I Am: The Gate (Lenten Virtual Worship Service)

Message Only:

JCC 032920 Gate and Threshold from architect on Vimeo.

Full service:

Both videos edited from live-stream feed recorded in Zoom and shared on Facebook. Shorter video hosted on vimeo, longer video hosted on Youtube.

Sunday, March 29 Worship

Facebook Live video.

Worship Together @ 10:30 with Jackson Community Church

Live worship is beginning as people gather together. Enjoy an original composition by Alan Labrie at the start of the service. Bring your cup of tea or coffee, your prayerful self, your offering to put in a small cup or glass, and all your fears and hopes. Let us lift each other up this morning. You can go to ZOOM to participate: https://zoom.us/j/142985761

Posted by Jackson Community Church on Sunday, March 29, 2020

This weekend (virtually) with JCC & Around Town: Mar 27-29


    7-10am • Curbside @ Bernerhof Inn, 342 US Route 302, Glen, NH 03838
    Free blueberry pancake breakfast (take out) for families and seniors affected by COVID19 pandemic and economic setbacks.
    Starts: 5pm, Sat, March 28 – Ends: 5pm, Sun, April 5
    Go to https://www.tinmountain.org/ and bbove the photo of crocuses in the snow, click on First Season ONLINE Auction

SUNDAY, March 29

What Else We’re Doing When You’re Not Looking

  • Changing the hopeful message board in front of the church
  • Sending out daily Lenten reflections by Facebook and posted to the website
  • Recording music as video & audio files with community performing artists to share in worship and spiritual settings. (Psssst: Would you share yourself playing your instrument or singing for us? We’d like to include you in worship over the next several weeks! Contact Rev Gail!)
  • Passing along donations of food and supplies from local businesses made to the church, which are then re-distributed through SAU9 (school district) for families needing additional support. Other donations have gone to individual Jackson and Bartlett families and more  meals have gone to people staying at Starting Point’s domestic violence shelter
  • Running modified shifts at the Way Station, supporting people living in tents, cars, couch-surfing or temp housing such as motels
  • Calling neighbors to check-in on each other and run errands for each other. If you need someone to pick up mail or groceries, or help you out, contact Rev Gail or make your need known through the Jackson Bridge (community listserv project of library to match helpers with those who have specific requestsand more info on our the library’s new Jackson Bridge webpage.)
  • Planning social programming (virtual gatherings for fun and enrichment) and worship with new technology, learning and adapting as we go!
  • Organizing (with other churches) valley-wide trivia tournament among faith communities!
  • Attending emergency management meetings (via Zoom) with ministry colleagues, healthcare providers and nonprofits who are collaborating to provide safety nets for residents of the valley
  • Implementing action plans to help vulnerable people

Valley-wide Multi-church

— also known as Interdenominational Trivia Rumble —
JCC’s Trivia Event: Tue, April 7
3pm via Zoom


The Clergy of the Eastern Slope (our valley’s ecumenical group of ministers and churches) is taking up the challenge of Nativity Lutheran to hold trivia tournaments within our own faith communities. Then we send our winning church team into a valley-wide interdenominational trivia ‘rumble’ (sorta like March Madness, without courts, sneakers, or basketballs).

This is all handled in virtual, remote settings, of course! Please contact Trivia Captain Fred Tompkins if you’d like to be on a team! Winners may receive … prizes that resemble coveted items like toilet paper!Proposed format via Zoom:

  • Divide people into teams and use the breakout room feature in Zoom (sounds hard, but its easy, the Zoom host organizes all of this).
  • For each question we will give one minute’s deliberation.
  • The teams come back together and one person from each team reports the answer. 
  • Zoom Info (please RSVP to Fred Tompkins in advance so we’re prepared for participants) — Participate via Zoom app on computer, pad or smart phone: https://zoom.us/j/2113197275. Or dial in 929.436.2866 with Meeting ID: 211 319 7275.

LIVE STREAMING via Facebook or Website (10:30am only):

ZOOM WORSHIP (8am & 10:30am):

  • 8am Zoom Interfaith Circle @ https://zoom.us/j/827449013
    Option for audio-only from any touch-tone phone – dial: 929.436.2866, Meeting ID: 827 449 013, press #)
  • 10:30am Zoom Worship @ https://zoom.us/j/142985761
    (Option for audio-only from any touch-tone phone – dial: 929.436.2866, Meeting ID: 142 985 761, press #)


  • Hannafords / Grants gift cards (any denomination, indicate value on card or on envelop in which you donate it)
  • Otherwise: Continue to donate canned goods.
  • The Bartlett-Jackson Food Pantry, located at the Glen Baptist Church, will continue to operate with curbside pick-up on Saturdays from 10am-Noon until further notice.  Those needing food assistance outside of regular hours, please call Brenda at 603x383x9246.

Do you have any helpful resources you’ve been using online? If so, feel free to recommend them to share with others in upcoming email messages!

Spiritual Resources beyond JCC:

Meditation on crossing thresholds, entering doors: I Am statements from Gospel of John.

If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate,
you are sure to wake up somebody. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll; I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
— William Ernest Henley

There are 84,000 doors to Enlightenment. — Pali Canon

With gates there are rules. With gates there are principles of which to be aware. With gates come obligations that every person should followA way through is what was needed. Helping each other to a way through – to the way through, is our witness as people of faith. And the gate rules are compassion, care and grace.— Christopher Burkett

It’s gettin’ dark, too dark to see
I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door.
— Bob Dylan
Questions to consider:

  • Name the thresholds you have crossed in life: the moments of change, the milestones that mark transformations.
  • Who and what have you brought with you as you open doors, and walk through them? What have you discovered on the other side of those passages?
  • Who has opened doors for you? For whom have you created opportunities?
  • What has holy Love made available or accessible to you?



