Holding onto Hope: A National Service for Healing & Wholeness

On Nov. 1 thousands of Americans tuned in to Washington National Cathedral’s virtual interfaith prayer service, which brought together an array of Americans of diverse faiths, races and backgrounds to heal and pray for the country. The service, “Holding onto Hope: A National Service for Healing and Wholeness,” led participants through three stages: confession and reckoning, lament and grief, and hope. It was a mix of live and prerecorded segments featuring Scripture readings, musical performances, prayers from religious and civic leaders, and a sermon from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. The video of the sermon can be found here. Text of the sermon, in English and Spanish, can be found here.
Love in the Time of COVID: Parish Small Groups
By Carrollyn Cox
             
It may seem like a long time since we’ve shared communion around the chancel, even longer since we’ve shared coffee and handshakes, hugs and conversation with our ESC friends.  But when ESC parishioners who are participating in the small congregational groups meet with their group, suddenly all the uncertainty and sense of loss melts away.

Each small group has formed their own small society and societal norms. Each one has a time of meeting, their own method of how we begin and how we pray. Yes, we all study the same curriculum, our Episcopal Catechism, but each group goes about it in their own way. We may share a snack, or a cup of coffee, or we may bring our own water bottles. Nobody in my group seems to be fazed by my knitting being ever present in my hands and lap.

The frequency of meetings is agreed at twice a month and the day of the meeting is first set by the host and changed as needed. Our individual attendance is subject to our personal schedule. Each of us knows that when we feel overwhelmed and don’t think we can add another thing to our day, we are understood and welcomed back the next time we meet. In my group, when Allison and David Johnson (our hosts) scheduled a family camping weekend to celebrate their anniversary, it was a no-brainer to postpone our Tuesday evening meeting to the next scheduled time. We try hard to keep ourselves to a schedule of one hour, but if the discussion is intense, we aren’t too religious about the timing of our closing prayer.

So far, the small group I attend has met outdoors. The Johnson’s deck is just large enough for us to “social distance” around their patio table and helps us feel safer in our interaction. We are now moving indoors with social distancing and masks, at least on cold evenings! At least one group meets on Zoom. The number of participants of the current groups ranges from 8 to 10 or so, still small enough to feel safe. 

We’ve learned a lot about each other and have found reasons to love one another all over again. We’ve experienced “Aha” moments when we are struggling with the answer printed in our Prayer Books which responds to a question posed in the Catechism and one of our number says, “I think it means…” and we find the simple rationality of their view makes more sense than all our stumbling attempts at understanding. All the group hosts report that their discussions are lively and satisfying.

We’ve learned a lot about the rest of our parish as well. We’ve learned that Sunday nights are not the most popular time for our parishioners. Unless there is a special event happening at church, we’ve grown accustomed to using Sunday night to relish the weekend and to gear up for the busy week ahead.

The only thing most of us would change would be the fact that so many dearly loved members of our congregation are so alone during this time of uncertainty. Several of these groups are still small enough to be open to additional participants and new groups are encouraged. There are other church members, young and old, who will host a group that wants to join in this study and time of companionship.

My first title for this Chimes piece was “When Two or Three Are Gathered …” I changed it when it became clear that although Christ definitely is among us as we meet, God’s love and our growing love for each other has somehow become the binding cord. Lucky for us all, that binding chord is stretchable.   Please join us and share that love and community.

For more information about joining Parish Small Groups, please contact Lee Davis at cleedavis@gmail.com

Photo: Members of David Johnson and Allison Ward Johnson’s Parish Small Group.
Youth Acolytes Serve with a Purpose
by Ellen Gallup and Susan Buchanan
 
In the Episcopal Church, an acolyte is a person assisting the clergy in a religious service or procession. The position may be filled by adults or youth; we are fortunate to draw from both categories in our parish.
 
At ESC, youth can become acolytes in the 6th grade and serve until they graduate from high school. An interest in serving and a simple call to Susan Buchanan or Ellen Gallup are all that’s needed to join the ranks. Group training is held after the 10:15 a.m. service on the first Sunday after Labor Day, but individual training is available anytime there is a need or a desire. Youth acolytes traditionally serve at the 10:15 service, and each is scheduled about every four to six weeks.
 
