Recognition of pride month (June). Before July arrives, in the midst of so many other national and global events, let us remember and celebrate Pride month.

What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains. — Tennessee Williams

Please remember, especially in these times of group-think and the right-on chorus, that no person is your friend (or kin) who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow and be perceived as fully blossomed as you were intended. – Alice Walker

This year’s theme across the Department of Defense is: “All Together” The fight for respect and dignity in the LGBTQ+ community has been ongoing for decades: From the Stonewall Riots in New York in 1969, to today’s social revolution for equality, we have seen what progression looks like. We have seen where we started, and what it has taken for the LGBTQ+ community to gain a foothold in the mountainous climb for rights. Without victimizing our own community, it has been a waiting game that spans over a time period of decades, married with protests, political action, court cases, prevention of violent/non-violent discriminatory acts, and best of all, lives saved. And it has all been made possible by the advocates and activists that were [and are] passionate about doing one thing: elevating pride. — Hills Air Force Base Pride Committee

Closer to Fine (excerpt) — Indigo Girls
I’m tryin’ to tell you somethin’ ’bout my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
And the best thing you’ve ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously
It’s only life after all, yeah

Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable
And lightness has a call that’s hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety ’til I sank it
I’m crawling on your shores
… I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains

I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
We go to the doctor, we go to the mountains
We look to the children, we drink from the fountain
Yeah, we go to the Bible, we go through the work out
We read up on revival, we stand up for the lookout
There’s more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
And the less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine, yeah


Some songs to celebrate Pride Month:

Questions to consider:

  • Who has helped you understand LGBTQ experience on a more personal level? Who has humanized this social justice issue for you, if it wasn’t already a human experience with which you are familiar or connected?
  • What view or belief are you glad to have overcome or changed? What learning has helped you the most? What learning do you still need or want to do?
  • What does it mean that all people are created in the image and likeness of God?

Love as a Revolutionary Act: Love of Self, Love for Others, The Right to Love Whom You Choose

Burst down those closet doors once and for all, and stand up, and start to fight. — Harvey Milk

Love, in the New Testament, is not something you feel; it is something you do… Love seeks the well-being of others and is embodied in concrete efforts in their behalf. — Francis Taylor Gench

The beauty of standing up for your rights is others see you standing and stand up as well. — Cassandra Duffy

You never completely have your rights, one person, until you all have your rights. — Marsha P. Johnson
 
All of us who are openly gay are living and writing the history of our movement. We are no more — and no less — heroic than the suffragists and abolitionists of the 19th century; and the labor organizers, Freedom Riders, Stonewall demonstrators, and environmentalists of the 20th century. — Tammy Baldwin

This community has fought and continues to fight a war of acceptance, a war of tolerance and the most relentless bravery. You are the definition of courage, do you know that? — Lady Gaga
 
I believe that telling our stories, first to ourselves and then to one another and the world, is a revolutionary act. — Janet Mock
 
Being born gay, black and female is not a revolutionary act. Being proud to be a gay, black female is. — Lena Waithe
 
Our society needs to recognize the unstoppable momentum toward unequivocal civil equality for every gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender citizen of this country. — Zachary Quinto

Who would give a law to lovers? Love is unto itself a higher law. — Boethius

Every single courageous act of coming out chips away at the curse of homophobia. Most importantly it’s destroyed within yourself, and that one act creates the potential for its destruction where it exists in friends, family and society. — Anthony Venn-Brown

Surviving and Thriving

We are powerful because we have survived. — Audre Lorde

Know Thyself! Understand yourself fully and find your peace of mind. Peace comes when you are not trying to copy someone else or be someone else other than you. When you find that stability within yourself, share with others how you got there without selling them something, or trying to fix them. — Rev Yolanda
 
Every gay and lesbian person who has been lucky enough to survive the turmoil of growing up is a survivor. Survivors always have an obligation to those who will face the same challenges. — Bob Paris

I want to do the right thing and not hide anymore. I want to march for tolerance, acceptance, and understanding. I want to take a stand and say, “Me, too.’“ — Jason Collins

I want to make sure that any young person or anyone really who is looking up to me—who sees a glimpse of who I am as a person—that they see no shame, that they see pride, and that I’m truly unabashed about the person that I am. — Samira Wiley