Breath remains the vehicle to unite body and mind and to open the gate to wisdom. – Thich Nhat Hanh

A Zen master would call the True Self “the face we had before we were born.” Paul would call it who you are “in Christ, hidden in God” (Colossians 3:3). It is who you are before having done anything right or anything wrong, who you are before having thought about who you are. Thinking creates the false self, the ego self, the insecure self. The God-given contemplative mind, on the other hand, recognizes the God Self, the Christ Self, the True Self of abundance and deep inner security. We start with mere seeing; we end up with recognizing. — Richard Rohr

If there is one door in the castle you have been told not to go through, you must. Otherwise, you’ll just be rearranging furniture in rooms you’ve already been in. ― Anne Lamott 

Many of us were taught that if you do not fit inside the circle of the church’s behavioral codes, God is not pleased with you, so we whittled ourselves down to a shape that could fit those teachings, or we denied those parts of ourselves entirely. ― Nadia Bolz-Weber
We did not choose to be the guardians of the gate, but there is no one else. — Lyndon B. Johnson

At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes of our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will. …  It is in everybody, and if we could see it we would see these billions of points of light coming together in the face and blaze of a sun that would make all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely … I have no program for this seeing. It is only given. But the gate of heaven is everywhere. — Thomas Merton

Both in thought and in feeling, even though time be real, to realise the unimportance of time is the gate of wisdom. — Bertrand Russell

And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best … In plain language, the question should never be: ‘Do I like that kind of service?’ but ‘Are these doctrines true: is holiness here? Does my conscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance to knock at this door due to my pride, or my mere taste, or my personal dislike of this particular door-keeper?’ — CS Lewis

Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness, of hatred, of jealousy, and, most easily of all, the gate of fear. — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

The hardest thing to find in life is balance – especially the more success you have, the more you look to the other side of the gate. What do I need to stay grounded, in touch, in love, connected, emotionally balanced? Look within yourself. — Celine Dion

No man is excluded from calling upon God, the gate of salvation is set open unto all men: neither is there any other thing which keepeth us back from entering in, save only our own unbelief. — John Calvin

We have to understand that we should, at all times, have the right and the power to make decisions about our bodies. And that is an idea that must be taught at a young age. You can’t wait until a person is 18 years old and say, ‘Now you have the right’. You have to start that from the gate. — Jada Pinkett Smith

Only a person who has passed through the gate of humility can ascend to the heights of the spirit. — Rudolf Steiner

When I’m in the starting gate, it’s just me and the hill. — Mikaela Shiffrin

The key to heaven’s gate cannot be duplicated. — Douglas Horton

On the king’s gate the moss grew gray; The king came not. They call’d him dead; And made his eldest son, one day, Slave in his father’s stead. — Helen Hunt Jackson

I believe the future is only the past again, entered through another gate. — Arthur Wing Pinero

Giving, loving, helping, forgiving; all these begin to transform us as we wash the feet of those whom society regards as beneath it, and give to those who take from us … It is likely that we ourselves will need to walk through the gate back into the place of sacrifice in far too literal terms for our comfort.   — Andrew Prior

Blessing of the Gate
Jan Richardson

Press your hand
to this blessing,
here along
the side
where you can feel
its seam.

Follow the seam
and you will find
the hinges
on which
this blessing turns.

Feel how
your fingers
catch on them—
the slightest pressure
sending the gate
gliding open
in a glad welcome.

Wait, did I say
press your hand
to this blessing?

What I meant was
press your hand
to your heart.

Rest it over that
place in your chest
that has grown
closed and tight,
where the rust,
with its talent
for making decay
look artful,
has bitten into
what you once
held dear.

Breathe deep.
Press on the knot
and feel how it
begins to give way,
turning upon
the hinge
of your heart.

Notice how it
opens wide
and wider still
as you exhale,

spilling you out
into a realm
where you never dreamed
to go
but cannot now imagine
living this life

Heaven’s GateRobert Morgan  
In her nineties and afraid of weather
and of falling if she wandered far outside her door,
my mother took to strolling in the house.
Around and round she’d go,
stalking into corners, backtrack,
then turn and speed down hallway,
stop almost at doorways,
skirt a table, march up to the kitchen sink
and wheel to left, then swing into the bathroom,
almost stumble on a carpet there.
She must have walked a hundred miles
or more among her furniture and family pics,
mementos of her late husband.
Exercising heart and limb,
outwalking stroke, attack,
she strode, not restless like a lion in zoo,
but with a purpose and a gait,
and kept her eyes on heaven’s gate.  


He had the vague sense of standing on a threshold, the crossing of which would change everything. ― Kate Morton

In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between them, there are doors. ― William Blake

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. — Andrew Carnegie

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind. — Khalil Gibran

Luck is everything… My good luck in life was to be a really frightened person. I’m fortunate to be a coward, to have a low threshold of fear, because a hero couldn’t make a good suspense film. — Alfred Hitchcock

We are ever on the threshold of new journeys and new discoveries. Can you imagine the excitement of the Wright brothers on the morning of that first flight? The anticipation of Jonas Salk as he analyzed the data that demonstrated a way to prevent polio? — Joseph B. Wirthlin

I have a thing for doors. I always think of them as a threshold to something new. — Jada Pinkett Smith

Scroll to top