The Chapel runs smoothly and effectively without a paid minister at the helm. Rather, the congregation flourishes by embracing a model of shared leadership. Members run every aspect of church life, sharing in the leading of prayer and music and in offering their own individual, and often thought-provoking reflections on the Gospel. In the absence of traditional church hierarchy, the Pleasant River congregation has created an inclusive and cherished church community where members celebrate each other’s joys, ease each other’s burdens and grow as a faith community
Before Sunday services get underway, after having enjoyed a delicious breakfast prepared here in the kitchen by members of the congregation, those gathered at the Pleasant River Chapel begin to drift to the sun-filled sanctuary for the morning service. While idyllic panoramas present themselves all over this beautiful island, not many can surpass the one that presents itself here beyond the broad expanse of windows looking out over Pleasant River and Vinal Cove beyond. Inspiring quiet reflection during the few minutes before services begin, the view is conducive to celebrating God’s creations and putting oneself in a receptive frame of mind. The peaceful, light-filled sanctuary is the gathering place of an increasingly diverse congregation who share in worship and in celebration of whatever it is that moves them to rejoice.
For over thirty years, Pleasant River Chapel has also provided a treasured forum for funerals and memorials, community suppers, for those recovering from addiction to spend private time with one another, for community roasts and fund raisers and as a gathering place for any community group that simply needs a space to get together.
Why we love the Chapel:
“The Chapel is a place that rejuvenates me when the week has taken its toll on me. I feel comfortable in this place” C.P., Vinalhaven
“I love the chapel. I feel like it is a place in which people know and care about me and my family. I appreciate the warmth of the welcome I receive there from people who live on the island year round and from those only there in the summer. I trust that the congregation will be there in prayer for me even when I am not physically there. I’m very grateful to have found such a loving community of faith on Vinalhaven.” H.B., Massachusetts
“I am comfortable here. It is home.” E.J., Vinalhaven
“My husband and I live in New York City but spend 2-3 months every year on Vinalhaven. For both of us Pleasant River Chapel is everything a church should be: welcoming, all-inclusive, deeply prayerful, God-centered, and a wonderful example of community. We feel in touch there with every aspect of life on the island: its joys and hardships. Great breakfasts too! prepared by parishioners. We would never skip a Sunday at Pleasant River and miss it all winter when we’re away.”– L.& C.K., New York
“I have very little to add except to echo the sentiments that the structure and the community have become a very special part of my life.” C.G., Massachusetts.