Events with JCC and around town: Mon, June 3 – Sun, June 9

MON, June 3

  • Community Event: CHOOSING APPLIANCES: Energy Performance and Appliance Rebates
    7-8:30 pm • Whitney Community Center

    • New appliances are not only a great facelift, but they can help you save big in the long run.
    • Learn about ENERGY STAR certified electric appliances that reduce energy use by 10 to 50 percent without sacrificing performance. Find out about rebate options that reduce the cost of your purchase.
    • This program is taught by NHEC Energy Solutions Program Administrators, Haley Kuplin and Eric Sandberg, is FREE.
    • Reservations not required, but to help us better plan Click Here to sign up.
  • Community Event: SINGERS WORKSHOP
    6:30pm • Majestic Theater

    • The Monday night Singers’ Workshop participants share the results of their spring term efforts. Come hear a variety of performances with piano accompaniment. Free, but donations to Mountain Top Music are gratefully accepted.
    • Tickets:
  • Community Resource: LIBRARIES
    2-8pm • Bartlett Library

TUE, June 4

WED, June 5

  • YOGA with Anjali Rose
    9am • Jackson (check with Anjali Rose re location)

    1pm • Old Red Library, Jackson

    • Free, and open to the community. Rev. Gail Doktor, trained as a hospice chaplain, will facilitate. Pass along this info to anyone whom you know, who might need such a support network.
    • Questions should be directed by text or voicemail to Rev Gail’s cell: 9078.273.0308. — Rev Gail Doktor,, cell: 978.273.0308
    4pm • Jackson Public Library
  • Community Event: ENVIRONMENTAL BOOK CLUB – Wasteland by Oliver Franklin-Wallis
    4pm • Tin Mountain Conservation Center

  • Community Event: EVENING PADDLE – Iona Lake
    5:30 – 7pm • Tin Mountain, 1245 Bald Hill Rd, Albany, NH 03818

    • Join us for an evening paddle on Albany’s Iona Lake. During our early summer’s evening paddle, we’ll enjoy each other’s company while we look and listen for the lake’s wildlife. Use your own canoe or kayak or rent one of ours. All paddling levels are welcome to join us. Advanced registration is required.
    • Program Fee: TMCC Members: Free / Non-Members: $15/person /Canoe rental: $10/person
  • Community Event: CANASTA GAMES
    4-6pm • Old Red Library
  • Community Resource: LIBRARIES
  • Community Event: MAJESTIC CAFE with Heather Pierson & The Potboilers
    7pm • Majestic Cafe

    • Doors at 6 pm; music  at 7pm.
    • Come in early and grab a panini before the music starts
    • Info and tickets ($5)::
    • The Majestic Cafe has tables for parties of 2 and a limited number of tables for 3 or 4.  If you are a party larger than 4, some of your party will be seated at a different table.  Please note that on busy nights you may be seated at a table with another party.
  • Community MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT around town:
    • Wildcat Tavern: Trivia • 6:30pm • $5 cover
    • Red Parka: Giving Wednesdays with Raffle • Project Graduation (evening)
    • Shovel Handle Pub: Randy Messineo • 6-9pm

THURS, June 6

  • Community Resource: LIBRARIES
  • Community Event: KNITTING in KNOTS
    4pm • Jackson Public Library

    • Bring your knitting or any portable needling project you may have to the library.  All levels are welcome.
  • Community Event: BECOMING WOLF with Chris Schadler
    7pm • Jackson Public Library

    • Chris Schadler, the NH and VT representative for Project Coyote and Co-Founder of the NH Wildlife Coalition, which advocates for better conservation for predators, will talk about a topic which embodies her interest in wild canids, ‘Becoming Wolf: The Eastern Coyote in New England’: “An eastern coyote is defined as much by its western coyote ancestry as by its DNA contribution from the Eastern wolf.  “Our” coyotes vary physically and behaviorally from its smaller relative – while still carrying the incredible adaptability and canniness of Wile E. Coyote.  This program takes a deep dive into the ecology and behavior of this creature, its indefatigability and how it is the human who must adapt to live with the ‘One Who Cannot Be Removed’. On the horizon, however, is a native carnivore which fled the northeast during wolf removal and now may be trying to return:  The eastern wolf.  A look-alike to the coyote, it has been killed mistakenly for its similarity of appearance to the coyote. We’ll talk about how the wolf and coyote might negotiate a truce in the northeast and how we might do the same.”
  • Community Event: COMMON LOON
    7pm • Tin Mountain Conservation Center, Albany, NH 03818

    • Register Now
    • Add To My Calendar
    • For many, the haunting call of the loon is an important part of the New Hampshire lake experience. Often seen as a symbol of the northern wilderness, loons are a beloved fixture on New Hampshire lakes and many lake goers enjoy watching them as they raise their young. However, the breeding season can be a vulnerable time for loons as they face many threats, both natural and human-caused, while on our lakes. This presentation will focus on the biology and life history of loons, the threats that loons face, and the work that the Loon Preservation Committee and our volunteers have performed since 1975 to help New Hampshire’s threatened loon population recover.
    • Program Fee: TMCC Member: free / Non-Member: $5/person
  • JCC ATTENDS BOOTS n BLING for Starting Point (Ladies Night Event for JCC)

