By Kay Mayhew - July 6, 2006

A celebration of the shared ministry for the new United Methodist Cooperative Ministry of Martha's Vineyard took place here on Sunday. The Rev. Mary Jane O'Connor-Ropp gave the celebratory sermon in front of a congregation combining members from all four churches. Services will continue to be held at each of the four Methodist churches: Christ United, Trinity United, Chilmark Community Church, and Edgartown United.

The service featured the dedication of ministry leaders, about ten persons from each member church, who were installed to assist the United Methodist Cooperative Ministry. The service was followed by a potluck luncheon and the first joint annual meeting. The day's celebration concluded with a presentation of gospel music.

Not only is the new bench on the front lawn of the library a very attractive addition, it was already in use the first time I saw it. The bench has been given by Marge Anderson's grandchildren in honor of their mother. The polished granite bench is engraved with her name: Martha M. Hartman, December 1944 - November 2005.

"Wish You Well" is the book chosen for review by the Library Book Club this month. David Baldacci tells the story of Lou, a 12-year-old girl in 1940 who finds herself moved from New York City to the hills of rural Virginia. You grow to love her and her little brother as they cope with challenges that many adults would find overwhelming. The library is holding several copies so you can join in the discussion.

Don't forget the tour of six art galleries tomorrow from 5 to 8 pm. The galleries are Shaw Cramer Gallery, Kennedy Studios, Kara Taylor Fine Arts, Etherington Fine Art, Louisa Gould Gallery, and the Belushi Pisano Gallery. Each gallery showcases different artists and artwork.

Paul Schneider is the featured author at the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore tomorrow evening at 7:30 pm. Paul will talk about his book "Brutal Journey: The Epic Story of the First Crossing of North America."

This Saturday, several of our town's people will read excerpts from Linsey Lee's "More Vineyard Voices." Ruth Stiller, Betty Honey, and Helen Issokson will share their stories of an earlier day on the Vineyard. The books will be available for sale. This free event takes place from 4 to 6 pm at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury. The Tisbury Street Fair follows on Main Street from 6 to 8.

Sandy Whitworth invites you to enjoy the cool air at the Senior Center and some summer entertainment. On Monday, July 10 at 1:30 pm the Performers Workshop will be giving a free mini-concert offering music from operatic to contemporary, classical to Broadway. The workshop meets every summer on the Vineyard to help aspiring singers and pianists perfect their art and skills. The senior center is pleased to offer these artists a venue in which to perform and show off their talent. You may hear a budding new Broadway star in the making.

Next Wednesday the Vineyard Sound will perform a cappella at 2 pm at the senior center. The all-male group draws its members from select colleges and universities all over the country. The group offers a unique blend of male voices unaccompanied by instruments. Everyone is invited to this free 30-minute concert. Refreshments will be served.

Grace Preschool is marking 50 years. Established in 1956, Grace Preschool will hold an open house on Tuesday, July 11, from 6:30 until 8 pm at the Grace Church. Director Debbie Jernegan invites anyone considering a preschool for September to meet the teachers and get acquainted with their program.

Congratulations to Judy and Steve Nichols. They will happily celebrate 50 years together this Sunday.

Today is a special birthday celebration for the East Chop Lighthouse. Join the party at 7:30 pm. Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out today to Jynell Kristal of the Crocker House Inn and Jynell Designs. Monday is a popular day. Celebrating will be Betty Jette and Laura Christina Jahn. Wednesday belongs to Betsey Mayhew.

Heard on Main Street: "Never test the depth of the water with both feet."