Oak Bluffs: Interfaith service, MLK luncheon, senior center, and winter activities

—MV Times

“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” —Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This message from Dr. King is a call to service, which seems so relevant today. Our community, and all communities, need more people to step up, run for office, get involved. There is no position too small to make a difference. Election season is coming up, and there are vacancies in every town on boards and committees. Think about bringing your skills and talents to serve our community!

There will be several events over the weekend to honor Dr. King and his legacy of justice and service.

The Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center is hosting “To Share A Dream: Interfaith Community Shabbat Service” on Friday, Jan. 12 at 5:30 pm. This partnership with the NAACP and the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury will be led by Rabbi Giulia Fleishman and the Rev. Cathlin Baker, with speakers, music, and a reception following the service. The M.V. Hebrew Center is located at 130 Center St. in Vineyard Haven. You can also attend this service via Zoom. More info at mvhc.us.

The NAACP MLK Membership luncheon will be on Monday, Jan. 15 from 1 to 3 pm. Tickets are $75, and include your annual membership fee, lunch, live music, and guest speakers. This is a don’t-miss event to kick off the new year and support the important work of the NAACP. Plus, it’s really fun! Tickets are at eventbrite.com or naacpmv.org.

Just a note: The Ritz is now offering Sunday brunch, with a fabulous menu and music for dancing by DJ Smooth B. I tried it last Sunday to celebrate Sue Curley’s birthday, and it was so much fun. The vibe is warm and welcoming; it was a great place to be on a snowy Sunday! Kudos to Larkin Stallings and crew for this new Sunday option in Oak Bluffs!

Be sure to check out the senior center calendar of events for January. It is quite full with activities like exercise classes, bowling, games, and lunches. The center is open Monday through Friday, starting at 9 am with coffee. On Tuesday the 16th, It’s “Peticare” with Darcy — free nail clipping for pets! Every other Thursday, you can have lunch with various town employees, including the OBPD. The full calendar is on the OBCOA website, or call the Center for Living at 508-693-4509.

The library is offering a “Strength Training” session on Saturday, Jan. 13, with Emily Mizer of Strong Martha. This is a beginner-friendly class to explore the world of body strength training through at-home techniques. It is from 10 to 10:45 am, and all experience levels are welcome! Register at oakb_mail.clamsnet.org or call 508-693-9433.

Don’t forget to register for the “Putts and Pints” mini-golf fundraiser at the library. It is coming up on Jan. 19. Start practicing your putting!

The M.V. Family Center schedule is full of fun winter activities for families and young children, including Stroller Skate at the Ice Arena and Swim With Me at the YMCA.

“Bilingual Story Hour” is at the Oak Bluffs library on Tuesday mornings. “Baby’s First Year” at the Family Center on Thursday mornings is a great way to connect with other new parents. Jan. 25 is “Parents’ Night Out,” which offers parents an evening of yoga and dinner at the beautiful Slough Farm farmhouse in Katama. These programs are free, thanks to grants from the state Department of Early Education and Care and the Children’s Trust. Check out details on the Facebook page for the M.V. Family Center, or email mvfamilycenter@gmail.com.

A belated happy birthday goes to David Thomas, and also to “Good Soles” Naina Williams, who celebrated on Jan. 10. Big happy birthday hugs to my girl, Jenna Sylvia (previously known as Lambert) on Jan. 14! Shout-out to Joe Diodati and Lianne deBettencourt on the 14th also. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was born on Jan. 15, 1929. Other Jan. 15 birthdays include two people dear to my heart: Hazel McCracken and Debbie Whitney — happy birthday, ladies! James Murray celebrates on Jan. 16. Island rock star Buck Shank shares the 17th with Michelle Obama, Benjamin Franklin, and the late Betty White. Nice company, Buck — have a great day!

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If you have any Oak Bluffs Town Column suggestions, email Joanne Lambert, joannelamber@gmail.com.