A New Year Brings Important New Opportunities
By The Rev. Cameron Randle, Rector
 
Hebrew Bible scripture for the Nativity of Our Lord recognizes one of the central dilemmas of human existence. The author of Isaiah, Chapter 9 understands that we must grow into our destinies by acknowledging the complexity of our history while resolutely embracing the future to which we have been commissioned.
 
Speaking to the Divine on behalf of a liberated people, the prophet says, “For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.” In other words, the Israelites were newly freed from the oppression of cruel overlords in a way reminiscent of a decisive (and unexpected) historical victory over Midianite captors many years before.
 
The prophet went on to describe the nature and characteristics of the one chosen to lead the people out of their spiritual, physical and mental captivity: “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
 
Like the Hebrew people, Americans of the Christian faith are called to move forward through life with an awareness and attentiveness to our history and legacy as a people. That is not always a pleasant, easy or inviting process, especially when it entails coming to terms with our complicated past. This is abundantly evident in the context of racial relations. Yet, we cannot follow the way of Christ without taking a fearless moral inventory and confronting the outcome with honesty and humility.
 
Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church is now a local affiliate of Coming To The Table, a national organization committed to racial justice and reconciliation through dialogue, discussion and determination. Racial justice work is not easy. It can be intimidating, embarrassing, off-putting and exhausting. But it is God’s work.
 
Learn more at comingtothetable.org.
 
This year’s parish Christmas offering will go toward establishing our presence as an important new component in the good work of Coming To The Table. 2021 will be a year devoted not only to distancing ourselves from the isolation imposed by the pandemic of 2020, but of moving forward toward the higher calling of “loving our neighbors as ourselves” by first truly hearing and understanding our neighbors.
 
Meanwhile, please take time in the coming days to ponder in your hearts, as did the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mystery and wonder and goodness of God. Especially at this season.
 
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Service information for Sunday, December 27

The Diocese of Southern Virginia will be offering a virtual service of worship on Sunday, December 27. The service, which will be offered on the Diocesan Youtube channel, Facebook page, and website, will be available to watch beginning at 8 AM on the morning of December 27.

Please check your emails Sunday morning for the links. In addition, the Eastern Shore Chapel Facebook page will be hosting a live watch party for the service Sunday morning at 10:30 AM. Please be sure to like and follow our Facebook page and you will get a notification when ESC goes live. You will be able to interact with others who are watching along with you via the comments, and post your prayer requests. Please join us Sunday morning! 
MLK Zoom Study Group taking a short break
 
Our virtual encounter with Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter From A Birmingham Jail will take a short break during Christmastide. Join us when we resume meeting on January 7 at 7 PM.
Update on Stewardship and Pledges for 2021

THANK YOU to all that have sent in your 2021 Pledges! We are well on our way to our goal! The good news is that we are well on our way; the not so good news is that we are need everyone to send in their pledge so that we can reach that goal soon!
Please send it in as soon as you can!
Home Depot's Operation Surprise: Putting Good Into Action

The Home Depot Foundation has implemented a campaign to support non-profit organizations serving on the front lines during the COVID19 pandemic. This month, the Home Depot Team chose our Chapel Pantry as the recipient of a $1000 grant!

Cliff James, the Assistant Manager and Team Depot Captain said that he was researching non-profit organizations who might be eligible for the Operation Surprise Grant when he came across our website and discovered the Chapel Pantry. After reading about the Chapel Pantry and realizing what an impact this important ministry is making on the community, especially at this time, he submitted the recommendation for Eastern Shore Chapel to receive the grant. Once approved, Mr. James came to the Chapel Pantry today and presented Kay O’Reilly the Director of the Chapel Pantry with the check. 

After a tour of the campus with Kay, Mr. James said that he will be back in touch to organize a volunteer group to come and help on a Saturday. Thank you, Home Depot for selecting the Chapel Pantry as the recipient of this award so that we may continue to serve those in need in our community!    
Chapel Pantry update
Kay O'Reilly, Chapel Pantry Coordinator

Last Saturday, the Pantry wrapped up an extraordinary and challenging year. We served an astonishing 11,596 households, or 40,646 individuals. We gave out approximately 900,000 lbs. of food to our neighbors in need.
 
It was a year rich in God’s blessings - abundant and dedicated volunteers, generous financial contributions, a game-changing grant, and awesome support from the good people of Eastern Shore Chapel and Galilee Church. We have added enthusiastic new partners from First Presbyterian Church and St. Aidan’s, and we are grateful.
 
