THIS WEEK: MON, Mar 25 – SUN, Mar 31


At Jackson Community Church & Around Town


MON, Mar 25

  • SCOUT PACK 321
    6pm • Jackson Community Church
    Den meeting at church to work on ‘pew holders’ for sanctuary.

TUE, Mar 26

  • CLERGY of the EASTERN SLOPE LUNCHEON 
    12:30pm • No Conway, NH
    Lunch and working group for local clergy and spiritual community leaders. Rev Gail attends.
  • UCC Event: ANNUAL MEETING PLANNING TEAM MEETING
    4pm • Jackson Community Church
    Meeting of deacons to plan worship, community care and other responsibilities.
  • LENTEN STUDY GROUP: Anne Lamott’s Almost Everything
    4pm • Jackson Community Church
    Come if you started the book. Come if you want to pick it up and begin. Come if you just want good conversation. Anne Lamott’s essays are good for the soul. Rev Gail facilitates this group. 1-2 copies available at church, others at library.
  • Community Event: WHITE MOUNTAINS PRIDE PLANNING COMMITEE
    7:00pm • The Cranmore Inn, No Conway
    All who would like to support this celebration of diversity are welcome! Join us for planning session.

WED, Mar 27

  • TUNE UP FITNESS with Laurie McAleer 
    9:30am • Parish House.Fitness class. Free; open to public. These classes will continue through the end of March. Final class until instructor recovers from surgery.
  • WOMENS’ GROUP
    10:30am • Irene Sullivan’s home, Carter Notch Rd, Jackson, NH.
    Social gathering of friends and members of the church. Please contact Irene Sullivan at 603.383.9806 for directions.

THURS, Mar 28

  • BLISS YOGA with Anjali Rose
    9am • First Floor, Parish House / Jackson Community Church. Beginning stretch, flow and align yoga; safe for new practitioners. Weather dependent; if schools are delayed or closed, the class will be cancelled.
  • Community Event: NO. CARROLL COUNTY CAREGIVERS COALITION
    9am • Professional Dev Room, Kennett Middle School, Conway, NH
    Gathered to name gaps in human services in the valley and develop solutions. Rev Gail attends.
  • Community Event: DEATH CAFE
    6pm • Conway Public Library, Conway, NH
    Conversations around topics related to death and end-of-life. Rev Gail attends to help facilitate with Rev Sean Dunker-Bendigo.
  • AA
    6:30pm • Second Floor, Church.
  • Community Event: A TASTE of HONEY with Beekeeper Athena Contus
    6:30-8pm • Whitney Community Center.
    Beekeeper Athena Contus offers a sampling of local as well as exotic honey varieties with a visual presentation on the honey bee family dynamics that make this nutritious, delicious gold liquid possible.
  • Community Event: PILEATED WOODPECKERS
    7-8pm • Tin Mountain Conservation Center
    Did you know that the Pileated Woodpecker announces its territory by drumming at a rate of 15 pecks per second?  Join Bonny Boatman for a multimedia presentation of stories, folklore and facts about this remarkable woodland neighbor. 

FRI, Mar 29

  • PASTOR’s DROP-IN HOURS
    7-9am • J-Town Deli
    Come for caffeine, conversation. Or make a separate date to meet with Rev Gail by calling her cell (978) 273.0308 or email.
  • PASTOR’s OFFICE HOURS
    9:30-11:30am • Jackson Community Church
    Drop by or make an apt with Rev Gail by calling her cell (978) 273.0308 or email.

SAT, Mar 30

  • Community Event: Believe in Literacy Foundation’s STORYBOOK CHARACTER BREAKFAST
    9:30am • Theater in the Woods, Intervale, NH.
    This week: Peter Pan. $5/person suggested donation

SUN, Mar 31

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING @ OLD LIBRARY
    8am • Old Library. Hot beverages available. Come for poetry, literature, conversation and prayer.
  • CHILDREN & YOUTH PROGRAM
    9am • Jackson Community Church
    Please RSVP to Rev Gail if you will attend our spring children & youth programming. This week: scavenger hunt with faith formation lesson (reprised) and intergenerational choir practice.
  • CHOIR REHEARSAL
    9am • Jackson Community Church
    Ellen Schwindt works with church choir. Drop-ins welcome.
  • WORSHIP 
    10:30am •  Jackson Community Church.
    * Story: Rev Gail
    * Accompanist: Alan Labrie
    * Choir: directed by Ellen Schwindt
  • Community Event: Mountain Top Music’s TRADITIONAL AMERICAN AND CELTIC MUSIC & DANCE
    4:00 pm • Tuckerman Brewing, Conway, NH
    Featuring multi-instrumentalists and clog dancers Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly. Suggested donation $5 at the door. More info.

