Opening worship for the national Synod gathering of the UCC (United Church of Christ)

SYNOD Begins Today: WORSHIP featuring Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr.
You can view it as a Facebook event or on Youtube live event at 5pm EST today, Sunday, July 11.
Live chat is disabled for this event, but you can participate:

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr.’s history in the United Church of Christ and the Civil Rights Movement go back years and reflect a legacy of justice orientation and activism. Chavis was a part of the Wilmington 10, a group of civil rights activists who were wrongly convicted of arson and conspiracy in 1972 after deadly racial conflicts in 1971. Chavis, a staffer with the UCC’s Commission for Racial Justice (CRJ), received a 34-year sentence. CRJ came to their defense, and the 1977 General Synod meeting in Washington, D.C. held a march outside the White House for their release. Their sentences were commuted in 1978, their convictions overturned in 1980, and in 2013, the state’s governor pardoned them. Chavis was a youth organizer in North Carolina for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., served as Executive Director of CRJ from 1985 to 1993, headed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 1993 to 1994, served as national director of 1995 Million Man March in D.C., co-founded the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, and now leads the National Newspaper Publishers Association. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and Duke Divinity School and holds a D.Min. degree from Howard University. Originally published in 1983, Chavis’ Psalms from Prison is available for pre-order at The Pilgrim Press: https://www.thepilgrimpress.com/products/psalms-from-prison-chavis

BLACK HISTORY MONTH (Racial Justice Programs – Early March)

SUPPORTING DIVERSITY & INCLUSION in the OUTDOORS:
A Sense of Place Community Forum

WED • 6:30pm

This event is free. Please register for the event at bit.ly/2NcStjR.

How can we cultivate a more inclusive outdoor recreation community in the Mount Washington Valley?

On Wednesday, March 3 from 6:30-8PM live via Zoom, the public is invited to participate in “Supporting Diversity & Inclusion in the Outdoors,” a Sense of Place community forum. Join us to consider what practical steps user groups, local businesses, and local community members can take to support more diverse participation in the outdoors. Panelists from the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, REI, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Venture Out Project will share their perspectives, followed by a facilitated discussion. Emily Greene from the Saco Watershed Collaborative and Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve will moderate. This event is free. Please register for the event at bit.ly/2NcStjR.

About the Panelists:

Kent Jackson, Director of Education at the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Boston, MA, is a seasoned environmental educator who has successfully created, developed, directed, and evaluated environmental youth leadership programs. He is a certified American Canoe Association Instructor, a Wilderness First Responder and a Leave No Trace Master Educator.

James Saunders is Logistics and Marketing Coordinator for The Venture Out Project.

Becky Smith is Director of Retail for REI’s Washington, DC flagship store.

Janet Zeller served as the National Accessibility Program Manager for the U.S. Forest Service for 17 years, and wrote their ADA guidelines. She is now retired, but continues her work as an Accessibility Specialist in outdoor recreation.

VIDEO SCREENING & DISCUSSION ofLADAINIAN TOMLINSON and
The Backstory Behind His Hall of Fame Speech on Unity | NFL 360

***** Tue, Mar 9 • 7pm *****
(corrected date)

CORRECTED date for this discussion due to schedule conflict that Rev Gail didn’t catch in original scheduling for this program.

Zoom gathering:

To preview the 20-minute video of the interview with LaDainian Tomlinson: https://youtu.be/uUZ02WkG3Qk
Introductory statements from Dr. Tony DeLuca:
“I would appreciate it if you would share this with the members of the congregation. As an historian and  someone who is involved in the spiritual life of the church, I feel I have a duty and a responsibility to make this information available to others. The timing is most apropos given that’s it’s Black History Month and we are still enjoying the aftermath of the Super Bowl experience. It’s the type of thing I hope we will be able, in the not-too-distant future, to come together as a group and engage in another form of Christian conversation.”

Tony DeLuca continues: “The video presents a positive alternative to the highly-charged, confrontational nature of the events of the past year. The video is not rhetorical. It’s personal. It provides valuable insights into how we can approach the goal of racial harmony. To paraphrase Shakespeare: “The solution lies not in the stars, but in ourselves.” The timing is right. I suggest we arrange to do this via ZOOM as soon as possible.”

Tony Deluca will help us think about this 2017 video message from football professional and NFL Hall of Fame recipient LaDainian Tomlinson.

This week’s Lenten Fast suggestion: Tips to Use Less Plastic

From: THE UCC’s Environmental Justice Mission Group

Check out these easy ways you can start reducing your waste in your everyday life! Did you know that of the 30 million tons of plastic waste generated in the US in 2009, only 7 percent was recovered for recycling? 
Here are 17 ways to reduce your plastic waste:

  1. Stop using plastic straws, even in restaurants. If a straw is a must, purchase a reusable stainless steel or glass straw
  2. Use a reusable produce bag. A single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade. Purchase or make your own reusable produce bag and be sure to wash them often! 
  3. Give up gum. Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic. 
  4. Buy boxes instead of bottles. Often, products like laundry detergent come in cardboard which is more easily recycled than plastic.
  5. Purchase food, like cereal, pasta, and rice from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container. You save money and unnecessary packaging. 
  6. Reuse containers for storing leftovers or shopping in bulk.
  7. Use a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages, even when ordering from a to-go shop
  8. Bring your own container for take-out or your restaurant doggy-bag since many restaurants use styrofoam. 
  9. Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters or invest in a refillable metal lighter. 
  10. Avoid buying frozen foods because their packaging is mostly plastic. Even those that appear to be cardboard are coated in a thin layer of plastic. Plus you’ll be eating fewer processed foods! 
  11. Don’t use plasticware at home and be sure to request restaurants do not pack them in your take-out box.
  12. Ask your local grocer to take your plastic containers (for berries, tomatoes, etc.) back. If you shop at a farmers market they can refill it for you.
  13. The EPA estimates that 7.6 billion pounds of disposable diapers are discarded in the US each year. Use cloth diapers to reduce your baby’s carbon footprint and save money. 
  14. Make fresh squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles. It’s healthier and better for the environment.
  15. Make your own cleaning products that will be less toxic and eliminate the need for multiple plastic bottles of cleaner.
  16. Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.
  17. Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor.

