Lenten Architecture: Creating Sacred Space
By The Rev. Cameron Randle, Rector
“By this we may be sure that we are in him: whoever says, “I abide in him,” ought to walk just as he walked. (I John 2: 5b-6)
With today’s observance of Ash Wednesday, our Lenten journey toward Easter begins anew. Together, we recommit ourselves to studying events in the life of Jesus culminating in his death and resurrection. Along the way, we seek to emulate his thoughts and actions. But first we prepare.

Before commencing our Lenten journey, we pause to acknowledge our sins and shortcomings. We are called upon to create sacred space in our hearts, minds and bodies. We invite God’s direction in our daily lives, intending to bring our thoughts and actions into closer conformity with those of our creator. Sacred space is critical to spiritual growth; sanctuary in its truest sense is essential to spiritual health and wholeness.

This year’s Lenten Bible study, to be held via Zoom on Thursday mornings at 10 AM, will examine the Epistles of John I, II and III. The central theme in these three brief books of Holy Scripture is the extent to which love defines the Divine, and how that love is to be manifest in our lives. Creating and maintaining a special place for love is key to the process. We are all ‘under construction’, works in progress. Our hearts, minds and bodies are meant to offer hospitality to the Holy Spirit; a working and living area for Divine indwelling.

So, too, for the sacraments comprising Holy Eucharist. If you are participating in our virtual services of Holy Communion during Lent via YouTube, please consider setting aside an area of your home to be designated as sacred space. Make a welcoming area for the consecrated bread and wine contained in your Communion kits. Be intentional about separating the consecrated elements from other household items. You may want to utilize a special drawer or cabinet or shelf or table top. Candles, Bibles, and Prayer books along with spiritual images like illustrations or icons could be added. Incorporate anything that furthers the notion of sacred space.

Most importantly, focus on the life of the Christ and how it relates to yours. Take advantage of the opportunity to study scripture, the implications of belonging, and essential practices of the Christian faith over the next six weeks. Keep close to prayer. Stay open to personal growth. Resolve to know love and show love. Curate and inhabit sacred space. Enjoy the journey.
Fat Tuesday drive-thru a joy!

A hearty thanks to all the volunteers who assisted with our Fat Tuesday drive-thru festival! Members of the altar guild along with our formation director prepared take home kits with communion, ashes to accompany our Ash Wednesday virtual service, and household devotionals to use throughout Lent. We appreciated those who came out to decorate tables and help direct traffic. We are especially grateful for the complimentary gourmet cupcakes from locally owned Twisted Sisters Cupcakes and Sugar Shack Café, courtesy of the ESC peanut group! It was truly a joy to see everyone who came by! Please check out our Facebook and Instagram pages for more photos!
Epistles of John Bible Study begins tomorrow
via Zoom - begins Thursday, February 18, 10 to 11 AM, led by the Rev. Cameron Randle
Written in response to a conflict over the divinity and humanity of Jesus, the Epistles of John offer some of the most poignant and compelling gems of scripture in the entire New Testament. Over six weeks, we will study the five brief chapters in I John and take a combined look at the single chapters in II & III John.

Meeting ID: 881 8251 4257
Passcode: agBjP3
Red Cross Blood Drive
TOMORROW, Feb. 18 from 2-6 PM

The American Red Cross is counting on us to give blood Thursday, Feb. 18! Help us reach our goal! We currently have 18 donors registered; our sign-up goal is 29! In order to practice safe social distancing, the Red Cross needs everyone to make an appointment to donate so you won't be turned away at the door. Please schedule online at redcrossblood.org (Enter Sponsor Code ESC). Call 1-800-RED CROSS for more information. As a 'thank you' to your donors for making time to donate at your blood drive, the Red Cross will send them a $5 Amazon Gift Card via email, thanks to our partners at Amazon.
WESC Meeting via Zoom on Feb. 21

