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 www.jacksonxc.org.)

SUN,  Dec 30: Christmas 1

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING @ OLD LIBRARY
    8am • Old Library. Hot beverages available. Come for poetry, literature, conversation and prayer.
  • YOUTH & CHILDREN
    9am • Church. Christmas craft projects.
  • WORSHIP
    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 www.jacksonxc.org.)

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 www.jacksonxc.org.)
  • FIREWORKS
    9:30pm • Schouler Park, No Conway
    Ring in the new year with fireworks in Schouler Park in downtown North Conway.

Christmas at Jackson Community Church

MON, Dec 24: CHRISTMAS EVE

  • CHRISTMAS CANDLELIGHT SERVICE: : Lessons, Carols & Candlelight.
    5pm • Jackson Community Church
    • Lighting of the Advent candles including the Christ candle
    • Christmas message
    • Scripture readings
    • Christmas carols
    • Special music including piano, harp, guitar and vocal solos.
    • Service ends as candles are lit and uplifted by the whole congregation.
  • CHRISTMAS CANDLELIGHT SERVICE: : Lessons, Carols & Candlelight.
    10pm • Jackson Community Church
    • Lighting of the Advent candles including the Christ candle
    • Christmas message
    • Scripture readings
    • Christmas carols
    • Special music including organ, piano, and vocal solo.
    • Service ends as candles are lit and uplifted by the whole congregation.

TUE, Dec 25: CHRISTMAS DAY

  • CHRISTMAS MORNING: Pajamas, Stories & Bells
    10:30am • Jackson Community Church.
    Come to church in PJs to ring bells, sing songs, and hear a special Christmas story.

Reflections on Advent 4: Love (plus longest night, resistance songs, Blue Christmas)

This week, Mary’s song, one of four found in the Gospel of Luke, is a song of praise and resistance, an expectation for justice and change. In times when we wonder whether to expect transformation, we are reminded to work for change, and to recall that we are lights in the darkness.
How will you shine in this season and into the coming year?

Les Miserables – Great Crescendo (excerpt)
Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people, Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart, Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start, When tomorrow comes!

Do you hear the people sing, Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people, Who are climbing to the light
For the wretched of the earth, There is a flame that never dies
Even the darkest night will end, And the sun will rise.

For those Living with Grief & Loss

 I hear
the love of those
who have loved me
echo in me.
All the notes of my song
sing over theirs,
the only kind of beauty.
The song does not die.
May I live
with love and mercy
for it will echo
long after.
— Steve Garnaas-Holmes

AGAPE as LOVE

The essence of agape love is goodwill, benevolence, and willful delight in the object of love. — Got Questions

True transformation is when we unleash the power of agape. We create an environment for positive change. There is still a world of possibility, even when the worst thing happens that could possibly happen. Forgiveness gives me the capacity to contribute something of value—to create a positive outcome to a terrible tragedy. —Desmond Tutu

Our hearts are like diamonds because they have the capacity to express divine light, which is agape; we not only are portals for this agape, but are made of it. — Anne Lamott

I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world. ― Mother Teresa

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. — Thomas Merton

All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. — Leo Tolstoy

Agape is a sobering love to receive, for it says, ‘If I cannot love you for who you are, then I will do so despite who you are.’ It is unique in that it is able to love those whom it cannot like. ― James Castleton, Mending of a Broken Heart

The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well. — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

If you pour a handful of salt into a cup of water, the water becomes undrinkable. But if you pour the salt into a river, people can continue to draw the water to cook, wash, and drink. The river is immense, and it has the capacity to receive, embrace, and transform. When our hearts are small, our understanding and compassion are limited, and we suffer. We can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, and we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand, these same things don’t make us suffer anymore. We have a lot of understanding and compassion and can embrace others. We accept others as they are, and then they have a chance to transform. — Thich Nhat Hahn

LONGEST NIGHT: Of Moons & Stars – Light in Darkness –

We are a way for the universe to know itself. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff. — Carl Sagan

To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight, and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings. — Wendell Berry

You must have shadow and light source both. Listen, and lay your head under the tree of awe. — Rumi

We go into the darkness, we seek initiation, in order to know directly how the roots of all beings are tied together: how we are related to all things, how this relationship expresses itself in terms of interdependence. — Joan Halifax

Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water.
The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken.
Although its light is wide and great,
The moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide.
The whole moon and the entire sky
Are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass. — Dogen

Is the sweetness of the cane sweeter,
Than the One who made the canefield?