This Week: MON, Mar 18 – SUN, Mar 24

At Jackson Community Church and Around Town
MON, Mar 18

  • WHITNEY COMMUNITY CENTER OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
    3:30pm • Whitney Center / Grammar School Campus
    Programming team meets re schedule and operations of the Whitney Community Center. Rev Gail attends.
  • DEN MEMBERS from SCOUT PACK 321
    6pm • Jackson Community Church
    Den meeting at church to work on ‘pew holders’ for sanctuary.
  • RELIGION, CONFLICT & PEACE
    Harvard Online EdX course. Self-Paced. Continues 8 weeks • Expect: 4-8 hours of study per week. Registration Link to register for the Harvard Online EdX course.

TUE, Mar 19

  • CLERGY of the EASTERN SLOPE LUNCHEON
    12:30pm • Center Conway, NH
    Lunch and working group for local clergy and spiritual community leaders. Rev Gail attends.
  • DEACONS TEAM MEETING
    4pm • Jackson Community Church
    Meeting of deacons to plan worship, community care and other responsibilities.
  • FULL MOON SOUP & SKI (or SNOWSHOE)
    5-7pm • Jackson XC Center
    Come ski or snowshoe. Jackson Community Church co-hosts and provides selection of hot soups on-site at Jackson XC.

WED, Mar 20

  • TUNE UP FITNESS with Laurie McAleer 
    9:30am • Parish House.Fitness class. Free; open to public. These classes will continue through the end of March. Classes remain weather dependent; if schools are delayed or closed, the class will be cancelled.
  • COUNCIL MEETING (note: time changed)
    5-6:30pm • Jackson Community Church / Second Floor Library
    Church staff, officers and team leaders meet to review admin/operational and mission-based issues for the life and governance of the church. Open to the community.
  • Community Event: THE IMPOSSIBLE CLIMB with Mark Synnott
    7pm • Whitney Community Center
    Presentation starts at 7:30pm. In The Impossible Climb, Jackson’s own Mark Synnott uses his own career as a professional climber, its intersection with that of Alex Honnold and the lead-up to Honnold’s historic ascent, to paint a insider portrait of the elite climbing community, exploring what motivates them, the paradoxical drive to keep the sport pure and at the same time to fund climbs, and the role that awareness of mortality plays in the endeavour. We watch through Mark’s eyes as Alex plots, trains and attempts his heart-stopping free-solo ascent.  This is the story which was also chronicled as a documentary in Free Solo. Books will be available for purchase and signing by the author.

THURS, Mar 21

  • BLISS YOGA with Anjali Rose
    9am • First Floor, Parish House / Jackson Community Church. Beginning stretch, flow and align yoga; safe for new practitioners. Weather dependent; if schools are delayed or closed, the class will be cancelled.
  • WAY STATION TEAM MEETING
    10am • Nativity Lutheran Church admin building
  • Leadership team meeting to review next steps for opening of day resource center to serve Mt Washington Valley’s homeless and housing-insecure population.
  • AA
    6:30pm • Second Floor, Church.

FRI, Mar 22

  • PASTOR’s DROP-IN HOURS
    7-9am • J-Town Deli
    Come for caffeine, conversation. Or make a separate date to meet with Rev Gail by calling her cell (978) 273.0308 or email.
  • PASTOR’s OFFICE HOURS
    9:30-11:30am • Jackson Community Church
    Drop by or make an apt with Rev Gail by calling her cell (978) 273.0308 or email.
  • UCC Event: HORTON CENTER DEANS TRAINING
    Fri-Sat • Maine
    Rev Gail & Chris Doktor attend overnight training for Horton Center.

SAT, Mar 23

  • UCC Event: HORTON CENTER DEANS TRAINING
    Fri-Sat • Maine Rev Gail & Chris Doktor attend overnight- training for Horton Center Deans.

SUN, Mar 24

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING @ OLD LIBRARY
    8am • Old Library. Hot beverages available. Come for poetry, literature, conversation and prayer.
  • CHILDREN & YOUTH PROGRAM
    9am • Jackson Community Church
    Please RSVP to Rev Gail if you will attend our spring children & youth programming.
  • CHOIR REHEARSAL
    9am • Jackson Community Church
    Ellen Schwindt works with church choir. Drop-ins welcome.
  • WORSHIP 
    10:30am •  Jackson Community Church.
    * Story: Rev Gail
    * Accompanist: Alan Labrie

PRAYER VIGIL in RESPONSE to CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUE SHOOTINGS

Sun, March 17, 5pm @ Jackson Community Church

Please come for a public, interfaith time of silence, prayer, and remembrance for the victims and survivors of violence directed at our Muslim brothers and sisters in Christchurch, New Zealand. All are welcome; this event is free and open to the public, we encourage people to join us and gather in solidarity.

Reflections on the fierce & protective love of a hen vs the predatory nature of a fox … choosing the unexpected, challenging expectations along the Way … themes from Luke 13

Her love of her children definitely resembles my love of mine. – Alice Walker

Hen-Love

It is one of those moments that will be engraved on my brain forever. For I really saw her. She was small and gray, flecked with black; so were her chicks. She had a healthy red comb and quick, light-brown eyes. She was that proud, chunky chicken shape that makes one feel always that chickens, and hens especially, have personality and will. Her steps were neat and quick and authoritative; and though she never touched her chicks, it was obvious she was shepherding them along. She clucked impatiently when, our feet falling ever nearer, one of them, especially self-absorbed and perhaps hard-headed, ceased to respond.
— Alice Walker


Once you know how to come home to yourself, then you can open your home to other people, because you have something to offer. The other person has to do exactly the same thing if they are to have something to offer you.
— Thich Nhat Hanh


I have sharpened my knives, I have
Put on the heavy apron.

