Category Archives: SERMONS, WORSHIP, MEDITATIONS

April 18, 2021

Welcome
to Chilmark Community Church on this third Sunday
of the resurrection season. We pray you will come to know the
risen presence of Christ Jesus our Lord as you worship with us.
The Gospel reading for the day is from St. Luke and has
interesting comments on the spiritual and emotional state of
the disciples. Notice how the Rev. Steve Garnaas-Holmes
comments capture the Easter Joy and Disbelief of the Disciples
in his poem:
“ In their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering …
( Luke 24.41) God, it’s all here at once, joy and disbelieving, dullness and wonder. Let my joy flower, my disbelieving keep on wondering. Give me the faith to watch in amazement, to finally know what I know, to rejoice before I understand. Wonder, lead me where I wouldn’t go without you. O soul, drag me into the dance, guided in your arms, looking into my
Savior’s eyes, without even knowing it. (Steve Garnaas-Holmes,
Unfolding Light, www.unfoldinglight.net)
I like the phrase, “In their [Resurrection] Joy they were disbelieving and still wondering…” What are some of the everyday things in our life that bring us joy, yet we cannot understand them although we know them to be true? So we stand in joyous amazement, wondering, what is this event we Christians call ‘resurrection’? This is truly how God’s grace works! It is all too good to be true! WOW! Is there JOY, HOLY DISBELIEVING AND WONDERING?
Sincerely,
Ernest Belisle (Pastor)

 

April 11, 2021

The members and friends of Chilmark Community Church of
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, welcome you to their worship service on this second Lord’s Day of the Resurrection
–second Sunday of Easter.
Our Gospel reading is from the Gospel according to Saint John,
chapter 20, verses 19- 31. It tells of  “Doubting Thomas.” In it,
Thomas is the example of what Jesus has to say about the nature of knowledge and faith. Jesus came to the disciples in the Upper Room the first time and said, “Peace be with you.”
Thomas was “not with them when Jesus came.” Jesus showed them his hands and his side as marks of his authenticity.
Jesus pointed out , “’As the Father has sent me so send I you.’
Then he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”
   When those disciples reported what happened to Thomas, Thomas did not believe. He said, “Unless I see the mark of the
nails in his hands, and put my figure in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” A week later, Thomas was with the disciples and Jesus again appears. Jesus said to the disciples, including Thomas, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Come, put your finger here and
see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Be not faithless, but believing.” Thomas exclaimed,  “My Lord and my God.”
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed only because you have
seen?  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.  ” Jesus bore,  in his body,  the marks of suffering, sin and shame ; and it is these that became the proof of his verification and authenticity.
What are our marks of suffering, sin and shame that  authenticate our faith in Christ Jesus? Notice  Jesus’ words to Thomas,  “Be not faithless, but believing?” Let us remember that knowledge comes  to us in different ways and forms and from different sources.  Can knowledge come through faith or the lack of faith, even as it came to Thomas ?
May the resurrected Christ continue to show himself to us this day and throughout the rest of our lives! May faith and even
faithlessness lead us to new knowledge and belief so we may
be led to do God’s will.
Sincerely yours,
In the name of the Risen Christ of faith,
Ernest Belisle (Pastor)

 

Last Taize meditation 2021 + Conference link to Easter

Dear Friends

Please find below the Taize meditation we have been sharing over the Lenten Season . Also you will see a link to register for an Easter Day Worship Service.
Sincerely,
Pastor Ernest

Taizé worship experiences for Lent

You are invited into a simple, meditative prayer service with Taizé chants as part of your Lenten journey. These pre-recorded services will be available here each Wednesday from Feb. 24 to March 31, 2021.

Find the March 31 and past services


NEAC Eastertide worship service available

The Extended Cabinet has prepared a pre-recorded video Eastertide worship service with a sermon by Bishop Devadhar. This service is designed to assist pastors and church leaders with online worship planning by providing a complete service with adaptable parts (sermon only, for example) that can be used during the Easter season. Use the link below to sign up to get the materials.
Register

 

Palm Sunday 2021

Welcome to our Palm Sunday Worship Service.  On Palm Sunday we celebrate two different aspects of Jesus’ life: his triumphant entry into Jerusalem and his suffering, passion and death on the cross. Today’s service is a worship of Palm and  Passion.
 Palm : The first part of our worship of Palm is triumphant. We celebrate with the wild crowd that greeted Jesus on his entry to Jerusalem . They took off their clothing and broke down branches and shrubs and throwing them on the road for Jesus and his disciples to walk, while they shouted, “Hosanna (save us now) Son of David. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna (save us now) to the highest heaven.”
They greeted Jesus as their coming savior king. There was much hope and expectation in the Son of David, Jesus Christ the Messiah.
Suffering, Passion and Death : The second part of our worship
is about Jesus Christ the Suffering Servant who gave his life to atone for the sin of the whole world. Who is this Suffering Servant? Christian theology teaches that the Suffering Servant is the messianic figure — identified as Jesus of Nazareth in the
passion narratives of the Gospels of the New Testament. The Suffering Servant is the lamb that is taken to the slaughter, the sheep before its shearer. The Suffering Servant is the one on whom “The Spirit of the Lord rests, because the Lord has
anointed him; he has sent him to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.” In chapters 50 – 54 of Isaiah (known as the suffering servant passage) the Suffering Servant asserts that God has opened his ear and that he
didn’t rebel against God’s call. He voluntarily gave himself up (says Ephesians 5:2 & 25): “… I did not hide my face from insult and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6). The Gospel writers understood Isaiah 50:6 to be a prophecy that was fulfilled in the passion narratives of the Gospels. The faithful Suffering Servant is obedient to God’s call despite undeservedly suffering . He’s confident that he is doing God’s will and that God will be with him (see vs. 7a and 7c of Isaiah 50) through it all. The Suffering Servant won’t allow himself to be thwarted from his God -given task because of shame or disgrace. With God, he withstands it all. St. Luke 9:51 points out that “When the days drew near for Jesus to be
“ taken up” [“taken up” a reference to Jesus being lifted up on the  cross], he set his face steadfastly to go to Jerusalem.”
For some Christians suffering is a testing of faith and commitment to God. It may be said that those who continue to belong to the community of believers of the early church with all its attending human problems and sufferings were those who were willing to make sacrifices for God in Christ Jesus.
How committed to God in Christ are you and I, and how much are we willing to suffer for the Gospel and Jesus Christ who gave his life on the cross for us?
A joyous Palm Sunday and a blessed holy week full of remembering the Christ who gave his life for you and me.
Ernest Belisle
(Pastor)

