Category Archives: News

THE NET: Youth group beings in Sept.

Stay posted for further information.

Island churches are forming an ecumenical youth group. Its proposed name is The Net. Please read the guiding principles and goals below and then sign off on this memorandum if you wish to participate. Each participating church is expected to provide financial support and assist a paid youth group leader.


Guiding Principles:

  1. The goal is to provide a safe place where students can grow and share their faith.
  2. The Net will serve students in grades 7-12, beginning September, 2014.
  3. Character education and faith development will be stressed. Though we may not study scripture, this will be a faith-based program (for example, we expect to end each meeting with The Lord’s Prayer).
  4. At least one clergy person from a participating church will be present at every meeting. Participating churches will also be asked to provide adult lay leaders on occasion (for regular meetings and special events or trips), who will also be asked to contribute to the life of the group (e.g., get to know the students and take and active role in the group).
  5. There will be no “discipling” and no proselytizing.
  6. Safe Church policies will be followed. Leaders and volunteers will be CORIed.


Proposed Format:

The Net will meet on Sundays from 4:00 to 5:30 pm from September 14 – May 17. If school is not scheduled for Monday, the Youth Group will not meet, therefore meeting dates are:

September 14, 21 and 28 (3) February 1, 8 and 22 (3)

October 5, 19 and 26 (3) March 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 (5)

November 2, 9, 16 and 23 (4) April 12 and 26 (2)

December 7 and 14 (2) May 3, 10 and 17 (3)

January 4, 11 and 25 (3)

There will be 28 meetings, plus a winter ski trip, and a mission trip in the spring.

We will hold meetings at Island churches on a rotating basis. One church will host in September, October and November. A second church will host in December, January and February. A third church will host in March, April and May.

We will hire and pay one leader, who will be supported by clergy and lay people from the participating churches. Details about staffing and accounting for paid position are available upon request.


“Spirit Song” September 14

On "stage"

On “stage”

September 14 at 3, the concert of songs, arias and spirituals sung by mezzo-sooprano, Lia Kahler with friends.
Silent auction at 2.
Info about “Spirit Song”

What: Catalyst Concert of songs, spirituals, arias and solo works for piano and organ

Why: To raise funds for the estimated $20,000 repair of the steeple and cross of the Chilmark Community Church damaged by Hurricane Sandy

Who: Lia Kahler, mezzo-soprano, with fellow artists and friends, pianist Richard Gordon, organist Philip Dietterich, and readers Arlene Bodge and Dan Cabot

When: Sunday afternoon September 14, 2014, 3:00 p.m. Preceded by Silent Auction at 2:00, during intermission and at the reception following the concert

Where: Chilmark Community Church, Menemsha Crossroad

Other info:

Arlene and Dan will be readers of the English texts of Brahm’s “Four Scriptural Songs”

Silent auction: Special item up for bid: a ride for up to 5 to a private picnic on the North Shore chauffeured by Bob Ganz at the wheel of his 1926 Lincoln convertible; other items – dining certificates, prints, jewelry, stocking stuffers and other surprises.






Chilmark reaches goal of $500 for Imagine No Malaria

As of Sunday, with the help of Bob’s matching funds,   Chilmark  Community Church surpassed it’s goal of $500 for the campaign.  We’ll be sending the New England Conference $571 toward the goal. See below.

Can We Catch a Killer?

Every 60 seconds, malaria claims a life in Africa. The people of the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church are unified in the fight against a needless killer with Imagine No Malaria.

Imagine No Malaria is an extraordinary effort of the United Methodist Church as we put our faith into action all across the denomination to end preventable deaths by malaria in Africa, especially the death of a child or a mother. Our goal in the New England Annual Conference is to save 150,000 lives by raising $1.5 million for Imagine No Malaria.

New England Campaign Progress:

Achieving the goal of ending preventable deaths by malaria requires an integrated strategy against the disease. As a life-saving ministry, Imagine No Malaria aims to empower the people of Africa to overcome malaria’s burden. We in the New England Conference join with other United Methodists to fight malaria with a comprehensive model.

In 2006, we entered into the fight with Nothing But Nets program. Imagine No Malaria will continue to support Nothing But Nets and build partnerships, because bed nets are an effective tool against the disease.