Maybe you think life is chicken soup, served
In blue willow-pattern bowls.

I have put on my boots and opened
The kitchen door and stepped out

Into the sunshine. I have crossed the lawn.
I have entered
The hen house.

— Mary Oliver, Farm Country


The Lifted Up One, the One who sits high and walks low, taught that the thoroughfare to God is full of bypaths and back roads.
The way up is down.
The way in is out.
The way first is last.
The way of success is service.
The way of attainment is relinquishment.
The way of strength is weakness.
The way of security is vulnberability.
The way of protection is forgiveness (even seventy times seven).
The way of life is the way of death — death to self, society, family.
Know your strengths. Why?
Because that’s the only way you can Lay Them Down.
God’s power is made perfect … where? In our weakness.
Want to get the most? Go to where the least is.
Want to be free? Give complete control to God.
Want to become great? Become least.
Want to discover yourself? Forget yourself.
Want honor? “Honor yourself with humility.”
Want to “get even” with enemies? Bless and love them.
— Leonard Sweet, Excerpt from Jesus Drives Me Crazy

On Hens

… drooping their wings for some to creep under, and receiving with joyous and affectionate clucks others that mount upon their backs or run up to them from every direction; and though they flee from dogs and snakes if they are frightened only for themselves, if their fright is for their children, they stand their ground and fight it out beyond their strength.” — Plutarch, 1st Century AD

… under the shadow of their wings, and with this covering they put up such a very fierce defense – striking fear into their opponent in the midst of a frightful clamor, using both wings and beak – they would rather die for their chicks than seek safety in flight.” — Ulisse Aldrovandi

The forest fire had been brought under control, and the group of firefighters were working back through the devastation making sure all the hot spots had been extinguished. As they marched across the blackened landscape between the wisps of smoke still rising from the smoldering remains, a large lump on the trail caught a firefighter’s eye. … As he got closer he noticed it was the charred remains of a large bird, that had burned nearly half way through. Since birds can so easily fly away from the approaching flames, the firefighter wondered what must have been wrong with this bird that it could not escape. Had it been sick or injured? … Arriving at the carcass, he decided to kick it off the trail with his boot. As soon as he did, however, he was startled half to death by a flurry of activity around his feet. Four little birds flailed in the dust and ash then scurried away down the hillside … The bulk of the mother’s body had covered them from the searing flames. Though the heat was enough to consume her, it allowed her babies to find safety underneath. In the face of the rising flames, she had stayed with her young. Her dead carcass and her fleeing chicks told the story well enough–she gave the ultimate sacrifice to save her young. — Jacqueline, DeepRoots blogger

A hen is to her little chicks, next, a cover of safety. There is a hawk in the sky; the mother bird can see it, though the chickens cannot; she gives her peculiar cluck of warn-ing, and quickly they come and hide beneath her wings. The hawk will not hurt them now; beneath her wings they are secure … for, in the next place, the hen is to her chicks the source of comfort. It is a cold night, and they would be frozen if they remained outside; but she calls them in, and when they are under her wings, they derive warmth from their mother’s breast. It is a wonder, the care of a hen for her little ones; she will sit so carefully, and keep her wings so widely spread, that they may all be housed. What a cabin, what a palace, it is for the young chicks to get there under the mother’s wings! The snow may fall, or the rain may come pelting down, but the wings of the hen protect the chicks; and you, dear friend, if you come to Christ, shall not only have safety, but comfort. I speak what I have experienced. … The hen is also to her chicks, the cherisher of growth. They would not develop if they were not taken care of; in their weakness they need to be cherished, that they may come to the fullness of their perfec-tion. — Charles Spurgeon

Why A Hen Instead of a Fox?

A hen is what Jesus chooses, which – if you think about it – is pretty typical of him. He is always turning things upside down, so that children and peasants wind up on top while kings and scholars land on the bottom. He is always wrecking our expectations of how things should turn out by giving prizes to losers and paying the last first. So of course he chooses a chicken, which is about as far from a fox as you can get. That way the options become very clear: you can live by licking your chops or you can die protecting the chicks. The image of God as hen is finally one that lays bare God’s vulnerability. When you are the mother hen, all you can do is open your wings wide and gather as many as you can. … Jesus won’t be king of the jungle in this or any other story. What he will be is a mother hen who stands between the chicks and those who mean to do them harm. She has no fangs, no claws, no rippling muscles. All she has is her willingness to shield her babies with her own body. If the fox wants them, he will have to kill her first … The fox slides up on her one night in the yard while all the babies are asleep. When her cry wakens them, they scatter. She dies the next day where both foxes and chickens can see her – wings spread, breast exposed – without a single chick beneath her feathers. It breaks her heart, but it does not change a thing. If you mean what you say, then this is how you stand. Which he does, as it turns out. — Barbara Brown Taylor

