THIS WEEKEND at Jackson Community Church and Around Town FRI, Dec 28 – MON, Dec 31

  • Community Event: CHRISTMAS SING-A-LONG
    5-6:30pm • Episcopal Church, North Conway. Join Ellen Schwindt and her students for Christmas carol sing-a-long!
  • Community Event: SNOW MOONLIGHT SIP n PAINT
    6pm • Jackson Art Studio and Gallery. Led by Lori Stearns
    Fun for the absolute beginner to the seasoned artist! Spend an evening of creativity as you twist open your favorite bottle of wine (BYOB for those 21 and over) and uncork your creativity. $45 all supplies included. Registration required.

SAT, Dec 29

  • Community Event: SNOWSHOE YOGA
    3pm • Jackson XC Ski Touring Headquarters
    Come join us for an exhilarating combination of fresh air, beautiful views and healthy movement. No experience necessary. $20/pp. Reservations: 603-383-9355.(Info on more ski clinics, snowshoe tours and lessons at

SUN,  Dec 30: Christmas 1

    8am • Old Library. Hot beverages available. Come for poetry, literature, conversation and prayer.
    9am • Church. Christmas craft projects.
    10:30am •  Jackson Community Church.
    • Advent wreath-lighting by family.
    • Accompanist: Alan Labrie
    • Special Music: Roberts Family & Sue Titus Reid
  • Community Event: SNOWSHOE YOGA
    3pm • Jackson XC Ski Touring Headquarters
    Come join us for an exhilarating combination of fresh air, beautiful views and healthy movement. No experience necessary. $20/pp. Reservations: 603-383-9355. (Info on more ski clinics, snowshoe tours and lessons at

MON, Dec 31: New Year’s Eve

  • Community Event: SNOWSHOE YOGA
    3pm • Jackson XC Ski Touring Headquarters
    Come join us for an exhilarating combination of fresh air, beautiful views and healthy movement. No experience necessary. $20/pp. Reservations: 603-383-9355
    (Info on more ski clinics, snowshoe tours and lessons at
    9:30pm • Schouler Park, No Conway
    Ring in the new year with fireworks in Schouler Park in downtown North Conway.

Story: Seeing

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THIS WEEK @ Jackson Community Church & Around Town: Oct 15 – Oct 21

This week @ JCC: Tue – Deacons mtg, Wed – Tune-Up Fitness & Zimbabwe Potluck Dinner & Council Mtg; Thurs – Pastor’s Drop-In Hours (Glen Ledge) & Yoga; Fri – Pastor’s Office Hours & Wedding Rehearsals; Sat – UCC Annual Mtg (Concord) & Wedding; Sun – Interfaith @ Gazebo, Pet Blessing @ Gazebo, Worship @ church. Community Events: Ongoing: Volunteer for planing & oiling Legacy Pavilion @ Jackson Grammar School; Wed – League of Women Voter’s Meet Your Candidates Forum @ No Conway Community Center; Sun – Hops & Hymns @ Hobbs Tavern for Whitehorse Addiction Center.

Continue reading “THIS WEEK @ Jackson Community Church & Around Town: Oct 15 – Oct 21”

Themes in anticipation of Independence Day: social and spiritual freedom

I Hear America Singing Walt Whitman
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

On Political and Social Freedom

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. — Benjamin Franklin

The function of freedom is to free someone else. — Toni Morrison

Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance. — Woodrow Wilson

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. — George Orwell

Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation. — Coretta Scott King

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. — Nelson Mandela

Peace is more than just the absence of war. True peace is justice, true peace is freedom. And true peace dictates the recognition of human rights. — Ronald Reagan

Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought. — Pope John Paul II

On Spiritual Freedom

Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will, and creative imagination. These give us the utlimate human freedom … The power to choose, to respond, to change. — Stephen Covey

Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain … To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but to embrace it. — Kevyn Alcouin

All great spirituality teaches about letting go of what you don’t need and who you are not … At that place, you will have nothing to prove to anybody and nothing to protect. That place is called freedom. It’s the freedom of the children of God. ― Richard Rohr

Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free. — Thich Nhat Hahn

Free of who I was, free of presence, free of dangerous fear, hope, free of mountainous wanting. — Rumi

There’s freedom in hitting bottom, in seeing that you won’t be able to save or rescue your daughter, her spouse, his parents, or your career, relief in admitting you’ve reached the place of great unknowing. This is where restoration can begin. — Anne Lamott

Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom. — Hannah Arendt

To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment. — Eckhard Tolle

Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you. — Jean-Paul Sartre

This Week: June 26-July 1

This Week at Jackson Community Church
Highlights: Tue – Pastor’s Hours, Matter of Balance Class; Wed – Pastor’s J-Town Hours, Tune-Up Fitness Class, Groundwater Protection (Whitney); Thurs – Yoga, Children’s Hospital Program (Boston), AA; Fri – MIssion Team; Sun – Interfaith Gathering (gazebo), Worship with Independence Day Themes, BBQ for BAILEY FAMILY (Main St, Wildcat), Fireworks (Jackson park)

Continue reading “This Week: June 26-July 1”


After co-leading a memorial service at a Rotary Summit meeting: “… thank you  for including me in the Summit Memorial Service  …  a portion [came from] the traditional Yom Kippur “Eyleh Ezkarah” (“These We Remember”) afternoon service. It was very appropriate for a memorial service, and I was honored to participate … May God bless your ministry in myriad ways.” — Rabbi Mark Golub

About the church’s coordination to offer a class facilitated by Rev Gail called “Introduction to Islam”  through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute / OLLI class: “Thank you so much for volunteering to be an OLLI presenter. I know how much time and effort it takes to develop a class and it is greatly appreciated! I was sorry to have to miss the second class, but I know that each time was thought provoking and informative. After the last class I asked my husband how he thought it went and his comment  was “superb”. I’m sure that opinion would be reflected by all. Again thank you so much for bringing this opportunity to Conway.”  — Laura J

“So many hugs! Thank you so much for the delicious soup, salad and bread you sent home with me after a spontaneous stop … it was so nice to meet you. Your church seems so wonderful and has such good, positive energy. Thanks for all you do.” — JW

Poetry for Superbowl Sunday

Evening Practice  (excerpt)—  D. Nurkse
… I ran out
to savor the dregs of dusk
playing with my friends
in the road that led to the highway.
The ball flew up toward day
and landed in night. …

Superbowl Sunday (excerpts)  —  G Doktor
… screaming in joy, not pain
Believing in a team
That can take us all the way
To this season’s big game

… Losing our own contest is final
Just for today we take a break
Watch others rush-grunt-sweat

Carried to this impossible place
By someone else’s
Strong bodies, large hearts
Transported to a transcendence

Different than our own
Though we too risk everything
Put it all on the line
Hold nothing back

… we don’t say out loud
To fail the final goal
Isn’t an option
Though it could happen

We show up, day by day,
Try over and over
Lay plans to win against all odds
Though truthfully we know it’s enough
To play at all

Wide Receiver — Mark Halliday
In the huddle you said “Go long—get open”
and at the snap I took off along the right sideline
and then cut across left in a long arc
and I’m sure I was open at several points—
glancing back I saw you pump-fake more than once
but you must not have been satisfied with what you saw downfield
and then I got bumped off course and my hands touched the turf
but I regained my balance and dashed back to the right
I think or maybe first left and then right
and I definitely got open but the throw never came—
maybe you thought I couldn’t hang on to a ball flung so far
or maybe you actually can’t throw so far
but in any case I feel quite open now,
the defenders don’t seem too interested in me
I sense only open air all around me
though the air is getting darker and it would appear
by now we’re well into the fourth quarter
and I strongly doubt we can afford to settle for
dinky little first downs if the score is what I think it is
so come on, star boy, fling a Hail Mary
with a dream-coached combination of muscle and faith
and I will gauge the arc and I will not be stupidly frantic
and I will time my jump and—I’m just going to say
in the cool gloaming of this weirdly long game
it is not impossible that I will make the catch.

Beautiful Game (excerpt) — Sharon Wilkie-Jones
… Of the game that called for disciples
And chose Saints to preach its gospels
And sinners to bear witness to its
Open heart and closed hand
This football life
Tumbling through the looking glass at the end
Of the rainbow
Moving into hearts with the effortless
Ease of night slipping into day
Its atmosphere alive with the thudding pulse
The rising pant of expectation
Stepping out of textbooks and history books
Into a kaleidoscope of noise and celebration
Where leather caseys parcelled in mud
And sweat and blood and philosophy and pain
Can still grace a sky whilst beneath sit the faithful
And the fortunate
As hope waits with its pockets stuffed
With bitten nails
This football life
A game to break your heart …
And then
… To fall in love
And again
And again…