Two Martin Luther King Weekend Celebrations

  • Let Freedom Ring: A concert celebrating his life and life’s purpose: Fryeburg, Maine. 2 pm, Sunday, Jan 14 at the First Congregational Church of Fryeburg, at 655 Main St. The celebration will feature singers and instrumentalists from Fryeburg and surrounding towns. Members of the Jackson Community Church choir will be present and participating at this service.
  • Martin Luther King Jr Celebration: Tamworth, New Hampshire.
    6pm, Sunday, Jan 14 Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Easter Slopes , Tamworth, NH will host, in cooperation with the World Fellowship Center, another moving, memorable MLK Day commemoration. We’re grateful to have the inspiring, tireless, gifted activist/scholar/storyteller Chuck Collins as our guest speaker.

Michael Murphy Memorial

Michael Francis Murphy Memorial

Memorial: Tue, Nov 14, 12:30pm at Jackson Community Church
Reception immediately after service at Shannon Door Pub.

The family writes: “Michael Francis Murphy died November 9, 2017 surrounded by family after a brief illness.  He was born on June 18, 1958 in Somerville, MA where he also grew up.  He attended Don Bosco High School in Boston, and UMass Lowell where he studied electronics.

He is survived by his loving wife of 15 years Amiee Murphy of Jackson, NH and their 2 children Patrick and Riley, and predeceased by his daughter Kathryn (Katy) and father Daniel F. Murphy.  He also leaves behind his daughter Jennifer Ellison of Brenton, LA and her husband James, his son Michael H. Murphy of Kissimee, FL and wife Angela, and his son Justin Murphy and wife Kristyna of Worcester, MA, as well as his brother Daniel Murphy and wife Kim of Clinton, MA, and many grandchildren. He shared a close relationship with his uncle Tom and aunt Tess Mulkern of Glen, NH and his many cousins.

Michael was a loving husband and father to his wife and children. He was co-founder of the Katy Murphy Foundation: a non-profit created in honor of his forever 6-year-old daughter. Michael was an avid Red Sox and Star Wars fan, an active Den Leader in the Jackson/Bartlett Cub Scout Pack 321, and an all around gentle and kind soul. His memorial service will be followed immediately by a celebration of life at the Shannon Door Pub in Jackson, NH.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks to make donations to the Katy Murphy Foundation at or mailed to the Foundation at PO Box 73, Jackson, NH 03846.”

Celebrating Eric Pendleton, Remembering Jan Tatkhin

Gathering to Honor Eric Pendleton’s Life

With the permission of John and Alice Pepper and their family, we share an update about arrangements in response to the death of Eric Pendleton. They are inviting community members to attend a celebration of Eric’s life next Sunday, July 30, 4pm at the tent at Eagle Mountain House.

The family writes, “Eric Pendleton died from a fall in his home on July 17, 2017. He leaves his parents, John and Alice Pepper, a brother, Brian Pendleton, of Seattle, WA., a sister, Sarah Isberg, of Jackson and six nephews and nieces. Eric grew up in Jackson, attended Holderness School, Burke Mountain Academy, and Univ. of Vermont. He worked on ski races at Atitash, later coached junior racers at Wildcat. He enjoyed running , biking, hiking, and golf, and in winter both alpine and nordic skiing. There will be a celebration of his life on July 30 at 4PM in the tent at Eagle Mountain House.” A more extensive account of Eric’s life will be shared at the beginning of the week.

Please continue to hold their family in your prayers.

Remembering Jan Tatkhin

Additionally, friends and members are welcome to attend a memorial service hosted at Jackson Community Church for our friend Dr. Jan Tatkhin (Jean Marie Vianney Niyonzima) on Monday, July 31, 4pm. He died of diabetic complications in early April of this year. Revs. Gail Pomeroy Doktor and Norma Brettell will officiate.

Sally Swenson composed this remembrance. “Dr. Jan Tatkhin died unexpectedly from complications with diabetes April 10, 2017. He was born in Rwanda in 1963. There he received his MD and practiced medicine for several years prior to emigrating to USA in 1993 where he earned a Masters Degree in public health and a PhD in epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University. After graduation, he worked in Baltimore, MD.