It is better to live one day on this planet being true to yourself than an entire lifetime which is a lie. — Anthony Venn-Brown

Beauty in Diversity

We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity. — George Takei

What I preach is: People fall in love with people, not gender, not looks, not whatever. What I’m in love with exists on almost a spiritual level. — Miley Cyrus

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences. — Audre Lord

When all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free. — Former U.S. President, Barack Obama

I was not ladylike, nor was I manly. I was something else altogether. There were so many different ways to be beautiful. — Michael Cunningham

True hospitality is marked by an open response to the dignity of each and every person. Henri Nouwen has described it as receiving the stranger on his own terms, and asserts that it can be offered only by those who ‘have found the center of their lives in their own hearts.’ — Kathleen Norris

A Litany for Survival Audre Lord

For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
futures
like bread in our children’s mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours;

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother’s milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us

For all of us
this instant and this triumph

We were never meant to survive.
And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
of indigestion
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive.

Beyond Fear & Shame: Embracing & Celebrating

Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start. — Jason Collins

To be afraid is to behave as if the truth were not true. — Bayard Rustin

We deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame, and without compromise. — Ellen Page

I’ve never been interested in being invisible and erased. — Laverne Cox
 
I learned compassion from being discriminated against. Everything bad that’s ever happened to me has taught me compassion. — Ellen DeGeneres
 
I’ve been embraced by a new community. That’s what happens when you’re finally honest about who you are; you find others like you. — Chaz Bono
 
I am a strong, black, lesbian woman. Every single time I say it, I feel so much better. — Brittney Griner
 
We have to do it because we can no longer stay invisible. We have to be visible. We should not be ashamed of who we are. — Sylvia Rivera
 
I’m living by example by continuing on with my career and having a full, rich life, and I am incidentally gay. — Portia de Rossi

All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential. — Harvey Milk
 
I’m a young, bisexual woman, and I’ve spent a large part of my life trying to validate myself — to my friends, to my family, to myself — trying to prove that who I love and how I feel is not a phase. — Halsey
 
You have to go the way your blood beats. If you don’t live the only life you have, you won’t live some other life, you won’t live any life at all. — James Baldwin
  
I am always amazed how powerful that three letter word ‘gay’ can be. Many of us rejected it and wouldn’t even let the word come out of our mouth because of all the negative connotations attached to it…sin…. promiscuity….a ‘lifestyle’ etc etc. We would definitely never ever use it to label ourselves. We didn’t want to own it. When we break free and we use the word with empowerment, ownership and pride…..then we have moved from a world of denial to finally being real. — Anthony Venn-Brown 
 

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself. — Harvey Fierstein
 
I think being gay is a blessing, and it’s something I am thankful for every single day. — Anderson Cooper
 

Learn More: Stonewall as Milestone

When we look back at the Stonewall uprising and activism that grew out of that moment, even the most basic progress seemed like it would take a revolution to achieve. So we had one. And that’s how we’ve made such enormous progress over the last 50 years. Today, we should remain inspired by the courage of the story of Stonewall. — Tammy Baldwin

Stonewall represented, absolutely, the first time that the LGBT community successfully fought back and forged an organized movement and community. — Mark Segal

Faith and Pride

There is God. And then there is the church. The less we conflate the two, the better. The church may reject God’s children, but God never does. To my queer siblings, I’m so sorry. You are glorious. — Nadia Bolz-Weber

The Lord is my Shepherd and he knows I’m gay. — Troy Perry

“God is love,” Christians remind one another. This means that Christians experience love as something alive and living and personal and true. This Love that is God and God that is Love is the creating and healing power within life. This Love that is God is kind and patient and humble and free–never trying to control nor manipulate. Every human being has experienced and knows this capital “L” Love that Christians call God. Christians believe that to receive and share this reality of Love, this God within who live and move and have our being, is the meaning and purpose of life. Why would we stop anyone from experiencing and expressing love? Or to put it another way, why would we stop gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight, transgendered–anyone from experiencing, celebrating, and expressing God? — Mark Yaconelli

You can safely assume you have created God in your own image when God hates all the same people you do. — Anne Lamott