    5pm • Fairbank Lodge, Cranmore Resort, North Conway

    • An evening of dinner, dancing, entertainment, and live auction! Individuals are responsible for purchasing their own tickets, but we hope to put together a table of attendees for the event
    • Get your boots, belt buckles and hats ready!
    • Purchase your own ticket, and type in JACKSON COMMUNITY CHURCH as a company to be grouped with JCC (they will create more than one grouping if we have an overflow, so it’s possible you will be seated at a mixed table).
    • Ticktes ($120/each):
  • Community Event: THURSDAY NIGHT JAZZ: Kevin Dolan and Simon Crawford
    7pm • Majestic Cafe

    • Doors at 6 pm; music  at 7pm.
    • Come in early and grab a panini before the music starts
    • Info and tickets::
    • An intimate nearly 50 seat venue in the storefront next to the Majestic Theatre, the Majestic Cafe serves wine, beer, craft cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks and paninis with a close-up view on music from the region’s most creative performers.
    • Walk-ins are welcome, but space is limited; reservations are available to guarantee your seat and to indicate a seating choice.  The Friday Night jazz series typically has a $10 per person cover charge.  Thursdays and Saturdays at times have a cover charge but others do not; for the latter no cost reservations are accepted. Doors at 6 pm; come in early and grab a panini before the music starts.  Music starts generally at 7pm unless otherwise indicated.
    • Email with questions or other inquiries.
  • Community MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT around town:
    • Wildcat Tavern: Jonathan Sarty • 7-9pm – $5 cover
    • Red Parka: Carbon 14 • 8-11pm
    • Shannon Door: Jeremy Dean • 6-9pm
    • Shovel Handle Pub: Bobby Sheehan • 6-9pm

FRI, June 7

  • 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
  • Community Resource: LIBRARIES
    2-5pm • Jackson Library (more info:
  • Community Event: FIRST FRIDAY – Jane O’Brien and Mikey Levine
    1pm • Majestic Cafe

    • Tickets:
      Jane O’Brien, vocals, with Mike Levine, guitar, treat you to some classic jazz favorites and more! The Majestic Cafe opens at 11:30 for charcuterie, fresh paninis and all your favorite beverages: beer, wine, spirits, craft cocktails and mocktails, soft drinks and bottled water. First Friday performers include Mountain Top faculty and staff, as well as other Mount Washington Valley musicians, who share their music with the community without compensation. All First Friday concerts are open to the public by donation, in keeping with Mountain Top Music Center’s mission of “enriching lives with music.”
  • HEART & SOUL: Presentation by Dr. Anthony DeLuca on Abbe Pierre

    6pm • JCC Parish Hall

    • Refreshments available (cookies & hot beverages)
    • Event is free and open to the public
    • Co-hosted by Bartlett Congregational and Jackson Community Church
    • Any donations to benefit the Way Station in honor of the lifework of Abbe Pierre
    • Dr. Anthony DeLuca serves as a guest preacher at the Bartlett Church. He will focus on the global impact of the inspirational life and legacy of a 20th century cultural hero whose name is Abbe Pierre. Pierre’s remarkable journey began when he followed in the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assissi and entered a monastery at age 17. There, he committed himself to spreading a global message of giving and good will. During World War II, he joined the French Resistance and risked his own life in saving the lives of Jews who faced the prospect of being sent to labor camps inside Gemany, or worse yet, being arrested and sent to their death in concentration camps.After the war, he focused his efforts on the creation of an international network of community centers to serve the needs of the poor, the hungry and the homeless around the world.
  • Community MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT around town:
    • Wildcat Tavern: Al Shafner • 7-9pm – $5 cover
    • Red Parka: TBA • 8-11pm
    • Shannon Door: Sheehan & Holden • 6-9pm
    • Ledge Brewing: Powerline • 6-8pm
    • Shovel Handle Pub: Don Pride • 6-9pm
  • Community Event: MAJESTIC CAFE FRIDAY: TBA
    7pm • Majestic Cafe, Conway

    • Walk-ins are always welcome, but space is limited; reservations are available to guarantee your seat and to indicate a seating choice.
    • The Friday Night jazz series has a $10 per person cover charge.
    • Doors at 6 pm; music  at 7pm.
    • Come in early and grab a panini before the music starts
    • Info and tickets::

SAT,  June 8

  • Community Resource: LIBRARIES

    10am • KHS Millen Stadium

  • Community Event: DACAPO Concert

    7pm • Majestic Theater, Conway

    • Under the direction of Mary Bastoni Rebmann and John Waldie, the program will feature music from The Rolling Stones, Smokey Robinson, Stephen Sondheim, Christopher Cross, Cole Porter, The Beatles and many more
    • Other performances: Sun, June 9 @ 4pm at Whitney Community Center;  Thurs, June 13 @ 7pm  at Brick Church for the Performing Arts, Lovell, Maine.
    • Tickets:
  • Community Event: OPEN HOURS @ Jackson Historical Society
    1-3pm • Jackson Historical Society

  • Community MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT around town:
    • Wildcat Tavern: Face to Face with George Mallory • 7-9pm
    • Shannon Door: Dan Aldrich • 7-10pm
    • Ledge Brewing: Diana’s Bath Salts • 6-8pm

SUN, June 9

    8am • Old Red Library (or outside if weather permits)

    • Come for poetry, conversation, and prayer
    10:30am   • Jackson Community Church & Livestream to Facebook & – which also appears on jxncc.orgwebsite).Worship through zoom is discontinued, watching livestream is now the way to connect.

