Category Archives: SERMONS, WORSHIP, MEDITATIONS

Jan.17,2020

Welcome
The pastor and members of Chilmark Community
Church of Mather’s Vineyard , Massachusetts,
welcome you to today’s worship service. Thanks for
listening to God’ call to come and worship with us
today!
Today’s Gospel Reading tells of Jesus’ call of his first
disciples. It is the beginning of Jesus’ public
ministry. Jesus did what every other Rabbi in his day
did: he called disciples. Our reading prompt
s us to remember that even today, for those promoting any
teaching, church or ideology to succeed, it needs men and women who are dedicated and committed to its cause. During the course of the last twenty years, we have seen Al Qaeda
, ISIS and many other radical groups follow this principle.
The question for us is: how can we create communities of peace, compassion and good will like the “Beloved Community” as Martin Luther King Jr. envision? As we inaugurate a new President, we need to ask ourselves, how can we strive to work together heal the many divisions on our country?
May Almighty God guide and keep us!
Sincerely,
Ernest Belisle ,
Pastor

Bishop Devadhar’s Christmas Message

 

Image

Dec. 23, 2020

Beloved in Christ:

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

Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” is based on Luke’s account of the angel’s announcement of good news to shepherds— shepherds, who had no formal education or social standing, who were terrified by the appearance of the angel, shepherds who upon receiving the angel’s message went with haste to Bethlehem to see what had taken place.

When they arrived they found Mary, Joseph, and the baby. They made known what was told to them by the angel, and all who heard were amazed. Mary treasured and pondered their words in her heart, and the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God. (Luke 2:16-20)

Due to COVID-19 and other challenges, Christmas celebrations will be different in many ways this year: no big parties, fewer family members at the table, limited travel, different ways of doing Christmas Eve candlelight services. Some have lost family members and/or friends throughout this year.

In “Celebrating in the Pandemic,” Anne Lamott writes: “The meaning of this pandemic is that we are all vulnerable and connected. We are in this together, spanning the globe, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, pagans, Christians, atheists. This is so much bigger than the virus, because love and caring are bigger than anything – even, or especially, suffering.” (Anne Lamott, “Celebrating in the Pandemic,” National Geographic, December 2020, p. 20).

In the midst of all this, angels — messengers of God, continue to descend upon our lives.

I experienced such an event when I was serving a local church and received a call from a parishioner stating there had been a gun accident in their neighborhood. When I arrived at the house of the accident, the husband and son were understandably distraught.

The husband had been getting ready to go hunting and did not realize the gun’s safety was not on. It fired accidentally as he was saying goodbye, and his wife was killed on the spot. You can imagine the deep pain and helplessness.

Honestly, I did not know how to simultaneously comfort the grieving husband and teen-aged son. Immediately, a voice whispered to me, “Call one of the saints of the church who is also a trusted leader.” I called this person who worked in the guidance office of the local high school. In minutes, two guidance counselors arrived and began working as a team to help this family.

Recently I was deeply moved by a news story of a Jewish doctor who had treated a COVID-19 patient who was covered with Nazi tattoos.

Naturally, this doctor’s faith and compassion were tested! Though I leave you to reach your own decision on this transformational story, as far as I am concerned, angels of God were silently whispering to Dr. Nichols about what to do and how to respond.

Angels come to us in various forms:  as an enemy seeking forgiveness and help, as a child speaking truth, as a person with different skin color or accent from our own, as someone whose theology is diametrically opposed to ours. Are we able to listen to them even though they prick our conscience, disrupt our comfort, or make us afraid?

Beloved in Christ, may we hear again the angel’s message.  May our holy listening lead to holy action, so through us or in spite of us, God may be glorified and praised!

Prema joins me in wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas!

In Christ’s love,


Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar

Prayer

God, as the shepherds of old
we make the journey
to see the thing that has taken place
the thing that has been made known to us.

We make haste to find the one
about whom the angels sing —
the one who came
the one who still comes
as good news to
the lonely and the hollow,
the heartbroken and the angry,
the homeless and the hungry,
the poor and the affluent,
the hopeless and the fearful,
all made in your image.

God, like the angel who said,
“Do not be afraid: for see —
I am bringing you good news of great joy,”
like the angel who spoke to shepherds,
let us announce the good news
write it on a card,
email it to a hurting soul,
pray it with a grief-stricken neighbor
sing it into fear,
love it into the unlovely,
like the angel,
let us make it known!

Through the love of God
the grace of Jesus the Christ
and in the power of the Holy Spirit,
so may we hear and tell
what has been made known to us
and sing with the angels,
Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace!
AMEN.

