Clergy of the Eastern Slope

WAR between HAMAS and ISRAEL

LOCAL RESPONSE by Mt Washington Valley Chavurah

We are saddened and disheartened to see and hear what is happening in Israel. The situation there has long been complicated and we all have strong and often diverse opinions. However, the current acts of terrorism are outrageous.
We must express our horror that innocent civilians, young children, the elderly, members of the audience at a concert, citizens of a number of countries from around the world and others have been taken hostage. The images are brutal.
Today, we plead for an end to violence and our hope that a peaceful solution can quickly be negotiated so that all sides may live in a just and equitable world.
— SMWV Jewish Community’s Corresponding Secretary 

Note fom JCC: As local spiritual leaders share additional infomation or responses that might be meaningfl to our community, we will share these updates.



In the sky of the Old City
a kite
At the other end of the string,
a child
I can’t see
because of the wall.

—Yehuda Amichai (excerpt)

… UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) spokesperson James Elder said t… “When you listen to the testimonies coming out of Gaza, from children in Israel, it is consistent stories of fear, of suffering, of pain,” Mr. Elder said.
“We have to listen to those children of Gaza and of Israel who are very clearly and usually through tears saying, ‘Enough. Leave us alone.’” — UN News, full article:

Hamas and Israel are at Open War (excerpt)— Carl Scott Harker ©2023

Hamas and Israel are at open war

Israelis have been killed
And Palestinians have been killed
And I know this because
I have been reading comments
On a DK post

How reliable is your news source?
Evaluations of biases within different news outlets.

About TikTok as News Source (full article:
… As the audience for traditional news outlets is shrinking, 20 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds say they use TikTok as a source for news, according to a recent report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism — up five percentage points from last year.
…  For news content creators who don’t want to take a side, the landscape can be fraught. Users want the people they follow for news to be overt and clear about their opinions and allegiances, and any effort to obfuscate or push a both-sides narrative about the conflict can be met with hostility, according to Jessica Yellin, a former chief White House correspondent for CNN who runs her own media brand and posts to TikTok …
People are taking sides in what seems to be a sporting event,” she said. “The emotional stuff gets accelerated over the information. People who report with emotion, passion, outrage and fear, their content explodes. If you’re calm and measured and you base your content in actual information, it doesn’t get pickup. I think it’s embedded in how these platforms and algorithms are designed.” Yellen said the discourse has been especially toxic on this issue, which has elicited an “intense rage and vitriol” from social media users.
But [Jamie Cohen, assistant professor of media studies at Queens College in the City University of New York] said that it’s that exact emotion and passion that’s leading so many more people to engage with news content. Young people want to be politically engaged in the world, he explained, and they don’t want to hear news from a dispassionate, imaginary middle ground. ###



WEDNESDAY, July 26 @ 1pm

The Jackson-Bartlett Grief Group continues to meet twice per month. Its next gathering is Wed, July 26 @ 1pm at the Old Red Library. In person only. The dates for upcoming meetings follow: July 26, Aug 9, Aug 23, Sept 13, Sept 27.

We will meet as one group this week, and discuss forming two different groups around common forms of loss, so that we can remain nimble in size and attentive to different experiences.

The group is facilitated by Rev Gail Doktor, a bereaved parent, trained as a hospice chaplain. Currently, the grief group is supporting a complicated mix of losses. Some people are grieving spouses and partners. Others are grieving children. Others have lost parents. All forms of such loss of human relationships, through death, are acknowledge and addressed.

This group is free, and open to the community. Everyone is welcome, participants may not be able to attend each session, but we’ll meet as consistently as possible. Feel free to pass along this info to anyone whom you know, who might need such a support network. We’re operating word of mouth and enews only.

Questions should be directed by text or voicemail to Rev Gail’s cell, available upon request from the church: Thank you!

Feel free to bring books or resources you find helpful, and/or share by email such recommendations.


SACO RIVER VALLEY GRASPGrief Recovery After Substance Passing
(Death, suicide or overdose-involved death that involves or was associated with substance use).
Saco River Valley GRASP Chapter: Contact Person: Kelly Forrest, Primary Phone Number: (603) 726-1025.
that is ongoing in the valley via zoom. It is facilitated by Sue Davidson, retired nurse and retired pastor of Center Conway’s United Methodist Church and currently the VNA’a hospice chaplain. This ‘living with loss’ group is free, but you need to obtain info through the VNA.

