Book Study Redux: Gifts of the Dark Wood
by The Rev. Cameron Randle, Rector

It seems like a lifetime ago when we assembled in the parish hall on Sunday evenings to wrestle our way through Eric Elnes’ thought provoking book entitled Gifts of the Dark Wood: Seven Blessings For Soulful Skeptics (And Other Wanderers ). In the 16 weeks since then, most of us have spent more time contending with aspects of the real life ‘Dark Wood’ than we could ever have imagined. The pandemic crisis brought our collective routines to a graceless halt. Our lives weren’t just interrupted; they were altered without our permission. As COVID-19 cases continue to increase in Virginia Beach, the requisite uncertainty characteristic of our sobering new reality casts a brooding shadow over spiritual, mental and emotional landscapes.
It seems appropriate to reconvene our book study now that many of us are armchair experts on how to expect the unexpected. Beginning August 4, I will reinstitute a parish discussion of Elnes’ book. We’ll meet by Zoom videoconference at 7 PM on the first three Wednesdays of each month. If the ESC parish office has your correct, current email address, you will receive an invitation and link to join us for the new online book study. Please do not feel intimidated or defeated if you’ve not participated in a Zoom event. If you can open an email, you can successfully join a Zoom meeting. Our parish administrator, Laurie Fox, will be happy to help you brave the brave new world. Just ask for help by calling the parish office (757-428-6763) or emailing Laurie at . If you need to purchase a copy of the book please contact Parish Book Store.
In Chapter 2 on The Gift of Uncertainty, Elnes explicates the context and meaning of the Biblical story of Jesus healing a paralyzed man at the pool of Beth-Zatha, also known as Bethsada. Elnes points out that the man has been begging for 38 years at the entrance to the healing waters and does not initiate a request for healing from or through Jesus. It is Jesus who asks the man whether or not he wants to be healed. Elnes writes that the man actually “… has no interest in being healed. After all, he’s making a good living. He’s got the respect of his peers. His social, religious, and economic world revolves around the pool. His life is defined by his limitations. To heal this man would be to disrupt everything he knows and has become accustomed to in this world. It would take away his certainty. But Jesus does heal him.”
What does it mean to us that so much of our former certainty has been replaced with fluidity and ambiguity? Are we, too, on the receiving end of some type of divine healing and just don’t know it? Or are we still stuck at the entrance to the transformative pool, afraid to ask anyone to help us stick our toes in the water? Let’s take a look together at the implications of those questions and others similar to them. Until then, may the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen!
An Invitation to Parish Community Groups 
by Patti Frankenfield
Our Thanksgiving On the Lawn conversation Sunday night was wonderful, for those who were able to attend. We had about 30 present according to best count! Amazing how God gave us a cooler breeze as we met, and while it was thundering an hour before and an hour after, God blessed our time together with bearably hot summer weather. There was great conversation and a great time of praising and thanking God for our blessings, even in the difficult times. So good to see so many friendly faithful faces, even with masks on all. 
We are now inviting ALL in our congregation to join a Parish Community Group! 
Church-wide Study Begins the Week of August 3rd!
A small group of vestry members and interested parishioners have been discussing creative ways we can continue to have safe, yet meaningful conversations with our congregation, while we await a much hoped for, but perhaps still distant opportunity to return to the sanctuary. Father Cameron has suggested we use the Episcopal Catechism in the back of our Book of Common Prayer, as a guide for conversations in small groups. We plan to discuss one of 16 points for as many weeks, meeting twice a month, at a variety of times. These meetings will initially be held by Zoom, and as small group members are comfortable, in private homes. Masks will be worn and physical distancing will be observed at the home meetings. We have volunteers for group leaders, for up to six groups, so now we need group members! There is no homework, just come to the meeting for a check in, spend quality time with others from our church, and enjoy a group led discussion of the questions posed in the catechism. We hope you will find this interesting, and will be willing to join us as we experience community time in a whole new way! 
Please feel free to direct any questions to the Community Groups committee members: Lee Davis, ( ), Allison Ward Johnson, ( ) or Patti Frankenfield ( ). Groups will be led by these three, along with Worth Remick, Ann & Rusty Onhaizer (with Priscilla Jaffee), and Babs Neff. Please feel free to let us know if you have a preferred group leader, and a preferred time for meeting-- morning, afternoon, or evening. Sign up by sending an email to Patti at
We look forward to enjoying safe community time with each other in August! 
by Marty Thumel
Memorial Day Weekend - Field of Flags
It was hot, but the ground was soft from all the rain. We put out all the flags, less the broken ones. Bill Hunter designed a cross of flags near the road. Great idea.
During this event, a gentleman walked up to me, and we chatted for a minute. I invited him to join us, or to please come to church when it opens back up. He handed me a check for $200.00 to pay for flags next year. There were tears on his face, and mine too.
July 4th – Field of Flags
It was hot, and the ground wouldn’t let go of the flags, they were rooted in cement. Steve Shirley repaired the flags as they came down. It was a crew – Bill Hunter, Fiona Hawley, Les and Carollyn Cox, Mel Runzo, Dan McCready, Don Gay, Sandy Ricks, Jim Yourish, Sally Cox. Marty LaGiglia and her grandchildren took some down earlier in the week.
As a parish, we will need to discuss plans the flags for next year. At least 30% were damaged during this year’s storms. I’m thinking perhaps we can continue with the Book of Names and have representative flags for all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free. What are your thoughts?
Intentional Steps: Our Journey to Jerusalem
By The Rev. Julia Messer

