Author Archives: admin

Easter 2019

6:30 a.m. sunrise service at Menemsha. (photo by Kim Tharp)
0421190657c-1-1_2Sanctuary ready for 9 o’clock.0421190755a-1IMG_5359IMG_5360Easter message ” In the Garden”..

Special music by Thursday Stings and Jeff Nelson.

“Ave Maria” by Bella.DSCF0266Rain letting up..eggs ready to be found..DSCF0267The hunt begins.0421191014-20421191014e-1Coffee hour.DSCF0273
DSCF0278Bella and Carol (musicians)Organist Carol Loud and soloist Bella.
DSCF0275
DSCF0277Sorting eggs..

Thanks to all who made the morning a success!

Prodigal Parent

synonyms for “Prodigal”..generous, lavish, liberal, unstinting,unsparing , bountiful… Also , as with the ” prodigal son”  ..wastefully extravagant.

Rev. Charlotte shared this poem written by her friend,..Maren Tirabassi

Prayer for a parent when a prodigal departs
(Somehow, I thought I knew all the turns and twists of this parable, but God always has one more perspective to teach me Luke 15)

God, help me love
this one who is walking away —
without imagining the worse,
anticipating a sweet, “I told you so,”
or curling up tight
around my own hurt feelings.

Let me to paint encouragement
across my worried face,
wave even when no one looks back,
send letters and emails
that don’t ask pointed questions,
keep tears out of my texts,
and whine out of my heart.

Let me set aside the robe, ring, shoes
and celebration dinner menu
to be prepared
whether the return is in triumph,
or disillusion and shame.

Welcoming is not something
that happens at the last moment.
Getting my love ready
for that road dust kicked up in the distance
may be the most important
work in my life.

I may never know what is going on
between here and a pig farm.

It’s not really my business,
and if it helps for the story to be told,
it will help more
if I never repeat it.

God, help me love these children
out the door,
love them while they are missing,
love them maybe home again,

because I know what it is
to be loved.

Introducing Rev. Ernest Belisle

Dear Members and Friends of Chilmark Community United Methodist Church, Grace and peace to you and yours, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ whom we worship and serve as members of his Body, the Church! My name is Ernest Belisle. I was appointed to be your new pastor as of July 1, 2019, by the Rev’d. Sudarahana Devadhar, our presiding Bishop. Last Tuesday, March 19, I was taken to meet your Pastor Parish Relationship Committee by our District Superintendent, the Rev’d. Dr. Andrew Foster III. We had a very good meeting! I am a native of the country of Belize (in Central America). Before I entered full time ministry I served as a grade school teacher. I am a graduate of Drew School of Theology in Madison, New Jersey, United Theological Seminary of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, Belize Teachers, Belize City, Belize. I specialized in Christian Education and Church History. My wife Michelle is a preschool teacher. There are seven children and three grandchildren in our family. Our youngest child, Ezra (6 years old), is the only one still at home with us. We enjoy visiting and vacationing with the children, which includes walking on the beaches of Cape Cod and exploring the mountains and valleys of Vermont and New Hampshire. I enjoy music from different ages, places and varieties. I love lively singing and interactive worship and preaching. I am a soccer fan and follow European and North and South American leagues. Michelle loves walking on the beach and Ezra loves model trains and John Deere tractors and farm equipment. I am a people person and enjoy friendships. I have a passion for Evangelism and Outreach Ministries. I have worked in both suburban and inner city ministries. I began full time ministry serving two island and three mainland congregations in a circuit of churches in Bocas del Tore, Panama. I enjoy fellowship with other churches and denominations. From 1995 to 1997, I served and chaired the National Council of Churches in Guyana (South America) that included both Roman Catholics and Pentecostals. While a student at Drew, I served United Methodist churches in East Orange, New Jersey and Brooklyn, New York. I have served Methodist churches in the Republic of Panama (1976-1981), Jamaica (1981-1990), Belize (1990-1993, teacher at Wesley College), and Guyana, in South America (1993-2000, District Superintendent). Here in New England, I have served churches in Oxford (2000-2005) and Framingham (2005-2011), Massachusetts and St. Paul’s in Manchester, New Hampshire 2011-2015). I am presently serving our church in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts. At the District and Conference levels I served on the Central Massachusetts District Committee on Superintendency (2005 to 2011), co-chaired the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry (2004 to 2012), and was a member of the New Hampshire District Building and Locations Committee (2012- 2015). Presently I am one of the co-chairs of the Rhode Island Southern Massachusetts District Committee on Ministry. Michelle, Ezra and I look forward to meeting and working with you. Grace and peace to you and yours, Very sincerely, Ernest Belisle

