6200 Gulf of Mexico Drive 

Longboat Key, FL 34228

THE CHAPELINE - April 26, 2022

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"Bird-watching Spirit


My wife, Lois, and I have always been people watchers. In our more recent, retirement years, we have become bird watchers. In that regard, Florida is a great place to live; Florida with its blue herons, its white egrets, and its roseate spoonbills, not to mention its white-breasted osprey.


The Bible offers limited space for birds to nest, but the few references offer inspiration for the bird-watching spirit. Isaiah uses the eagle in a message of hope for the worn and the weary. “They shall mount up with wings like eagles!” If Jesus had favorite birds, they would seem to be the sparrow and the dove. The love of God for the least and lowest, said Jesus, is evident in this, that God notices the fall of a tiny sparrow. The love of God for his only Son is evident in this, the descent of a dove from heaven, when Jesus is baptized by John in the Jordan.


Returning to avian life in the modern world, I believed for a time that the osprey is the most religious of birds. Year in and year out, a particular family of this species nested at the foot of a large cross. That cross, in turn, adorned the steeple of an island church, whose name must now be sadly withheld, because of its disregard for the plight of birds.


Recent island history reads like this. The high nest became an attraction for passing motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians alike. Lois and I never drove by without looking up, not at the cross but the osprey nest. Any sign of new life was like an osprey Easter! The appearance of a head, whether a nurturing parent or a newly-born nestling had us laughing and clapping our hands. The irony was not lost on this old minister. The cross had taken second place to a bird’s nest, a large, remarkable bundle of twigs and straw, and I was on the side of the birds! 


Then, everything changed.  Some say it was a storm, a near-hurricane, an act of God that brought the nest down. Maybe so, but in the aftermath, metal pieces like silent arrows were installed in strategic places on that roof. The glistening metal did nothing to enhance the building’s beauty. But it did turn away one of the congregation’s most remarkable families, whether the people knew it or not. The osprey did not return. They were not seen again in that place.


On a lighter note, our interest inspired us to mount a bird feeder on a large tree in our front yard, We wanted more birds to watch, and voila more and more of them came. We began to enjoy regular visits from a red-headed woodpecker, a male and female cardinal, at least one very aggressive blue jay, and lots of doves and sparrows, (Jesus would have liked that,) Ironically, it was a few neighborhood squirrels who gained the most weight over time, and not their fine-feathered friends. That was okay with us. In the service of their gluttony, squirrels can perform acrobatics that defy both gravity and human understanding. Often, we have needed no other form of entertainment, just the squirrels.


Let me close on a sober note. At age 94, one cannot help thinking about death and dying. On a regular basis, the body sends us signals, sometimes urgent, that it is weary, that it can’t go on forever. Those thoughts do not seem morbid to me. They seem healthy, and I find that I am not afraid. One reason is my prayer life, and, within that, my meditative companionship with birds.


God Bless. Charlie.


"Look at the birds! They don’t worry about what to eat—they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food—for your heavenly Father feeds them. " (Matthew 6:26a, TLB)

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with Minister Emeritus Rev. Charlie Shook

"Taking Up Our Cross"

Scriptures: Mathew 16:21-26


Watch Worship LIVE @ 10 am (EST) on our Website: Sunday May 1 Worship

CLICK HERE to see our previous Worship Services.

From Israel (This was received Sunday, April 24, 2022.)

Hello Longboat Island Chapel!

This is pastor Brock. We are in Tel Aviv,Israel, 7 hours ahead of you. 

23 of us made the trip safely and so did all of our luggage! Today we must quarantine close to the hotel, but most of us are wandering around and exploring this beautiful city along the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

Tonight we have a dinner meeting and our tour of the Holy Land officially begins tomorrow morning. We love you and we thank you for your prayers! Have a wonderful worship experience today and give thanks to the Lord who guides and watches over all of us!

Prayers, blessings, and Shalom to you!


Pastor Brock.

Shifting Sands

Shifting Sands will meet this Thursday April 28, 2022, at 10 am at the Chapel!

Pearls of Wisdom from Shifting Sands:


“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

Maya Angelou

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The next meeting of the Chapel Book Club will be on Monday, May 9, 2022 at the Lazy Lobster.

The book we will be discussing is Suncoast Empire by Frank Cassell.  The book tells of the life of Bertha Honore Palmer, her family and the rise of Sarasota.


Please sign up in Shook Fellowship Hall or email Judy Achre at if you plan to join us.

Would you like to honor or remember someone with flowers in Worship?

Would you like to sponsor special music during Worship?

Contact the Chapel Office and we'll help make it possible!

(941) 383-6491

April Collection,

Backpacks for Kids:

"SAFE the Children"

Please consider donating a small duffle bag or backpack to Charitable Outreach for use by our local foster school children.

The bags and backpacks are important for our foster children because it gives them their own "luggage" as they move from home to home.

Bring the bags and backpacks to the Chapel during April! We need them now!

Sunday Morning Refreshments!

Would you like to help by bringing some goodies for Sunday morning, following Worship, at Fellowship Time? You are welcome to bring any of your favorite goodies, especially if some of them can be frozen! If you have questions, contact Vickie Van Meier, (941) 388-7284.


Kathy Logsdon, Mike & Chris Dawson, Dennis Cooper, Hudson, Amy James, Lynn, Michael Kinney, Carola, Barbara Childress, Ethel Doughty, Julie Burdian, Chuck, Eileen McTiernan, Elisa, George, Don, Rogers family, Grace and Chris Masefield, Sharky



Thank you for your generosity!


  • Checks and/or money orders written out to Longboat Island Chapel.
  • Direct withdrawal from your bank to ours. Call the Chapel office at 941-383-6491 for our routing and account numbers.
  • All major credit cards are accepted. Simply contact Chapel staff at 941-383-6491 to charge your one-time gift.
  • Ongoing monthly support via your credit card. Office staff will be happy to debit your charge card at the beginning of each month in an amount established by you.
  • Support the Longboat Island Chapel via the "donate" button on our homepage at This may be a one time, or ongoing contribution, whichever you prefer!
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If you are an Amazon shopper, please pay attention! Amazon will donate a percentage of each purchase to a qualified organization of your choice.  Longboat Island Chapel is now registered with Amazon, and if you will select the Chapel as your preferred organization, Amazon will donate a percentage of each purchase to the Chapel. This is free money for the Chapel, so please, register today!


Instructions for Amazon Smile: Log into your Amazon account as normal. In the Amazon search bar, search for Amazon Smile. When you are asked to select a charitable organization, search for “Longboat Island Chapel”. Select the Chapel from the list and you are finished. Then, each time you shop on Amazon, always begin by searching for “Amazon Smile” in the search bar. When you do this, it automatically triggers your donation to the Chapel. Then, shop as normal! Please help the Chapel by registering for Amazon Smile!