WESC will gather via ZOOM on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. to meet virtually the newest members of the ESC staff: the Rev. Melody Perdue, associate rector, and Patti Glowatsky, director of family formation. Please plan to join us! RSVP to Susan Buchanan (msbuchanan@verizon.net) by Saturday, Feb. 20, and she will send you the ZOOM link.
The Great Belonging book study
via Zoom - begins Sunday, February 21, 6 to 7 PM, led by the Rev. Cameron Randle
Author Charlotte Donlon has written a book uniquely relevant to our times. In The Great Belonging: How Loneliness Leads Us to Each Other, Donlon acknowledges that loneliness is thought to have reached epidemic proportions. This is especially true in the midst of a world pandemic. Yet Donlon argues that we can, and should, accept loneliness as a normal companion on our life journeys. Her experience as a spiritual director and writer has convinced her that loneliness is an inherent part of the human condition. We ought to encounter it with an attitude of curiosity, she posits.
In this year’s Lenten book study, we will explore five areas of belonging: to ourselves, to others, to art, to places and to God. Within each category, we’ll examine how loneliness can actually point us to a stronger understanding of what it means to belong. In her Foreward to The Great Belonging, author and Episcopal priest Lauren Winner says, “ …loneliness is a right response—an insightful response—to the ways intimacy and distance are insistently threaded together in all our lives.”
Please contact the Parish Book Store at 757-425-0114 to reserve your copy of The Great Belonging. A Zoom link will be emailed each week, providing entry to the online session.
Essential Practices
via Zoom - begins Wednesday, Feb 24, 7 to 8 PM for six weeks, led by Rev. Melody Perdue.

Essential. It’s a word we’ve heard quite frequently in the past year, as we’ve struggled to determine what services and roles were absolutely necessary and critical to our survival while maintaining our physical health and safety. Essential workers, essential services, essential supplies… our state and national leaders could not always agree entirely who and what fit into those categories, but the discussion and designation was important.
Essential. Are there faith practices designated as critical and absolutely necessary to our spiritual survival? At the very least, can certain practices help maintain our spiritual health and well-being, regardless of the circumstances that surround us?

Praise, Hearing God’s voice, Relinquishment, Forgiveness, Listening Prayer, and Lament, are six practices we will discuss and implement during this devotional study. You can register for the study by sending an email to Rev. Melody at mperdue@easternshorechapel.org. Email registration is required as there is a short, 5-minute devotional reading which will be sent via email before each group meeting. Please contact Rev. Melody with any questions. A notebook or journal is recommended for the study.
Parish Book Store Book Group's next read

The Parish Book Store Book Group’s next read is Hallelujah, Anyhow!: A Memoir by the late Rt. Rev. Barbara Harris, first women elected to the episcopacy in the Anglican Communion. Our discussion will be in March, plenty of time to get the book and read (less than 200 pages). The book is available in the store (just call or email to make an appointment) or online at bookshop.org/shop/parishbookstore.
Love is in the air at Parish Day School

Parish Day School students have been busy learning about the Fruit of the Spirit this month, Love. Our hallways are filled with hearts and Valentines and students are active doing acts of kindness and love in the classroom. We are enjoying using paint, glue and scissors as we create our artwork for our families this month.
Registration for our new families begins on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. If you know of any preschoolers looking for the new school year, 2021-2022, please let us know. You can give us a call at 757-491-6130 or email at pds@easternshorechapel.org to set up a Virtual Tour or contact us for information about the new school year.
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:
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.

Pray for Our Military
From CRU Military Ministry -- PRAY for wisdom and direction for the Global Team as they begin planning a Global Leadership Summit for Military Ministry Directors and key volunteers around the world. Pray for the Lord to direct their steps and their desire is to bless the nations with this effort. PRAY, also, for God to give strength, encouragement, resourcing, safety, perseverance, and fruitfulness to the ministries in Africa and for the Lord to continue to bless the monthly online Bible study for the African Military Ministry Directors which began mid-January.
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