Lenten Devotionals

New Dismantling Racism devotional
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.

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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.”
Ernest Belisle (Pastor)


Feb. 28 Pastor’s welcome

Lent is a time of spiritual journeying and preparation
for the seasons of Easter and Pentecost. It is a time of self- examination, self- denial, penitence and forgiveness in preparation for the renewal of the Easter Season. It is the time when we redouble our efforts, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to draw closer to God in Christ Jesus.
Here at Chilmark Church, apart from our Sunday Worship, we encourage you to join in daily prayers for the many personal and other social issues of our time. We have circulated a prayer chart and some written prayers that you may use. Apart from those we are circulating a virtual Taize Wednesday recorded
devotional and a series of reflections done from the Council of Bishops on racial justice. Please remember that times set aside for prayer, meditation/reflection and worship are Sabbath Time.  “ Sabbathing ” is the deliberate scheduling and spending time with God. I encourage you to make this Lenten Season a
‘ holy time ’ of spiritually journeying in faith.
Thanks for worshiping with us today. We trust you have been moved to draw closer to God.
Ernest Belisle (Pastor)


Weekly Taize Service for Lent

You are invited into a simple, meditative prayer service with Taizé chants as part of your Lenten journey. The first of these pre-recorded services is now available; new services will be added each Wednesday through March 31, 2021. The services will be 30-35 minutes. Author, educator and spiritual director Kate Young Wilder will be our host. The services will be posted on the website at www.neumc.org/taize-lent

The First Sunday in Lent 2/21/21

Welcome to the first Sunday of the Lenten Season, 2021. Lent is a forty – day potential season of spiritual preparation for the seasons of Easter and Pentecost. It is a time of reflection,
confession and self – examination. It is also the time when we redouble our human efforts, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to draw closer to God in Christ Jesus. Here at Chilmark Community Church, apart from our Sunday Worship, I have circulated prayers of petition along with Pray Chart with suggested items for reflect and pray for during this Season. I am encouraging you to spend some special quiet time with God in the privacy of your own home. Jesus, we are told by St. Mark, got up early in the morning before daybreak and, “Went out to a quiet place and there, prayed ” (Mark 1:35). Sabbath time is time in quiet with God! I invite you to do all you can to make this Lenten Season a holy time of spiritual renewal. Let us strive to be in a new spiritual place, nearer to God on the road of life by the time this Lenten Season is ended and we arrive at Easter Tide.
Thanks for worshiping with us today.
Ernest Belisle
A psalm of David, regarding
the time Nathan the prophet came to him after
David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.
Purify me from my sins,
and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit
from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
Then I will teach your ways to rebels,
and they will return to you.
Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;
then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.
Unseal my lips, O Lord,
that my mouth may praise you.
You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
You do not want a burnt offering.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O
The Gospel Reading is from Mark 1:9-
The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus
One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John
baptized him in the Jordan River.
As Jesus came up out
of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the
Holy Spirit descending on him
like a dove.
And a voice
from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you
bring me great joy.”
The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the
where he was tempted by Satan for forty
days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels
took care of him.
Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into
Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News.
time promised by God has come at last!”
“The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your
sins and believe the Good News!”

Feb. 14,2021 Transfiguration Sunday

Today is the Sunday before Ash Wednesday (Lent begins on Ash Wednesday) and we are reflecting on the Transfiguration of Jesus. Scholars down through the ages have discussed
extensively the Transfiguration event. Nearly  everyone begins by admitting that they are not sure of exactly what took place. Please note that only the synoptic Gospels – Mark 9:2-9,
Luke 9:28 – 36 and Matthew 17:1-8 and the second letter of Peter, 1:16-18 record the event.
What is the transfiguration story trying to teach/tell us?
Is it trying to tell Christians about the unique Messiahship of Jesus? Is it trying to focus our attention on the disciples who found it hard to believe that Jesus was the Messiah? Is it trying to do both? Or, after all, is it trying to strengthen the faith of the disciples for the road of crucifixion and suffering that was ahead? Even if we resolve these issues of the purpose of the story, the event itself still remains strange. Elijah and Moses carry such great symbolic weight in Jewish tradition and culture that the purpose of their appearance on the mountaintop with Jesus is far from clear. And then, of course, there is the presence of the “cloud,” the “shining garment” of Jesus, and
those “three dwellings” Peter speaks out about. What does the presence of these elements add to this remarkable and mysterious event? In today’s world we do not like to hear about mysterious things – but yes, there is still mystery and mysterious things, even in today’s world there are things we cannot explain by hard cold scientific and logical evidence.
Is there anything mysterious that has ever taken place in your life? What was it! How did you feel?
Your brother in Christ,
Ernest Belisle


