Reflections on Earth Day

Earth DayJane Yolen
I am the Earth And the Earth is me.
Each blade of grass, Each honey tree,
Each bit of mud, And stick and stone
Is blood and muscle, Skin and bone.
And just as I Need every bit
Of me to make My body fit,
So Earth needs Grass and stone and tree
And things that grow here Naturally.
That’s why we Celebrate this day.
That’s why across The world we say:
As long as life, As dear, as free,
I am the Earth And the Earth is me.

Learn More

Of the Earth

The good man is the friend of all living things. —Gandhi

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together … all things connect. —Chief Seattle

Away, away, from men and towns, To the wild wood and the downs, — To the silent wilderness, Where the soul need not repress its music. —Percy Bysshe Shelley

The Earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations. —John Paul II

What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on. —Henry David Thoreau

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead

One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken. —Leo Tolstoy

Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.  —John Ruskin

You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make. —Jane Goodall

The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil … the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings. — Gerard Manley Hopkins

Walking in Beauty:
Closing Prayer from the Navajo Way Blessing Ceremony

In beauty I walk
With beauty before me I walk
With beauty behind me I walk
With beauty above me I walk
With beauty around me I walk
It has become beauty again …
Today I will walk out, today everything negative will leave me
I will be as I was before, I will have a cool breeze over my body.
I will have a light body, I will be happy forever, nothing will hinder me.
I walk with beauty before me. I walk with beauty behind me.
I walk with beauty below me. I walk with beauty above me.
I walk with beauty around me. My words will be beautiful.
In beauty all day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons, may I walk.
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
With dew about my feet, may I walk.
With beauty before me may I walk.
With beauty behind me may I walk.
With beauty below me may I walk.
With beauty above me may I walk.
With beauty all around me may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
My words will be beautiful…

This Week at JCC: Wed, April 18 – Sun, April 22

 Pastoral Vacation Schedule: Rev Gail returns to NH on Wed, April 18 after visiting her family in Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

WED, April 18

  • TUNE UP (Fitness) with Laurie McAleer
    9am • Parish Hall, Jackson Community Church
    Free. Men and women join fitness trainer Laurie McAleer for a gentle, introductory fitness class for beginners. Wear comfortable clothing, sensible shoes, and bring a bottle of water. Also bring a ski pole and a small ball and hand weights. Customized to each person’s abilities.
  • COUNCIL MEETING
    7pm • JCC Library.
THURS, April 19
  • INTRODUCTORY YOG with Anjali Rose
    9am • Parish Hall, Jackson Community Church. Join instructor Anjali Rose for a gentle, introductory yoga class. Wear stretchy fitness clothing, bring a matt and a cushion/blanket if you have them. $10/class for 6 weeks. Scholarships available. This session runs through April 26.
  • YOGA & MEDITATION with Charlotte Doucette
    3:30pm • Parish Hall. $10/pp fee. (Scholarships available)
  • AA
    6-7pm • Church Library

SUN, April 22

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING
    8am • Gazebo. Bring your hot beverages. Dress warmly. Gather for readings and spiritual conversation.
  • CHOIR REHEARSAL 
    9am •  Jackson Community Church.
    Drop-in choir. Join us to practice and sing during the service.
  • WORSHIP SERVICE: Earth Day
    10:30am •  Jackson Community Church.
    Sermon: A Sense of Place.
    Presentation by Lauren Orsini about Starting Point. Guest musicians: Pianist Minnie Brown and choir director Jen Ouellette.
  • EARTH DAY WALK
    1pm •  Jackson Community Church.
    Inter-generational outdoor hike. Bring proper equipment; route to be announced. Allow 2-3 hours for this activity. Please RSVP to Rev Gail if interested!
  • Community Event:
    FUNERGY Earth Day Activities
    10am-1pm • North Conway Community Center, North Conway, NH

    SAVE the DATES

  • Women’s Group High Tea
    12:30pm • Wed, April 25

    Yankee Clipper Tea House
    Bridgton, ME

    Annual outing of women’s group to have high tea. Go early or stay later to shop or visit antique stores. Share rides.  Allow an hour if traveling separately; please arrive promptly.
    Everyone welcome, including friends. Please RSVP to Linda Hastings to reserve a spot since we have a group reservation.
    Yankee Clipper has a varied menu with something for everyone. Although there are many kinds of tea to choose from, they also have coffee, wine and lavender lemonade.

    Cyrano de Bergerac
    Film & Discussion
    Sun, April 29, 3-6pm

Join us for a showing of the film “Cyrano de Bergerac” at the Jackson Community Church. This event has been generously and enthusiastically supported by The Friends of the Whitney Community Center in Jackson and the Jackson Community Church. Visitors to the valley and everyone who lives in the Mount Washington Valley are cordially invited to attend. Refreshments will be available.

Following the film there will be commentary and discussion led by Anthony DeLuca, who holds a PhD in history from Stanford.  He has given numerous guest lectures and public lectures on European history, politics and culture and has published  books, articles, essays and reviews on these topics.

 

Spring Cleaning & Work Day
Saturday, April 28
9am-Noon

Come prepared to work inside or outside, depending on your preference. We’re organizing closets, cleaning windows and hard-to-reach areas, touching up spots inside and outside the church, changing lightbulbs, and sprucing up the church grounds. Wear old clothes, sensible shoes, and bring work gloves. We’ll add more info about any tools or equipment you should bring from home, such as buckets or rakes or brooms.

