Mordecai: An Early American Family
(New York: Hill & Wang, 2003), 346 pp.   
Book Review by Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman
Emily Bingham offers us both a literary and historical gem in this meticulous account of the Mordecai family, allowing us rare entry into an early Southern Jewish family. Though neither Jewish nor a descendant of the Mordecais, Bingham adopted the family as the cherished focus of her doctoral dissertation. She was enticed to do so by the abundance of available archival material in the form of thousands of letters and papers, as well as her developed attachment (she calls it “obsession”) to that family’s impressive ethos of mutually supportive and loyal bonds over three drama-filled generations.

The Mordecais ceaselessly labored to find their place and identity as a tiny and pioneering minority without the nourishing support of today’s established Jewish communal and religious institutions. Consequently, they were left to their own survival devices in an environment refusing to fully accept them. The Revolutionary era, with its religious openness and liberal spirit, gave hope to minority group members such as the Mordecais. However, a renewed focus on religiosity during the nineteenth century-the Second Great Awakening, with its sweeping spirit of evangelical zeal, as well as the pervasive Protestant influence on American culture- was threatening. In a young country trying to heal from the Revolution and the Civil War, the Mordecais’s struggle to establish roots as Americans was formidable. The author regards their journey as indicative of the formation of the American middle class.

The Mordecais were pressured to abandon their Jewish ways, which were weak to begin with, though the family patriarch, Jacob (1762-1838), became the president of his Beth Shalome synagogue in Richmond, Virginia. He was a staunch defender of Orthodox Judaism who stood up to antisemitism. In time, members of his family embraced nascent Reform Judaism on the new continent. Bingham regards the Mordecai family covenant, in which the women played a dominant role with the men’s assistance- placing its overall welfare above individual success, with its members ever mindful of their good name – as central to its enduring legacy of unity despite corrosive influences. Throughout, the family was guided by the Enlightenment’s focus on the paramount value of education for one’s essential self- improvement. In 1808, the family established a girls’ academy in Warrenton, North Carolina. The author explains the family’s high assimilation as a function of desired transformation and free choice rather than ignorance and limited choice in a society that often challenged their authenticity while promoting their blending in. I beg to differ. It was, I suggest, a combination of the above, but tilting toward the Mordecais’s Jewish and societal handicaps, which they sought to overcome.

Though some of the Mordecai clan’s underlying issues and concerns in the framework of its era are still operative today, there is a new challenge, as well as opportunity, to Jewish continuity given the highly hospitable context. Since World War II, there has been a radically changed national terrain as well as an emerging reality of a New South. There is also now a varied and viable Jewish community offering far more to those who freely choose to be proud American Jews.

Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman is founder and spiritual leader of Temple Lev Tikvah in Virginia Beach. He is Senior Rabbi Scholar at Eastern Shore Chapel.
Parish Community Groups Have Begun to Gather!
by Patti Frankenfield
GOOD NEWS! Our Small Parish Community Groups have begun to meet in person and by Zoom!
Ann and Rusty Onhaizer and Priscilla Jaffe hosted a small group in person at the Onhaizers’ home and were thrilled with the opportunity to visit in person again with members of our church community. Worth Remick hosted the first zoom gathering Sunday night, and the other three groups kick off in the next week or so. 
 Please share this news with anyone you think might be interested, or anyone you might like to invite to a group. Feel free to choose a time and “location" that works best for you. And feel free to visit more than one small group. We plan to stay on track with the Episcopal Catechism, reviewing two points per month, so we can all be "on the same page". We will discuss "An Outline of the Faith" found in our Book of Common Prayer, beginning on page 845. You may also find it online by clicking here. 
The groups meeting by Zoom (for the present) are with Lee Davis, Worth Remick and Patti Frankenfield. 
  • To join Lee's Zoom Meeting, click here. If needed, his Meeting ID: 840 6800 7335 and Passcode: ESC1689
  • To join Worth’s Zoom meeting, click here.
  • To join Patti’s Zoom meeting, click here. If needed, her Meeting ID: 894 6820 1711 and Passcode: 812791
Two groups, one with Ann and Rusty Onhaizer, with Prisiclla Jaffee, and one with Dave and Allison Ward Johnson will be hosting in-person meetings at their homes, and welcome members wearing masks and socially distancing. Ann’s group will meet at 5708 Atlantic Avenue. Feel free to call her mobile with any questions, it is 757-287-8547. Allison can be reached at 410-596-0143 for her address and any questions about her group.
Planned meeting times are with the following hosts: 
  • Lee is hosting 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 5
  • Worth is hosting 2nd and 4th Sundays, 6-7 pm
  • Patti, 2nd and 4th Mondays Sept-Nov. at 5:30, starting in August on the 17th and 31st
  • Ann and team are hosting the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 5:30.
  • Allison is hosting on 1st and 3rd Tuesday evenings at 6:30.
With 16 points for review in the catechism, we plan to meet twice a month for August thru November, and cover 8 points. We plan to take a break in December and continue in January thru April. 
Here is a brief plan for the groups:
  • Meet by zoom until and unless a small group is comfortable hosting an in person meeting outside at a private home, wearing masks and maintaining social distance 
  • Each group host will set up and manage the Zoom invitation for their group meeting
  • One hour format for meetings with the following agenda:
  • Gather and greet, check in with each other
  • Begin with brief Thankful Prayer
  • Choose a question/topic of interest for the group from the catechism questions
  • Discussion for 30-45 minutes max
  • Close with joys and concerns, general prayer for all that is shared, and on our hearts
  • The groups will operate with these small group covenants: 
  • What is said in small group, stays in small group. Confidentiality is very important
  • Build a caring atmosphere for all
  • Honor other opinions
  • Allow time for each group member to share as they feel led
  • Be considerate, share the talking space
  • Agree that problems and concerns the group leader is not comfortable handling may be shared with Fr. Cameron or Rev. Julia. 
We sincerely hope these groups will be of interest to you, and will provide some Parish Community connections, as we live and work through the gathering issues of the pandemic. 