Trying even one or two of these ideas can lead to good habits that will last well beyond Lent!

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAY OBSERVANCES

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY PEACE WALK
Noon • Departing at noon from Eagles Way (parking along Eagles Way – the access road to Kennett HS – will be available).
Walk proceeds north along Rte 16 sidewalks for 2.6 miles to Schouler Park, North Conway. A closing Peace Circle will occur at Schouler Park approximately within time frame 1:30-2:15. SOCIAL DISTANCING AND MASK WEARING is requested and will be monitored at all Being Peace MWV events.A PEACE TREE for writing and hanging messages of peace will be at both live events.
More info or to follow along virtually: On Being Peace Mount Washington Valley:  www.beingpeacemwv.org

VIRTUAL MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY DAY CELEBRATION
(World Fellowship Center & UUFES Co-Sponsor)
6pm •  Zoom link required.

  • For more information, please call Andy Davis at 603.452.4446. For the link to attend the event, contact andy@worldfellowship.org.
  • FB event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1571401533057894
  • The evening’s featured speaker, Arnold L. Farr, is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kentucky. He is also founder and President of the International Herbert Marcuse Society. Arnold has published dozens of articles and a couple of books on race, critical theory, and a wide range of other social issues in social/political philosophy. He is a member of the state coordinating committee for Kentucky Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and several other activist and political organizations. With a passing comment Dr. King once made to Harry Belafonte as a springboard, Dr. Farr will reflect on living with dignity, aplomb, courage and resistance in the current social and political climate.
  • Also featured will be Rhode Island-based storyteller Valerie Tutson, who has been telling stories in schools, churches, libraries, festivals and conferences since 1991. She draws her stories from around the world, with an emphasis on African traditions. Her repertoire includes stories and songs she learned in her travels to South Africa and West Africa, and stories from African American history. Valerie is a founding member and Director of the Rhode Island Black Storytellers, and FUNDA FEST: A Celebration of Black Storytelling. Valerie has received numerous awards for her work using storytelling to foster community. She has appeared at the National Storytelling Festival, and the National Black Storytelling Festival and Conference.
  • Shana Aisenberg will round out the program with a variety of musical offerings.

ALSO: Wednesday, January 20, (Inauguration Day). PEACE VIGIL
At Schouler Park, 10 am – 11:40 am  Being Peace through sitting and walking meditation. Closing Circle to follow meditations.   Instruction in meditation available. More info or to follow along virtually: On Being Peace Mount Washington Valley:  www.beingpeacemwv.org

Giving Tuesday

Reminder about the church’s charitable partners.

INTERNATIONAL CAUSES
which our faith community supports through giving or volunteering:

  • Heifer International cards are available inside the church’s front entrance. You may take a card and make a donation (cash or check). Drop it in the wonderful church model made by Sandy Louis’ dad, which we’re using to collect these funds. Learn moreabout Heifer International.
  • Zimbabwe cards are available in the front of the church. These support partner faith communities and communal projects through the NH-Zimbabwe Ukama Partnership, including sister churches like JCC’s partner: Chikanga Church, City of Mutare, Zimbabwe. You can leave donations in the model church inside the front doors, or make an online donation: https://jacksoncommunitychurch.org/. Representatives from regions — including our churches — have traveled back and forth to establish strong ties between the partner faith communities.
  • Honduras Hope is a NH-based partnership with communities in Honduras. Church member Meg Phillips has traveled there several times to provide direct volunteer service in the communities and can answer your questions! Link to site for giving: https://www.hondurashope.org/donate

LOCAL CAUSES
the church supports financially and/or through volunteering. We respond to many local partners, so may not have included all such missions and initiatives here.

If you’re interested in learning more about our Missions team, contact the church: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org

Health and wellbeing of our community from many angles:

Education and Environment:

  • Mountaintop Music provides music education and performances throughout the valley. Learn more and/or donate (or join): http://www.mountaintopmusic.org/
  • Jackson XC Ski Touring Foundation: This foundation maintains trails for XC skiing in Jackson, offers classes, provides affordable youth education and access for snow shoeing and XC skiing, and works with local nonprofits and landowners on conservation initiatives. Learn more and/or donate (or join):  https://www.jacksonxc.org/
  • Tin Mountain Conservation Center is a local partner in environmental education and preservation. They have sites in Jackson and Albany, offer programs regionally and in our classes and community centers, as well as on their own sites. Learn more and/or donate (or join): https://www.tinmountain.org/
  • Upper Saco Valley Land Trust is quietly preserving land throughout the region, including many local sites. Learn more and/or make a donation (or join): https://www.usvlt.org/
  • Appalachian Mountain Club is integral to the culture and conservation of the White Mountains. Learn more: https://www.outdoors.org/
  • Believe in Books works on literacy and performing arts in the valley and conserves land along the Saco: http://www.believeinbooks.org/
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