April Devotional

May 2019 – The Price of Pride

Read Together:  He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.  The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.  Proverbs 15:32-33

The story is told of a frog who wanted to travel over the top of a tall mountain from a pond he’d grown up in and learned to hate to be a beautiful lake on the other side of the peak.  One day as the frog watched an eagle soar high above the clouds; the frog had a brilliant idea.  “If I could just get that eagle to hold a piece of string in his talons, I can hold the other end of the string in my mouth.  He could fly me to the other side.”  The eagle agreed to the frog’s plan.  Away they went, hundreds of feet above the Rocky Mountain slopes, soaring to the other side where the big, sparkling lake lay just a few hundred yards away.  As the frog hung on to the string by his teeth for the last minute of his ride, he heard someone below exclaim, “Wow, look at that.  What a great idea!  I wonder who thought of that.” 

The prideful frog couldn’t resist the opportunity to brag and opened his mouth to boast, “I diiiiiiid.  Splat!

Poor frog.  He just couldn’t resist telling people how smart he was.  Reminds me of myself sometimes and I want to kick myself for it.  How about you?  Is pride ever a problem?  If so, today’s devotion study may be just what the doctor ordered.

Discussion Starters:  When you’re complimented or commended for something you did well, how does it make you feel?  Who really deserves the credit for any good we do here on earth.

Lifeline:  Next time someone tells you what a great job you did, give the glory to God.  You’ll feel wonderful!

Reflections

Blessings Always, (Numbers 6:24-26)

Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster, III.

Letter from D.S.

Image

March 6, 2019

My Beloved RISEM Clay (Clergy & Laity),

Greetings to all the faithful people of the RISEM district!

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:3-7)

I purposely withheld from reaching out to each of you as I processed what took place in St. Louis, Missouri at the Special Session of General Conference. I am reminded of the song written by Gordon Light, “Draw the Circle Wide”. This song spoke to me, particularly this line: “Draw the circle wide, draw the circle wide. No one stands alone, we’ll stand side by side.”

I know many of my brothers and sisters in the Lord are hurting and feel the circle has actually not grown wider but has become more narrower. My heart aches for the church, however, I am encouraged by the words of Dr. Charles Albert Tindley, a song in our UM Hymnal #525 – “We’ll Understanding It Better By and By”.

1.            We are tossed and driven
on the restless sea of time;
somber skies and howling tempests
oft succeed a bright sunshine;
in that land of perfect day,
when the mists are rolled away,
we will understand it better by and by.
Refrain:
By and by, when the morning comes,
when the saints of God are gathered home,
we’ll tell the story how we’ve overcome,
for we’ll understand it better by and by.

2.            We are often destitute
of the things that life demands,
want of food and want of shelter,
thirsty hills and barren lands;
we are trusting in the Lord,
and according to God’s word,
we will understand it better by and by.
(Refrain)

3.            Trials dark on every hand,
and we cannot understand
all the ways of God would lead us
to that blessed promised land;
but he guides us with his eye,
and we’ll follow till we die,
for we’ll understand it better by and by.
(Refrain)

4.            Temptations, hidden snares
often take us unawares,
and our hearts are made to bleed
for a thoughtless word or deed;
and we wonder why the test
when we try to do our best,
but we’ll understand it better by and by.
(Refrain)

As we enter the Lenten Journey toward Easter and beyond, I encourage all of us to be the body of Christ, “Resurrected People”, as we covenant with one another to “Do No Harm, Do Good and Stay in Love with God.”