May God bless our time together!
Volunteering for Chapel Pantry
by Joan Berlin
Remember how you felt back in mid-March when we were told to stay at home as everything began to shut down due to the pandemic? I had extra time on my hands and wanted to do something to help so I reached out to Kay O’Reilly at the Chapel Pantry. At that time the Pantry was closed but in mid-April, it reopened under the format where guests drive through to receive food rather than the previous format where they selected groceries.

Kay got in touch with me as well as with many other volunteers and we began to distribute food once a week rather than multiple times throughout the week. Under this model, on Thursday and Friday, volunteers sort food, unload trucks delivering food, bag food for distribution and then on Saturday load the bagged food into cars as families drive through with their trunks open.  

Volunteering has been an amazing experience for me. I enjoy knowing that we are helping families in need and it gives me a sense of purpose during these very uncertain times. Since our worship services are not in person, it is a treat to see other parishioners who are also volunteering. Also, it has been so nice to get to know lots of other volunteers from Galilee Episcopal Church, our partner church, plus volunteers from the community. While adhering to the necessary virus safety precautions, working at the Pantry gives me an outlet for social connections as well as gives me the satisfaction of helping fellow community members in need.

If you would like to help with this important ministry, please email Kay O’Reilly at
Saints & Themes continues

Saints and themes will resume this week. Join Rev. Julia on Thursday at 10am for a new saint! Click here to join the discussion. Meeting ID: 820 1112 3045, Passcode: Saints.
Music for Pentecost 11
By Martin Sunderland, Organist & Music Director

Our chosen hymn this week is #468 “There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,” written by Calvin Hampton. The haunting melody is almost chant-like in it’s serene beauty. Focusing on today’s theme, the third stanza the text asks us to increase our faith - “If our love were but more faithful.”

Our anthem today is “Give us wings of faith” by Ernst Bullock. In the spirit of grand English choral and organ music, we are asked to have “wings of faith.” This anthem would also be appropriate for an All Saints Celebration.

Give us the wings of faith to rise
Within the veil, and see
The Saints above, how great their joys,
How bright their glories be.
We ask them, whence their victory came
They with one united breath
Ascribe the conquest to the Lamb
Their triumph to His death.
They marked the footsteps that He trod,
His zeal inspired their breast;
And following their incarnate God
They reached the promised rest.
(Words: Isaac Watts)

To round out our theme of Faith, please listen to Frederick Swan playing his uplifting arrangement of “Great is thy faithfulness.”
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 August 23 at 9:10.

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 August 23 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 -12th 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
Story time this week featured the fishes and loaves stories with Susan Buchanan and takes about sharing with all of God’s children!
The Foster’s (Maeve, Will & Abigail) worked on their buildings from the Gospel lesson in which Jesus walks on water.
Gospel artwork by Emerson, Tucker, Lexa and Jacqueline.
Virtual Camp Turtle Trap wrapping up; PDS preparing for return to school

Camp Turtle Trap: Travel the World, Stay @ Home is quickly rounding the corner back to home! This Session we wrapping up the summer by learning about the Olympics. The torch was even sighted running through our building! We’ve had a wonderful summer exploring the world, learning about culture, food, and fun facts. Thank you for being on this journey with us! We will see you again, June 2021!