The Fox

… in Hebrew. Lions and foxes can be contrasted with each other to represent the difference between great men and inferior men. The great men are called “lions,” and the lesser men are called “foxes.” The epithet “fox” is sometimes applied to Torah scholars: “There are lions before you, and you ask foxes?”[4] In other words, “Why do you ask the opinion of foxes, that is, my opinion, when there are distinguished scholars present?” … Consider the following list of possibilities for “fox” in its negative sense: weakling, small-fry, usurper, poser, clown, insignificant person, cream puff, nobody, weasel, jackass, tin soldier, peon, hick, pompous pretender, jerk, upstart … In context, and referring to a local ruler, “fox” was a humiliating “slap in the face.”  … Jesus was direct. Antipas was a שׁוּעָל בֶּן שׁוּעָל (shū‘āl ben shū‘āl, “a fox, the son of a fox”), a small-fry.— Randall Buth, Jerusalem Perspective

Hen Stories

The great Persian poet Rumi had an extraordinary teacher named Shams. Even as a child Shams seemed different. His own parents struggled with whether to send him to a monastery or the village of fools. They did not know what to do with him. When he had grown he told them the story of the duck’s egg that was found by the hen and hatched. The hen raised the duckling with her other chicks. One day they walked to a lake. The duck went right in the water, Shams said to his parents, “Now, father and mother, I have found my place. I have learned to swim in the ocean, even if you must remain on the shore.” — Jack KornfieldVariation on Fox and Hen in Aesop’s Fables — Milo Winter 

One bright evening as the sun was sinking on a glorious world a wise old Cock flew into a tree to roost. Before he composed himself to rest, he flapped his wings three times and crowed loudly. But just as he was about to put his head under his wing, his beady eyes caught a flash of red and a glimpse of a long pointed nose, and there just below him stood Master Fox.

“Have you heard the wonderful news?” cried the Fox in a very joyful and excited manner.

“What news?” asked the Cock very calmly. But he had a queer, fluttery feeling inside him, for, you know, he was very much afraid of the Fox.

“Your family and mine and all other animals have agreed to forget their differences and live in peace and friendship from now on forever. Just think of it! I simply cannot wait to embrace you! Do come down, dear friend, and let us celebrate the joyful event.”

“How grand!” said the Cock. “I certainly am delighted at the news.” But he spoke in an absent way, and stretching up on tiptoes, seemed to be looking at something afar off.

“What is it you see?” asked the Fox a little anxiously.

“Why, it looks to me like a couple of Dogs coming this way. They must have heard the good news and—”

But the Fox did not wait to hear more. Off he started on a run.

“Wait,” cried the Cock. “Why do you run? The Dogs are friends of yours now!”

“Yes,” answered the Fox. “But they might not have heard the news. Besides, I have a very important errand that I had almost forgotten about.”

The Cock smiled as he buried his head in his feathers and went to sleep, for he had succeeded in outwitting a very crafty enemy.

The Hen is a Symbol of Motherhood for Reasons We May Have Forgotten, So Let Us Recall— Dr. Karen Davis
In our day, the hen has been degraded to an “egg machine.” In previous eras, she embodied the essence of motherhood. In the first century AD, the Roman historian Plutarch praised the many ways in which mother hens cherish and protect their chicks, “drooping their wings for some to creep under, and receiving with joyous and affectionate clucks others that mount upon their backs or run up to them from every direction; and though they flee from dogs and snakes if they are frightened only for themselves, if their fright is for their children, they stand their ground and fight it out beyond their strength.”
The Renaissance writer Ulisse Aldrovandi described how, at the first sign of a predator, mother hens will immediately gather their chicks “under the shadow of their wings, and with this covering they put up such a very fierce defense – striking fear into their opponent in the midst of a frightful clamor, using both wings and beak – they would rather die for their chicks than seek safety in flight.” Similarly, in collecting food, the mother hen allows her chicks to eat their fill before satisfying her own hunger. Thus, he said, mother hens present, in every way, “a noble example of love for their offspring.” … I saw this love in action, when a hen named Eva jumped our sanctuary fence on a spring day and disappeared, only to return three weeks later in June with eight fluffy chicks. Watching Eva with her tiny brood close behind her was like watching a family of wild birds whose dark and golden feathers blended perfectly with the woods and foliage they melted in and out of during the day. Periodically, Eva would squat down with her feathers puffed out, and her peeping chicks would all run under her wings for comfort and warmth. A few minutes later the family was on the move again … One day, a large dog wandered in front of the magnolia tree where Eva and her chicks were foraging. With her wings outspread and curved menacingly toward the dog, she rushed at him over and over, cackling loudly, all the while continuing to push her chicks behind herself with her wings. The dog stood stock still before the excited mother hen and soon ambled away, but Eva maintained her aggressive posture, her sharp, repetitive cackles and attentive lookout for several minutes after he was gone … Sitting on her nest, a mother hen carefully turns each of her eggs as often as thirty times a day, using her body, her feet, and her beak to move each egg precisely in order to maintain the proper temperature, moisture, ventilation, humidity, and position of the egg during the 3-week incubation period. Embryonic chicks respond to soothing sounds from the mother hen and to warning cries from the rooster. Two or three days before the chicks are ready to hatch, they start peeping to notify their mother and siblings that they are ready to emerge from their shells, and to draw her attention to any distress they’re experiencing such as cold or abnormal positioning … A communication network is established among the baby birds and between them and their mother, who must stay calm while all the peeping, sawing, and breaking of eggs goes on underneath her as she meanwhile picks off tiny pieces of shell that may be sticking to her chicks and slays any ants that may dart in to scavenge. During all this time, as Page Smith and Charles Daniel describe in The Chicken Book, “The chorus of peeps goes on virtually uninterrupted, the unborn chicks peeping away, the newborn ones singing their less muffled song.” … During the first four to eight weeks or so, the chicks stay close to their mother, gathering beneath her wings every night at dusk. Eventually, she flies up to her perch or a tree branch, indicating her sense that they, and she, are ready for independence … Let us with equal justice perceive chickens with envisioned eyes that pierce the veil of these birds’ “mechanization” and apprehend the truth of who they are. In The Chicken Book, Page Smith and Charles Daniel remind us, most poignantly: “As each chick emerges from its shell in the dark cave of feathers underneath its mother, it lies for a time like any newborn creature, exhausted, naked, and extremely vulnerable. And as the mother may be taken as the epitome of motherhood, so the newborn chick may be taken as an archetypal representative of babies of all species, human and animal alike, just brought into the world.” … This is What Wings Are For.