Welcome February 7, 2020

February 7, 2021
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
Rev. Ernest Belisle, Pastor
Thought for the week God calls Christians, not to be effective and happy, not to be successful and powerful, and not to be wealthy and influential; God calls us only to be faithful, the others are a plus. Please re read each day this inventory.
(Adopted from Lectionary Worship Work book, Series II, Year B, by Wayne H. Keller)
Welcome to Chilmark Community Church of Mather’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Our Church family is happy to have you worshiping God with us today. Today we continue our readings from the Gospel according to Saint Mark. Mark continues his rush description of the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. The passage we read is a  continuation the second half of a carefully formed  unit that began at Mark 1:14 – 15, with John the Baptizer’s ministry that came to an end with John ’ s arrest and
the beginning of Jesus ministry with , “Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.” Today’s reading is a summary and conclusion of  this section of Mark with verse
39, “ he [Jesus] went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the Good News in their synagogues and casting out demons.”
This summary draws the introduction of Jesus’ ministry to its
close. Please note that all of the key elements of Jesus’ ministry are presented within the unit: a) his preaching (v. 15), b) his call of others to join him in ministry (vs. 16 – 20), c) his teaching ministry (vs. 21 – 22), d) his ministry of exorcism (vs. 23-28), e) his healing ministry (vs. 29 -34), and f) his prayer ministry (periods of prayerful communion with God, v. 35). Jesus used every method to bring the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in
heaven . Paul said that Jesus, “became all things to all people” for the sake of the Good News of God.
Do you think that the church today still has or needs all these elements of Jesus’ ministry for its sake of ministering to the world? If not, then which would you take out and which would you include, and why? Thanks for worshiping with us. We trust
you will be blessed
Ernest Belisle

January 31,2021 Welcome

Welcome to Chilmark Community Church of Mather’s Vineyard, MA. Our Church family is happy you are worshiping with us.
Today’s readings from both the Jewish and Christian Scriptures speak to us of change. Mark tells us that on the Sabbath Day the Rabbi Jesus went to the synagogue and the people were
astonished because he “ taught as one having authority and not like the scribes.” Mark continues by pointing out that there was a man with an unclean spirit among the worshipers
who cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and
come out of him! ’
And the unclean spirit, throwing him into convulsions and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. All who were present were amazed, and they kept on asking one another,
‘What is this? A new teaching – with authority!’ At once Jesus’ fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.” Jesus did many things that were new and different. This was certainly a change from the ordinary!
 What would you have said and done if this happened in your church? I am sure each of you would have reacted differently: some would have been happy for the man, some would have avoided dealing with the issue, some (like the scribes) would have become disgusted that this man was present and some would have totally rebelled against Jesus. Avoidance and being afraid of dealing with ministering to certain kinds of persons is a sign of insecurity and a lack of  faith in God. When the children of Israel were afraid Moses told them that God would send
another leader like him (Moses) to teach them and show them what God’s will was for them. Are you overly concerned and afraid if you feel you are not in charge and control? Let us be
sure of one thing: God is calling us to ministering in all kinds of different ways and to all kinds of different persons. Remember the story of Jonah from last week. Jonah was called to go to
minister to the worst enemy of God’s people, Israel!
Be blessed as you worship the great God of challenge!
Ernest Belisle