Sexuality and gender identity elicit so many strong feelings and even irrational opinions because they touch upon something foundational. If you don’t recognize the sacred at this deep level of identity and desire, I don’t know if you will be able to see it anywhere else. When Christians label LGBTQIA individuals as ‘other,’ sinful, or ‘disordered,’” we hurt these precious people and the larger community, and we actually limit ourselves. Fear of difference creates a very constricted, exclusive, and small religion and life, the very opposite of what God invites us into … Even as we acknowledge the sacredness of gender and sex, we also need to realize that there’s something deeper than our gender, anatomy, or physical passion: our ontological self, who we are forever in Christ. You are beyond the metaphor of male and female; you are a child of the Resurrection, a creature of Eternal Life. As Paul courageously puts it, ‘There is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:28). Those who have already begun to experience their divine union will usually find it very easy to be compassionate toward all ‘Two Spirit’ people because they know they share the same ontological, essential self that is ‘hidden with Christ in God’ (Colossians 3:3). Richard Rohr

Virtual Worship in Mt Washington Valley

These faith communities represent multiple traditions in our valley, and participate in the Clergy of the Eastern Slope.

Jackson, NH:

Conway Village:

  • The Brown Church / Conway Congregational Church: 10am on Sundays
    • Visit church website for more info
    • Zoom worship: To join us – contact the church office or sign up to receive email  updates via the subscribe form on the footer of this page. 

North Conway, NH:

  • Lutheran Church of the Nativity: 10am on Sundays
    • Participate using free Zoom app: Allow a couple of minutes to set up the account. Navigate to https://zoom.us/j/783948549.
    • Connect by phone to Zoom: Call 301-715-8592, when prompted, type this meeting ID: 783 948 549.
    • Visit church website for most accurate info.
  • First Church of Christ, UCC:
  • Christ Church Episcopal (Episcopalian): 10am on Sundays
    • If you are included in the parish email list, you will receive instructions for all online events. To add yourself to this list, contact the church via:
    • Visit church website for most current info.

Center Conway, NH:

Madison, NH:

Tamworth, NH:


Other Faith Communities:

THIS WEEK at Jackson Community Church and Around Town: TUE, Oct 15 – SUN, Oct 20


EVENTS with JCC: Clergy Lunch, Multi-Church Bible Study (Making Sense of the Bible by Adam Hamilton), Deacons, Fitness with Laurie McAleer, Council Meeting, Yoga with Anjali Rose, Way Station shifts, AA, Pastor’s Hours, NH UCC Annual Meeting (Concord), Interfaith @ Gazebo, Sunday Worship. AROUND TOWN: Toddler Storytime, Critical Hours book lecture, Environmental Trivia, Fall Mushroom Exploration.

Ongoing Library Event: PIONEERING VOICES

October Portrait Installation at Jackson Public Library.
Pioneering Voices: Portraits of Transgender People comes to us courtesy of the Family Diversity Project by way of the Jackson Community Church, who introduced us.

MON, Oct 14: Columbus Day Holiday

TUE, Oct 15

CLERGY LUNCHEON
12:30pm • Center Conway, NH
Clergy gathering.
DEACONS TEAM MEETING
4pm • Jackson Community Church, 2nd Floor
Review of worship programs and community care concerns.
Multi-Church Event: MAKING SENSE of the BIBLE STUDY GROUP
6:30pm • North Conway Community Center
Bring your copy of Adam Hamilton’s Making Sense of the Bible and your own study Bible. Facilitated by Revs Sue Davidson, Gail Doktor, Ruth Shaver.

WED, Oct 16

TUNE UP FITNESS with Laurie McAleer 
9am • Parish House. Fitness class. Free; open to public.
Stretching and fitness workouts with certified fitness coach Laurie McAleer. Exercises can be adjusted to individual needs.
COUNCIL MEETING
7pm • Jackson Community Church, 2nd Floor. 
Church officers and team and community representatives meet to review church mission, program, finances and make governance decisions. This meeting is open to anyone who wants to attend.