We look forward to the prospect of re-opening the Pantry in a more hospitable way, post-pandemic, and yet we know the need will long outlast the virus itself. Many of our neighbors will have long-term struggles with food insecurity as they catch up from the financial abyss so many have faced this year. We are blessed to be part of a ministry and church family committed to helping with this most basic of needs.
 
On behalf of 40,646 of your neighbors, thank you.
First Friday Men's Breakfast
By Lee Davis

The First Friday Men's Breakfast will meet on the second Friday of January - that is January 8. Although I am confident we would have a stellar turnout on New Years Day at 7:30 in the morning, I thought it prudent to delay the meeting one week. I'm just sayin'...
Please mark your calendar now so you don't forget - we are looking forward to seeing you then!
Prison Ministry Update

The KAIROS team is working on developing a birthday card ministry for graduates of the KAIROS program at Sussex II State Prison. It is our hope to have a list of names with birth month for all KAIROS graduates in the near future. If you are interested in joining this program contact any of the KAIROS Team Members: Rev. John Baldwin, Bob Balcom, Lee Davis, Craig Fenton, Don MacEachern, Alison Ward, Roger Weeden, or Harold Williams.
Morning Prayer Holiday Update

There is no holiday for Morning Prayer. We will continue EVERY day except Sunday. Join us at 7:30am sharp; click here or go to ZOOM.US meeting number 562 715 368 Password John1513. The service is lay led with rotating leaders (come and watch THAT!) and lasts for thirty minutes. It is a peace-full way to begin your day. You don’t need to bring a thing but your sleepy self. We will all be made richer by your presence.
Become a link in the Prayer Chain

Are you interested in serving on the ESC Prayer Chain? It is a humbling experience, in the quiet of the morning, to offer up to Our Creator the names of family and friends who have found their way to our Prayer List. Contact Fr. Cameron or Rev. Melody.

"Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere." Ephesians 6:18
Merry Christmas from Parish Book Store!

A very Merry Christmas to our wonderful patrons who have supported us through in-store sales and orders and through online orders from bookshop.org/shop/parishbookstore! We are taking a break, but will be open beginning January 11, 2021, by appointment. See you in the New Year!
Thank you from the American Red Cross

Thank you so much for all your hard work for the blood drive! We ended collecting 17 productive pints; saving over 51 lives. We couldn't have done it without all your dedication and support. From our fearless founder, Clara Barton: “I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them.” Thanks for supporting our life saving mission and we look forward to working together in 2021.
Please note that there will be no Chapel Chimes email next week.
The Chapel Chimes will return on January 6.
Ongoing at ESC
Daily Prayer Opportunities
Each morning (except Sunday) a group gathers on ZOOM to practice Daily Morning Prayer. It is lay led, each day with a different leader. Since March 25 we have had 221 services with over 800 attendees. Average attendance is 3.6 souls. Attendance has improved in December, average is 4.5 souls! Join us for a Holy Spirit filled thirty minutes – a glorious way to start your day. The service starts promptly at 7:30 am and is completed by 8:00. Click here or go to ZOOM.US and enter meeting number 562 715 368; passcode John1513. If you are more inclined, Evening Prayer is available also. ZOOM meeting number 869 9363 5805 password Ex1414. The service starts at 7:00 pm.
Zoom with your Sunday School class!
Join friends and teachers, by Zoom, as they meet and discuss lessons from this year’s curriculum – Feasting on the Word. Confirmation classes for students in the Senior High Class meet on the first and third Sundays of the month during the regular Sunday School hour at 9:10 a.m. Classes on the second and fourth Sundays include Lectionary based topics. To discuss formation needs or other questions, please contact Patti Glowatsky (pglowatsky@easternshorechapel.org), Director of Family Formation:
Prayers for Our Military
From CRU Military Ministry - As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, PRAY that the militaries and their families around the world will experience The Prince of Peace in their hearts in a most personal way. May there be such Joy in remembering that through this divine birth, a Way was made to truly have Peace on earth! 

Prayer Cards for Deployed Service Members
If you would like a prayer card sent to your deployed service member please contact Bill Hunter at whunter9@cox.net or 757-402-6384. Please let Bill know if deployed military members have returned so that he can welcome them back and remove them from the deployed military prayer list. Sponsors should contact Bill with contact info for formerly deployed members.
The Chapel Chimes is distributed every Wednesday.
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