Chilmark is setting off into 2009 looking surprisingly like she has for the past 100 years! The big changes don’t show, so it is comforting to enjoy looking at what hasn’t changed. Our roadside stonewalls are still being cleared and repaired; our harbor is still a haven for commercial fishermen, who, by the way, are enjoying a good scallop season, and our farmers are enjoying the resurgence of interest in their local products.

Another Chilmark landmark is making moves to remain an active part of the town scene. Recently, the members of the Chilmark Community Church voted not to stay in the United Methodist Cooperative Ministry of Martha’s Vineyard because such membership posed the possibility of closing the Chilmark Church. These churchgoers have taken a brave step and decided to go it alone as a United Methodist Church with services every Sunday at 9 a.m. You may have received a request for a pledge that they sent out to the community recently. Anyone who wants to keep the Chilmark Church open and active in Chilmark is welcome to donate; the address is 9 Menemsha Cross Road, zip code 02535. The beautiful old building has been part of the town for over one hundred years and was even moved from the corner of Middle Road and Tea Lane when the center of town moved to Beetlebung Corner many years ago. It has seen many beautiful weddings, proud baptisms and sad funerals of people from well beyond Chilmark. The church has announced that there will be a flea market in Chilmark this summer.

Many Chilmark households were merry places this past week as families and visitors came for the holidays. Allan and Winkie Keith welcomed Tucker and Mimi Keith and their children Emma and Will, Amanda and Chris and Jessie.

Everett Poole hosted a gathering of his family with Joan Poole Nash coming from Newton with her family.

Ted Meinelt traveled to Topsfield to share the festivities with his son Terry’s family. Terry and Cathy Meinelt drove back to Chilmark on the weekend to check on the progress of the building of their new house on Wade’s Cove.

Wendy Weldon enjoyed a family reunion at both the old family home and her home at Squibnocket. Her brother Peter and his wife, Ditas, came from Bangkok, and her brother Courtenay and his wife, Emily, came from Indianapolis. Peter’s son James and his wife, Sonja, and their daughters, Makaela and Joelle, came from Newton. A cousin, John Kingham of New York city, joined them.

Bob and Phyllis Conway are back at their Stonewall Beach home after a busy Christmas week in New Jersey. They visited their daughter Robin Morley and her family and their son David Conway and his family. While in New Jersey they visited extensively with former friends and neighbors.

We send sympathy and understanding to Winkie and Allan Keith whose pet dog, Beauty, died last week.

Best wishes to Christian and Christina Soulagnet and their sons Cameron and Chase, as they leave Chilmark to live on the mainland. We will all miss them and hope that life in Connecticut is good for them. Christina and Chris are known to many of us as they ran the Menemsha Deli for some time and Chris had his Menemsha shop, Up on the Roof, for many years. Cheers from us all!

The Chilmark library will host the second in the series of French Cooking Lessons with Chef Jean-Marc Dupon of Le Grenier on Jan. 7 at 6 p.m. All are invited free of charge. The subject this week will be egg-based sauces. Recipes and tastings will be included.

The library will host a Friday Film Festival every Friday evening beginning on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. The films will explore the concept of personal courage in an eight-film series. The first movie is In America, made in 2002 and winner of nominations for Oscars and Golden Globes. Popcorn and soft drinks will be provided and the public is invited free of charge.

Please remember that the matinee movie at the library is Jan. 14 with chowder lunch and classic movie at noon. Again, it is free to all and sponsored by the Friends of the Library and the Menemsha Fish Market.

The children will want you to mark your calendar for the arrival of Maisy at the Chilmark Library on Saturday, Jan. 24; at 10:30 a.m. Maisy is a large mouse character in some wonderful and popular children’s books. It is best to make sure your little one knows that Maisy is larger than life!

We were happy to have our son, Caleb, and his wife, Chris, and their daughter, Celia, visit us for the Christmas holiday as well as our daughter, Sarah, her husband, Aaron, and their two sons, Jack and Scott. I was reminded of my childhood Christmases with grandma in Chilmark and having a few games of Chinese checkers to look forward to. Not quite what Christmas games are now! We were blessed with something called Wii Games program for computer and TV. It literally turned our living room into a bowling alley and left grandparents with sore muscles and minor breakage. We soon decided the baseball and boxing games could wait for their intended home in Northbridge! But, I confess, I miss the bowling competitions . . . maybe a Wii is in my future . . . at least every old folks home should have one!

Well, that is it for the first days of the new year. Please note that I am happily back online and eager for your e-mails. Happy New Year to all . . . and forget the resolutions!