Aquinnah: Prayer service, Pathways, and a party

In light of the horrific domestic terrorism that happened this past week, including 11 people killed at a synagogue and two black people killed while shopping, the Hebrew Center is hosting a special prayer service, open to all, on Friday, Nov. 2, at 5:30 pm. I’m sure other churches on the Island are doing something similar, but there is something very resonant about praying at a synagogue right now.

I hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween. In Aquinnah, we had a sweet little party on Saturday evening; the wind howling outside just added to the ambiance. There were some ninjas, pumpkins, crazy clowns (mostly the adults), and scary beasts. The kids played outside, and of course ran through the town hall as fast as they could, which seems to happen at every town hall party. Thanks to Jamie Vanderhoop for getting the ball rolling on the party, and to everyone else who helped set it up and break it down.

This is the last week of early voting in Aquinnah. You can vote on Thursday, Nov. 1, from noon to 4 pm, and on Friday, Nov. 2, from noon to 3 pm. The deadline to register to vote has unfortunately passed, so if you are not registered now, you cannot vote in this election. The last day to apply for an absentee ballot for the state election is Monday, Nov. 5. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Here is some useful information if you are pregnant: This Sunday, Nov. 4, you can meet the doulas of Martha’s Vineyard. Doulas are like a cross between a birthing coach and a patient advocate. If you are interested in finding out more about them, come to Alex’s Place (the teen center at the Y) at 11 am. There will be an information session followed by refreshments.

Pathways ARTS season begins with its “Open Writing and Poetry Night” on Tuesday, Nov. 6. All writers, poets, playwrights, and lyricists are welcome to share their words. Come if you have something to share, or if you just want to listen. There will be a sign-up sheet when you get there. The readings will begin at 7 pm. On Friday, Nov. 9, Pathways will host “We Dance!” There will be a live performance, followed by dancing for all with DJ Kos. The performance starts at 7 pm. Admission to all Pathways events is free, and refreshments are served. Pathways is located in the Chilmark Tavern space at 9 State Rd. Call 508-645-9098 or go to for more information on its events.

Aquinnah filmmakers Ken Wentworth and Liz Witham will have their film “Keepers of the Light” shown on PBS this month. It will premiere on WGBH, channel 2, on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 9 pm, and WGBX, channel 44, on Friday, Nov. 16, at noon. You can purchase DVDs of the film at Congratulations, Ken and Liz!

Rehearsals start this Tuesday at the Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven for the Martha’s Vineyard Family Chorus to participate in the “Winter Concert: Songs of Peace, Hope and Light.” You must attend six rehearsals if you would like to sing in the concert. Call Roberta Kirn for more information at 774-563-0318.

“Islanders Read the Classics” with Philip Weinstein’s course on Proust continues on Nov. 14. The course is free and open to the public, and held at the Katharine Cornell Theater in Vineyard Haven. The works being discussed during that class are “Within a Budding Grove,” pgs. 549 to 606, and “The Guermantes Way,” pgs. 403 to 471, 487 to 499, and 786 to 819. Preregistration is suggested. You can register at

All is not over at the Cliffs. The stores On the Cliffs and Stony Creek Gifts will be open on weekends through Thanksgiving. Juli Vanderhoop spoke at the Women’s Symposium this past Saturday, and she was a huge hit. Juli is working on a grant that would help expand her business and provide local restaurants with locally grown herbs. Good luck, Juli.

Not only is Liz Witham a world-class filmmaker, it’s also her birthday this week on Nov. 5. Give her a high-five if you see her.