Category Archives: SERMONS, WORSHIP, MEDITATIONS

May 2 Worship notes

Thought for the week
“‘People often say that motivation doesn’t last.’
Well, neither does bathing. .. that’s why we recommend it daily!”
(Zig Ziglar)
Welcome to the fifth Sunday of the Resurrection Season.
Wh at do we mean by the term : “RESURRECTION?” WHAT IS
RESURRECTION? Jesus appeared to his disciples and convinced them that he was alive in the flesh! Last week, the readings emphasized that the Good Shepherd was
a symbol of the resurrected Christ: protecting, leading and comforting his sheep/ disciples. This week the readings move to another symbol of the resurrection: the vine and the branches.
The gospel reading points out that the job of the branches in Christ is to bear fruit for Christ. For the branches to bear fruit
they need to be constantly nourished, pruned and reshaped .
Branches that are having little or no nourishing food , pruning
and re – shaping soon dry up and are cut off or fall off and
thrown into the fire. Phillip the evangelist (not one of the
twelve ) is given as the example of a branch that bears fruit. He
converted the Ethiopian Eunuch.  Hear the story of Phillip and
the Ethiopian Eunuch!
The Eunuch (a black African from Ethiopia) , a “court official” of the “queen of the Ethiopians” is returning from worshiping
in Jerusalem. Passover was finished and he was on his way home. He had picked up a scroll to read on his long journey
back home. It was a part of the prophet Isaiah. As he was reading from Isaiah chapter 53, Philip, one of Jesus followers
suddenly appeared running toward his chariot. Hearing the
Eunuch reading Isaiah, he asked him if he understood what he was reading. The response was: “How can I, unless someone
explains it to me?” Phillip then explained it to him and the event
concluded with the Ethiopian’s baptism. This was a branch (Philip) bearing fruit (the Eunuch) ! The Eunuch was a God – fearer , but because he was a eunuch he was disqualified from being a proselyte (a gentile converted to Judaism ) . The words of the prophet Isaiah regarding the Suffering Servant must have resonated with the Eunuch (Isaiah 53:3). He may have understood himself to be a “suffering servant.”
The Ethiopian Eunuch  was the first Gentile to be converted
to the gospel through the witness of another Gentile, Philip, a
converted Greek or Hellenistic Jewish . Tradition has it that
this eunuch went back to Ethiopia and organized what is now the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, a Christian community that is co – equal and that has co- existed outside of the Roman  Church all through years . The event is symbolic of: Root, stem and branches bearing fruit. May this resurrection season  continue to bring you inner insights, new hope, endless joy,
enduring strength and faith to live out your devotion to the resurrected Christ as you “ bear much fruit for him ! ”
Thanks to all for worshiping with us!
Ernest Belisle (Pastor)

Good Shepherd 4/26/2021

Welcome to Good Shepherd’s Sunday and the fourth
Sunday of the Resurrection or Easter. On every fourth
Sunday of Easter we remembered Jesus as the Good
Shepherd.
Our Resurrection/Easter readings are filled with symbols
of the strength and optimism as the first Christian
community received and recognized that the resurrected
Christ, their Good Shepherd, was present leading them.
Peter made it clear that their strength to survive the
hostility they faced came from “ the Shepherd and
Guardian of your souls,” (I Peter 2:25b NRSV).
The first Christians were confident in the risen Christ, the
Good Shepherd who had defeated death and the grave!
The reading from the Acts of the Apostles tells us that
“filled with the Holy Spirit,” Peter was able to speak God’s truth to the powers that were. Listen to how Peter puts it when he was asked, “ By what power or by what name do you do this?”
(Peter had cured the lame and healed the sick.) He said,
“Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick…, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead.”
Devout Christians down through the ages have lived out their faith in the world by being confident in Christ, and faithful to Christ. Let us sit up and take note of how we ought to live out our faith in our world today. May this resurrection season continue to bring you, inner strength and faith to live out your devotion to the resurrected Christ in our troubled world. May you be blessed as you listen to today’s Scripture readings, music/hymns and sermon.
Thanks to all for worshiping with us!
Ernest Belisle (Pastor)

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