Meditations on water: themes from Revelation 22

Awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters. — C. S. Lewis

Turning on the Water
— Thich Nhat Hanh
Water comes from high mountain sources.
Water runs deep in the Earth.
Miraculously, water comes to us and sustains all life.
My gratitude is filled to the brim.

Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does. ― Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

Thirsting for Water

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water. — W.H. Auden

Water is important to people who do not have it, and the same is true of control. ― Joan Didion

It is not merely our own desire but the desire of Christ in His Spirit that drives us to grow in love. Those who seldom or never feel in their hearts the desire for the love of God and other men, and who do not thirst for the pure waters of desire which are poured out in us by the strong, living God, are usually those who have drunk from other rivers or have dug for themselves broken cisterns. ― Thomas Merton

Water may be extremely dirty, yet its nature remains clear. ― Dalai Lama XIV, How to Expand Love: Widening the Circle of Loving Relationships

Not only the thirsty seek the water, the water as well seeks the thirsty. ― Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi

Gerald May, a dear and now deceased friend of mine, said in his very wise book Addiction and Grace that addiction uses up our spiritual desire. It drains away our deepest and true desire, that inner flow and life force which makes us “long and pant for running streams” (Psalm 42). Spiritual desire is the drive that God put in us from the beginning, for total satisfaction, for home, for heaven, for divine union, and it just got displaced onto the wrong object. It has been a frequent experience of mine to find that many people in recovery often have a unique and very acute spiritual sense; more than most people, I would say. It just got frustrated early and aimed in a wrong direction. Wild need and desire took off before boundaries, strong identity, impulse control, and deep God experience were in place. ― Richard Rohr, Breathing Underwater

Immersing in Water

Breathing in, I see myself as still water. Breathing out, I reflect things as they are. — Thich Nhat Hanh

In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans; in one aspect of You are found all the aspects of existence. ― Kahlil Gibran Jr.

The roots of all living things are tied together. Deep in the ground of being, they tangle and embrace. This understanding is expressed in the term nonduality. If we look deeply, we find that we do not have a separate self-identity, a self that does not include sun and wind, earth and water, creatures and plants, and one another. — Joan Halifax

If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. — C. S. Lewis Sometimes grace works like water wings when you feel you are sinking. ― Anne Lamott

The water and words from our baptism plus the earth and words from our funerals have come from the past and future to meet us in the present. And in that meeting we are reminded of the promises of  God: That we are God’s, that there is no sin, no darkness, and yes, no grave that God will not come to find us in and love us back to life. ― Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People

Sometimes in order to help He makes us cry, Happy the eye that sheds tears for His sake, Fortunate the heart that burns for His sake, Laughter always follow tears, Blessed are those who understand, Life blossoms wherever water flows, Where tears are shed divine mercy is shown. — Rumi

More About Water

Water Justice

Water is the most critical resouedce on earth because it is biologically necessary and non-substitutable.We need water to hydrate and survive as none of us can live without water. While 70% of earth is covered inwater, only 2.5% of the earth’s water is freshwater. That small amount of freshwater us used for a variety of needs: mostly agricultural, then industry, and lastly municipal and domestic use. There are thus numerous competing demands over available water, a resource that is jeenly contest and fought over … Clean, safe water is vitally important as it can affect everyone’s ability to live a full and healthy life, engage in social progress, and have ecological sustainability. Indeed, one of the Sustainable Deevelopment Goals for global development is dedicated to water, setting the ambitious goal of universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water by the year 2030.Farhana Sultana, Water justice: why it matters and how to achieve it


Carry Billy Collins

I want to carry you
and for you to carry me
the way voices are said to carry over water.

Just this morning on the shore,
I could hear two people talking quietly
in a rowboat on the far side of the lake.

They were talking about fishing,
then one changed the subject,
and, I swear, they began talking about you.