When he later discovered the Mt. Washington Valley, he immediately fell in love with the area and soon made it his home. While in the valley, he participated in local running races and enjoyed the White Mountain Miler fun runs whenever he could. Learning to ski was a challenge (having never seen snow before he came) but as with so many other new activities – he tackled it with gusto and enjoyed the challenge. He was active in the arts, and a frequent attendee of concerts by the Mt. Top Community Orchestra and Mountain Aire Strings. He loved playing his guitar and singing folk songs with his friends. He enjoyed coaching, substitute teaching, and a variety of other jobs in which he gave back to the valley.

He frequently attended both the Jackson Community Church and the Bartlett Congregational Church, where he met many friends. At the time of his death he was living in an international boarding house in North Conway where he befriended foreign students, and helped them adjust to the new environment here.

He leaves behind several brothers and sisters, some of whom are still in Rwanda while others are in Canada, England, Belgium, and other countries.”

Two Lives to Remember


Our longtime Jan Tatkhin died in his home a few days ago. Some of his friends in the congregation were notified by Conway police on Monday; one of their officers is making contact with his family and community.

Jan was a steadfast presence among us, quietly lending his gentle and compassionate support to the life of the community. He had lived in many parts of the world, but settled for the last several years in the Mt Washington Valley, which reminded him of the mountainous landscape of his childhood home. He has many friends in Jackson and the larger community, and he will be missed.

As more information becomes available, we will share details about arrangements to honor Jan’s time among us.


Catherine Kyle simply shares, “My 94 year old dad passed away peacefully at home on April 10.” Ralph lived in Massachusetts. His daughter and son-in-law, Catherine and Chuck, are committed members of our faith community.

For the families of these two men who have died, and others who also love them, we offer prayers and remembrance. Let us give thanks for their lives, and the impact they had on the world. Let us invite and share stories, and create opportunities to say Ralph’s name and Jan’s name out loud.

Barbershop Quartet Downtown Crossing @ Jackson Community Church

Downtown Crossing @ Jackson Community Church
Saturday, March 18, 7:30pm
Mountain Top Music brings award-winning Barbershop Quartet to Jackson

From the embers of The Vocal Revolution Chorus, a community of male singers from around the Boston areas, a youthful quartet dedicated to bringing fun and energy to barbershop music was born – called “Downtown Crossing”.  Mountain Top Music is pleased to bring this award-winning vocal quartet to the Mt Washington Valley on Saturday evening, March 18th, 7:30pm at the Jackson Community Church.

Downtown Crossing, also known as DTX, is comprised of the talents of Dan Costello, Ben Orenstein, Joey Constantine, and Seth Orenstein.  They join together in song singing traditional barbershop harmony but sometimes mesh it with the likes of spiritual numbers, stage musical favorites, and Motown chart toppers.  They have won or placed in the Northeastern District Quartet and Chorus Championships for many years and will again be competing in the International event in Las Vegas this summer.

Seth Orenstein was first introduced to barbershop music when he was ten years old by his “barbershopping” grandfather.  He has become a front-row member of the chorus, member of the music team and is the tenor, which means he sings the high notes.

Joey Constantine is the Lead singer.  After one year of playing the clarinet in middle school, Joey quickly realized that the only instrument he needed was his voice.  You’ll understand why when you hear this man sing!  Joey can be found in his spare time functioning as the Assistant Conductor of the Vocal Revolution.

Baritone Dan Costello has been singing barbershop for 16 years thanks to his Grandfather John.  Dan is a certified Director of the Barbershop Harmony Society and currently directs the Vocal Revolution Chorus (formerly “Sounds of Concord”).

And if you like the low notes, then Ben Orenstein is your man.  He stands next to Joey and fills out the bottom of DTX’s sound.  Like his brother Seth, he was introduced to the sound of barbershop by his grandfather and sings mostly roots and fifths!

Seats are first-come, first serve, at the Jackson Community Church, 127 Main St, Jackson, NH.  Cost is $17/person prepay at  or $20/person at the door; children and students are free.  Come join Mountain Top Music in welcoming these talented individuals as they bring the sounds of close harmonies and barbershop tunes back to our area.