Behind the beauty of the moon is the MoonMaker.
There is Intelligence inside the ocean’s intelligence
Feeding our love like an invisible waterwheel … ― Rumi

The pine tree of Shiogoshi / Trickles all night long / Shiny drops of moonlight. — Basho

… [Sagan’s] statement sums up the fact that the carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms in our bodies, as well as atoms of all other heavy elements, were created in previous generations of stars over 4.5 billion years ago. Because humans and every other animal as well as most of the matter on Earth contain these elements, we are literally made of star stuff, said Chris Impey, professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona. “All organic matter containing carbon was produced originally in stars. The universe was originally hydrogen and helium, the carbon was made subsequently, over billions of years.” … In 2002, music artist Moby released “We Are All Made of Stars,” explaining during a press interview that his lyrics were inspired by quantum physics. “On a basic quantum level, all the matter in the universe is essentially made up of stardust,” he said. — Remy Melina, Are We Really All Made of Stars? Live Science (excerpt)

SONGS of RESISTANCE: Commentary

Why, one might wonder, all these songs? Because singing is an act of resistance. That’s not to say that all singing is, of course. Sometimes it’s an act of joy and sometimes of camaraderie, but it’s also an act of resistance. The slaves knew this. When they sang their spirituals they were both praising God and protesting the masters who locked them out of worship but couldn’t keep them out of the promise of deliverance of the Bible. And the civil rights leaders knew this, too, singing songs like “We Shall Overcome,” when so many in the society didn’t give them a chance to advance their cause of justice, let alone triumph. — David Lose, Singing as an Act of Resistance (excerpt)

I wonder whether we would dare to sing the Magnificat today. What would it mean? — Richard Ascough

It’s easy to sing the song, but to pray the lyrics from deep within … that’s worship! — Gangai Victor

Who can resist … the story of Mary’s elegantly exuberant prayer, the Magnificat? Her spontaneous outburst in song echoes Hannah’s praise for God’s marvelous deeds in the lives of all who are marginalized or downtrodden (1 Samuel 2). Like Hannah, Mary sings out of her own experience, her own hope, but out of the experience and hope of her people as well. The Magnificat is a lovely expression of joy at God’s promises kept, a celebration of the tables being turned, or overturned: the lowly are lifted up, the proud are brought down, and the hungry are fed. God remembers the people of Israel, and the promises God has made to them. What a powerful text for every heart hungry …  Kathryn Matthews (excerpt, UCC Sermon Seeds Dec 23 Reflection)

One thing we do know: music in the United States has led directly to environmental action, the equality of our citizens, a movement against war and violence, and it has raised the voices of the working American … Powerful songs have always been the engine behind the greatest social movements — it is the marching soundtrack that unites the people and gives them focus and resolve, and it’s not limited to the U.S. In 1970s Nigeria, Fela Kuti invented Afro Beat music as a way to protest the oil company regime of Nigeria. His song “Zombie” became a global hit that railed against Nigeria’s military dictators. In South Africa, the indigenous Mbatanga music helped bring about the end of apartheid and it spread a message of peace and reconciliation in that nation. In Chile, Victor Jara wrote songs about his country’s struggles, sparking the Nueva Cancion (New Songs) movement that caused South Americans to rise up against their military dictatorships and replace them with democracies. In Brazil, the Tropicalia movement was created by songwriters like Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, and Rita Lee as a form of protest against the Brazilian military junta, which eventually fell from its own corruption and incompetence. In Australia and New Zealand, popular songs written by indigenous and non-ingenious songwriters sparked an indigenous land reclamation movement that is still active today. — Barrett Martin, Huffington Post (excerpt)

