Church history was made last Sunday when three storied religious institutions joined their congregations in a single service at the Tabernacle. The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury, the Camp Meeting Association and Union Chapel hosted a crowd of more than 1,000 people to hear music from a combined choir, scripture readings from three church leaders, and a moving sermon from Vineyard favorite Rev. Senator Raphael Warnock.

Reverend Warnock spoke on the subject of his new book A Way out Of No Way. The parable paints the image of a disabled person that could not enter the hall to see Jesus because of the size of the crowd. His friends carried him to the roof where an opening was made and the paralytic was lowered into the center of the room.

Warnock used this story to talk about those who lacked access and opportunity to a wide range of benefits in our country. He spoke about the mutual benefit of having new people with new perspectives in rooms of power and influence.

He also spoke of his own personal journey from the Deep South, from a family poor in assets but rich in values. He spoke about the national euphoria when his unlikely election victory made him a highly sought-after media figure. But that all changed on Jan. 6 when the Capitol was attacked to prevent the peaceful transition of power after our national elections. He challenged the audience to be the America of Jan. 5, not Jan. 6!

To a standing ovation, Rev. Warnock concluded his speech by articulating his hopeful vision for a united nation where the man who had to come in from the roof can now walk in the front door. A historic national figure speaking to the first “Trinity congregation“ gathering will be a memorable morning for decades to come. Congratulations to Rev. Caitlin Baker, Rev. Dr. Aliya Browne and Andrew Patch and their teams for organizing this historic service.

The Mariposa Museum and World Culture Center on Circuit avenue recently announced that Caroline Hunter has joined their senior leadership team as manager and community engagement specialist. It is expected that Caroline will bring her considerable energies and expertise to raise the profile and the brand of the museum space at 57 Circuit avenue As the chief Polar Bear on the Vineyard and with broad experience in civic engagement, she is well suited for this new assignment. We wish her the very best.

Many supporters gathered last Saturday in East Chop to boost the campaign by attorney Minyard Culpepper as he seeks to win the right to represent Roxbury residents in the legislature as senator from the Second Suffolk District. This longtime Oak Bluffs cottage owner was joined by Ronald and Charleen Carroll, Louise Johnson, Joe Carter, Vivian Beard, Jane Edmonds, Ed and Shirley Redd, Gretchen Tucker Underwood and Lynette Glover — among many others — to support his campaign.

Millie Henderson was a powerful icon from Oak Bluffs. She served as a trustee and chair of the nominating committee for decades at Union Chapel. She was an avid bridge player, devoted member of The Cottagers, Inc. and she held court on her Narragansett avenue porch with all passersby. Her life and times has been published by the Vineyard Museum in their Vineyard Voices: Words, Faces and Voices of Island People by oral history curator Linsey Lee.

Join her daughter Tonetta Rozella and family at her memorial service on Monday, July 18 at Union Chapel. The program begins at 10 a.m.

Prayers, hugs and love are extended to longtime Oak Bluffs residents Roger and Myrna Morris. Both left the Island last weekend, heading to Texas for the burial of their granddaughter who perished in a car accident.

Myrna is been a Island artist and clothing maven who popularized the slogan Sisters on the Bluffs seen on caps and shirts all over the Island. Roger is a longtime trustee at Union Chapel and a mainstay at Mink Meadows Golf Club. Please reach out.

The annual East Chop Association meeting will be held at 10 a.m. this coming Saturday, July 16, at the East Chop Beach Club. Come out and find out about the area’s parks, Crystal Lake and other community issues.

Paradise on earth is living the Vineyard experience. Enjoy it as life is fleeting!