We are making a difference

But there is still more work to do

Just a few short years ago, statistics showed a child died every 30 seconds of malaria. Today, because of your dedicated and generous support by United Methodists, malaria’s impact has been cut in half.

According to the World Health Organization (World Malaria Report 2011), this disease now claims a life every 60 seconds. We seek to end all preventable deaths from malaria, so our journey continues….

Now, Imagine No Malaria helps us take the next step in this fight (think of it as Nets Plus). We’re doing more and addressing this issue on a variety of fronts, including Prevention, Education, Communications, and Treatment.

To date, Imagine No Malaria is responsible for the distribution of 1.2 million insecticide-treated bed nets throughout the continent.
We know that local people are the most credible and trusted source for information about malaria. We have trained more than 5,400 community health workers to personally deliver mosquito nets and measure usage rates. Recent efforts in Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo have produced net usage rates exceeding 80 percent.
Behavior-change communication includes how to use and care for a bed net, and when to seek treatment for the disease. In addition to word-of-mouth outreach, the United Methodist radio station in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) broadcasts messages about malaria to thousands of listeners each day.
The United Methodist Church operates more than 300 hospitals, clinics and health posts throughout Africa. This vital healthcare infrastructure is a critical part of how we will overcome the disease. In order to be effective, however, these facilities must have life-saving resources like rapid diagnostic tests and malaria medication.

Cross and steeple Repair to begin


It all began with hurricane “Sandy”.  The cross took a dramatic lean to the East.  Before it could fall Mark Clements brought over his equipment and Roy Riley rode up to the heavens and took down the cross.



4-IMG_0450 3-IMG_0446 2-IMG_0442Now  it is time to repair the cross and do some overdue maintenance on the upper part of the steeple (the bottom third was rebuilt four years ago). John Leecock from Palmer, Massachusetts, a partner of Frank Allard, who repaired steeples in West Tisbury and Edgartown and even, Chilmark, years ago, has been consulted about doing the work.

Contributions to the project would be most welcome:  Chilmark Community Church, 9 Menemsha Crossroad. 02535.

Letter from D.S. Seok Hwan

Dear fellow Sojourners and colleagues,

Every Sunday, in every corner of the world, people gather to hear a story, story of life, love, hope and faith. For almost 2,000 years that story has been told and retold. That story, of a man called Jesus of Nazareth, a man who became Christ, was originally told by his first followers and then retold by a missionary to Korea who was sent by the United Methodist Women from USA. Along the way, a young man, my father Yoon-Kee Hong, had found in its telling, its own meaning and interpretation from a Methodist missionary in Korea and became a Christian.

He married a young lady, who is my mother, Kyung-Ah Lee, a Buddhist who later converted to Christianity. I am a second generation Christian in my family. I grew up in an environment where two cultures clashed between my mother and my father. My mother worried much about living with poor condition; my father had a strong faith that God would provide what we needed. Every Sunday, and especially on Thanksgiving Day, I saw the struggle between my mother and my father. My father practiced tithing in everything that made my mother worry and uncomfortable. My father advised me to give a tithe even from my small amount of allowance.

My father learned from his missionary, and mentor, that giving was no pious act designed to increase contributions to the church budget but a means of expressing generosity rooted in gratitude for God’s generosity and of fulfilling the great commandment to love. My mother had been gradually convinced by this belief and had seen enough to know that our generous God blessed all of us with more than enough things.

My son Jonathan complained about taking out a tithe from all his gifts and I explained to him what I had learned from my father and he is painfully practicing to express generosity as well. Someday he will know how much it is a privilege to share the blessings of God.

Dear friends! I have traveled to 65 churches and had joyful fellowship with brothers and sisters. I feel we need to reclaim a precious Wesleyan tradition that “the Methodist would give all we have and then all would have enough.”

We, the RISEM District, are going to have a chance to experience “Developing a Culture of Generosity” in both March and October this year. I hope that you and many lay leaders of your congregation take this valuable opportunity to develop a culture of generosity, to create a climate ripe for giving, to learn a biblical alternative to materialism, and teach the offering as a worship experience. Encourage and plan to be in this workshop together on March 29, 2014 with Melvin Amerson and October 4, 2014 with Cliff Christopher.

We are called Methodist because Wesley learned how to be a Christian by methodically practicing every day the means of grace. Everything becomes easier once we have started; it is getting started that is the hardest part. Let us come together and learn how to be good Christians.