    • Music by Sharon Novak
    • Message by Rev Gail Doktor
  • HOSPITALITY following church
    11:30am • Parish Hall
  • Community Event: DACAPO Concert

    4pm • Whitney Community Center

    • Da Capo will be performing at the Whitney Community Center
    • Under the direction of Mary Bastoni Rebmann and John Waldie, the program will feature music from The Rolling Stones, Smokey Robinson, Stephen Sondheim, Christopher Cross, Cole Porter, The Beatles and many more
    • Other performances are: Saturday, June 8 at 7:00 pm – The Majestic, Conway Thursday, June 13 at 7:00 pm -Brick Church for the Performing Arts, Lovell, Maine.
  • Community Event: OPEN HOURS @ Jackson Historical Society
    1-3pm • Jackson Historical Society (Also open by appointment.)

  • Community MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT around town:
    • Shannon Door: Jeremy Dean • 6-9pm
    • Red Parka: Becca & Mike  • 4-7pm
    • Ledge Brewing: Bakery Band • 6-8pm

Advent & Christmas Schedule 2023


Fri, DEC 1
5pm • Dominique Dodge Concert at Jackson Public Library (JCC Attends – C3 Bible Study Resumes next week)

Sun, DEC 3 – ADVENT 1 – Hope

  • 8am • INTERFAITH WORSHIP (in-person & zoom)
  • 9am • CHRISTMAS CHOIR PRACTICE (in-person & zoom)
  • 10:30am • WORSHIP with ADVENT 1 & COMMUNION – Hope (in-person & zoom)

    Music: Sharon Novak
    Candle-lighting: White Family
    Message: Rev Gail Doktor
  • 11:30am • HOSPITALITY

Fri, DEC 8

  • 6pm • Ornament Making @ JCC Parish Hall

Fri, DEC 8

  • 5pm • C3: Cocktails & Christian Conversation (Zoom)

Sat, DEC 9

  • 4-6pm • COOKIES & COCOA with Santa & Friends @ JCC Parish Hall

Sun, DEC 10 – ADVENT 2: Peace

  • 8am • INTERFAITH WORSHIP (in-person & zoom)
  • 10:30am • WORSHIP with ADVENT 2: Peace (in-person & zoom)

    Music: Sharon Novak
    Candle-lighting: Battenfelder Family
    Message: Rev Gail Doktor
  • 11:30am • HOSPITALITY

Wed, DEC 12

  • 2-4pm • COOKIE SWAP @ private home
    (this event may be subject to relocation … we will keep you apprised)

Fri, DEC 15


    • Dellavalla Bluegrass Trio
    • Chanukkah ritual of candle-lighting plus food (latkes) and games (dreidel)

Sat, DEC 16

  • 7:30am • MENS’ BREAKFAST @ JCC Parish Hall

Sun, DEC 17 – ADVENT 3: JOY

  • 8am • INTERFAITH WORSHIP (in-person & zoom)
  • 10:30am • WORSHIP with ADVENT 3: Joy  (in-person & zoom)

    Music: Sharon Novak
    Candle-lighting: Verran Family
    Message: Rev Gail Doktor
  • 11:30am • HOSPITALITY
    12:50pm – meet in JCC parking lot

Fri, DEC 22

  • 6:30pm • BLUE CHRISTMAS


  • 10:30am • WORSHIP – Advent 4: Love (in-person) & Christmas Pageant

    • Special music: Dominique Dodge, harp
    • Guest: Santa Clause (arrives 11am)
    • Christmas Pageant with local families: Verrans, Battenfelders, Corbett-Kleins and Perkins-Noel
    • Candle-lighting: Corbett-Klein Family
  • 11:30-Noon • SANTA PHOTOS (in-person)
  • 11:30am • HOSPITALITY
  • 5pm • OUTDOOR WORSHIP (in-person)

    • Guitar: Sharon Novak
    • Scripture: Christmas Eve
    • Message: Rev Gail Doktor
  • 9pm • CANDLELIGHT WORSHIP (in-person)

    • Piano: Sharon Novak
    • Scripture: Christmas Eve passages
    • Special Music: Bob Carper – solo: Mary Did You Know
    • Message: Rev Gail Doktor
    • Virtual Deacon: Jeanette
    • Individual candlelight
    • Carols
    • Additional special music!


  • 10:30am • PAJAMAS & BELLS

    • Piano: Sue Titus Reid
    • Story: Rev Gail Doktor


Community Event: SKI for SUNSHINE!
4pm • Cranmore Mountain

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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