THIS WEEK at Jackson Community Church and Around Town: MON, Mar 11 – SUN, Mar 17

MON, Mar 11

  • EDUCATION TEAM MEETING
    Meeting with church and local community leaders to work on educational opportunities for faith formation schedule, family engagement activities, camps, preschool programs, scholarships, volunteer activities, etc.
  • SCOUT PACK 321
    Scout meeting at church including community service and work on ‘pew holders’ for sanctuary.
  • RELIGION, CONFLICT & PEACE
    Harvard Online EdX course. Self-Paced. Continues 8 weeks • Expect: 4-8 hours of study per week. Registration Link to register for the Harvard Online EdX course.

TUE, Mar 12

  • Community Event: ELECTIONS in JACKSON
    8am-7pm • Whitney Community Center, Jackson, NH
  • Community Event: ELECTIONS in BARTLETT
    8am-7pm • Bartlett Town Hall, Bartlett, NH
  • Community Event: WINTER BIRDS of PLUM ISLAND
    7:30am-5pm • Tin Mountain Conservation Center / Nature Learning Center, Albany to carpool. Snowy owls, horned larks, short-eared owls and northern shrikes … some of the interesting birds at Plum Island during the winter. Bring binoculars, a lunch, and dress warm as we head south to Parker River Wildlife Refuge. Call 447-6991 for reservations. Unless otherwise stated, donations of $3/pp, $5/family are appreciated.
  • NORTH CARROLL COUNTY CAREGIVING COALITION: SMART GOAL Meeting
    10:30am • Meet with Marianne Jackson in No Conway for refresher on use of SMART Goals method.
  • NORTH COUNTRY ASSOCIATION
    Noon • Berlin, NH
    Lunch for UCC clergy and lay leaders. UCC ministers in Mt Washington Valley, including Rev Gail, attend.

WED, Mar 13

  • TUNE UP FITNESS with Laurie McAleer 
    9:30am • Parish House.Fitness class. Free; open to public. These classes will continue through the end of February, then the instructor will re-evaluate whether she can continue into March. Classes remain weather dependent; if schools are delayed or closed, the class will be cancelled.

THURS, Mar 14

  • BLISS YOGA with Anjali Rose
    9am • First Floor, Parish House / Jackson Community Church. Beginning stretch, flow and align yoga; safe for new practitioners. Weather dependent; if schools are delayed or closed, the class will be cancelled.
  • Community Event: ECOFORUM – NH BOBCAT POPULATION
    12-1pm • Tin Mountain Conservation Center / Nature Learning Center, Albany
    Join Patrick Tate, Wildlife Biologist with NH Fish & Game, for an update on the state’s bobcat population.
  • AA
    6:30pm • Second Floor, Church.
  • Community Event: TOWN MEETING in JACKSON
    6:30pm • Josiah Bartlett Elementary School, Bartlett, NH
  • Community Event: TOWN MEETING in JACKSON
    7pm • Whitney Community Center, Jackson, NH
  • Community Event: JEN’S FRIENDS FUNDRAISER & ‘LOCALS’ ST PATRICK’S CELEBRATION
    5-10pm • Shannon Door Restaurant & Pub
    Note from Jen’s Friends: Jackson voters, please attend the fundraiser at the Shannon Door for Jen’s friends cancer foundation before or after town meeting. You’ll find a raffle and a donation is made for every pizza sold to Jen’s. A great way to fortify before the meeting or a relaxing follow up after the meeting.
    PLUS: live music 7-10pm with Dennis O’Neil & Davey Armstrong to celebrate St Patricks Day.