Throughout the ages, God’s people have faced oppression. And in the face of that oppression, God’s people have sung God’s songs of resistance. But God’s people have also been oppressors. We have enslaved others — and each other. We have stolen from, oppressed, and slain others — and each other. And when we have done so, the oppressed, the enslaved, the persecuted have sung God’s songs of resistance against us. — Rolf Jacobson

THIS WEEK at Jackson Community Church and Around Town: TUE, Dec 18 – TUE, Dec 25

Ongoing: FRONT ENTRANCE RENOVATION
Tamarack Construction proceeds with installation this week.
TUE, Dec 18

  • CLERGY LUNCH
    12:30pm • Members of Clergy of the Eastern Slope gather. Rev Gail belongs to and attends this gathering.

WED, Dec 19

  • PASTOR’S HOURS
    7-9am • Glen Ledge Corner Store & Gas Station. Come by for hot beverage and conversation. Or make a date to go for a walk by calling/texting Rev Gail 978.273.0308 or emailing Rev Gail (gaildoktor@mac.com).
  • TUNE UP FITNESS with Laurie McAleer
    9am • Parish House, Jackson Community Church.Fitness class. Free; open. to public
  • PASTOR’S OFFICE HOURS
    Drop by to see Rev Gail. Or make a date to go for a walk by calling/texting Rev Gail 978.273.0308 or emailing Rev Gail (gaildoktor@mac.com).
  • Community Event: PEACE PROGRAM
    100th Anniversary of Armistice (Ending WWI)
    5-6pm • Old Red Library
    Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Armistice and the “War to End All Wars” as the First World War was known. Opportunity for people to bring in poems, songs, artwork, medals received, etc. Includes:
    • Musical performance of “Christmas in the Trenches” by Dexter Harding.
    • Poetry selections offered by Tony Deluca
    • Other contributions to this topic through poetry, literature and art.
  • COUNCIL MEETING
    7-8:30pm • Second Floor, Jackson Community Church
    Meeting of church officers, staff, and designated team leaders and at-large representatives to prepare 2019 budget, and to review and make administrative and mission-driven decisions for governance and life of church. This meeting is open to any who wish to attend.

THURS, Dec 20

  • INTRODUCTORY YOGA with Anjali Rose 
    9am • Parish House, Jackson Community Church Introductory yoga.
  • Community Event: JAMMY TIME
    10:30-11am • Jackson Public Library
    Jammy storytime for toddlers and preschoolers at the library.
  • AA
    6:30pm • Second Floor, Church.
  • BLUE CHRISTMAS
    7pm • Jackson Community Church
    Intimate gathering for those living with Grief & Loss during the holidays.

FRI, Dec  21

  • PASTOR’S HOURS
    7-9am • JTown Deli. Come by for hot beverage and conversation. Or make a date to go for a walk by calling/texting Rev Gail 978.273.0308 or emailing Rev Gail (gaildoktor@mac.com)
  • Community Event: SOLSTICE CELEBRATION
    4:30pm -6pm @ Jackson Public Library
    • Guided snowshoe tours with Tin Mountain Naturalist
    • Indoor crafts and stories with Meredith
    • Reflections on darkness and light during this longest night with Gail Doktor
    • Sing-a-long with Chief Chris Perley and his banjo
    • The event is put on in partnership with Tin Mountain Conservation Center, Friends of the Whitney Center, Jackson Public Library, Jackson Community Church, Jackson Grammar School, and the Jackson Police Department.

