A message regarding today's events in Washington, D.C.
The Rt. Rev. John Harvey Taylor, Episcopal Bishop of Los Angeles

This is the day we remember the eternal light from the manger. This is a day, like all days, when we cherish the gospel promise that darkness will never overcome the light. This is the day we tell the ancient story of the sojourners from afar who embodied a wisdom beyond political and historical affairs, those who came looking for the Prince of Peace.
 
As we behold the events in Washington today, let us pray together:
 
God of mercy and peace, source of all light and love: Calm every troubled heart in our country as a polarized people grapples with our divisions, resentments, and fears. By your grace, may the conflict in Washington come to a peaceful end. May the lawful work of the United States Congress and the United States Government resume so that the interests and will of the people are respected, with truth and justice for all. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Epiphany Kits: A great way to begin the new year

Greetings from the Family Formation Office! We will be mailing Epiphany Kits, including “Chalking the Door” service instructions and Epiphany Stars, to all families with school age children and youth. If you do not fall into that category but would like a kit, I would love to provide you with one! There will be a drive-through in front of the parish offices on Sunday, January 10 from 1 to 4pm. This is a great way to faithfully and intentionally prepare for the year ahead. Be sure to check the Eastern Shore Chapel Facebook page for our video of the Chalking of the Church!
First Friday Men's Breakfast this Friday

First Friday Men's Breakfast is this Friday (the second Friday) January 8. Because of increased COVID restrictions we will ZOOM it this month from the comfort of your home. Fellowship begins at 7:00, meeting starts at 7:30. I'm sorry we have to meet like this (sounds like a country music song title) but it is surely better than not meeting at all.
I hope that you are comfortable with this type of meeting and hope you will choose to join us. Meeting info is below or go to ZOOM.US and enter Meeting ID: 828 5291 7174, password: ESCis#1. You don't have to turn on your camera if you don't want to but we'd love to see your cheery face! Bring your beverage of choice and breakfast too if you wish.
We'll chat, catch up on goings on at church and - who knows - we may have a surprise guest too! Click here to view the readings for Sunday. It's the First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Please feel free to email cleedavis3@gmail.com if you have questions, comments, or suggestions.
Chapel Pantry update
Kay O'Reilly, Chapel Pantry Coordinator

2021 is beginning with a whirlwind of activity at the Pantry!

Last week, the crushed concrete parking pad was installed near the pantry, which will be the new home for the refrigerated truck when it arrives. Many thanks to Dickie Bosley for a job well done.

Then, on Tuesday, the installation of our new outdoor walk-in cooler and freezer unit began. Work continues this week and it will be operational on Friday. We’re all very excited at the Pantry! A thousand thanks to Bruce Whitaker and Bruce Gallup, who shepherded this project and put countless hours in behind the scenes to get us to this point.

And yesterday, our volunteers packed 82 grocery bags filled with non-perishable items for the Winter Shelter program. This year, due to the pandemic, our neighbors without shelter are being housed in hotels instead of churches, so we are providing bags with a week’s worth of breakfast and lunch food. Local restaurants provide dinners.

On Saturday, we served 284 families, a smaller number than we expected, which means we had leftover food. All of the extra bounty was loaded into two large vans from Piney Grove Baptist Church to distribute to their neighbors in need.

To add some color to the drab days of January, we received a wonderful donation of 1,500 pairs of brightly colored socks for men and women from Soul Socks. The donation of socks came to Sentara, who passed some of the extras on to us. We were able to put two pair in each family bag on Saturday and one pair in each of the Winter Shelter bags. They were a nice surprise!

Donations of all kinds continue to pour in; today a couple brought cartloads of food purchased with their stimulus check. They said we needed it more than they – what a kind and generous gesture. The Pantry is a great place to be to see God at work through humankind. It is a place to remember and realize how helpful and selfless people can be – a reminder much needed as we walk through dark times. Look for the light, always.

Thanks be to God.
Monastic study is thrilling
By Lee Davis

Monastic study is exhausting; there is always another book to read, an exercise to compete, and scripture to practice lectio divina. Monastic study is thrilling; new things to learn and understand and to practice.

Currently I am studying “Monastic Practices” by Charles Cummings, OCSO. It is a fascinating study of life in a cloistered monastery and the details of daily life there. Although I don’t belong to a cloistered community the study has been and is very, very helpful.