  • WHEN: Wednesdays, 5:30pm to 6:30pm
  • WHERE: Groups meet via Zoom. To get your Zoom log in information or to confirm group dates and times, please contact VNHCH’s hospice chaplain Sue Davidson directly for most effective connections to the group.
  • MORE INFORMATION: Facilitator: Sue Davidson, Contact Sue Davidson directly for most effective connections to the group. Or contact: VNHCH Office at 603-356-7006 or 800-499-4171

NH Council of Churches Keynote with Rev. Dr. Carter Heyward, Author of 7 Deadly Sins of White Christian Nationalism

From NH Council of Churches:

Dear Church,

Have you registered for our summer keynote yet with Rev. Dr. Carter Heyward?

Just yesterday, I gathered with community and faith leaders regarding the latest act of white supremacist violence in our state. In a time of rising hate activity, the Church has a particular responsibility in the work of dismantling white Christian nationalism. It is a gift to have an expert like Carter with us to do just that!

We invite you to join us for either the daytime event, evening event, or both! The event is generously happening at no cost to you to ensure as many people as would like to attend are able to do so. We hope you will make this a part of your summer plans, and share with your neighbors.

You can register here:

Feb 18-22: President’s Day Weekend through Mardi Gras & Ash Wednesday
with JCC and around Town

Highlights: Game Day at JCC, snow shoe tours at Tin Mtn & Jackson XC, PCA Mtg, XC skiing, downhill skiiing, apres ski & evening music around town, Entrain at Attitash, Mardi Gras at JCC with Wayne Peabody & Tir Na Nog Musical Society, jazz with Heather Pierson Band at Majestic, Hoot Night at Wildcat, Ashes to Go, worship with Nativity Lutheran, Win It Wednesday at Red Parka

SAT, Feb 18

  • Community Resource: LIBRARIES
  • Community Event: SNOW SHOE Tour 
    2pm • Tin M tn Conservation Ctr, Albany, NH
    • Join us for a snowshoe tour at Tin Mountain’s Nature Learning Center in Albany, NH. Bring your own snowshoes or rent ours*, and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of winter. All are welcome!
    • Non-members:  $15/person or $25/household, snowshoe rental $5/person. Members are Free!
    • Register at or call 603-447-6991
      *Please arrive at 1:30pm if you are renting snowshoes. Also, bring poles if you prefer to use them while snowshoeing – we do not have any poles.
  • Community Event: XC SKIING & SNOWSHOEING with Jackson Ski Touring
    Trails Open • More info:
  • Community Event: SLEIGH RIDES & SKATING 
    Nestlenook Farm, Jackson, NH • More info:
  • Community Event: DOWNHILL SKIING
  • Community Events: MUSIC AROUND TOWN
    • Shannon Door: Marty Quirk Apres Ski (4-6) & Scott Baer • 7-10pm
    • Red Parka Pub: Lazy River Riders • 8-11pm
    • Wildcat Tavern: Apres Ski with Al Shafner • 3-5pm  & Jonathan Sarty * 6 • 8:30pm
    • Shovel Handle: Randy Messineo • 5:30-8:30pm
    • Lostbo Pub @ Black Mountain: Steve Haidaichuk• 3:30-5:30pm

SUN, Feb 19

    11:45am • JCC Sanctuary
    • Remove garland and angels, put up different garland
  • GAME DAY with JCC
    3-5pm • Parish Hall
    • Bring a game, come play a familiar game, or learn a new game. Friends welcome.
    • Snacks provided.
  • Community Event: SNOW SHOE Tour 
    2pm • Tin M tn Conservation Ctr, Albany, NH
    • Join us for a snowshoe tour at Tin Mountain’s Nature Learning Center in Albany, NH. Bring your own snowshoes or rent ours*, and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of winter. All are welcome!
    • Non-members:  $15/person or $25/household, snowshoe rental $5/person. Members are Free!
    • Register at or call 603-447-6991
      *Please arrive at 1:30pm if you are renting snowshoes. Also, bring poles if you prefer to use them while snowshoeing – we do not have any poles.
  • Community Event: XC SKIING & SNOWSHOEING with Jackson Ski Touring
    Trails Open • More info:
  • Community Event: SLEIGH RIDES & SKATING 
    Nestlenook Farm, Jackson, NH •
  • Community Event: DOWNHILL SKIING
  • Community Events: MUSIC AROUND TOWN
    • Shannon Door: Scott Baer• 6-9pm
    • Shovel Handle Pub: Heather Dreary •  5:30-8:30pm
    • Lostbo Pub @ Black Mountain: Mitch Alden • 3:30-5:30pm
    • Attitash Ptarmigans Pub: Entrain • 2:30-5:30pm