Your brother, Seok Hwan

Letter from RISEM re. Charge Conference

Church Conference 2013

Greetings Pastors and Laity,

Conditions change but fundamentals continue!

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:6,8)

Time flies. The church conference season is coming soon and it will create for us a lot of stress and work as well as joy and hope. Don’t be overwhelmed by the work, rather just relax and take a deep breath and allow the Spirit of the living God to work through you. Plan ahead of time and find a schedule to complete the paperwork that must be submitted on time for our freedom. Many of the forms can be completed on-line, saved and then printed out and shared at the Church Conference. Forms can be found at:

This year the theme for our church conferences is the same as at the 2013 Annual Conference, “Strangely Warmed: Formed by God, Powered by Prayer to Service”. Our scripture focus is Luke 24:13-35 known by many as “the story of the walk to Emmaus”.

With some exceptions, I will meet with the Staff Parish Relations Committee one hour before the church conference and the pastor is asked to be present at this meeting for the first fifteen or so minutes.

We will then move to the church conference, beginning with a short devotion. I will lead the devotion. Please note and read through the Church Conference Agenda. As pastors and laity in every church, I hope you will concentrate on one thing at a time. Apart from the usual agenda, I want to focus on the main goal of the church for the next year and hear from you what you are presently doing and what resources you will use to achieve your goal in a more concretely and practical way.

More than anything else than preparing the Church Conference, we need to set aside the time to pray together. We cannot control the movement of the Spirit. Rather we are supposed to be controlled by the Spirit to do ministry effectively and productively. So I hope you have prayer in every committee meeting and give space for the Divine to breakthrough to us and to the church. I have learned how to prepare for the Conference through my ministry by allowing God’s intervention. Simply waiting for and resting in God’s moment, I have found the way out and a new direction for the ministry.

Let us learn how to enjoy the grace of God through tough, demanding, sometimes frustrating and unnecessary things (in our opinion). We continue to love our church that we are serving, in spite of all the frustrations and joys. Simply enjoy the problems and concerns enough to change them into the stepping stones for the transformation of ourselves and the church we serve, for we have the treasure of Jesus in jars of clay!

As always, if you have questions or concerns, please contact the district office. I look forward to seeing you soon!

2013 Charge Conference Agenda


1. Prayer and Hymn together

2. Scripture Luke 24:13-35

3. Meditation (DS): Strangely Warmed: Formed by God, Powered by Prayer to Service!

Charge Conference (or Church Conference)

1. Bishop’s Video

2. Open CC and Election of Recording Secretary

3. Approval of 2012 CC minutes

4. 2014 Church Clergy Compensation Report

5. Pastor’s Report

6. Candidate for Ministry and Lay Speaker Annual Report

7. Lay Leadership (Nominations)

8. Trustees: bequests and Parsonage Inspection

9. Annual Report of the Committee on Finance

10. Membership

Questions for the coming year

1. If your church has one goal that is practical, concrete, and tangible next year, what would it be?

2. Does you congregation have Spiritual Disciplines to be transformed by the Spirit? (Prepare to share your concrete and practical spiritual disciplines)

Adjournment and Blessing

l Could you prepare a projector, screen, and speakers for the Church Conference? If not, let me know and I will plan to bring them to the Conference.

Chilmark’s early Abel’s Hill church by Sam Carroll

Sam Carroll

I have a copy of an old map showing a church at Abel’s Hill, beside the cemetery. It wasn’t Methodist, but it predates the middle road locations. Experience Mayhew preached there in the early 1700s, his father, John Mayhew (number 32 in Banks history) was the first circuit minister who lived in Quansoo , who became a preacher at Boston’s South Church and spoke against the King’s Stamp Act, just prior to the Revolution. His Son, Experience, wrote a detailed ethnology of the indigenous Wampanoag conversions, which is available in the West Tisbury Library. Including Abel, who was his first convert to Christianity.
In 1694, Matthew Mayhew wrote “A Brief History of the success of the Gospel among the Wampanoag of Martha’s Vineyard” in Chilmark. He mentioned twenty different languages were spoken at the time. And suggested that the Crown should learn from their example of local assemblies open to all citizens, Hashawockamuck, Aquinnah, Nobnocket, for example, were the tribal centers where all local affairs were discussed, and many early Christian conversions took place there and in private before any standing churches. Many of the founding principles of our country came from those discussions. Freedom of assembly, government by the people, regional conferences, were discussed up-island, at fireside before 1700.