THURS, Oct 17

YOGA with Anjali Rose
9am • 1st Floor, Parish House / Jackson Community Church.
Community Service: WAY STATION HOURS
9am & 5pm • Way Station, 15 Grove St, No Conway
Volunteers from JCC work “adult hour” shifts at Way Station. To indicate interest in becoming a volunteer with this program, please contact the Way Station.
Community Event TODDLER STORYTIME
10:30pm • Jackson Public Library
Community Event: CRITICAL HOURS with SANDY STOTT
7pm • Tin Mountain Conservation Center, Albany, NH
A misread map, a sudden storm, or forgotten headlamp can all turn a leisurely hike into a treacherous endeavor. Sandy Stott, writer and editor for AMC’s Appalachia, delivers a history and celebration of the search and rescue workers who battle the elements to save lives in his book Critical Hours; Search and Rescue in the White Mountains. Suggested donation $3/pp or $5/family; TMCC free.

FRI, Oct 18

PASTOR’s DROP-IN J-TOWN HOURS
7-9am • J-Town Deli, Jackson
Come by for caffeine and breakfast, or just a chat. Or arrange a separate time to meet and talk and walk with Rev Gail by calling/texting her cell (978.273.0308) or emailing.
PASTOR’S OFFICE HOURS
9:30-11am • Jackson Community Church
Community Event: ENVIRONMENTAL TRIVIA
6:30pm • Tuckerman Brewing, Conway
Join Tin Mountain Conservation Center at Tuckerman Brewing Co. for a fun evening of environmental trivia, food, beer, & prizes! Come with a team or join one when you arrive. $5 donation per participant.

SAT, Oct 19

UCC Event: NH CONFERENCE of UCC ANNUAL MEETING
8am-Registration/9am-Program • Grappone Center, Concord, NH
Deacon and Council Member Tom Pizor and Rev Gail Doktor attend. Event info.
Community Event: FALL MUSHROOM EXPLORATION
9am •  Nature Learning Center, Albany
What’s popped up this fall on the Rockwell Sanctuary? Rick Van de Pol, Ecosystems Management Consultants, introduces us to the world of fungi and takes us on an exploration.  Bring a hand lens (or borrow ours) and a snack. Call 603-447-6991 for reservations.

SUN, Oct 20

INTERFAITH GATHERING
8am • Gazebo by Historical Society
Come for poetry, prayer and conversation.
FIGS & VINES YOUTH & FAMILY PROGRAM
9am • Youth & family faith formation. Explore scripture and ethical & environmental implications of our role as stewards of creation. RSVP to Rev Gail if planning to attend.
WORSHIP – Taste and See Series: Figs & Vines
10:30am • Jackson Community Church
* Reflections: Rev Gail Pomeroy Doktor
* Accompanist: Alan Labrie

MULTI-CHURCH HIKE SATURDAY, AUG 10

MULTI-CHURCH HIKE
SATURDAY, AUG 10
1pm from Zealand Falls Hut Trailhead
Friends and members invited!
No RSVP required.
Meet at the trailhead for Zealand Falls / Zealand AMC Hut (Zealand Rd past campground).2.8 miles each way, 603 ft vertical gainBe prepared to hike by 1pmWear appropriate hiking gear, boots, and bring your own water and snacksAllow 45 minutes of travel time from Jackson Community Church to reach the trailhead (please arrive early to the trailhead  as we’ll head out promptly at 1pm)Hikers may choose to meet at Red Parka parking lot at NOON and carpool (Rev Gail will meet you at trailhead)Driving directions to Zealand Rd (on the left several miles beyond Joe Dodge AMC Lodge and about 5 minutes past the Mt Washington Hotel)Parking requires either a parking permit or $5Link to hike infoMostly a gentle and meandering hike with final brief, steep granite stair climb/rock scramble up to AMC hut and falls at the end (optional to climb to that point, although restrooms are in the hut at the top)Afterward, participants may opt to attend a 5pm service at the Chapel of the Transfiguration, officiated by Rev Richard Belshaw from Christ Episcopal Church (he and his wife Julia will be hiking with us)

Holy (Good) Friday

Fri, April 19 @ 6:30pm

Madison Church, Madison, NH

Please join us for a valley-wide worship service in observance of Holy (Good) Friday, led by Clergy of the Eastern Slope. This worship service is free and open to the public; everyone is welcome. Watch Facebook for updates.

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