 

Pastor’s greeting for 4th Sunday in Advent

Welcome to Chilmark Community Church.
We are happy God has led you to be with us.
Today is the fourth and last Sunday in
Advent. It is the Sunday before Christmas Day
– the Day of our Lor d’s Nativity. Our reading for the Psalm    and the Gospel both rejoice in the steadfast love of God for
his people. In t he Gospel reading, Mary rejoiced
and gave thanks for what God was doing through her.
She was troubled and perplexed when she learned
what was going to happen to her. She pondered, in
her heart, what sort of greeting the angel brought . Gabriel then said to her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor, David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom, there will be no end”.
(1:30 – 33)
During the months of October and November we spoke about BLESSINGS. I asked you to name the BLESSING God has given you. God gives gift s of BLESSING so we may use then
for God and for others. As we use our BLESSINGS for
God and others they grow and we are given even more
blessed in the process. The gifts of God ’s BLISSINGS
change our society and civilization. God is the first gift giver and the greatest gift giver. John 3:16  tells us that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” St. Paul points out that it was “God who first gave, even while we were yet sinners.” It is God who gave us life. It is God who gave us the galaxies and the universe. It is God who gave us our mothers and our fathers, our children and grandchildren. God gave us all that we have
and are. Like Mary , are we willing, for God’s sake , to go beyond ourselves and to be used for the sake of the love of God ?
Christmas is a time of love and gift giving! Our p hysical gifts are symbols of our spiritual BLESSING and GIFT OF LOVE .
Christm as reminds us that it was God who first gave of God’s self. God gave Jesus, God’s only Son, and Jesus, in turn, gave himself and his life for us on a cross because he so loved us.
A BLESSED Christmas of LOVE to you and yours,
Ernest Belisle, Pastor

 

3rd Sunday in Advent

Welcome
to Chilmark Community Church of
Martha’s Vineyard, MA. We are happy to have
you worshipping with us in this season of Hope
and Peace when we remember with Joy that Jesus
Christ is the ETERNAL LIGHT who is coming into
the world to restore God’s LOVE to the world.
Today is the third Sunday in Advent, or the second
Sunday before Christmas Day – the Day of our
Lord’s Nativity. Today is Joy Sunday. The psalm for
the day is psalm 126. It is a psalm that tells of the JOY that comes from the harvest. It reads in part:
1
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
2
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
5
May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.
6
Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall
come home with shouts of joy,”
A plentiful harvest was a time of celebration and great joy because there was enough food to keep the family and the nation from starving and even dying through the long dark winter until the next spring and harvest. The
celebration was known as, “THE HARVEST JOY.”
On the other hand the text from St John 1:19-28 points to spiritual JOY.
It calls us to remember the origin and purpose of Jesus’ coming with a kind of anticipation and devotion that both challenges and encourages us to look steadfastly for eternal peace and joy that come from God John the Baptist demonstrates a powerful example of what it means to have an inner assurance and peace of soul and so witness with JOY to the ETERNAL LIGHT that is coming into the world.
As people of faith, let us remember the event of the WORD BECOMING FLESH to dwell among us. Let us remember THE COMING of Christ – the GREATEST WITNESS and JOY of God to humanity. Like John, we are witnesses to the GREATEST WITNESS (Christ Jesus) of the existence of God!
May we experience the TRUE LIGHT and JOY from on high as we
worship together on this third Sunday in Advent!
2

 

Pastor’s message Dec.6,2020

Chilmark community CHURCH
9 Menemsha Crossroad, Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard, MA 02535
December 6, 2020
Welcome to Chilmark Community Church of Martha’s Vineyard, MA. We are a group of Christ’s disciples who strive to share our faith journey and our peace of soul with you. Again: Welcome!
Today is the second Lord’s Day in Advent, or the third Sunday before Christmas Day – the Day of the Nativity of our Lord. Our readings for the day are from Isaiah 40, Psalm 85 and the Gospel according to Saint Mark 1. The focus is on spiritual preparation: repentance, restoration, regeneration and peace in relationship with God. It is John the Baptizer who is preparing the way for the coming of the Messiah/Christ. John was a kind of wild guy with a harsh message who lived in the woods off the land. His harsh message and looks attracted crowds from the surrounding towns. Mark begins with John as an adult fully
embracing and focusing on his ministry of preparation for the coming of the Messiah.
What are we embracing and focusing on during this season? Are we embracing and focusing on preparing for the coming of the Messiah? How do we, in this Advent Season, focus on preparing for the coming of the Christ into our lives?
How do we help others to focus on the coming of the Messiah? Please give these questions your prayerful thought and see if you can decide on some practical ways in which you will help to prepare for the coming of the Messiah, the Christ. May we find new meaning and purpose as we worship on this second Sunday in Advent!
Very sincerely,
Ernest Belisle (Pastor)
Thought for the day:
Advent is a time of expectation and restoration.
Let us wait with patience for the One who changes everything!

Thanksgiving greeting from Rev. Belisle

Chi l mark Community Church

9 Menemsha Crossroad

Chilmark ,  MA 0 2535

Dear Friends in Christ,

I believe most of us know the song , entitled : “What a Wonderful World?”

It says:   “I see trees of green, red roses too .   I see them bloom, for me and for you.

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue, and clouds of whi te . 

