Chris know so there will be plenty of soup for everyone. Phone or voice mail: 828-287-3888 x2, email Thanks!

Company’s Coming!

Russ and Heidi Smith, “our” Chilean missionaries, will arrive in Rutherfordton on Saturday, February 17, and visit St. Francis on Sunday, February 18. They will preach at both services and give presentations after each. Russ and Heidi have a long relationship with St. Francis. Please come to welcome them and to hear about their ministry.


Thanks from the Welcome Table Team for all you did to help with Welcome Table on Monday night! We served 214 plates of food at First United Methodist Church.

This ministry is blessed by your participation in various ways. One of the ways is your preparation of a meatloaf to be used as our entrée when we serve as host. We will serve meat loaf on February 26. A total of 23 meatloaves are needed.

You don’t have to wait to prepare a meatloaf. You could prepare a meatloaf, using the recipe below, and put it in the freezer in the kitchen of the parish house. Identify the meatloaf by putting your name and the date prepared on the meatloaf. Your help in doing this will let us know we have enough meatloaves on our next time to host Welcome Table.

Meatloaf Recipe
2 lbs. ground beef
1 package onion soup mix
2 eggs
½ cup tomato sauce
¾ cup bread crumbs or crushed crackers

Combine all ingredients. Place meatloaf in loaf pan. Cook at 350 degrees for one hour or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Allow meatloaf to cool. Remove from pan and put into a zip lock freezer bar or wrap in tin foil. Identify the meatloaf with the name of the preparer and the date prepared. If you make a meatloaf before the week for Welcome Table and want to bring it to the parish house, please put it in the freezer in the kitchen.


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, February 11

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, February 12

1:30 p.m. - Day School Committee Meeting

Tuesday, February 13

5:30 p.m. - Pancake Supper
6:30 p.m. - AA

Wednesday, February 14

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

Thursday, February 15

6:00 p.m. - Lenten Supper & Study

Friday, February 16

Saturday, February 17

9:00 a.m. - DOK Study
11:00 a.m. - Memorial Service for Nancy Nix

Sunday, February 18

8:00 a.m. - Holy Eucharist Rite I
9:30 a.m. - Christian Formation
9:30 a.m. - Presentation by Russ & Heidi Smith
10:30 a.m. - Holy Eucharist Rite II
12:00 p.m. - Coffee Hour w/Presentation by Russ & Heidi Smith

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