Meditations on seeds of conflict & fruits of wisdom: hope, healing, resilience & reconciliation: themes from James 3

Is conflict always a bad thing or might it be a chance to grow? What is your response to conflict? How might you move from holy conflict to sacred response: hope, healing, resilience, and reconciliation? — Rev Gail

Excerpt from commentary by Chanequa Walker-Barnes: Conflict is not a threat that needs to be prevented or extinguished. It is an important dynamic for the growth and health of any organization. In fact, as Margaret Kornfeld states in her book, Cultivating Wholeness, the healthier that a community is, the more potential there is for conflict to emerge. Perhaps this is the understanding of conflict that the author of Proverbs had in mind when they wrote, “Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another” (Prov. 27:17 NRSV). When conflict is expressed, acknowledged, and worked through, it can be a blessing that facilitates growth, strength, and positive innovation. The challenge for us is to learn how to be comfortable with the tension that conflict creates. After all, we don’t want to block the blessing.

Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (excerpt) — Joy Harjo

“I am the holy being of my mother’s prayer and my father’s song”
—Norman Patrick Brown, Dineh Poet and Speaker

Recognize whose lands these are on which we stand.

Ask the deer, turtle, and the crane.
Make sure the spirits of these lands are respected and treated with goodwill.
The land is a being who remembers everything.
You will have to answer to your children, and their children, and theirs—
The red shimmer of remembering will compel you up the night to walk the perimeter of truth for understanding.
As I brushed my hair over the hotel sink to get ready I heard:
By listening we will understand who we are in this holy realm of words.
Do not parade, pleased with yourself.
You must speak in the language of justice.

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This Week: TUE, Sept 18 – SUN, Sept 23

THIS WEEK at Jackson Community Church and Around Town
TUE, Sept 18 – SUN, Sept 23

At JCC: Tue – deacons mtg, Wed – council mtg, Thurs – yoga, Sat – JCC walks for Azheimers cure in Portland, ME, Sun – faioth formation & worship. Community events: Gibson Center steering committee, hold the dates for Habitat for Humanity’s Honey Do Auction and the Wentworth Charity Ball (must ask to be added to invitation list if you haven’t already received an invite) and Neighbor to Neighbor volunteer winterizing initiative.

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Reflections on First Responders and ‘Losing Life to Gain Life’

Reflections on first responders in anticipation of First Responders Sunday (Sept 16 at Jackson Community Church) and ‘losing life to gain life’ as themes from Mark 8.

I find myself wondering: How do we discern what we should be fierce about? How do we choose what we will hold on to, and what we need to release? … Some crosses are made of what we take on; some crosses are made of what we let go … Where is this place in your own life? How do you discern what you will hold on to, what you will claim and fight for, and what you will release? How does this choosing, this discerning, draw you closer to … what God might imagine for your life? — Jan Richardson

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This Week: TUE, Sept 11 – SUN, Sept 16

THIS WEEK at Jackson Community Church and Around Town
This week at church & community: Tue – 9/11 Remembrance walking with flag at covered bridge, Wed – Tune Up fitness class, Thurs – legal training with ACLU to support asylum-seeking detainees in Stafford County Jail, Sat – Jen’s Friends Climb Against Cancer (church team walking together) Sun – 8am gazebo & 10:30am church worship with First Responder Celebration plus youth & family activity. Plus community events: Tue – voting, Sun: Rally for Recovery walk in No Conway, NH & and Interfaith Play in at Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, NH.

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Reflections on action & service: advocating and helping others and ourselves. Themes from Jame 2 and Matthew 7.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. — Gandhi

Have you ever experienced a “work of mercy” (“good deeds for the benefit of the neighbor”) to be a two-way street? — Tanya Barnett

Prayer
Lord make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O divine master grant that I may
not so much seek to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to eternal life
 — St Francis of Assisi

The Good You Do: Taking Action

It is not enough to be compassionate: you must act. — The Dalai Lama
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This Week: Sept 2-Sept 9

This Week at Jackson Community Church
and Around Town

This week @ JCC: Mon-Fri: Star Island retreat, Wed: Fitness tune-up with Laurie McAleer, Thurs: Yoga with Anjali Rose, Sun: Gazebo led by Sandi & Eileen & Denise and trad’l worship with favorite songs & scripture with guest soloist Kevin O’Neill and start-up of church choir practice. Plus community events: Mon – covered bridge closing on weekdays, Tue – farmer’s market.

Note: Rev Gail Doktor will be on vacation through Sat, Sept 8. See below for coverage in case of pastoral care emergencies.