The acolytes rotate through different positions based on experience. Those include crucifer (carrying the cross), Gospel carrier, second server, and first server with first server being the most senior position. These four lead the processions at the beginning and the end of the services, as well as the Gospel procession, and assist the clergy at the altar and with any other needs that may arise.
 
Being an acolyte is a very important and valuable ministry. In addition to leading processions and assisting the priests, they are leaders to whom the congregation looks for direction during the church service. When asked on Senior Recognition Sunday about their favorite and most meaningful experiences thus far at ESC, most graduating students will include their tenure as an acolyte.
Tithing and Pledge Cards – Stewardship at ESC
By Worth Remick and Lee Davis, Stewardship Committee
 
What is Tithing?
 
Wikipedia defines “tithe” like this: A tithe is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash or checks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural produce. 

It is better defined, I think, in our spiritual environment like this: A “tithe” is that part of God’s gifts to a person that they prayerfully, joyfully and with thanksgiving return to Him.
It is traditionally 10% but there follows the question of “10% of what?” Is it 10% of gross annual income or net annual income? It is that part of whichever standard resonates with you, but 10% of net is a recommended start.

There is nobody “fact checking” a tithe. It is a commitment between an individual or, preferably, a family and Creator, Sustainer God. It is an ongoing, reoccurring recognition that everything we have is a gift from God, just like His grace is an ongoing, reoccurring blessing to us. It is our humble attempt to help as we can the church and those less fortunate than us.
 
What is the difference between tithes and offerings?

An offering is a more limited act of giving back to God in response to a specific request or opportunity . It could be for a particular cause, ministry or need. A tithe is defined above and is the “big picture approach” versus an offering, which is for a more particular occasion.
 
Why do we need to tithe?

If you give you will receive. Your gift will return to you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving, large or small, it will be used to measure what is given back to you. Luke 6:38 NLT
Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. 1 Peter 4:10 NRSV

“It’s not how much of my money I will give to God, but how much of God’s money will I keep for myself.” Oswald Smith

In local terms, we need to support our church, our clergy and staff, utilities, ministries, missions and our tithe to the Diocese of Southern Virginia.
 
Why is tithing important to God?

“The most important aspect of tithing and stewardship is not the raising of money for the church, but the development of devoted Christians.”  Fred M. Wood
 
What is a Pledge card?

A Pledge Card, which will be mailed out to Parishioners in the next week, is a Parishioner’s tithe (pledge) to the Church. It is the evidence of a Parishioner’s commitment. The card is not public knowledge and is held in a safe in the Parish Administrator’s office, where the results are tabulated and kept in a private file. While it is a commitment, it is not mandatory that it be paid. It also gives the Finance Committee, Vestry, Rector and staff a pretty good idea of revenue to pay expenses in 2021. The budget for 2021 is now being developed, so it is important that the church receive Pledge Cards for 2021 soon.
MLK Zoom Study Group Continues

Our virtual encounter with Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter From A Birmingham Jail is underway on Thursdays at 7 PM. To participate in the discussion led by Fr. Cameron, please utilize the following link:

Meeting ID: 867 4565 9757
Passcode: RaUX0W
Hard Passages of the Bible - Week 7 discussions tomorrow
 
The Episcopal churches of Virginia Beach are back for the final week (week 7) of our Bible Study - working together to help us all grow in Spirit and Truth as we grow in knowledge of God’s Word. This week Deacon Carter Sinclair leads a discussion of Luke 1-2 and Matthew 1-2. Watch this week's teaching video and then join us at one of the Zoom discussions on Thursday, November 5 - 11 a.m. or 7 p.m. The log in information for those gatherings is below. The Zoom links will also be posted with the weekly video on the YouTube channel, Episcopal Churches of Virginia Beach. Click on the screenshot below to watch this week's video from Deacon Carter.
11:00am Zoom Meeting on Thursday, November 5
Meeting ID: 726 5046 8457
Passcode: MSwBG7

7:00pm Zoom Meeting on Thursday, November 5
Meeting ID: 792 1912 1457
Passcode: qV3ALt
First Friday Men's Breakfast is this Friday!

