6:30 a.m. sunrise service at Menemsha. (photo by Kim Tharp)
Sanctuary ready for 9 o’clock.Easter message ” In the Garden”..
Special music by Thursday Stings and Jeff Nelson.
Thanks to all who made the morning a success!
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.
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
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!
Blessings Always, (Numbers 6:24-26)
Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster, III.
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:
remind me again today that
you are Love;
that Loving is always expressed in action
Remind me again today
that your love was made visible
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 —
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
A message from Bishop Devadhar: General Conference 2019