FRI, Mar 15

  • PASTOR’s DROP-IN HOURS
    7-9am • J-Town Deli
    Come for caffeine, conversation. Or make a separate date to meet with Rev Gail by calling her cell (978) 273.0308 or email.
  • Community Event: BAXTER WINTER TRIATHLON
    9-11am • Start and Finish at Madeline’s Deli on the Wentworth Resort Trail at Jackson XC.
    Run, snowshoe and ski to the finish. More info from Jackson XC. For more info, contact Jackson XC at603-383-9355.
  • Community Event: NH LISTENS – Advanced Facilitator Training
    10am-4pm • Conway Library, Conway, NH Registration Link.$50 fee. Fee waived for students and those with financial need. This workshop enhances confidence to remain neutral, productively address issues, encourage and move conversation in a constructive manner. Rev Gail attends.
  • Community Event: GUIDED SNOW SHOE TOURS
    10am & 1pm • Start from Jackson XC Ski Touring Center
    $15 includes ticket and tour; rental equipment available. Tours are approx. 90 minutes. More info.

SAT, Mar 16

  • Community Event: GUIDED SNOW SHOE TOURS
    10am & 1pm • Start from Jackson XC Ski Touring Center. $15 includes ticket and tour; rental equipment available. Tours are approx. 90 minutes. More info.
  • WEDDING CONSULT
    1pm • Jackson Community Church
    Rev Gail meets with bride and groom.
  • Community Event: MINI BOOK SALE
    11am-1pm • Old Jackson Library (next to church)
    This month’s special is “Buy One, Get One Free”. Stop by and browse a wonderful selection of hardback and paperback books, both fiction and non-fiction, children’s books, and a small selection of CDs and DVDs.
  • Community Event: TRIVIA
    3pm • Jackson Public Library
    Jackson Community Church’s team will participate.  Note from library: “Trivia!” with hosts Edith and Bob Houlihan … If you have attended any of our previous trivia events, you’ll know how popular it is and how crowded things can get. That’s why we are again requesting pre- registration. Fill out a quick form online or phone us (603-383-9731) to sign up a team of 3-6 people.  You can also sign up as an individual and we’ll put you on a house team. 

SUN, Mar 17

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING @ OLD LIBRARY
    8am • Old Library. Hot beverages available. Come for poetry, literature, conversation and prayer.
  • BLESSING of BODIES, BOOTS & BINDINGS
    9:15am • Jackson XC Ski Touring Foundation
    Rev Gail offers blessings to staff, volunteers and skiers.
  • WORSHIP 
    10:30am •  Jackson Community Church.
    * Story: Rev Gail
    * Accompanist: Alan Labrie
  • Community Concert: FEELINGS of PLACE & NATURE
    4pm • Tin Mountain Conservation Center
    Mountain Top Music, Tin Mountain Conservation Center and Upper Saco Valley Land Trust are collaborating on a concert of special interest about the land. The concert, “Feelings of Place in Music and Nature,” features multi-instrumentalist Ben Cosgrove, a traveling composer-performer whose “electric and exhilarating” music explores themes of landscape, place, and environment. Donations will be gratefully accepted at the door (suggested donation $10/person and $20/family).
  • Community Event: ST PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATION
    1-10:30pm• Shannon Door Pub
    Doors open at 1pm. Irish music starts from 1:30 to 7 with Marty & Jono and then from 7-10:30 with Mary, Simon, Kevin and Davey.

SAVE THESE DATES:

TUE, MAR 19
TUESDAY FULL MOON
SOUP & SKI

Evening • Jackson Ski Touring.
Co-hosted by Jackson Community Church & Jackson XC

Have fun in the backyard… the Wentworth Loop … ski or snow shoe after dark and then enjoy a community soup supper. Soup supper provided by the Jackson Community Church at the Jackson Ski Touring Center.

WED, MAR 20
THE IMPOSSIBLE CLIMB
by MARK SYNNOTT

7pm • Whitney Community Center

In The Impossible Climb, Jackson’s own Mark Synnott uses his own career as a professional climber, its intersection with that of Alex Honnold and the lead-up to Honnold’s historic ascent, to paint a insider portrait of the elite climbing community, exploring what motivates them, the paradoxical drive to keep the sport pure and at the same time to fund climbs, and the role that awareness of mortality plays in the endeavour. We watch through Mark’s eyes as Alex plots, trains and attempts his heart-stopping free-solo ascent. Ultimately this is a story not only about climbing but about what makes us human, how we respond to fear and our drive to transcend the inevitability of death. This is the story which was also chronicled as a documentary in Free Solo.

LENTEN STUDY GROUPS
Meeting in March and April
Jackson Community Church

  • March: Anne Lamott’s Almost Everything: Notes on Hope. A few copies available and others on order through Jackson Public Library.
  • April: Desmond & Mpho Tutu’s The Book of Forgiving A few copies available and others on order through Jackson Public Library.

