Outreach: Recent Initiatives

Recent initiatives:

  • Preparation of Christmas stockings to be delivered to veterans and families by Pease Greeters
  • Collection of gifts for children supported by Agels & Elves program
  • ‘Reverse Advent’ calendar bags for families: collection of food pantry items for 25 days of Advent to mark the season
  • Meals, fundraising & communal care for local family living with cancer
  • 260 sandbags filled by church team along with other community volunteers to preserve a home endangered by riverside erosion after recent floods
  • Assistance to a family forced to choose between medical bills and groceries
  • Support for a local family whose home was destroyed by hurricane flooding
  • Moved family to new home
  • Hosted Advanced Care Planning Directive workshop and embedded trained facilitator within congregation to assist with ongoing preparation of these documentsSent care packages to students and young adults living away from home
  • Soups delivered during home visits to people living in isolation or recovering from illness
  • Collected and assembled 14 hurricane recovery buckets used in flood zones and sent matching funds to areas such as Puerto Rico, worked with UCC grant program to
  • Roof funds raised and sent for partner Chikanga Church in Mutare, Zimbabwe
  • Walked and raised funds for Alzheimers Research
  • Climbed, danced and raised funds for Cancer Research
  • Helped support conservation and educational organizations such as Tin Mountain Conservation Center and Saco Valley Land Trust
  • Hosted acapella concert for Mountaintop Music
  • Walked to support Recovery
  • Donations to several local organizations (see below)

See our HOME page for the most recent responses to specific local and international events, such as hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes and other emergencies. We believe in immediates responses to disasters, but also in sustainable support for organizations such as the ones below, which address long-term support for different issues.

The Jackson Community Church has an active Mission Committee and strongly supports many local, regional,  national and global programs.

Local programs include

  • ​Jen’s Friends
  • MWV Habitat for Humanity
  • Angels and Elves
  • Northern Human Services
  • Children Unlimited
  • Local food pantry (Bartlett/Jackson)
  • Gibson Center
  • Starting Point
  • White Mountain Community Health Center
  • 68 Hours of Hunger
  • Katy Murphy Foundation

Regional, National and Global programs include

  • American Cancer Society – Race to Beat Cancer
  • Horton Center
  • Star Island
  • One Great Hour of Sharing
  • Neighbors in Need
  • Christmas Fund
  • Haitian Health Foundation
  • Zimbabwe – Chikanga Church
  • ABAN
  • Andover Newton Seminary
  • Honduras Hope
  • Pease Greeters – Knitted caps for our soldiers click here for the pattern or more information at

www.peasegreeters.org

For more information on what the Mission Committee is up to this month please check out the monthly newsletter.

Scholarships Available…

Bushee Thorn    – click here for a 2017 application to for assistance in attending a summer camp

Olive Godfrey     – click here for a 2017 application for Jackson residence attending higher education

Youth & Family Activities: Advent & Christmas

Youth & Family Activities Highlighted
ADVENT & CHRISTMAS
SUN, Dec 3 Advent 1: Hope
  • 9am – Advent Workshop: Hope, Peace, Love & Joy

    Make cookie dough ornaments for your house and for the church! Plus second chance to create an Advent Log (church provides candles, greens, etc. … if you didn’t get the chance to make a log last week)
    Plus: Take home a “25 Days of Kindness” Advent Calendars: At the church we’re using a different sort of countdown for you … empty bags plus an Advent Calendar with suggested acts of kindness, as well as a wish-list from local nonprofit organizations. Each day, you can choose to perform an act of kindness or to collect and drop an item from the wish lists into the bag. Above is the list which Sunday’s group of students brainstormed as possible acts of kindness to offer this month, as we count down to Christmas!
  • 10:30am – Worship  & Communion
SUN, Dec 10 Advent 2: Peace
  • 9am – Christmas Pageant Rehearsal

    Come if you’re willing to be a narrator or wear a costume and be a “character” in the nativity story, includes “popup” choir practice)
    10:30am  – Worship (guest music: Minnie Brown & guest cellist)
SUN, Dec 17 Advent 3: Joy
  • 9am – Christmas Pageant Prep
    Join us for breakfast and get ready for the pageant: costumes & prep
  • 10:30am – Christmas Pageant

    (with intergenerational “popup” choir)
    Noon – Caroling (going to house to house in Jackson; all ages welcome)
WED, Dec 20 Blue Christmas
  • 7pm – Worship (come light a candle and give space to loss & sorrow in the midst of this holiday season)
THURS, Dec 21 Winter Solstice
  • 7pm – Celebration of Light & Darkness (interfaith reflections on holy darkness and sacred light)
SUN, Dec 24 Advent 4: Hope
  • 10:30am  – Carol-sing Service
SUN, Dec 24 Christmas Eve
  • 5pm – Christmas Candlelight Service
  • 10pm – Christmas Candlelight Service
MON, Dec 25 Christmas Day
  • 10:30am – Bells, Stories & Pajamas

PEN PALS for ZIMBABWE

We have several children and young people from Chikanga Church in Mutare, Zimbabwe who are looking for pen pals.

Would you be interested as a family or individual in wriiting to a friend in Zimbabwe? We can match you with someone … let us know!