SUN,  Dec 23: Advent 4 – Love

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING @ OLD LIBRARY
    8am • Old Library. Hot beverages available. Come for poetry, literature, conversation and prayer.
  • ADVENT WORKSHOP
    9am • Youth and children. Please RSVP if planning to attend this activity.
  • CHOIR REHEARSAL
    9am • Drop-in choir directed by Ellen Schwindt. All welcome to participate; come at 9am to warm up and learn the song.
  • WORSHIP
    10:30am •  Jackson Community Church.
    • Advent wreath-lighting by family.
    • Accompanist: Alan Labrie
    • Choir director: Ellen Schwindt
    • Special Music: Roberts Family
  • XC Passholder Event: JACKSON XC SKI TOURING POTLUCK DINNER
    5p-7pm • Jackson XC Headquarters
    Season passholders are invited to a potluck dinner: bring your favorite dish to share and prepare to be amazed by your fellow skiers’ culinary skills … and conversation. RSVP: 603-383-9355.

MON, Dec 24: CHRISTMAS EVE

  • CHRISTMAS CANDLELIGHT SERVICE: : Lessons, Carols & Candlelight.
    5pm • Jackson Community Church
    • Lighting of the Advent candles including the Christ candle
    • Christmas message
    • Scripture readings
    • Christmas carols
    • Special music including piano, harp and guitar and vocal solo.
    • Service ends as candles are lit and uplifted by the whole congregation.
  • CHRISTMAS CANDLELIGHT SERVICE: : Lessons, Carols & Candlelight.
    10pm • Jackson Community Church
    • Lighting of the Advent candles including the Christ candle
    • Christmas message
    • Scripture readings
    • Christmas carols
    • Special music including organ, piano, and vocal solo.
    • Service ends as candles are lit and uplifted by the whole congregation.

TUE, Dec 25: CHRISTMAS DAY

  • CHRISTMAS MORNING: Pajamas, Stories & Bells
    10:30am • Jackson Community Church.
    Come to church in PJs to ring bells, sing songs, and hear a special Christmas story.

ADVENT & CHRISTMAS at Jackson Community Church, Jackson, NH

BLUE CHRISTMAS, THURS, Dec 20           

  • 7pm – Intimate gathering for those living with Grief & Loss

SOLSTICE CELEBRATION (community event), FRI, Dec 21

  • 4:30pm -6pm @ Jackson Public Library
  • Guided snowshoe tours with Tin Mountain Naturalist
  • Indoor crafts and stories with Meredith
  • Reflections on darkness and light during this longest night with Gail Doktor
  • Sing-a-long with Chief Chris Perley and his banjo
  • The event is put on in partnership with Tin Mountain Conservation Center, Friends of the Whitney Center, Jackson Public Library, Jackson Community Church, Jackson Grammar School, and the Jackson Police Department.

ADVENT 4 – LOVE, SUN, Dec 23

  • 9am – Advent Workshop for Families
  • 9am – Choir practice with director Ellen Schwindt
  • 10:30am – Worship
    • Story: Surprising Ways by Rev Gail Pomeroy Doktor
    • Special Music: Roberts Family
    • Choral Music directed by Ellen Schwindt
    • Organ and piano: Alan Labrie

CHRISTMAS EVE, MON, Dec 24

  • 5pm – Christmas Candlelight Service: Lessons, Carols & Candlelight.
    • Lighting of the Advent candles including the Christ candle
    • Christmas message
    • Scripture readings
    • Christmas carols
    • Special music including piano, harp and guitar and vocal solo.
    • Service ends as candles are lit and uplifted by the whole congregation.
  • 10pm – Christmas Candlelight Service: Lessons, Carols & Candlelight.
    • Lighting of the Advent candles including the Christ candle
    • Christmas message
    • Scripture readings
    • Christmas carols
    • Special music including organ, piano, and vocal solo.
    • Service ends as candles are lit and uplifted by the whole congregation.

CHRISTMAS  DAY, TUE, Dec 25

  • 10:30am – Stories, Bells & Pajamas