SECOND CHANCES CONCERT
4pm, Sun, April 7
Jackson Community Church
to benefit the Way Station

Kathy Bennett, Thom Perkins and Taylor Whiteside: featured artists.


UKRAINIAN EGG WORKSHOP

Sat, April 13
9-Noon or 2-5pm
Whitney Community Center


PALM SUNDAY

10:30am • April 14
Jackson Community Church
Worship with focus on themes of Holy Week.


MAUNDY THURSDAY

5pm • April 18

  • Dinner and worship around common table.
  • Soup & bread supper provided by deacons.

HOLY FRIDAY

April 19

  • Noon-3pm • Stations of the Cross • Jackson Community Church Sanctuary
  • 6:30pm • Ecumenical Worship Service • Madison Church officiated by Clergy of the Eastern Slope (Rev Gail participates).

EASTER SUNDAY

April 21

  • SUNRISE SERVICE • Gazebo by Jackson Historical Society
    * Live music, scripture & reflection
  • 10:30am • EASTER WORSHIP • Jackson Community Church
    * Choral music
    * Harp
    * Flowering of the cross
  • 11:45am • EASTER EGG HUNT • Jackson Community Church
    Community easter egg hunt following worship. Children 12 and under may participate, accompanied by adults.

Reflections on being curious and asking questions … the experience of the holy season of Lent.

In the holy season of Lent, we are called to the spiritual discipline of preparation. Some part of this is the practice of curiosity and questioning. Entering Lent is wandering into  the metaphorical  ‘wilderness’ … where everything is primal and makes a difference and you’re likely to be at risk and to get lost … it’s about life and death, about getting down to core values. From that deep place arises the deep questions, the underlying ‘why’ that shapes how we live. So Lent is about living close to the wellspring of creativity and tension, beyond the context that usually makes us comfortable, safe, and secure. Paying attention to Lent becomes an invitation to go into an emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual place where we have permission to wonder and doubt and explore and grow. — Rev Gail (with credit to Rev Sean Dunker-Bendigo of Madison Church for the inspiration to approach Lent as a series of questions)

Music Video Link: Question by the Moody Blues

Be present.
Make love. Make tea.
Avoid small talk. Embrace conversation.
Buy a plant, water it.
Make your bed. Make someone else’s bed.
Have a smart mouth and a quick wit.
Run. Make art. Create.
Swim in the ocean. Swim in the rain.
Take chances. Ask questions.
Make mistakes. Learn.
Know your worth.
Love fiercely. Forgive quickly.
Let go of what doesn’t make your happy.
Grow.
— Paulo Coelho

On Asking Questions: Being Curious

Always the beautiful answer / who asks a more beautiful question. —e.e. Cummings

Be curious. — Stephen Hawking

Don’t be afraid to look again at everything you’ve ever believed … I believe the more we search, the more we delve into the human teachings about the nature and God of life, which are in fact are the teachings of all the great religions traditions, the closer we come to a mature understanding of the Godself … In other words, doubt, questions, drive us to look at how we ourselves need to grow in wisdom, age and grace.  The courage to face questions is the first step in that process. — Joan Chittister

Instead of anxiety about chasing a passion that you’re not even feeling, do something a lot simpler: Just follow your curiosity. — Elizabeth Gilbert

A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea. — John Anthony Ciardi

Curiosity isn’t the icing on the cake. It’s the cake itself. — Susan Engel

We live in the world our questions create. — David Cooperrider

The role of the artist is to ask questions, not to answer them. — Anton Chekhov

I was looking for myself and asking everyone but myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. — Ralph Ellison

Ever since I was a little girl and could barely talk, the word ‘why’ has lived and grown along with me… When I got older, I noticed that not all questions can be asked and that many whys can never be answered. As a result, I tried to work things out for myself by mulling over my own questions. And I came to the important discovery that questions which you either can’t or shouldn’t ask in public, or questions which you can’t put into words, can easily be solved in your own head. So the word ‘why’ not only taught me to ask, but also to think. And thinking has never hurt anyone. On the contrary, it does us all a world of good. — Anne Frank

Judge a man by his questions, rather than his answers. — Voltaire

How do I create something out of nothing? How do I create my own life? I think it is by questioning. — Amy Tan

My mother made me a scientist without ever intending to. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school, “So? Did you learn anything today?” But not my mother. “Izzy,” she would say, “did you ask a good question today?” That difference—asking good questions—made me become a scientist. — Isidor Isaac Rabi

On Lent: Surrendering Ourselves

The reality is that I cannot free myself from the bondage of self.  I cannot keep from being turned in on self. I cannot by my own understanding or effort disentangle myself from my self interest and when I think that I can …I am trying to do what is only God’s to do. To me, there is actually great hope in admitting my mortality and brokenness because then I finally lay aside my sin management program and allow God to be God for me.  Which is all any of us really need when it comes down to it … —  Nadia Bolz-Weber

