eChimes for February 2019
From the Pastor's Mac

What a way to kick off the month of February!

Many thanks to the volunteers who worked tirelessly to pull off another successful Beachwalk/Walk on February 2. I also want to thank the sponsors and those who donated to the silent auction. With nearly 200 walkers and another 50 or so volunteers, the Beachwalk has become one of our largest and most successful events. We soon look forward to presenting a check to Religious Community Services (RCS) to support their work in providing hope and help to those in need.

This month we’ll kick off the 70 th anniversary celebration of our church! Charter member Anne Garris tells me that naysayers in 1949 said that our church would “be nothing more than a wedding chapel.” Boy, did we prove them wrong! Could anyone have guessed that 70 years later there would be an active, vibrant community of faith on Clearwater Beach? Through God’s grace and the faithfulness of members and friends throughout the years, we have been a beacon of hope and light on the beach, and will remain so for generations to come! Mark your calendars for two weeks of celebration: February 24 we’ll enjoy an anniversary luncheon cruise aboard the StarLite Majesty (sign up after church or in the church office), and on March 3 our worship will include special selections from our Chapel Choir, preaching by Pastor Emeritus Herb Freitag, and a special blessing from Rev. Phil Tom, the executive minister of the International Council of Community Churches. I even have a little something special I’ve been working on for the occasion as well. A reception with light hors d’oeuvres will follow.

This month I’ve chosen Natalie Sleeth’s “Hymn of Promise” as our hymn of the month. This hymn got its start right here in Pinellas County, kind of like the Chapel! Sleeth wrote the hymn as she was “pondering the ideas of life, death, spring and winter, Good Friday and Easter, and the whole reawakening of the world that happens every spring.” I love the simplicity and beauty of this hymn: “In the bulb, there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree; in cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free! In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be, unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.” I hope you grow to love this hymn as much as I do. You can read more about the background of this hymn here.

Finally, at the annual meeting of our church last month, we welcomed three new board members: Ralph Koch, Betty Pickford, and Ty Schaedel. I look forward to their participation in our board! I also want to recognize the three board members rotating off: Donna Dennis, Dwight Gilbert, and Renee McElwaney. I thank them for their faithful leadership through these three years of board service.

May you have a blessed February, and may God bless Chapel by the Sea!

Love and light,

The 10th Annual Beach Walk/Walk was held on February 2nd. This annual event is a fundraiser partnership between Chapel By The Sea and RCS to provide food and services for less fortunate residents in Pinellas County. These services include the RCS Food Bank and The Haven For Domestic Violence.

The Beach Walk/Walk launched off from The Palm Pavilion at 8:30 am to the sounds of the Pinellas Sheriff's Drumline (PAL).

Following the walk participants were treated to a fantastic full breakfast prepared and served by Clear Sky Cafe in Chapel Hall. An amazing array of items was available in a silent auction. Items included restaurant gift certificates, rounds of golf, art work, paddleboard rental and much much more. A big thank you to our generous sponsors, auction participants, walkers and 50+ volunteers.

A check will be presented to RCS in approximately 2 weeks.

70th Anniversary Celebration
The Chapel turns 70 this year! Join us for our two-week celebration of this milestone!
February 24: Anniversary Luncheon Cruise aboard the StarLite  Majesty ($35) Thanks to Sue Henderson, we will board the lovely StarLite Majesty after church. $35 includes the Anniversary Cruise and lunch (but not alcoholic beverages or gratuities). Florida Free Ride has agreed to shuttle from the Chapel to Marina and back following the cruise. (Please remember, tips are the only fee they charge). Cruise tickets are available for purchase following service on Sundays in Friendship Foyer or the church office Monday through Thursday 9-5. We accept cash, check or credit cards.