Continue reading “This Week at JCC: Wed, April 18 – Sun, April 22”

Reflections on forms of lay ministry: gifts of the spirit and where you may be called to serve & support others.

Reflections on forms of lay ministry: gifts of the spirit and where you may be called to serve & support others. Our church’s deacons will give the sermon and explore this theme at this week’s worship service. Based on passages from letter from Timothy.

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Tryin’ to make his way home?

If God had a face what would it look like?
And would you want to see if, seeing meant
That you would have to believe in things like heaven
And in Jesus and the saints, and all the prophets?
— Joan Osborne (excerpt from song lyrics)

Our true home is in the present moment.
To live in the present moment is a miracle.
The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment,
to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.
Peace is all around us in the world and in nature, and within us;
It is in our bodies and our spirits.
Once we learn to touch this peace, we will be healed and transformed.
It is not a matter of faith, it is a matter of practice.
— Thich Nhat Hahn

Helping Others with our Gifts of the Spirit:
Everyday People as Ministers, Servants, Saints

…You don’t have to be famous, or perfect, or dead.  You just have to be you—the one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-repeated human being whom God created you to be—to love as you are loved, to throw your arms around the world, to shine like the sun.  You don’t have to do it alone, either.  You have all this company—all these saints sitting right here whom you can see for yourself plus those you cannot… all of them egging you on, calling your name, and shouting themselves hoarse with encouragement.  Because you are part of them, and they are part of you, and all of us are knit together in the communion of saints … — Barbara Brown Taylor

Continue reading “Reflections on forms of lay ministry: gifts of the spirit and where you may be called to serve & support others.”

SPRING SCHEDULE for Youth & Families with Jackson Community Church

Spring youth and family schedule: Friday fun nights, service opportunities, Sunday morning activities and lessons, Sunday afternoon hikes, end-of-year Youth & Children Sunday plus summer camps for families and work camps/advocacy trips/retreats for high school youth.

APRIL

  • Sun, April 8 – 9am • Road to Emmaus activity & walk: Meet at church and wear outdoor clothing for a spring walk. Focus on people who met God on their walk and didn’t recognize their companion. How do we see and meet God in our world? Walk includes lessons on shared meals, communion, and breaking bread together. Also it’s Holy Humor Sunday … bring a joke to tell!
  • Sun, April 15 – 9am • Planting Activity with Lisa White at JCC. Preparation for Mother’s Day and anticipation of Earth Day. Meet at JCC for this activity.
  • Sun, April 22 — 10:30am • Worship
    service includes presentation by Lauren Orsini from Starting Point about being aware of domestic violence and ongoing initiatives for safety for local children and families
  • Sun, April 22 — 1pm • Afternoon Earth Day Hike – Intergenerational outdoor hike to be led by church youth. Bring proper equipment; route to be announced. Allow 2-3 hours for this activity.
  • Fri, April 27 — 5:30-7:30pm • Friday Fun Night
    Spring Fling with Pizza & Games at JCC.
  • Sat, April 28 — 9am-Noon • Spring Cleaning at JCC
    Come prepared to work inside or outside. We’re organizing closets, cleaning windows and hard-to-reach areas, touching up spots inside and outside the church, changing light bulbs, and sprucing up the church grounds. Wear old clothes, sensible shoes, and bring work gloves. We’ll add more info about any tools or equipment you should bring from home, such as buckets or rakes or brooms.
  • Sun, April 29 – 10:30am Worship includes traditional Sunday School. Parents may attend worship and children will have interactive lesson during portion  of service.

Continue reading “SPRING SCHEDULE for Youth & Families with Jackson Community Church”

Reflections on humor & doubt, themes from John 20

What is the role of doubt and questioning in our spiritual lives? With whom do we keep company … some of the great matriarchs and patriarchs doubted. And then laughed. And hoped. Humor shines a light into dark places, becomes a wind sweeping through our souls.

(Reflecting on themes of humor and doubt from the Gospel of John while we celebrate Bright Sunday or Holy Humor Sunday: April 8. Wear bright colors. Bring a joke or riddle. Get ready to laugh out loud.)

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Rumi

Continue reading “Reflections on humor & doubt, themes from John 20”

Volunteer with Jackson Community Church

Highlights:

  • Spring cleaning at church on Saturday, April 28
  • Plant sale to benefit church missions on Saturday, May 26,
  • Yard sale to fundraise for church building care and overall operations on Saturday, May 26,
  • Train in April to volunteer with Starting Point to resist and respond to domestic violence
  • Help Habitat for Humanity on Saturday, May 12 (Mother’s Day Weekend)

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This Week: Tue, April 3 – Sun, April 8

Highlights: community events include Wed’s Feast of the Valley and Fri’s Stage Adventure with the grammar school. Church events include Wednesday’s Tune Up fitness with Laurie McAleer and two Thursday yoga classes. Youth environmental summit takes place Saturday. Sunday resumes 8am outdoor ‘gazebo’ interfaith gathering and 9am family activity based on walking the Road to Emmaus.

Continue reading “This Week: Tue, April 3 – Sun, April 8”