 

March 24th Lenten Meditations

The Lenten devotional series offers the opportunity to confess and fast from the sins of racism, discrimination, oppression and exclusion. Upcoming devotional leaders include:

  • Today: Bishop Rodolfo Juan, of the Davao Area of the Philippine Central Conference
  • March 29: Bishop Tracy S. Malone, of the East Ohio Conference
  • March 30: Bishop Julius Trimble, of the Indiana Conference
Watch and share

DON’T FORGET

Taizé worship experiences for Lent

You are invited into a simple, meditative prayer service with Taizé chants as part of your Lenten journey. These pre-recorded services will be available here each Wednesday from Feb. 24 to March 31, 2021.

Find the March 24 and past services

Welcome, March 21, 2021

Welcome to our worship service here at ChilmarkCommunity Church. We are happy God has led you to this place of worship today!
Today we are considering the theme:   Journeying to theHoly: An Evolving Relationship.
The reading from the Hebrew Scripture shows how God constantly revealed
God’s self to God’s people. Each time there is always some more and/or something new God makes known. Looking at a few of the more important Jews in covenants one will see
that God made covenants with Noah, Abraham, Moses,Joshua and Jeremiah. Each was made in its own unique context and addressed the issue(s) of the time. Each called God’s people to a new and closer relationship with God. By the time we reach the New Testament we are called to make our covenant in and through the Godman, Jesus the Christ, the one who walked and talked with us and who died and rose for our salvation. Each time we are called to a closer walk with God, a relationship in which we are in God and God is in us. Faith in God is dynamic process, sometimes going forward and sometimes stepping back to go forward again!
What about you and me? What are our God experiences? Where are we on this faith journey?
Praying each day for new strength to walk this road of life,I am, your brother and fellow sojourner in Christ,
Ernest Belisle (Pastor)

March 17 Lenten Devotionals

Bishop Christian Alsted, of the Nordic and Baltic Episcopal Area of the Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference, is leading today’s Dismantling Racism devotional. This series offers an opportunity to confess and fast from the sins of racism, discrimination, oppression and exclusion, and feast on the beauty and blessing of the diversity of God’s Church.

Watch and share

DON’T FORGET

Taizé worship experiences for Lent

You are invited into a simple, meditative prayer service with Taizé chants as part of your Lenten journey. These pre-recorded services will be available here each Wednesday from Feb. 24 to March 31, 2021.

Find the March 17 and past services

 

Lenten Devotionals

New Dismantling Racism devotional
webinar
Bishop Karen Oliveto of the Mountain Sky Annual Conference is leading today’s Lenten devotional. This series offers an opportunity to confess and fast from the sins of racism, discrimination, oppression and exclusion, and feast on the beauty and blessing of the diversity of God’s Church.

Watch and share

Recorded prayer service inspired by Taizé now available

You are invited into a simple, meditative prayer service with Taizé chants as part of your Lenten journey. The March 10 service is now available; new services will be added each Wednesday through March 31, 2021. Visit www.neumc.org/taize-lent to view the services and see a guide for participating.

March 7 Worship welcome

In our reading from the Gospel, we are told that Jesus drove
out those who were buying and selling and changing money
in the temple’s court. The Jewish leaders who had authorized
this business were making enormous profits. They were so
much after the money that they had become spiritually
depraved and were missing the holiness of the sacred space.
When this happens it is sometimes hard to see “the errors of
our ways” because all we see are dollars signs, $$$.
   Steve Garnaas -Holmes in his prayer based on Psalm 19, dated March 2, 2015, writes: “ Who can discern their errors? Free me from my hidden faults. — Psalm 19.2  God , I do not even know the ways I distance myself from you, the wonders I pass by without noticing, the glories I sleep through. I can’t suspect the ways I hurt you, fall short of your desire for me, fail to be who you want me to be! I believe the little lies I tell myself; I bow to my secret fears! I don’t even know what it would be to love as I have been loved! I miss the hurt I cause more often than I notice! How often I think I’m doing the right thing! Forgive me, for I do not know what I am doing. Forgive me for not knowing. Forgive my hidden sins , O my God.
Wake me up. Don’t let me think I have such a small inheritance: let me see — let it overwhelm me — just how immense is the forgiveness I need, and the mercy you offer. O God, your love I receive without even knowing why! Forgive me , O God, and open my eyes to see you as you are!
May God in Christ help us all to see the “errors of our ways.”
As we travel along life’s journey, help us to see and recognize the “HOLINESS OF THE SACRED.”
Sincerely,
Ernest Belisle (Pastor)