The bright blessed day, and the dark sacred night.

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world .

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow, they’ll learn much more, than I’ll ever know.

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world . 

Yes, I think to my self, what a wonderful world. ” (Louis Armstrong)

For me this song expresses an “attitude of gratitude.” The song is hopeful and optimistic.  The author found

joy, life and love in the green trees, the red roses, the blue skies, and even the dark sacred ni ghts.  What

brings joy, love , blessing and thankfulness to you? What are the things for which you are grateful? Are you

thankful for blue skies, red roses and dark sacred nights? Are you thankful for a home, for love d ones,  for  live ,

health and strength ?  I am sure we all  have many things for which we are thankful ! What and who  will you  giv e

thank s for  this thanksgiving ? Kindly  remember your f athers and m others who migrated to these parts and

create a place where we  are able to live, work and worship  in freedom.

Let us  not  forget  the many families who have lost love d ones to COVID 19. Let us remember those who are, in

one way  or the other, are  suffering because of the pandemic . Let us remembe r  the many caregivers in o ur

hospitals and nursing homes who are over worked and over stressed in caring for the sick and  dying.  Please

remember to say  a special prayer for them all.

We give God thanks for who we are and what we have, remembering that all comes from God:

“All  are Thine; no gift have we, Lord of all gifts, to offer Thee: and hence , with grateful hearts today,

Thine own before Thy feet we lay.” (John G. Whittier)

I wish you and yours, a blessed  t hanksgiving!

Sincerely,

______________________________ November 202

Ernest Belisle (Minister)

Please see a thanksgiving prayer below .​

Chi l mark Community Church

9 Menemsha Crossroad

Chilmark ,  MA 0 2535

Thanksgiving Words and Prayer

Words before the Prayer

We live in a land rich in harvest.

Yet, many have no bread.

We choose our clothes from many changes.

Yet, many cannot afford our rummage sales.

We live in comfortable houses.

Yet, many have no place to call home.

We have work that feeds mind and body.

Yet, many have jobs that feed neither mind or body

Lord,  we have been richly blessed.

Let us Prayer

Lord, we remember that to those who

much is given, much is expected.

We give you praise and thanksgiving for

all the blessings of this life: for food, for

family, for friends and for love d ones.

On this Thanksgiving Day, bless all our

relationships and keep us health and safe

from all illnesses especially during this

time of COVID 19. Thank you Lord.  Amen

Examen..R.R. Meditation for 7/28/20

Take Your Time Tuesday        

Balance.  With all that presses upon us, many of us seek balance, a place where we are centered, that spiritual space where we can hold together the blessings and challenges of 2020 and find peace.  In this week’s Take Your Time Tuesday video, author and retired pastor, Steve Garnaas-Holmes, offers us the Examen as a spiritual practice to find balance and embrace a greater consciousness of the situations in our life.

Based in Ignatian spirituality, the Examen asks us to be aware of moments of light and dark, gratefulness and regret, consolation and desolation, and without judgement, to notice them and to move on.  It is a simple practice to find peace in a complex and ever changing world.

June meditation from DS Foster

Image

Hello RISEM Clergy & Laity,
The following devotions are taken from the book, The One Year Praying the Promises of God by Cherri Fuller and Jennifer Kennedy Dean. I pray these devotions will increase your hunger for God’s Word.
JUNE 2020

Pure Promises

The LORD’S promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over. Psalm 12: 6 The psalmist paints a picture of silver purified beyond ordinary standards. He describes a process that will produce 100 percent pure silver. Every bit of impurity or residue gone. God’s promises are unmixed with any untruth. They’ve been put through the fire. David wrote, “Your promises have been thoroughly tested; that is why I love them so much” (Psalm 119: 140). God doesn’t want his promises to be theoretical; he invites us to put them to the test so we will know for ourselves how trustworthy they are.

When Scripture tells us how to know God, it uses “sense” words: How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey. (Psalm 119: 103) I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand. (Ephesians 1: 18) The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears. (Isaiah 50: 5, NIV) Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. (2 Corinthians 2: 15) Consider this: How would you describe the taste of a strawberry to someone who has never tasted one? You couldn’t. Things that we know through our senses we have to learn firsthand.

So, it is with knowing God. You can know him only by firsthand experience and the certainty of his promises. They have to be tested in your fire. But you cannot trust promises on their own merit. A promise is only as reliable as the person who makes it. If you don’t know the promiser, you have no way of knowing whether or not to rely on the promise. You must trust the Promiser.

Faithful Father, the more I know you, the more faith comes naturally to me. Trust is no longer a generic idea but is becoming instead a deliberate act as I learn to trust in you. Show yourself to me in the comings and goings of my life, teaching me that who you are ensures what you will do. The promises of the Bible are nothing more than God’s covenant to be faithful to His people. It is His character that makes these promises valid.  JERRY BRIDGES (1929–), American author and conference speaker.

 

Blessings,

Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster III