Guest Preachers

One of our first guests  the Reverend Charles W. Bowman, returns Nov.15.  Woody  received his BA from Trinity College in 1974  and his Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in ‘79.  He is the Director of Faculty Ministry and Director of the study center on Lambert’s Cove Road for FOCUS, Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools.  He and his wife, Susan  live in WT on the Panhandle.

Guest Preachers (Check calendar for any last minute changes)

Our Guest Preachers from AFAR (off island) Series begins Memorial Day Weekend with Susan Thomas.  Susan holds a both Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia. She has been a supply preacher/worship leader in a number of diverse congregations from retirement community, a  second generation Taiwanese church,  an African -American church, Presbyterian, UCC and UU congregations.  We’re looking forward to her leadership here.Susan will also preach on June 28 and August 9.

Our next guest will be Nell Fields. A press release follows.

Nell Fields, Chaplain and Director of The Hope Project at Westborough State Hospital, will be preaching at the Chilmark Community Methodist Church, June 7 at 9 a.m. She holds a Masters of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School.  The Hope Project is a multi-year, multi-disciplinary, hospital-wide initiative on hope therapy , a cognitive-based intervention designed to teach patients skills and strategies to increase hopefulness.
Prior to her ministry, Nell Fields had an impressive career in the technology business. She was, most recently Vice President, Product Development  for First Data Corporation in Denver Colorado; prior to that,  Vice President , Business Development for Yaga, Inc, in San Fransisco,  CEO of Clickshare Service Corp. in Williamstown, MA, and Vice President of Global Marketing for Korn/Ferry International, Futurestep in L.A.  She also worked for ten years in journalism at Daily Journal Corporation in L. A.  She has a MFA in English from Mills College in Oakland, CA. Nell will be with us again on Sept 7. She will have been ordained.!
Lia Kahler will be introducing “Walking the Bible” on June 21. Lia, an opera singer by profession, has been studying comparative religions over the winter at NYU.  She is interested in the idea of  learning by moving in space, as on a stage.

Connie Williams will lead our scripture discussion on July 12. Connie and her husband, Preston, worship with us when they are at their home in Spring Point.  She is an associate Professor, Emerita, at Brandeis University.  On the Vineyard, she serves on the Board of the Permanent Endowment Fund.

Michael F. Hall will be with us  July 19. He will have just finished his second year at Andover Newton.   In his other life he has been a Historical Interpreter, think Plymouth Plantation.  His company, Two Trees Productions, does programs in schools, churches and historical societies.  He comes recommended as a preacher!

Rev.Arlene Bodge, not exactly a guest,  will lead us in worship on May 31 and July 5.

Rev. Phyllis Evelyn will conduct our service August 2. She writes:

“My parents come from Portland, ME and Pennsylvania “Dutch” country. Being a ‘war baby’ I was born in New Orleans, LA and I joke that I am “Yankee bred and Cajun born, so I don’t know where I belong; living half my life north (Alaska) and half my life south (Panama). I have lived from Portland, ME in the east to California in the west. The only state I have not visited is Hawaii; having lived in nine different states from Alaska to California, and from Florida to Maine.

My education includes BA in English Literature from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL in 1964 and a Masters in Divinity from Eden Theological School in Webster Groves, MO in 2002.

Currently I am pursuing a Doctor of Ministry at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Center, MA. My major emphasis is Pastoral Counseling for children (8 yrs and up) and young adult women (18-24 years) who have escaped or been rescued from sex trafficking. Working to discover what a New Abolition Movement would encompass through study at the Carr Institute, Harvard School of Government Studies.

Also, I serve as supply preacher for churches in United Church of Christ, American Baptist, and Methodist denominations. Interest in emerging church movement and contemporary theology guides my personal readings.

Like any new grandmother, my spare time and hobbies revolve around two grandsons, my daughter, her partner, and my son. Since I have been the daughter-in-law of a Methodist Minister (IN Conference) and I never visited Martha’s Vineyard, your invitation is special for me.”
Phyllis Evelyn, M. Div. Summer 2009

On August 23,  Kwame Osei ‘Reed79 M.Div., will be our guest preacher.
Born in McComb, Mississippi, into a family that was active in the civil rights movement, Reverend Reed later graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and from the Howard University School of Law with his Juris Doctorate degree. He graduated from Yale Divinity School in 1979, where he served as student body president.

As an attorney, he is an active member of the Virginia State Bar. Since his ordination into the UCC in 1979, he has pursued a career ranging from pastoring to legal and academic work. He served on the faculty of Oberlin College, in the Legal Studies Department of the University of Pittsburgh, and as a Visiting Scholar at Yale Law School. As chairperson of the Potomac Association’s South Africa Task Force, he organized a January 1986 Washington, D.C. Convocation with Archibishop Desmond Tutu, the ongoing work of which has made great strides toward the liberation of South Africa.

Formerly known as Bobby Reed, Kwame was ceremonially adopted into the Ashanti people of Ghana, where he was given the name Kwame Osei. Recently, he and his wife, Rita Wallace Reed, M.D., MPH, a native of Ghana, began construction of a clinic for sick children near Accra, Ghana. Kwame and Rita live in Reston, Virginia with their sons, Nene and Kojo.

In November 1987, at Howard University ‘s Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, Reverend Kwame Osei Reed was installed as Association Minister for the Potomac Association of the United Church of Christ. In this capacity he serves as the executive officer for UCC congregations in the National Capital Area.

Erika Hirsch will be with us  August 30. Since 9/08 she has been studying for a Doctor of Philopophy in History of Christianity at BU.   She has a Masters in Divinity from Yale (5/07), a Bachelor of Arts in music (flute and piano) and minor in religion  from Emory university . She has a  certificate in Flute Performance from Prague Conservatory, Prague, Czech Republic. She has served in a number of Methodist Churches in NY and Conn.

Rev. David Berube will NOT preach on Sept . 27. He is being deployed Sept 8 and we’ll have to wait for his return to hear him.  Read the MV Times article below.

Preacher finds ministerial calling

Published: June 19, 2008

Officer David Berube described his role as chaplain in a telephone interview with The Times.

Could you talk a little about your background?

I grew up in Connecticut and was ordained in 1987 by the American Baptist Churches USA. At first I served in a more traditional role as a solo preacher for several years. I then decided to join the Air National Guard and started working with people outside of the mainstream parish-type of setting. I moved to the OBPD in 1999 as a volunteer chaplain. The more I worked in a non-traditional setting, the more I realized that it was a good fit for me. In the summer of 2000 I did some training with the department just to be comfortable in the setting I was working in. Then when a full time job opened up I enrolled in the municipal police academy and became a full-fledged police officer along with being the department chaplain.

What is a chaplain?

My job as a police chaplain is not to bolster membership in a religion or to bring people into my faith community but to support everyone regardless of what their particular faith perspective is or isn’t. My role is to assist people in questions of faith or whatever the issue may be. It’s a non-sectarian role.

What are some of your duties as the OBPD chaplain?

I think the biggest highlight of being a police chaplain is that I have absolute privilege in my communication with my fellow officers. I’m not required to report the conversations I have with them to the chief or anyone, except in cases of child abuse or self-harm. What gets said to me stays with me and it’s strictly private. Members of my department can come to me in a way unlike anyone else in the department. I will also get called out to do any type of death notifications or any particularly difficult calls or contacts in a crisis situation.

What prompted you to expand your role as chaplain to include policing duties? And would the use of force pose a moral conflict to you as a chaplain?

I think it was the sense that it would round out my calling as a pastor. For me the hallmark scripture passage for my ministry is the Shepard’s Psalm; “Even through I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will feel no evil, bear with me your rod and staff, comfort me.” Obviously that talks about God and not an individual person. But for me as a shepherd under the Shepherd, there is the sense that all shepherds have the tools to herd and protect the sheep. The staff to guide and direct the herd from harms way. Then the rod, which is a weapon, is used to defend the flock from predators. I think for me stepping between the sheep and wolves, if you will, really has been the completing element to my role as a pastor. People may not really like that other side of the shepherd. In modern culture we don’t see that role when we think of men of faith. We see the pastor as a simple, kind, and loving person, who would never even raise his voice. But the reality is that if all a shepherd does is herd the sheep, the wolves will have the opportunity to pick his herd off one at a time. Someone has to be able to step into that gap and protect the flock. I think that our culture has pacified the role of shepherd. I think of that role as a defender of those who cant help themselves.

What would you say is the hardest part of your Job?

I think maintaining the balance between caregiver and protector is the hardest part of my job. If you swing too far to either side, it becomes difficult. Finding the balance point is a daily thing because it is a moving target. How much care versus how much direction and authority to use is extremely hard in any given situation I am faced with.

Could you give an example of when your role as chaplain was called upon by the OBPD?

On July 7, 2001, we were called to a moped crash down on Seaview Avenue. It was pretty horrific crash. A young couple and their friends were out on the Island for the day. The young woman crashed into a car and died later that day. Her husband had witnessed the whole event. I pretty much spent five hours with him at the hospital giving him pastoral care. Most people just come to the Island and don’t really have any idea what is going on. So we have developed a protocol for situations like that so the chaplain can help out in crisis situations.

Is there anything you would like the community to know about your role as police chaplain?

Just the idea that people don’t necessarily know what its like to be a police officer. I want people to know that police officers are some of the most compassionate and generally human people that I know. And my role as chaplain is to take care of the people who take care of the community. It’s a tough job.