I thought the earth remembered me, she took me back so tenderly, arranging her dark skirts, her pockets full of lichens and seeds. I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed, nothing between me and the white fire of the stars but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths among the branches of the perfect trees. All night I heard the small kingdoms breathing around me, the insects, and the birds who do their work in the darkness. All night I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling with a luminous doom. By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times into something better. — Mary Oliver Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters. ― Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through it and Other Stories

“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future. ― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

THIS WEEK at Jackson Community Church and Around Town May 29-June 2

HIGHLIGHTS @ JCC: Wed – Women’s High Tea, Thurs – Yoga, AA, Fri – Pastor’s Hours & Trillium Summit Planning Mtg, Sun – Interfaith Gathering & Worship (possible children’s program). AROUND TOWN: Fri – Environmental Trivia (Tuckerman Brewing), Sat – Spring Wildflower Walk (Tin Mtn Program), Sun – Explore Kamchatka with Hardings (Jackson Library), Mendelssohns Concert (The Preserve, Chocorua with Mountain Top Music)

TUE, May 28

  • Community Event: WHITE MOUNTAIN PRIDE WEEK FAITH-BASED EVENT PLANNING
    9am-Noon • Via phone
    Calls to organize spiritual events in valley for Pride Week, in collaboration with other local churches. Rev Gail coordinates this programming. More info re Pride Week.
  • NHCUCC ANNUAL MEETING & WORSHIP PLANNING CONF CALLS
    Noon-3:30pm • Via phone
    Calls to organize NHCUCC annual conference meeting including worship elements. Rev Gail participates.

WED, May 29

  • WOMEN’S GROUP @ HIGH TEA
    Noon • Clipper Merchant Tea House
    Friends and members of JCC have lunch and high tea in Bridgton, ME. This venue will soon be closing as they attempt to find a new location. More info.

THURS, May 30

  • PASTORAL CARE VISITS
    Midday • MA & ME
  • BLISS YOGA with Anjali Rose
    9am • First Floor, Parish House / Jackson Community Church. Beginning stretch, flow and align yoga; safe for new practitioners. Weather dependent; if schools are delayed or closed, the class will be cancelled.
  • AA
    6:30pm • Second Floor, Church

FRI, May 31

  • PASTOR’S DROP-IN HOURS @ JTOWN
    8:30-10am • JTown Deli, Jackson
    Come by to visit with Rev Gail or text/call to make a separate date: 978.273.0308.
  • TRILLIUM SUMMIT PLANNING SESSION
    10:30am • Second Floor, Church
    Adult organizational team meets to review plans for June 8th’s trillium summit event. More info or to register for this program.
  • Community Event: ENVIRONMENTAL TRIVIA
    6:30-8:30pm • Tuckerman Brewing, Conway
    Join Tin Mountain Conservation Center at Tuckerman Brewing Co. for a fun evening of environmental trivia, food, beer, & prizes! Come with a team or join one when you arrive. $5 donation per participant.

SAT, June 1

  • Community Event: SPRING WILDFLOWER WALK
    Tin Mountain Conservation Center program. See their site for more info (event calendar was not functioning when this email was prepared, so details weren’t available.)

SUN, June 2

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING
    8am • Gazeboby Jackson Historical Society
  • WORSHIP with COMMUNION
    10:30am • Jackson Community Church
    * Organ/piano by Alan Labrie
    * Worship leadership & message by Rev Gail Doktor
  • Community Event: EXPLORE KAMCHATKA with the HARDINGS
    7-9pm • Jackson Public Library Travel to the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian far east. Sam & Betsey Harding will discuss their journey on a Russian research ship and the wildlife and landscape they encountered. more
  • Community Event: MELODIC MUSIC OF THE MENDELSSOHNS
    7:30pm • The Preserve, 88 Philbrick Neighborhood Rd in Chocorua
    Mountain Top Music Community Orchestra plays music by Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, under the baton of Dr. Julia Howell. Suggested donation $10/person, $20/family, at the door. Info.

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND: May 25-27 (JCC & Around Town)

HIGHLIGHTS @ JCC: Sat – Plant Sale & Wedding, Sun – Interfaith Gathering & Worship with Memorial Day Observance & Wedding. AROUND TOWN: Sat – Plant Sale & Mini-Book Sale (Old Red Library) & Craft Fair (Gibson Ctr & Schouler Park), Sun – Wildquack Duck Race & Music Festival (Jackson Village), Craft Fair (Gibson Ctr & Schouler Park), Concert with Seacoast Wind Ensemble (Fryeburg Academy), Memorial Day (Mon) – Jackson, Bartlett & Conway Memorial Day Observances (Multiple sites)

SAT, May 25

  • Community Event: MEMORIAL DAY CRAFT FAIR
    10am – 5pm • Gibson Center & Schouler Park, North Conway.
  • CHURCH PLANT SALE & LIBRARY MINI-BOOK SALE
    9am – Noon • Plant Sale @ Old Red Library, Jackson
    10am – 1pm • Mini Book Sale @ Old Red Library, Jackson
    Come choose from a large selection of locally grown perennials, annuals, seedlings, and houseplants to enhance your home and gardens! Proceeds from  plant sale support the distribution of cooking/heating stoves in the areas of Zimbabwe affected by the devastating hurricane Idai.
  • Private Event: WEDDING
    3pm • Jackson Community Church
    Rev Gail officiates.

