I live in NJ but my heart and soul live on MV… and on MV they like to live here at the Tabernacle in the Campground . It is my favorite spot on the Island… an oasis of serenity and calmness in the middle of the Vineyard’s most bustling and lively town, Oak Bluffs. This magnificent iron structure was built in 1879… in 1979 was listed in the Natl Register of Historic Places… in 1999 a major restoration began which still continues… and in 2000 it became a project of Save America’s Treasures. Those are some of the facts of the building but not necessarily what constitutes the heart and soul of it.
Inside the Tabernacle is a banner that says “truly God resides in this place” and so he does. I am profoundly attached to the Tabernacle and must visit it every time I’m on MV whether it’s in the heat of the summer or the cold of the winter… I just magnetically gravitate there, I have no choice.
The Tabernacle isn’t just for religious events … many things take place there, like the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School graduation ceremony. And concerts, what a magnificent setting for a concert… one that I particularly enjoyed was in 1990 with Harry Connick Jr and his special guest Carly Simon The concert was at 3 in the afternoon of a spectacular September Sunday afternoon. Cool breezes wafting through the Tabernacle… the buzz of anticipation in the audience… it was perfect. When Carly Simon came out the lights were turned off and the only illumination was the sun shining through the stained glass windows that encircle the top of the Tabernacle… it was magic… but that’s the Vineyard, magic does occur there all the time.
One of the best events of the summer is Illumination Night in the Camp Ground… it’s a magical fairy land and for me it’s hard not to become 8 years old again. I’ll be posting about that in the next few days.
Walk inside the Tabernacle and behold her beauty and know that this is a special place.
Stained glass windows are simple and beautiful in their design.
They create rainbows on the floors and chairs.
In 1999 a major renovation began that is still going on.
The old cross, pictured here, atop the cupola was replaced with a new one that is illuminated.
I even have my own version of the Tabernacle …
This beautiful counted cross stitch designed for me by my daughter Deb. Yes, of course there’s a post about it click here to read it. You might notice that the picture is the same as the first picture of the Tabernacle at the beginning of this post.
I tell everyone who is going to be on the Vineyard to be sure and visit the Campground and see the Tabernacle. I don’t know if there’s another one like it in the world, certainly not one in quite this same special setting. I don’t know how to end this post about a place that means so much to me… so I’ll just say… amen.