… another Lenten season, a time of lengthening days…not just in hours but in slowness, in taking time to linger over our spiritual lives, over our identity as a people of faith, over the texts that form us and the quiet places in which God speaks to us, still. — Kathryn M. Matthews

The big rub is that to surrender my “singularity” (John 12:24) and fall into this “altogether new creation” will always feel like dying. How could it not? It is a dying of the self that we thought we were, but it is the only self that we knew until then. It will indeed be a “revolution of the mind” (Ephesians 4:23). Heart and body will soon follow. This is the real “try harder” that applies to Lent, and its ultimate irony is that it is not a trying at all, but an ultimate surrendering, dying, and foundational letting go. You will not do it yourself, but it will be done unto you (Luke 1:38) by the events of your life. Such deep allowing is the most humiliating, sacrificial, and daily kind of trying! Pep talks seldom get you there, but the suffering of life and love itself will always get you there. Lent is just magnified and intensified life. — Richard Rohr

I think it is good news–because even if no one ever wants to go there, and even if those of us who end up there want out again as soon as possible, the wilderness is still one of the most reality-based, spirit-filled, life-changing places a person can be … What did that long, famishing stretch in the wilderness do to him?  It freed him–from all devilish attempts to distract him from his true purpose, from hungry craving for things with no power to give him life, from any illusion he might have had that God would make his choices for him. … But it would be a mistake for me to try to describe your wilderness exam.  Only you can do that, because only you know what devils have your number, and what kinds of bribes they use to get you to pick up.  All I know for sure is that a voluntary trip to the desert this Lent is a great way to practice getting free of those devils for life–not only because it is where you lose your appetite for things that cannot save you, but also because it is where you learn to trust the Spirit that led you there to lead you out again, ready to worship the Lord your God and serve no other all the days of your life.  — Barbara Brown Taylor

But the historic practices of Lent are Christian. There are three of them: praying, fasting, almsgiving. These are three things that Christians should consider doing all the time, but the 46 days of Lent provide us with an explicit invitation to do them more intentionally. I say an invitation, because we don’t have to do them, not during Lent, not ever. … I am going to make an unabashed case for Lent, myself. …  Lent is a chance to uncork the bottle, to unclog our spirits from what is stifling them, to sample the mystery. It is a chance to own that we do not wholly own ourselves, but acknowledge that God has a claim over us. We work so hard for radical equality in our lives—for equal marriage, equal pay for equal work, an end to bigotry of all varieties—and we sometimes delude ourselves, as religious people, that radical equality extends to our relationship with God … Taking on a Lenten discipline means surrendering to a higher power, it means placing ourselves under God’s authority and protection. But here’s the rub: to place ourselves under God’s authority is a reminder that we are under no other authority, or at least that all those other authorities are less than God’s. The church, the state, our remote fathers, our overbearing mothers, our inept boss who gets paid more than we do, our snarky coworkers, the popular crowd, the opposing football team, the opposing political party, Al Qaeda, alcohol, fried foods, chocolate, caffeine, porn, late-night cable. Whatever our addictions, whatever our self-medication devices, whatever our overlords of fear and control, none can match the power of God our Father and Mother, if we choose God as our God. To claim that we are in a direct relationship with our Creator, to join with that Creator and Sustainer in an act of self-disciplining, is an act of resistance. It’s a boycott of all that is body-wounding and soul-killing. It is a radical re-ordering of our priorities, and a reclamation of our God-given will and strength …  … What might you do, this Lent, to rend your heart, to give God an opening? What might you do to make God-shaped space within your heart, a space that will invite you to call on the name of God more frequently, to share the experience of your brother Jesus in the wilderness, to uncork the Spirit and let it flow freely, to release yourself from rage or addiction or the tyranny of lesser gods? What can you give up, or take on, as an act of resistance against the authorities that don’t deserve any claim over you?  — Molly Phinney Baskette

Lenten Resources for Families

Follow these links to PDFs, JPGs, or Word documents for calendars, devotionals and activity guides that you can use to count down the days of Lent. In particular, the “praying in color” ones also come with some directions to make this a contemplative, prayerful journal of daily experiences and emotions throughout Lent.

Day-by-Day activity/action calendar for Lent

Guides for things to do during Lent:

Devotional Lenten Resources
(to protect copyrighted materials, please contact Rev Gail — 978.273.0308 — if you want the materials below)

  • Reflections on Prayer – An Illustrated Lent
  • Seven Last Words – An Illustrated Holy Week/Good Friday Coloring Pages
  • Seven Last Words Devotional – An Illustrated Holy Week/Good Friday Activity
  • Stations of the Cross – An Illustrated Good Friday Activity
  • Stations of the Cross Devotional – An Illustrated Good Friday Activity

Praying in Color 2019 Lenten calendars:

Other Lenten Calendars which can be filled in day-by-day:

Quick Resources to Acquire for Family:These Stones Will Shout (downloadable on Amazon as Kindle Book onto phones for 99cents) daily devotional guide

Pauses for Lent: 40 Words for 40 Days (Kindle version for immediate download) or book version