SUN, May 26

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING
    8am • Gazebo by Jackson Historical Society
  • WORSHIP with MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE
    10:30am • Jackson Community Church
    * Organ/piano by Alan Labrie
    * Worship leadership & message by Rev Gail Doktor
  • Community Event: MEMORIAL DAY CRAFT FAIR
    10am – 5pm • Gibson Center & Schouler Park, North Conway.
  • Community Event: WILD QUACK DUCK RACE & MUSIC FESTIVAL
    Morning • Pond & fields by Snowflake Inn.
    Duck tickets, music plus kids games, roaming train rides, face painting, local and visiting fair food vendors, ice cream, cake tasting. More Info.
    1:45pm • Big Ducks go down the river
    2pm • Regular & Olympic Ducks go down the river
  • Private Event: WEDDING
    2pm • Wentworth Gazebo/Jackson Community Church
    Rev Gail officiates.
  • Community Event: MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT with SEACOAST WIND ENSEMBLE
    7pm • Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center, Fryeburg Academy.
    Performance by the Seacoast Wind Ensemble, a Sousa-style 50-piece band, has been underwritten by Col. Karen and Lt. Col. Jim Umberger, Air Force Retired,. Free to the public; accepting donations to support future White Mountain Musical Arts concerts.

MON, May 27: Memorial Day!

  • Info on all Memorial Day Weekend observances
  • Community Event: JACKSON & BARTLETT MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE
    * 9am • Gathering of participants at 9 a.m. at the J-Town Deli starting st
    * 9:30am • Proceed to the Jackson Village Cemetery, with participation from the Jackson Grammar School Band, the Bartlett VFW and Post 95. A small procession will end at the Jackson Village Cemetery.
    * 10-11:15am • VFW and American Legion Post 95 will next head to the Intervale cemetery on Route 16-A. They will then travel back to Glen, and a short march will take place to the Glen cemetery, followed by a trip to Bartlett Village, where another procession will be held at
    * 11:30am • Proceed from near the ball field to Fred Hodgkins Veterans Park at the Josiah Bartlett Elementary School.
    * Luncheons • Veterans and Immediate Families – Served by the Francis P. Murphy VFW 5386 Post auxiliary to veterans and their immediate families at the VFW Post. General Public – Luncheon will be served to the general public at the Bartlett Congregational Church at 11:30 a.m., with donations accepted.
    * 1:30pm • North Conway American Legion Post 95 and the Bartlett VFW will then travel south to the North Conway cemetery for observances.
    * For more information, call Louis Lavender, Francis P. Murphy VFW Post of Bartlett, at (603) 356-9490 or Jim LeFebvre of American Legion Post 95 of North Conway at (603) 356-7296.
  • Community Event: CONWAY OBSERVANCE
    * 11:30am • members of American Legion Post 46 of Conway will hold a wreath-laying ceremony at the Conway Veterans Honor Roll outside Kennett Middle School. A rifle salute will also be held, and the KHS/Middle School Band will play taps.
    * Noon • Gather at Conway Village Cemetery on Washington Street in Conway Village, Members will participate in raising the colors, a military gun salute and laying of a wreath, and the KHS/Middle School Band will again play taps and a rifle salute will be held.
    * 1pm • Veterans will meet at Mineral Springs Rehabilitation and Retirement Center, where the KHS/Middle School Band will again play taps.
    * 1:45pm • Members will do a wreath-laying ceremony at the courtyard cemetery at St. Margaret of Scotland Anglican Church on Pleasant Street in Conway.
    * 2:30pm • Luncheon buffet will be served to members and the public at American Legion Ralph W. Shirley Post 46 (447-3927) on Tasker Hill Road.