This Friday (November 6) is our First Friday Men's Breakfast!! Please plan to join us LIVE in the Eastern Shore Chapel parish hall. We will practice social distancing and masks will be required. Breakfast to go will be provided as you leave. There is a lot going on - new things are happening - come join us for fellowship, bible discussion and updates from our vestry. We begin at 7:30 sharp and will end no later than 8:30... promise. Click here for the readings for Sunday November 8. Remember, we are following Track 2. (I honestly don't know which of those readings will be used however.) Please plan on joining us - we will all be made richer by your presence!
Chapel Pantry update
By Kay O'Reilly, Chapel Pantry Coordinator

The pantry had yet another busy Saturday on Halloween, serving 386 families. Our volunteers got into the holiday spirit, with many dressed in costumes, and Debbie Roberson handing out candy and stickers to children in cars. Our littlest volunteer dressed up as a unicorn fairy princess and helped give eggs to each family.

Please keep those empty egg cartons and eggs coming, also paper grocery bags. Thanks!
Peanut Group not headed back to the kitchen yet

The Peanut Group is not planning to start cooking peanuts until it is safe to do so. Our kitchen at ESC is wonderful for many things but is not large enough for any kind of distancing. We cannot plan to cook until there is some kind of control over the COVID-19 virus. Thanks for understanding.  
Parish Book Store Open House & SALE!

The Parish Book Store is having an Open House/ BIG SALE on Tuesday, Nov. 17, and Tuesday, Dec. 8. Most books and selected gift items will be 20% off with even bigger savings on our “Going, Going, Gone” items. We will be open from 9 to 1 each of the days, but you must make an appointment for a time slot by calling Susan Buchanan (757-481-2595). We have Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas items on hand and will take orders if you don’t find what you are looking for. 

Help us get books to Mission of the Holy Spirit
Don't forget, ware currently taking monetary donations for books for the children of the Mission of the Holy Spirit. Send your check made out to Parish Book Store, with “Mission” in the memo line, to Parish Book Store, 2020 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach 23454. Thanks for your support!
Sunday School & Confirmation classes via Zoom

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.

Classes are organized as follows:

Anyone wishing to receive a link to these Zoom classes may email the teachers listed above. To discuss formation needs or other questions, please contact Patti Glowatsky (pglowatsky@easternshorechapel.org), Director of Family Formation.
Parish Day School building future voters

This week at Parish Day School our classes have been learning about being a classroom and community citizen. On Monday, our students cast their votes for their classroom mascots from our favorite storybooks. Some of our candidates were Pete the Cat, Elephant, T-Rex and Mr. Potato Head. Our students voted on ballots and put their ballots in the ballot box. They even received I Voted stickers. We are building future voters and engaged citizens in our preschool.
 
In the month of November, the fruit of the spirit is Kindness. We learning about Ephesians 4:32, Be kind to on another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ has forgiven us. Students are practicing being kind with a kindness pledge and practicing how to be friendly, loving, thoughtful and considerate with their friends and teachers at school. Students are also continuing their study of Fall and enjoying the cooler weather. The children have been exploring leaves and acorns on our playground and several classes have taken nature walks around the church grounds.  
 
Wishing each of you a healthy and happy November!
Morning Daily Office

Join us every morning but Sunday at 7:30 on ZOOM to celebrate the Morning Daily Office.
Click here or go to ZOOM Meeting ID: 562 715 368 Passcode: John1513. On Thursdays join us live in the narthex - just like we did pre-pandemic! Everything is provided, all you need to do is show up. All are invited, all are welcomed.
Evening Daily Office

Evening Daily Office is now available on ZOOM at 5:30 Monday through Friday. Meeting ID: 896 1777 7644 Passcode: Ex1414. Join us once, join us occasionally, or join us regularly; we are made richer by your presence.
Prayers & Prayer Cards for Our Military

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. I would also be happy to place the service member on the prayer list at church for inclusion in the weekly Prayers of the People.
The Chapel Chimes is distributed every Wednesday.
If you would like to submit an article to the Chapel Chimes email
please send an email to Ann Turner, caturner62@icloud.com,
with "CHIMES SUBMISSION" in the subject line.
Deadline is every Tuesday at 5 pm.