Oak Bluffs: Sharing blessings

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Here we are once again, on the brink of Christmas. The colder weather, and flurries of snow now and then, are adding to this season. We look forward to family and celebrations, but in the midst of happiness for some, please do not forget the needs of so many. If you can, offer support to those who are hurting either financially or emotionally. This is a difficult time for many people, so please reach out your hands in support of those whose days are difficult, and share your blessings where they are needed.

The Community Baptist Church of Gay Head in Aquinnah will be holding a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on Saturday, Dec. 24, at 5 pm, and the First Baptist Church in Vineyard Haven will be holding its Christmas Eve services at 7 pm. Both services will include traditional lessons, carols, and lighting of candles. All are welcome. On Sunday, Christmas day, there will be a combined service for both churches at the First Baptist Church in Vineyard Haven at 10 am.

The Neighborhood Convention for January 2017 will meet on Tuesday, Jan. 3, at 11 am. The meeting will be held at the Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven. The program will be “Conversations with Clergy.” Each person brings their bag lunch, and the host church serves beverages and dessert. The entire offering received each month is directed to Island Charities.

Christmas services at Good Shepherd Parish will all be held at St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven. The Christmas Eve Vigil Mass will be on Saturday, Dec. 24, at 4 pm, followed by the Brazilian Christmas Mass at 7 pm. The Christmas Masses are at 9:30 and 11 am and 5 pm.

The Federated Church in Edgartown will hold two services on Christmas Eve. There will be a family service from 5 to 6 pm with hymns and children sharing the Nativity story. From 10 to 11 pm, there will be a traditional candlelight service with music by the church choir under the direction of Peter Boak. For more information, call 508-627-4421. The service on Christmas day will be at 10:30 am.

The Martha’s Vineyard Partnership for Health is offering a free one-hour informational introductory session, “My Life My Health,” in each town on the Island. In Oak Bluffs it will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 4, from 2:30 to 3:30 pm at the Oak Bluffs library. Please join in and learn more about this free six-week series on how to become a more effective self-manager and partnering with your health care provider in managing your chronic condition, or supporting another person who has a chronic condition. Call 508-627-5797, ext. 114, or email ksamways@ihimv.org to sign up for the session or for more information

The Mansion House in Vineyard Haven announces that Rebecca Briggs, a certified nutritionist, Thai massage therapist, and teacher of yoga and meditation will be presenting a workshop on Saturday, Jan. 7, from 3 and 5 pm. The workshop is for all levels, and beginners are welcome. The workshop is free to club members. For more info, call 508-693-2200.

Due to lack of participation, the PTO Holiday Gift Shop that had been scheduled for Dec.  21 had to be canceled. The plan now is for all items donated to be kept and sold at the PTO Spring Yard Sale. If you wish any items you may have donated to be returned, please contact either Jen Wiggin at j2542wiggin@hotmail.com and/or Sarah MacPherson at smacs642@aol.com.

Congratulations to the students of the Oak Bluffs School. The annual Halloween UNICEF collection, led by Ms. Robinson’s second grade class, raised $629.59. Also please take time to check out the Lost and Found at the Oak Bluffs School, as it is overflowing with items from coats to sweatshirts, shoes, and lunchboxes. All items remaining will be donated during the school break.

Schools close at noon tomorrow, and reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017.

We send birthday smiles to Caitlyn Francis on Christmas Day, and Rick Tarter on Dec. 28.

This Irish blessing seems fitting for this year, and for you all:

May Joy and Peace surround us

Contentment latch our door.

And Happiness be with us now,

And bless us evermore.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and happy holidays for you all.