• Welcome to St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in downtown Novato.
  • Come and see!
  • All are welcome!
  • Worship in the beauty of holiness.


Welcome to St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church, a theologically progressive and inclusive community of faith.

St. Francis is known for its welcome and hospitality of the young, old, and the young at heart. We are a community of compassion and acceptance with a commitment to exploring and deepening our faith. Inspired by our patron saint, Francis, we have a hunger for justice and peace in the world. St. Clare's, our outdoor chapel, is always open for prayer and meditation.

If you prefer walking meditation our outdoor labyrinth is the place to still your soul. On Sunday mornings we offer a variety of worship services that draw on the ancient and modern practices of the Episcopal Church. We look forward to welcoming you in person.

St. Francis, an Episcopal Church in the Diocese of California, is nestled beneath a breathtaking canopy of oaks in downtown Novato on 5th Street just south of Grant Avenue.

Peace be with you! The Rev. Vanessa Stickler Glass, Rector

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Contact Us

Saint Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church
967 5th St.
Novato, California 94945
Phone: 415-892-1609
Donation Category:

Regular Services

  • Community Sunday - one service at 9:30 am on the first Sunday of every month
  • 9 am Contemporary service
  • 11am Traditional service


Lenten Book Study - Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most

Wednesdays, March 4, 11, 18, at 7:00 pm, the Vicarage

Lent is a time of self-examination. This Lent we will examine the life of faith through the lens of renowned author and theologian Marcus Borg.  Please purchase your own copy of Marcus Borg’s book, Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most. 

March 4 - Preface, Chapters 1 - 3

March 11 - Chapters 4 - 7

March 18 - Chapters 8 - 11

For questions please contact the Rev. Vanessa Glass, rector@stfrancisnovato.org or 892-1609. 


Congratulations to Peter Bland, Gwen Soberay and Will Taylor who were elected to the Vestry and to Sara Basque, Al Ferrando and Betsey Guthrie who were elected as Deanery Delegates! To learn more about our newly elected leaders read their bios below.

Welcome the Vestry Class of 2018!

Peter Bland

Peter Bland has been attending St Francis since September 2011.  Until his retirement, Peter was formerly the organist for 23 years (staff member), treasurer, Chair of Trustees and Chair of Council at various times at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in San Rafael where his wife, Gloria, is still choir director.  He has temporarily stepped back into an interim treasurer position at Aldersgate through 2014 to support friends there.  Peter’s former career was as a chemist/physicist with Imperial Chemical Industries – a British Chemical Company – in various countries round the world including most recently the United States.  He held several research management positions during his career and was most recently involved in the management of an acquisition in Richmond CA until his retirement. 

At St Francis, Peter has worked with the Stewardship program for the last two years and has also been a teller.    Peter’s three siblings all live in England and although their parents were Baptist they have been active in the Church of England most of their lives. It was Peter’s long term goal to return to his roots in the Church of England in retirement.  Peter and Gloria have four children and two grandchildren, one of each in California and the rest on the East Coast of the USA.  In addition to her staff position at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Gloria is a pianist with the choral program in the Dixie school district and sings with the Dominican University Chorale and the Marin Symphony Chorale.

Gwendolyn Soberay

Gwendolyn Soberay is native of California. She grew up in Southern California and migrated to the bay area in December of 2003, when she was offered a position at an architectural firm in San Rafael. Her youngest son Kyle made the move with her and they settled in East Petaluma.

In the fall of 2004, they joined St. Francis and moved to Novato a year later, since that time Gwendolyn has served as Co-chairman on the Vestry and taught the Alpha Course for one season.  She loves to sing and has been known to serve on both choirs. In 2012, she felt Gods calling to serve as a Lector/Ecumenical Minster. She has also served as Co-chairman of the Women’s Retreat committee.

In Gwen’s professional life she owns her own business – GeGee’s Sewing & Upholstery Studio, where she does furniture re-upholstery, sewing, teaches sewing and upholstery classes to children and adults. She is open to God’s calling and looks forward to being a representative to St. Francis as a Dean.

Will Taylor

I'm a Marin County native, and I grew up in the Church of Nativity, an Episcopal church in Marinwood. After living in San Francisco for many years, my family and I recently moved back to Marin seeking to lay down roots and build a deep community here in Novato.  We have been warmly welcomed by the St. Francis congregation and feel blessed by the genuine interest and love we have found here. I am currently engaged in work to develop a supportive community of families with young children of St. Francis.  I know firsthand and believe that our church has a lot to offer, and I am committed to gathering current and new families together at St. Francis.  In addition, I joined members of the vestry for three full days of Congregational Development training last year, and I am excited to apply what I have learned as a new member of the vestry .   

As a strategy and business development executive in the mobile telecommunications industry, I have been managing teams and leading organizations through periods of growth and transformation for more than 15 years.  I received joint MBA degrees from UC Berkeley and Columbia University after completing their program for executives in 2011.  I also have a Master's in Education and a Bachelor's in Psychology from Bucknell University, and I worked in schools as a counselor before deciding to pursue interests in the business world.  I graduated from the Branson School in 1988.

Deanery Delegates

Sara Basque

Sara has been a member of St. Francis for over twenty years. She’s a member of the Altar Guild and is a past member of the diocesan Altar Guild. Sara is a retired San Francisco parking enforcement officer and retired Community Service Officer for the Twin Cities Police Department. She has served on the deanery before, and looks forward to representing St. Francis at deanery meetings and the diocesan convention.

Al Ferrando

Al has been a member of the parish since 1987. He has currently served on the deanery for over ten years, six of which he has served as a deanery officer. Also facilitated four "voice of the parish" surveys prior to convention in that time. He has served on the diocesan resolution committee for the last 3 years. Additionally he serves the parish as -- manager of Angel's Attic, coordinator of the EM/Lector schedule, and facilitator of the weekly Liturgy of the Word reflection (emailed to lectors and other interested parties.)

Betsy Guthrie

I have been a member of St. Francis for over 15 years.  I have served two terms on the Vestry so I am well acquainted with our internal church governance.  I am interested in learning more about Diocesan governance so I am running for a Deanery position.


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