Florida Free Ride will be available for transportation from Chapel By The Sea to the Marina and return following the cruise.
March 3: Anniversary Worship Celebration During worship on March 3, Rev. Herb Freitag will be our featured guest preacher, and our Chapel Choir will present some special selections for the occasion. A reception with light appetizers will follow the service in Chapel Hall.
Class of 2021
Church Board Members

Ty Schaedel
Ty grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, graduated from Hamilton Heights High School. Ty said, “I recently started my own HVAC business called B & J Heating & Air Conditioning. It will be 2 years December 16th that we (my mother Dee Schaedel, my sister Jaci Wetmore, my niece Kayla Wetmore and I) moved to Florida. I came here because of my job and family. I've been attending Chapel for about 1.5 years now and was just recently baptized, in the ocean! That was an amazing experience!”  
Ralph Koch
Ralph Koch grew up in Des Plaines, IL (a suburb of Chicago). He went to Harper College and became a Tool and Mold Machinist, which he has done for 32 years. Ralph and his family moved to Dunedin in 2015; they just couldn’t take the cold and snow anymore. He now works at American Tool and Mold in Clearwater. The family attended over a dozen churches before becoming members at Chapel by the Sea. It felt like home to them and they have been members since 2016. Ralph and his wife, Karlene, just celebrated 25 years of marriage. Their daughter Alyssa is 23 and in nursing school. Son, Christian, is 21 and studying Business Management. Ralph and Karlene are on the Congregational Life Committee. They are also Greeters and lead the Wednesday Night Beach Walk. Ralph serves as an usher. He is excited to be a part of the Board to help the church grow in our community.
Betty Pickford
Betty has been a resident of Clearwater Beach for twenty years and has been a member of Chapel by the Sea for nearly that long. She has participated in numerous Chapel functions over the years and been active in a number of Bible Study classes as well.
 Betty was born and raised in Maine. She retired from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. Her 2 children have given her 4 grandchildren. She is looking forward to serving on the church board.

Ty Schaedel
Ralph Koch
Betty Pickford

Chapel By The Sea Lent 2019

March 6 - Ash Wednesday - Drive Thru Ashes, 10-3. Receive the imposition of ashes from the comfort of your own car.

April 19 - Good Friday - Read Thru The Gospel of Mark - 12 pm. Join others for a coorporate reading of the Gospel of Mark and extinguish the final Lenten flame.

April 21 - Easter
7 am - Sunrise Service
8:30 & 10:00 am - Traditional Worship.

Celebrate the risen Lord at one of our three Easter services.
January 2019 Attendance

January 6 - 219
January 13 - 259
January 20 - 256
January 27 - 258

TOTAL for January - 992
Calendar for February

Every Week:
9:00 am - Adult Sunday School, Conference Room
10:00 am - Worship Service, Sanctuary followed by Orange Juice Fellowship
9:15 am thru 11:15 am - Nursery is available for children infant through 4's in Nursery/Toddler Rm.
10:00 am - Children's Sunday School start in church
6:00 pm - Alcoholics Anonymous - Meeting Room 3
9:30 am - Al-Anon, Meeting Room 3
7:00 pm - Man's Search for God I
6:00 pm - Alcoholics Anonymous - Meeting Room 3
7:00 pm - Man's Search for God II
8:00 am - Beach Walking Club, Chapel parking lot
11:00 am - The Old Testament Great Books Class, Conference Room, brunch
6:00 pm - Sunset Beach Walking Club, Chapel parking lot
7:00 pm - Choir Practice, Sanctuary
10:30 am - Bible Fellowship - Conference Room
6:00 pm - Alcoholics Anonymous - Meeting Room 3

February 7 - 6:00 pm - Garrison/Morton Wedding
February 12 - 8 :00 am - Men's Breakfast at Clear Sky Cafe
February 12 - 11:30 am - Chapel Chicks
February 12 - 7:00 pm - Property Committee Meeting - Room 4
February 14 - Valentines Day
February 16 - 2:00 pm - Garcia/DeLaRosa Wedding
February 17 - 11:00 am - Blood Pressure Readings after worship
February 20 - 7:00 pm - Church Board Meeting - Conference Room
February 24 - 10:30 am - 1:30 pm - Big Red Bus Blood Drive (in front of chapel)
February 24 - Starlite Majesty Cruise/Luncheon