I am in the novitiate of The Community of the Gospel which is a non-residential monastic community; “Our members live and work in various places, but are connected by the love and wisdom of Christ. Our spiritual home is in the heart of Christ.” My current study is incredibly meaningful and helpful in my daily life.

Today my study was about “courtesy in the community” which led me to “respect” and that led me to the following exercise: Learn to spell Respect:
  • Remember basic kindness.
  • Encourage others.
  • Stand firm in your convictions.
  • Play fair and smart.
  • Extend a helping hand.
  • Cause no harm.
  • Think before you speak.
 
Seems like good advice and maybe even a New Year’s resolution!
Thank you to our Christmas musicians
By Martin Sunderland, Organist & Choir Master

I wish to thank all who participated in our latest Virtual Choir presentation that was included as the anthem in the 2020 Christmas Eve Service:
Haley Brown
Delaney Brown
Liz Brown
Mary Ann Hernly
Walt Taylor
Bill Hunter
Eric Baskerville
Beth Miller
Holly Sunderland
Elise Krepcho
Dan McCready
Lyle Foell
Rod Gilmour
Bob Balcom
If you missed it, the ESC Virtual Choir III can be viewed here. We also thank Eric Baskerville for his superb editing of this video.

Other musicians to thank for their participation in the Christmas eve service are Delaney Brown, Larry Sunderland, and the Cantilena String Quartet.
Parish Book Store has resources to help make 2021 a year of spiritual growth

If your New Year’s Resolution is to grow spiritually, then the Parish Book Store has resources to help. Among our titles are A Year of Spiritual Companionship: 52 Weeks of Wisdom for a Life of Gratitude, Balance & Happiness; Speaking to the Soul: Daily Readings for the Christian Year and Read the Bible in a Year. We are open by appointment (757) 425-0114 or call Marty LaGiglia or Susan Buchanan) any day. Or you can go to bookshop.org/shop/parishbookstore and order any book directly.
Parish Day School excited to be back!

Our students returned to preschool on Monday, January 4 and were excited to be reunited with their teachers and classmates. Our children are exploring winter, ice, and snow and learning about Arctic animals. Our littlest learners are using playdough to make snow men and shapes. We hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!
 
We are preparing for our the 2021 Camp Turtle Trap program and the 2021-2022 school year. We will be opening registration in February. If you know anyone interested in registering for preschool, please have them contact us at pds@easternshorechapel.org or call us at 757-491-6130.
Community of the Gospel offers racial reconciliation training

The Community of the Gospel (CG), an ecumenical non-residential monastic community with standing in The Episcopal Church, announces a three-Saturday cycle of racial reconciliation training on January 23, January 30, and February 6 from 2 to 4 PM via Zoom. The Community offers racial reconciliation training free of charge to all interested persons. This training is part of the CG's ongoing response to this nation's reckoning with systemic racism.

The event will be facilitated by the Rev. Br. Simeon Powell, CG, Deacon at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Chico, CA, and Dr. Delia R. Heck, Chair of the Natural Science Division of Ferrum College, Ferrum VA. Both facilitators have long experience offering racial reconciliation training and in advocating for greater awareness of racism in American society. Dr. Ferrum serves on The Episcopal Church's Taskforce for Care of Creation and Environmental Racism. Deacon Powell recently represented TEC on the Anglican Indigenous Network's meeting on The Six Nations Reserve in Ontario.

The training will consist of relevant prayer, reflection and lectio divina. Work will focus on personal and implicit bias as well as systemic and institutional racism. Videos and facilitator inputs will be presented.

Commenting on the training event, Br. Daniel-Chad Hoffman, Guardian, stated: "We believe that this training will help us to live out our monastic promises of prayer, study, and service in a manner that is attuned to contemporary reality and to our foundational baptismal vows."

Training will be open to any individual who enrolls ahead of time. All participants are requested to commit to participation in the entire sequence of three Saturday training events. Information on how to sign up can be obtained by contacting Br. Daniel-Chad Hoffman, CG, at brdanchad@protonmail.com.

The Community of the Gospel was founded in 2007 and currently numbers nearly forty-six Members and Friends across the United States, the Bahamas, and South Africa. While holding day jobs, members commit to embody Gospel values through disciplined prayer, study and service.
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.
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