Long ago, in an age past, we began the 2020 Lenten Season. I along with Brother Lee Davis, presented us with her “Healthy Lent” program. She presented a series of “exercises” we could do intentionally to earn “steps”. Each step would draw us closer to our goal of reaching Jerusalem by Easter. Our journey together began on Ash Wednesday (February 26) and continued ‘till Easter (April 12). Everything changed in early March as we began to realize COVID-19 was going to be a pandemic and we were going into a prolonged season of isolation. We modified the program and kept on walking.

Now, a full 20 weeks after we began, we are ending the walk. We made it to Jerusalem, figuratively kissed the ground, turned around and headed home. Great big thank you to all who participated. It was a good exercise; I hope that some of us picked up new spiritual habits as a result.

We would like to hear your feed back on the program. Did you participate? If not, why and if you did, how do you feel about it. What could we have done to make it better, more meaningful? Have you suggestions to improve it or perhaps for another different program sometime?

A HUGE Thank you to Lee for being on the ball every week and updating all the steps. Thank you to EVERYONE who participated.

In thanks and greatest of thanks,
Rev. Julia
Pantry During the Pandemic
By Kay O'Reilly, Chapel Pantry Coordinator

Our intrepid volunteers served 182 households in the blazing heat last Saturday – bless them all! We’ve now been serving through our drive-thru pandemic model for 15 weeks. In that time, we’ve given groceries to 3,173 families in need.

Looking for ways to help? We are now able to source most of our food from the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. However, we do have two ongoing needs: bottled water for volunteers and guests waiting in the car line, and eggs . We receive lots of donated eggs through the food rescue program, but rarely enough to give eggs to each household. We are here to accept donations Monday through Friday from 10 to 2.

Thank you for your continued support of this ministry!
Shop ONLINE at the Parish Book Store!

Want to support the Parish Book Store, but finding it a bit of a challenge because we are still physically closed? We have the solution: go to, click on the Bookshop link ( and order ANY book. The Parish Book Store earns the commission on the sale, and Bookshop ships the book directly to you. The titles are not limited to books we have in our current inventory or religious books, but include children’s titles as well as fiction and nonfiction.

Bookshop, which is nonprofit, was created to support independent bookshops that have faced the challenge of competition from online ordering from Amazon. Each affiliate earns 10% of overall sales made through (over $5 million since January), and members of the American Booksellers Association (that means the Parish Book Store!) earn 30% of each sale made through their websites or by visiting and clicking on the display of the bookstore selected.

So while we are sequestered, we hope that you will continue to read and to support the Parish Book Store.
Thursday Morning Daily Office Live Returns!
By Lee Davis

As we approach the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel I wanted to share with you the plans for our weekday morning service.

We will continue to ZOOM the Daily Morning Office every day but Sunday ( Click here or go to ZOOM meeting number 562 715 368, password John1513). The service starts at 7:30. Beginning Thursday July 30, we will offer the additional option of attending in person at the outdoor chapel at Eastern Shore Chapel each week. We will start at the traditional time, we will observe all of the necessary rules; face masks are required, social distancing will be observed, and no singing! I hope to also ZOOM the service from there so folks uncomfortable with getting out can still attend.

It is encouraging to be closer to the end of the lockdown than to the beginning. As we come out on the other side let's recognize our blessings and shine the Light of Christ in new and intentional ways!