YOUTH events in 2018:
HOLD the DATES!New England
Youth Environmental Justice Summit 

(Sponsored by the NH Conference United Church of Christ)

Saturday, April 7, 2018
9:00 am – 4:00 pm  Brookside Congregational Church, Manchester, NH

Keynote Speakers:
  • Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, Massachusetts Conference Minister, UCC
  • Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt, UCC Minister for Environmental Justice
Afternoon Sessions include:
  • Pam Arifian, Director, UCC
    Northeast Environmental Justice Center
  • Marla Marcum, Founder,
    Climate Disobedience Center
  • John Ungerleider, Professor,
    School of International Training
  • Rev. Eric Jackson, Pastor,
    Brookside Congregational Church, UCC


Eastern Regional Youth Event
July 19-22, 2018
California University of PA
California, Pennsylvania
(grades 7 through 12 )

NH Youth, mark your calendars for next summer!  Join us as we worship, play, pray, learn, serve, sing and dream at the 2018 Eastern Regional Youth Event.

Stay up-to-date on event details through the event website or contact Ann Desrochers.

Themes from Matthew 25 about giving and receiving: doing unto others (and Thanksgiving)

Contemplating Thanksgiving— receiving and giving support — as themes from Matthew 25 about separating goats from sheep and “doing unto others.” When do you need to hold out your hands and open your arms and accept the grace available to you, and when may you be a tangible source of grace for others?

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like. — St Augustine

Pie with Spirits Mary Wellemeyer
This is the very pumpkin pie
my grandmother made—almost.
She was a modern woman
who knew how to follow recipes.
Receipts, she called them,
 because they had been received.
She had a rule for pie crust that was constant
until, from time to time, it changed.
I have that rule, in turn, and it has moved on,
just a bit, from where she left it.
This is my special shared moment
with her, departed a quarter century.
As I work, I am all ages of myself,
and the thought of my tall son comes to join us,
though he hardly knew her.
He makes pies with wild abandon,
sculpting them from material and artistry.
He has received pie somehow at the level of soul.
The three of us make pie together,
preheating the oven,
cutting butter into flour, adding water,
flouring a board, rolling the crust.
To honor her, I follow the recipe.
To honor him, I change just one thing.
To honor myself, I take my time and smile.

Receiving Help: Accepting Grace

None of us got where we are alone. Whether the assistance we received was obvious or subtle, acknowledging someone’s help is a big part of understanding the importance of saying thank you. — Harvey Mackay

Somebody help me, tell me where to go from here, because even Thugs cry, but do the Lord care? — Tupac Shakur

You can’t change the world alone — you will need someone’s help — and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the good will of strangers and a strong coxswain to guide them. — William McRaven

“You should ask for help,” he said. “I don’t know how to do that, either.”
Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. — C.S. Lewis, character Aslan speaking in The Last Battle

Being first to ask for help in a friendship takes courage and humility. ― Afton Rorvik, Storm Sisters: Friends Though All Seasons

… for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. — Matthew 25

Gracious acceptance is an art – an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving … ― Alexander McCall Smith

A lot of the time we don’t know when we’re surrendering that we’re actually, at the same time, maybe establishing connection … to a power greater than ourselves — or something in the next concentric circle out whose name is not me. So, that to me is where help begins. You know, we’re often ashamed of asking for so much help because it seems selfish or petty or narcissistic, but I think, if there’s a God — and I believe there is — that God is there to help. That’s what God’s job is. — Anne Lamott

No man is an island, Entire of itself, Every man is a piece of the continent, A part of the main. — John Donne

Inter-being: Tiếp Hiện (接現) is a Sino-Vietnamese term. Tiếp means “being in touch with” and “continuing.” Hiện means “realizing” and “making it here and now.” The translation “Interbeing” (French: Interêtre) is a word coined by Thich Nhat Hanh to represent … Buddhist principles … to describe the essential interconnectedness of the universe … If we look deeply into the nature of our universe we can see all things as profoundly interdependent.

… Without a cloud, we cannot have paper, so we can say that the cloud and the sheet of paper inter-are. If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see the wheat. We know that the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist. — Society of Interbeing, Thich Nhat Hanh

Offering Support:
Small Acts of Grace

Non nobis solum nati sumus. (Not for ourselves alone are we born.) ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another. — Charles Dickens

The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served. ― Gordon B. Hinckley, Standing for Something

No one has ever become poor by giving. ― Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank: the play

Frankly I’m not religious, but I believe in the cause of humanity — doing good work. — Sukhwinder Singh

It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely. ― Leo F. Buscaglia

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. — Franklin D. Roosevelt

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. — Dalai Lama XIV

While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary. — Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah

The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful then a thousand heads bowing in prayer. — Mahatma Gandhi

We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself. — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Little GoatKatie Ford
God is not light upon light, no more
than goat is need upon need
although there, where it grazes, it is sun upon coat
within which ticks and stray-blown feed burrow
into the pocked skin of such foul scent
covering the underflesh heart that could eat
this farmer’s grain or the barren mountain’s bark
high in the solitude of sheer animal peace
laid over sheer animal terror.
We ask the animal afflicted by its time,
its impoverished American meadow
that drove it to find birch from which to strip its easy feed
to abide with us.
It does not need us. We think it needs us.

We must forgive God God’s story.

The Black-Faced Sheep (excerpt) — Donald Hall
Ruminant pillows! Gregarious soft boulders!
If one of you found a gap in a stone wall,
the rest of you—rams, ewes, bucks, wethers, lambs;
mothers and daughters, old grandfather-father,
cousins and aunts, small bleating sons—
followed onward, stupid
as sheep, wherever
your leader’s sheep-brain wandered to …