Report by Marilyn Hollinshead re. Annual Conference



Prayer: O God, Open our minds to hear this news and our hearts to find ourselves in it. Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen

Every year the Methodist Church of New England, comprising all the congregations in six states, convenes to conduct the business of the church. Its mission is “to equip, connect, and support local, regional and global ministries to make disciples of Jesus Christ, and to serve all in his name.”

So a great deal of business was conducted by Bishop Peter Weaver. We voted on officers, budgets, mission shares, church closures, among other issues. We worshiped, we sang (hymns from our hymnal I had never heard), we attended workshops, we witnessed the ordination and commissioning of clergy, and we talked. We visited displays by many organizations, mostly church-related, and spent time in Cokesbury’s large bookstore. We ate well, and I hope others slept as well as I did after each long day.

I came away from the Conference with a great deal to think about. Much of it stemmed from the report of the New England delegates to the General Conference of the Methodist Church. Every four years this annual conference is held, this year in Tampa. So I went to a packed workshop on Introduction to United Methodist Social Principles to hear the delegates report on the General Conference.

More than 2000 proposals were placed before the general conference. Most of them died in committee and never reached the floor for a vote. To quote from the NE Delegations “Reflections:”

“If we were depending on getting our legislative house in order, we failed to do so. If we were hoping that instituting strong centralized leadership would be the panacea, all the plans went up in smoke. If we thought a common theological perspective, or a unified worldview, or new language around inclusion would rescue us—none of these were anywhere to be seen.”

The delegates realized that the Methodist church is too big and too diverse to have a common center. They believe that the structure of the church does not contribute to its vitality. That vitality they define here, “Our strength and out unity lie in our identity as a spiritual movement, grounded in the grace of God and linked by common practices of personal and social holiness. Nothing more, nothing less.”

I have a copy of their Reflections here for anyone to read. What they were saying is that we need to reimagiine what our church is to keep it vital.

I found this idea running through many of the talks, from the Bishop to lay speakers. The Bishop showed five short films of vital churches in New England. After each film he asked,” What is the Holy Spirit saying to me about my congregation?” and “what is the Holy Spirit saying to me about my leadership?” These were uncomfortable questions, but one we must all ask ourselves.

In a workshop on congregational Development I found some suggestions, some of which are relevant to the Chilmark Church. The minister leading the group said the church had become counter cultural. It’s no longer cool to attend church. There is competition for attention on Sunday and throughout the week. To many the perception of church is a fist. He proposed ways of opening that fist, of changing people’s perceptions.

  1. Within the church we should think of the church as God’s rescue plan, the “Light of the World.” The church was created to represent God in the world. We as individuals are part of the rescue plan.
  2. Marketing the Church. Matt. 28: 19 Personal newsletter from the Pastor, Sermon notes. (both of the above mailed to parishioners or handed out s]at service – and handed on.) Bookmarks, flyers, general and specific, a website, presence in Facebook, community participation (parades,etc)
  3. Worship Experience. Must be meaningful and relevant, a balance between traditional and contemporary elements. Children’s message. Introit as transition from business to worhsip. Sermon uses attention getter.
  4. Doing Church differently, Bread of life Sunday, on line Study blog fee NT and a 90 day challenge to read it, brain-boarding local needs with sticky notes. Post and do 2 or 3 of them.
  5. Prayer and elbow grease. What kind of church are you supposed to be? Hebrews 12:1,2a

This was one vision, but with many ideas we could work from.

Majority of churches are consumers of religion, rather than incarnate. Incarnate here means to realize in actions what we are. It means we love God,love others, and then help others to grow in their faith. It means to ask what God wants of you, and then listen. The traditional consumer form is that of a minister preaching and others following, a passive relationship to God.

There was so much more I learned in the few days at the New England conference. I hope to share some more specifics later in the year.

We had a service of memory for the ministers we lost during the past year, including Robert Brightman, who often worshiped with us.

We said goodbye to Bishop Peter Weaver for his eight years of dedicated service to our church. We had a service of farewell, including a roasting, followed by a Hootnanny with a Falmouth music group.

It was an inspiring few days. I hope some of you will consider going next year.