I remain His humble servant-leader,

Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster, III.
RISEM District Superintendent

Forward this email             View in browser

Bishop’s March 1 message

March 1, 2019

Beloved in Christ:

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

On Ash Wednesday, we are reminded of God’s call: “Gather the people,
consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast …” —  Joel 2:16

In other words, gather everyone.

“A 2016 study from the nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute found that 39 percent of young adults (ages 18 to 29) are ‘religious unaffiliated.’ That has nearly quadrupled since 1986, when only 10 percent of young adults identified that way.” (USA Today, Feb. 28, 2019)

Though there are many reasons for the increase in the number of young adults who are staying away from the church, J.J. Warren, who many of you likely saw speaking so passionately on the floor of General Conference, traveled with me with on a Mission of Peace journey years ago. I think his words give insight into what young people in the church are seeking:

“For me and the younger generation that is the church now among you, and who want to be the church together with you for the future as well, we desire a church that seeks the justice of God.” (If interested, please see here for a video of J.J. Warren’s full speech)

Let us begin our Lenten journey, earnest in our desire to be God’s prayer, to gather all the children of God, and to surrender ourselves to be transformed through love.

Let us take time to write in our Lenten journals each day, to compose our own prayers for justice, and to examine how our actions give witness to God’s justice.

Let us pray that we will become what the prophet Joel calls, an “assembly of God,” and a community that is the Sermon on the Mount.

As a conference may we pray this prayer together every day during Lent:

God,
remind me again today that
you are Love;
that Loving is always expressed in action
not beliefs.

Remind me again today
that your love was made visible
in creation,
in Jesus,
in the Church, the body of Christ.

Remind me again today
that it is through love, not
right vs wrong,
good vs evil, that
we are saved.

Remind me again today that you
gather us all,
love us all,
sanctify us all,
call us all, 
to be one —
in Christ,
with each other,
in ministry to
all the world.

Prema and I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Lenten season.

in Christ’s love,

Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar

Letter from Bishop re. General Conference

A message from Bishop Devadhar: General Conference 2019

Image

Feb. 26, 2019

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with tumult.

Psalm 46:1-3

Dear Beloved in Christ,

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We have just concluded the special session of the General Conference in St Louis. During this gathering of the global church, we worshiped and prayed together and spent time in Christian conferencing, but much remains unresolved and unknown.

Though the actions of the General Conference are still subject to review by the Judicial Council, we return with a Book of Discipline that moves us further from full inclusion. This is disheartening at best and despairing at worst.

While our call as United Methodists is to do good, do no harm, and stay in love with God … I suspect we have fallen far shorter on the first two than the last. I ask that we spend time in prayerful confession of the ways our church has caused deep pain to beloved children of God, particularly LGBTQIA and their allies. No matter what plan you supported for the way forward, remember that when one part of the body suffers, so do we all – and so now we are all in need of healing.

My prayers continue for our church and for each of you in this covenantal community, for all LGBTQIA children of God and their allies, as well as for those who are listening to our words and watching our actions.

I continue to pray for a day when we can live together in the unified Spirit in a fully inclusive church. I  celebrate the beauty and rich variety of gifts that God has created, and I have faith that God will create, in and through us, a beautiful incarnation of the Body of Christ for the transformation of the whole world.

As you gather with your congregations this Sunday, I pray you will build up one another in love, caring for each other’s needs, and praying for God’s spirit to inspire you to witness to Christ’s love in your communities.

In the next two weeks, your superintendents, in coordination with our delegation to this special session of General Conference, have scheduled opportunities for you to gather for support, prayer, and “Courageous Conversations” with one another as we process the actions – and inactions – of the general church and seek a faithful response. I hope and pray these will be opportunities for us to do good and begin to heal while we stay in love with God and each other.

May our faithful God hold us in strength as we witness to the powerful love of Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, for such a time as this.

In Christ’s Love,


Bishop Devadhar


 

Bishop’s Office

Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar

Erica Robinson-Johnson Assistant to the Bishop/DCM Phone: (978) 682-7555 ext. 251
erica@neumc.org

Brenda Borchers
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (978) 682-7555 ext. 250
Fax: (978) 682-9555
BishopsOffice@neumc.org

Transformed by the Holy Spirit, united in trust,
we will boldly proclaim Christ to the world.