MON, Feb 20 – President’s Day

    4pm • Zoom: Alternately, dial with touch tone phone:  929 436 2866 Meeting ID:  968 5393 2521
    • Approval of the February 28, 2022 Annual Meeting Minutes 
    • Approval of the 2022 Treasurer’s Report
    • Election of Officers & Directors
    • President’s Report
    • Membership Status
    • New Business
    • Old Business
  • Community Events: MUSIC AROUND TOWN
    • Shannon Door: Mike & Becca • 6-9pm
    • Shovel Handle Pub: Dan Parkhurst•  5:30-8:30pm
    • Lostbo Pub @ Black Mountain: Dan Aldrich • 3:30-5:30pm

TUE, Feb 21

  • FITNESS CLASS  with Laurie McAleer 
    9:30am • Jackson Community Church
    • Free to all participants.
    • Gentle, chair-based stretch and fitness for all levels of ability
  • PREP & DECORATE for Mardi Gras
    • Volunteers wanted to decorate the Parish Hall for the party and music on Tuesday evening
    • Set up the crepe table
  • Community Resource: LIBRARIES
  • Community Event: XC SKIING & SNOWSHOEING with Jackson Ski Touring
    Trails Open • More info:
  • Community Event: DOWNHILL SKIING
    6-8pm • Parish Hall of Jackson Community Church
    • Live music by Wayne Peabody and the Tir Na Nog Musical Society featuring guitars, banjos and other string instruments!
    • Sweet and savory crepes
      • Michelle Chase providing fresh crepes,
      • Savory crepe fillings courtesy of Sue Carrigan,
      • Sweet crepe fillings courtesy of Tish Hanlon
    • Wear your own bling or borrow ours; Masks and beads available
    • Selfie photo opportunities
    • Free to all; donations welcome
    • RSVP if you’re able, we’re seeking RSVPs to get an estimated ‘head count’ for our chefs:
    • Come even if you cannot or didnt RSVP!
    • For more info, visit
  • Community Event: HOOT NIGHT
    • Wildcat Tavern: Jonathan Sarty hosts • 6-8:30pm
  • Community Events: MUSIC AROUND TOWN
    • Shovel Handle Pub: Rafe Matregrano•  5:30-8:30pm
    • Lostbo Pub @ Black Mountain: Jonathan Sarty • 3:30-5:30pm
  • Community Event: HEATHER PIERSON BAND
    6:30pm Doors Ooen /  7:30pm Concert Begins • Majestic Theater
    • The concert will feature traditional jazz, Heather’s own compositions, and Mardi Gras standards by Professor Longhair, Louis Armstrong, and more.   Join Heather Pierson, Shawn Nadeau (bass), Davy Sturtevant (cornet and guitar), Jared Steer (drums), Mike Sakash (clarinet and saxophone), and George Wiese (Trombone) for this Fat Tuesday event.  (video is from 2021 virtual concert.)
    • Tickets and info:\
    • Our volunteers will have carnival masks (wear them if you have them) and we will be handing out carnival beads to mark this festive event.

WED, Feb 22

  • ASHES to GO (anticipated schedule, some venues pending confirmation)
    • 8-10am: JTown Deli
    • 10:15-11:30am: Autumn Nomad
    • Noon-1:30pm: Glen Ledge Deli / McSheffreys North
    • 2-3:45pm: JCC Sanctuary
    • 4-5:30pm: Red Parka (pending confirmation)
    • 7pm • Nativity Lutheran, North Conway
      JCC attends Lutheran service to enjoy local clergy John Heropoulos , MDiv lead the liturgy
  • Community Resource: LIBRARIES

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
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
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

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