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Reflections on songs & singing

Poem ― Charlotte Eriksson
… so this is for us.
This is for us who sing, write, dance, act, study, run and love
and this is for doing it even if no one will ever know
because the beauty is in the act of doing it.
Not what it can lead to.
This is for the times I lose myself while writing, singing, playing
and no one is around and they will never know
but I will forever remember
and that shines brighter than any praise or fame or glory I will ever have,
and this is for you who write or play or read or sing
by yourself with the light off and door closed
when the world is asleep and the stars are aligned
and maybe no one will ever hear it
or read your words
or know your thoughts
but it doesn’t make it less glorious.
It makes it ethereal. Mysterious.
Infinite.
For it belongs to you and whatever God or spirit you believe in
and only you can decide how much it meant
and means
and will forever mean
and other people will experience it too
through you.
Through your spirit. Through the way you talk.
Through the way you walk and love and laugh and care
and I never meant to write this long
but what I want to say is:
Don’t try to present your art by making other people read or hear or see or touch it; make them feel it. Wear your art like your heart on your sleeve and keep it alive by making people feel a little better. Feel a little lighter. Create art in order for yourself to become yourself
and let your very existence be your song, your poem, your story.
Let your very identity be your book.
Let the way people say your name sound like the sweetest melody.

So go create. Take photographs in the wood, run alone in the rain and sing your heart out high up on a mountain
where no one will ever hear
and your very existence will be the most hypnotising scar.
Make your life be your art
and you will never be forgotten.

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This Week: Sun, Aug 26 – Sun, Sept 2

This Week at Jackson Community Church
and Around Town

This week @ JCC – Wed, 8/29: Fitness tune-up with Laurie McAleer, Thurs, 8/30: Yoga with Anjali Rose, Sun, 9/2: Gazebo led by Sandi & Eileen & Denise and trad’l worship with favorite songs & scripture plus guest soloist Kevin O’Neill and start-up of church choir rehearsals for the fall. Plus community events – Sun, 8/26: Bach festival in No Conway, Mon, 8/27: covered bridge closings begins on weekdays, Tue, 8/28: farmer’s market, Wed, 8/29 – Wednesday at Wildcat, Thurs, 8/30: back to school, Sat, 9/1: Fall Book Sale at old library.

Note: Rev Gail Doktor will be on vacation through Sat, Sept 8. See below for coverage in case of pastoral care emergencies.
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Reflections on mindfulness, walking on water, rescuing others or being rescued —themes from Matthew 14

There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in. ― Desmond Tutu

AloneMaya Angelou

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can’t use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
‘Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

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This Week: Mon, Aug 20 – Sun, Aug 26

This Week at Jackson Community Church
and Around Town

Note: Rev Gail Doktor will be out of town Wed, Aug 22 – Sun, Sept 9, helping her daughter move to Manhattan and then taking trip overseas. We will send out a separate email with instructions for seeking pastoral care in an emergency: deacons and local minister will be on call to support the community.

MON, Aug 20

  • DEACONS
    4pm • Jackson Church: 2nd Floor. Council room (Betty Whitney Library).

TUE, Aug 21

  • PASTOR’S DROP-IN HOURS
    7-9am • JTown Deli. Come by for hot beverage and conversation with Rev Gail.
  • CLERGY LUNCH
    12:30-2pm • Gathering of Clergy of the Eastern Slope. Rev Gail attends.
  • Community Event: FARMERS MARKET  
    3:30-6:30 pm • Thompson House Eatery (THE). Live music, fresh produce, ‘popup’ library presence.
  • DAY RESOURCE CENTER TEAM
    6:30pm • Nativity Lutheran Offices. Meeting of startup team to plan next steps in opening of Day Resource Center to serve homeless and housing insecure population of teens, families and adults. Rev Gail and church members are participating in this project. We will update the community about potential volunteer opportunities.
WED, Aug 22
  • LED LIGHT INSTALLATION
    All Day • Church. The building will be closed to public events throughout the day while LED light installation takes place.
  • (Resumes next week on Wed, Aug 29)
  • TUNE UP FITNESS with Laurie McAleer
    9am • Parish House, Jackson Community Church.
    (Resumes next week on Wed, Aug 29, then skips Wed, Sep 3 and resumes again Wed, Sep 12 )
THURS, Aug 23

  •  LED LIGHT INSTALLATION
    All Day • Church. The building will be closed to public events throughout the day while LED light installation takes place.
  • (Resumes next, Thurs, Aug 30)
    INTRODUCTORY YOGA with Anjali Rose 
    9am • Parish House, Jackson Community Church.
    (Resumes next, Thurs, Aug 30)
  • AA
    6:30pm • Second Floor, Church
  • SCOUT ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING
    Evening • Parish House, Church

SUN, Aug 26

  • INTERFAITH WORSHIP @ GAZEBO
    8am • Gazebo. Come for poetry, literature, conversation and prayer.
  • WORSHIP SERVICE
    10:30am •  Jackson Community Church.
    Story: Rev Mary Edes
    Accompanist: Alan Labrie