March 3 - 70th Anniversary Worship Service
March 6 - Ash Wednesday - Drive-By
March 10 - Maryville College Visiting Choir & Reception
April 19 - Good Friday
April 21 - Easter Sunday (Services at 7:00 am, 8:30 am & 10:00 am)
July 15-18 - ICCC Annual Conference, Jacksonville, Florida
Men’s Breakfast
Gather at Clear Sky Cafe on the Beach for faith, food, and fellowship
8:00 a.m. the 2nd Tuesday of each month.
This month it will be February 12.
New Directory Coming

We will be printing a new Chapel By The Sea Directory soon. Please send us your family picture, email a selfie, bring in a photo to scan or stop by and we will snap a photo for you. Please update us with your address, email and phone numbers.

Please call the chapel office at 727-446-0430 or email at

Beach Walking Groups on Wednesdays - 8:00 AM & 6:00 PM
 Two walking groups meet weekly for fun, fitness, and friendship. Join us at 8:00 am for the morning group, or at 6:00 pm (moving from 5:00 pm starting February 13) for the sunset group. Meet in the church parking lot. What a great way to get healthy and make new friends! All are welcome. Free to park. Free to walk. Free to talk.
Chapel Chicks
New in 2019! Strut on over to the Chapel for the monthly gathering of Chapel Chicks and Friends! An inter-generational gathering from the church and community, Chapel Chicks meet together monthly (September-May) for the purpose of fostering and deepening relationships. We’ll do this by sharing excellent food prepared by Chef Ken Hawi, and enjoying spiritual discussion prompted by our pastor, Rev. Rhonda Blevins. Spring 2019 will feature TED talks. Check out the topic and menu below for February! Cost: $10 per person per event. Scholarships available! See Pastor Rhonda. Register for one or more sessions. The remainder of Spring 2019 is on the website.

February 12, 2019, 11:30 am
THEME: Valentine’s Day
MENU: Strawberry Fields Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing, Tomato Bisque Soup, and Red Velvet Cake for Dessert
Anne Lamott hooks into our common experience and guides us to an understanding infused with openness. An activist, former alcoholic and Sunday School teacher, Lamott uses humor to weave through loss, parenthood, faith and the cancer diagnosis given to her best friend, in beloved books like  Bird by Bird and  Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. She says, "Hope begins in the dark ... if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."
Children & Youth Programs
Our 2019 Sunday school year has an exciting new curriculum designed to help children understand themselves and their relationship to God. Our theme this year is “ At Home With God, ” a comprehensive, creative, and interactive Bible Study for children. Parents & guardians will be able track the Bible lessons on their smart phones and engage kids with what they learned in Sunday school. This program has reverted to a start time at the 10 am worship service.

Get ready for a fun, program-packed year that promises to amaze and engage!