Questions or comments contact Lee Davis 757-679-3249 or
Handbell Regathering

Excitement and music making is in the air. As a small group, we have been given the okay to assemble for practice time.  Because singing of the choir and congregation will not be permitted in our future regathering, I am extending an invitation to all choir members to participate in handbell music making. We are planning two practice sessions beginning on August 12. They will be:
  • Wednesday mornings at 10:30 am, for beginners with a desire to learn and make music
  • Wednesday evenings at 6:00 pm, for present and past bell ringers, and others with musical experience wishing to participate in music making

Because the coronavirus is still with us and will be for an extended time, we are required to follow specific rules when in rehearsals. These rehearsal guidelines include, but may not be completely inclusive at this time, are:
  • Bell players will be spaced six feet apart from any other person.
  • Everyone will wear a mask when entering, during, and leaving rehearsal.
  • Everyone will use hand sanitizer before any entry into the practice session.
  • Gloves will be given to and worn by every person. Please bring a zip lock storage bag to keep your gloves. Take the gloves home and wash them when you have finished each practice.
  • Each bell handle must be sanitized after each practice session.
  • Each bell player will be responsible to retrieve his assigned bells from the bell cases, before each rehearsal and replace them in the proper case following each rehearsal.
  • Please bring an old used bath towel to place under your bells and wipe each bell following rehearsals

Please contact Dr. Sunderland at indicating your desire to participate in our handbell music making.
Music for the Eighth Sunday After Pentecost
By Martin Sunderland, Organist & Choir Master

All of our featured music this Sunday incorporates the Irish tune “Slane.” We love singing the familiar tune to the text “Be thou my vision.” The anthem today is an arrangement of the tune composed by William Culverhouse, a former Eastern Shore Chapel parishioner and choir member. This recording was made during a concert featuring the choirs of Eastern Shore Chapel and The First Presbyterian Church, Virginia Beach. The organ voluntary is played on the beautiful organ in the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Be Thou My Vision, William Culverhouse

Be thou my vision, organ

Be thou my vision, organ and handbells (click on the listen button)
Virtual Sunday School and Confirmation Interest Meeting

Young Children: In addition to mailed coloring sheets to go with the Lectionary readings, join us every other Sunday for our Zoom Children’s Bible Story Time! The next story time is July 26 at 9:10 am.

Middle School: Students will use Legos or other materials they have in the house to build a response to “What is the Bible saying to you?" The next mailing will go out to coordinate with the July 26 readings.

High School: Students gather weekly on Zoom for fellowship and some spiritual gems along the way!

Confirmation Interest Meeting! 
Please join us on August 16 at 1pm for a Zoom interest meeting for all rising 9th to12th graders about confirmation. Fr. Cameron will be present to answer all of your questions.
If you are interested in any of these activities or need more information, please email or
Virtual Camp Turtle Trap travels to India!

Session 4 of Virtual Camp Turtle Trap, "Travel the World, Stay @ Home", has begun. This week we will travel to India and the Philippines. We are blessed to have a staff member from India, Mrs. Kavitha shared with us the clothing, hobbies and food of her culture! The children created Rangoli made from colored sand. Rangoli are a part of the Diwali celebration celebrated in India. Next week we're off to China and Japan - world travelers without even leaving our homes!
Saints & Themes taking a short break

Rev. Julia's weekly Saints and Themes online gathering will be taking a break through the end of July. Look for it to return in August!
Daily Morning Prayer via ZOOM

Join us for Daily Morning Prayer, the first of the daily offices each day (except Sunday). Everything you need is provided, simply join us on ZOOM each morning at 7:30 AM. It takes about thirty minutes and is a very good way indeed to start the day. Join us each morning at 7:30 ( ZOOM meeting number: 562 715 368, password: John1513). Informal, come as you are, just be there. This is food for the soul.  Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Evening Prayer via ZOOM

Join us each evening for Evening Prayer every Monday through Friday at 7:30 PM via ZOOM. Just go to and enter meeting number 869 9363 5805, and password: Ex1414. Hosted by David Wynne.
Give the gift of life! Give blood tomorrow, July 23

Our next blood drive at ESC is tomorrow, July 23, 2 to 6 p.m. All Red Cross blood drives are now by appointment only. All donors must schedule an appointment to donate by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS. Right now, blood donors are urgently needed. The American Red Cross is now testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies . Antibody test results will be available within 7 to 10 days.
The Chapel Chimes is distributed every Wednesday.
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