Parish Day School has been busy preparing for the 2020-2021 school year. Since the beginning of April, our families have been reaching out and letting us know their need for care. Our hearts are called to serve this population as a mission of the church. Parish Day School will be opening starting on September 8, 2020 with a phase-in plan for our students. We will be implementing strict procedures which align with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Department of Social Services (DSS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations. Please lift the school up in your prayers as we open this September in this new season! 
Virtual Camp Turtle Trap ends the summer with the Olympics!
Thursday Morning Daily Office in the outdoor chapel

LIVE and the ESC Outdoor Chapel, every Thursday morning at 7:30. Join us won't you for the morning Daily Office. Face masks required, social distancing and no singing - but it's better than nothing. Bring your Prayer Book if you have one, if not follow along on your cell phone. Or, you can join us live on ZOOM meeting number: 562 715 368 Password: John1513. We are on ZOOM every morning but Sunday. Join us won't you?
Daily Morning Prayer via ZOOM

Join us on ZOOM for the Daily Office every day at 7:30 AM (except Sunday). ZOOM meeting number 562 715 368, password: John1513 (You can also join us live in-person in the outdoor chapel at ESC on Thursdays). Everything you need is provided!
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.
ESC Prayer Chain - Parishioners' prayers are the pulse of the parish

The prayers that we pray from our hearts, and the meditations that we make, are like the roots that trees send down into the earth to draw up nourishment. They are our means of spiritual nourishment that enable us to put our trust in God and share God’s love with others, bearing fruit for God. --- SSJE -Br. David Allen 4/6/2019
At Eastern Shore Chapel, we have a “Prayer Chain”, a group of parishioners who have made a commitment to intentionally pray every day for others whose needs have been brought to the attention of our clergy and lay pastoral care volunteers. We have two primary lists, a short term prayer list where names are added for a thirty-day period and a long term prayer list where names are added for four months. Additionally, we pray for service members who are deployed, and we pray for couples expecting a baby.

We are presently updating the current list. If you are in need of prayer, or if you know of someone you would like to have lifted up in prayer, please provide their name(s) to Amanda McGinty, our Pastoral Care Assistant, or to Laurie Fox, our Parish Administrator or to the Clergy. Let them know which list you request along with your contact information, so we can follow-up at a later date.

We are humbled at the opportunity to offer intercessory prayers to our Creator on behalf of others. We thank you in advance for your prayers for us.

Prayer is sitting in the silence until it silences us, choosing gratitude until we are grateful, and praising God until we ourselves are an act of praise. Mature prayer always breaks into gratitude. --- Fr. Richard Rohr 
Community of the Gospel prays for end to racist violence, everyone invited to participate

The Community of the Gospel, an ecumenical non-residential monastic community with standing in The Episcopal Church, announces a 24 hour prayer vigil for the end to racist violence on Holy Cross Day, September 14, 2020. The Community offers this vigil to everyone wishing to participate as a response to this nation's four hundred year history of systemic racism.

In announcing the prayer vigil, Br. Daniel-Chad Hoffman, Guardian, stated: "As monastics, we engage in regular prayer, study, and service aimed at the establishment of a society marked by justice, dignity, and equal opportunity for all. This is grounded in our baptismal vow 'to strive for justice and peace among all people, respecting the dignity of every human being.'"

The vigil will be launched with a thirty minute Zoom prayer service officiated by the Community of the Gospel Chaplain, the Rev. Tyrone Fowlkes, Rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Raleigh, N.C. This virtual service is scheduled for Sunday, September 13, from 8:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Participants are invited to sign up for one or more hour-long prayer segments on Holy Cross Day, Monday, September 14, from 12 a.m. throughout the day, with the vigil ending at midnight.

Sign-up for the Zoom prayer launch on Sunday, the 13 as well as the prayer vigil itself on Monday, the 14 is by Doodle Poll. Zoom invitations will be sent to all persons who sign up. Please follow this link to sign up.

The Community of the Gospel was founded in 2007 and currently numbers nearly fifty members and friends across the United States and in the Bahamas. While holding day jobs, members commit to embody Gospel values through disciplined prayer, study, and service.
Pray for Our Military

From CRU Military Ministry -- PRAY for Cru Military and our partners to collaborate in offering continued opportunities for virtual marriage seminars and conferences for military couples around the world. The success of the most recent virtual Vertical Marriage conference (July 2020), in collaboration with Cru’s FamilyLife ministry, had over 300 military couples registered! The beauty of a virtual conference is that it offers the military couples the opportunity to experience a conference together, even when they are physically apart. Many have reported the positive impact the conference had in their marriage and relationship with God. Praise the Lord!

Prayers & Prayer Cards for deployed military
If you would like a prayer card sent to your deployed service member please contact Bill Hunter at 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,,
with "CHIMES SUBMISSION" in the subject line.
Deadline is every Tuesday at 5 pm.