Adult Education Opportunities
  • Thursday Morning Bible Fellowship continues: You are invited to join the THURSDAY MORNING BIBLE FELLOWSHIP which will be studying how to have faith that works - the book of James. The Fellowship meets at 10:30 am in the Conference Room for informal study and discussion on the subject of living our faith. Our group is multi-age, multi-gender, multi-denominational.
Sunday School Class
Jesus & the Kingdom of God Sunday School Class
with Pastor Rhonda
Explore the historical Jesus and the Kingdom of God in this 12-session video series featuring two of the world’s leading Jesus scholars, John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg, filmed on location in the Holy Land. Consider questions like: Why did Jesus happen when he happened? Why the confluence of the Baptism movement of John and the Kingdom movement of Jesus? Why the tiny villages around the Lake? Why the confrontations in Jerusalem? Why then? Why there?
Sundays @ 9 am, January 6-March 24, 2019 in the Conference Room.
Click here to see the Companion Guide
The Old Testament: Continues Wednesday mornings at 11 am - Greg Grice, facilitates. Dr. Amy-Jill Levine is the Professor of New Testament and Jewish studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and the instructor of this 24-week, video-based deep dive into the Old Testament through the Great Courses. Plan to join him. Brunch.
*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** **
Man’s Search for God (MSG I): Mondays at 7:00 pm. Now in its third season, for those with inquisitive minds, examine the latest science & decide whether or not the evidence points to a Divine Creator or if the universe and life itself is a product of chance and undirected causes.
On Tuesday evenings, MSG II “Who Is Jesus?” For some it’s a question with an easy answer. For others it’s a question yet to be reconciled. Can the question be answered rationally? Can the historical evidence point to a conclusion of His divinity? Come explore these propositions. 7:00 pm in the Conference Room
Contact Joe Creegan at

Maryville College choir will be visiting Chapel By The Sea. The choir will perform during our regular Sunday Service on March 10th. Overnight accommodations for 53 students are needed the night of March 9. This includes transportation to and from the Chapel and meals. A host signup sheet is available in Friendship Foyer.

From Our Parish Nurse, Didi Martin, ARNP

  The Opioid Crisis and the Faith Community
Andrea Rose, our chapel choir section leader will be a featured speaker at a morning of information and resources about the opioid crisis in our community. This free event will be held on February 21st, 8 am at Anona United Methodist Church in Largo. For more information pickup a flyer in Friendship Foyer.

The Big Red Bus will be in front of Chapel By The Sea, February 24 from 10:30 - 1:30. All donors will receive a wellness checkup and a long sleeve t-shirt. Teens are welcome (pick up parent's permission slips at the red table in Friendship Foyer).
Church Women United
CWU in Central Pinellas, Inc.
Church Women United
CWU in Central Pinellas, Inc.
"2019 Human Right Day"

This program was held at Chapel by the Sea on Friday, January 18, 2019 . Didi Martin, Linda Owens and Allison Nourse Miller graciously hosted, prepared refreshments and welcomed over 20 women to this event held in Chapel Hall.

Litany of Commitment included:
  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of community.
  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
  • No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or

Church Women United (CWU) is a racially, culturally, and theologically inclusive ecumenical Christian women’s movement that celebrates unity in diversity and works for a world of peace and justice. For history, check the website
Peace Café The Chapel participates in feeding the homeless at the Peace Memorial Church “Peace Café” on the third Thursday of every month. 12-15 individuals are needed each time. The next date is February 21. Please contact Teddi McCune if you can help - or 727-441-1895.
The Chapel-By-The-Sea's
  “Haven Orange Suitcase Project” collects TOILETRIES (regular and mini-) for “The Haven of RCS” Domestic Violence Center - which provides a temporary safe place and other services for victims of domestic violence in our community and their dependent children.
The Haven Safe House residents and other families served by Haven Outreach Services are constantly in need of NEW ONLY REGULAR-SIZE & MINI-TOILETRIES ( Shampoo, Soap & Body Wash, Lotions, Dental items, Cosmetics, Hair & Grooming Care)   as well as Towels, Washcloths, Single-bed Linens, Socks, Undergarments, and C anvas-type Bags (with handles) which are helpful for transporting the toiletries and for use by the residents. ( Tip : Please continue to put liquids (new), gels (new), & lotions (new) in plastic bags, making sure lids are on tight. All  items listed are collected at the "Orange Suitcase" table in Friendship Foyer from which they are sorted and distributed to The Haven.)   
Thanks to all who support the “Haven Orange Suitcase Project”!

Orange Suitcase

Members and Friends Who were ill in January and in need of our prayers
Pete Porter
Prayer Chain - To place someone on the Prayer Chain or to join the group, contact Jan Burke at 418-5736 or .