CHRISTMAS WEEK & WEEKEND

Fri, Dec 24: OUTDOOR CHRISTMAS EVE

  • 5pm – Outdoor Service of Scripture, Songs & Candlelight (in-person only / non-zoom event)
    Come to the church campus. Start with mulled cider or hot cocoa, walk the stations of the nativity, sing favorite carols (masked), listen to scripture, share candlelight.

Fri, Dec 24: Virtual Christmas Eve

Sat, Dec 25: CHRISTMAS MORNING – PAJAMAS, BELLS, STORY & CAROLS

  • 10:30am • Pajamas, Bells, Story & Carols (in-person & zoom)
    Come to church in your pajamas, bring bells or ring the ones we share, listen to a story, sing carols (in-person & zoom).
    Live music for carol-sing by Sue Titus Reid (weather permitting for piano accompaniment).
    Storytelling by Rev Gail Doktor.
    Contact church for link and password: jcchurch@jacksconcommunitychurch.org

Sun, Dec 26: WORSHIP & CAROL-SING

  • 10:30am • Carol-Sing & Scriptures (in-person only, no zoom).
    Led by deacons, carol-sing live accompaniment by Alan Labrie.
    Contact church for link and password: jcchurch@jacksconcommunitychurch.org

Meditations on love for the fourth Sunday of Advent

Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!— Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Love is the bridge between you and everything. ~ Rumi

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return. – Natalie Cole

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. – Lao Tzu

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable. – C.S. Lewis

SONGS about LOVE:

PRAYER
Be for them, Lord, a defense in emergency, a harbor in shipwreck, a refuge in the journey, shade in the heat, light in the darkness, as staff on the slippery slope, joy amidst suffering, consolation in sadness, safety in adversity, caution in prosperity, so that these your servants, under your leadership, may arrive unharmed … — Christian prayer from a liturgy for those setting off on pilgrimage, — The Missal of Vich, A.D. 1038


BLESSING Kundalini Yoga farewell blessing  
May the long time sun
Shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you
Guide your way on.


FIVE PRECEPTS (Reiki principles)

  1. Just for today, I will not be angry.
  2. Just for today, I will not worry.
  3. Just for today, I will be grateful.
  4. Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
  5. Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.

INVITATION— Mary Oliver

Oh do you have time
to linger for just a little while
out of your busy
and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles
for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,
or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air
as they strive
melodiously
not for your sake
and not for mine
and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,
do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.
It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.

COMMENTARY ABOUT LOVE

Where there is love there is life. – Mahatma Gandhi

The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. – Dalai Lama

Love is more than a noun – it is a verb; it is more than a feeling – it is caring, sharing, helping, sacrificing. – William Arthur Ward

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ~ Rumi

… But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it! ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Nothing God ever does, or ever did, or ever will do, is separate from the love of God. — A.W.Tozer

… the action and behavior produced by love is distinctly countercultural. In a society where so much is presented in terms of “self”—self-awareness, self-esteem, self-acceptance, self-image, self-realization—to present a way of existence in which a person lives for the other in a life of loving self-sacrifice will be highly provocative. Following the one who gave his life as a sacrifice for us will be humbling and undoubtedly costly in terms of human recognition and progress in life as secular society defines it.— zondervanacademic.com

DANCE— Wendell Berry
… And I love you
as I love the dance that brings you
out of the multitude
in which you come and go.
Love changes, and in change is true.


I Did Think,
Let’s Go About This Slowly

— Mary Oliver
I did think, let’s go about this slowly.
This is important. This should take
some really deep thought.
We should take
small thoughtful steps.
But, bless us, we didn’t.

OF LOVE

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.  – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

In the end we discover that to love and let go can be the same thing.— Jack Kornfield

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. – Rumi


You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth. – William W. Purkey


Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. – Martin Luther King Jr.


Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.  – Washington Irving


Life is the first gift, love is the second, and understanding the third. – Marge Piercy

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place. – Zora Neale Hurston

The chance to love and be loved exists no matter where you are. – Oprah Winfrey

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another. – Charles Dickens, Dr. Marigold

Daily Advent Devotional: WEEK of JOY: Day 20-Fri, Dec 17

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them … —Psalm 5:11

 What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?—Job 38:24

______________________________________

Joy is fueled by the same source as hope and peace: it is fed by gratitude. As you light the three Advent candles, give thanks for the time and opportunity to reflect.  

            Re-framing each day through a lens of gratitude and appreciation is an excellent place for light to take hold. You perceive your world, your context, your life, and ideally yourself, with greater compassion and more perspective. You grow closer to connecting with those parts of your life that embody your values.

            Before you blow out the candles, give thanks for the presence of light in the world. Give thanks for the ways you find to share your own light.  — Rev Gail

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You show your humanity by how you see yourself not as apart from others but from your connection to others.—Desmond Tutu

When you show compassion, when you show caring, when you show love to others, do things for others, in a wonderful way you have a deep joy that you can get in no other way.—Dalai Lama

Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.—Yogi Bhajan

TUE, DEC 14 – SUN, DEC 19

TUE, Dec 14

  • CLERGY LUNCH
    12:30pm • Zoom (private meeting)
    Local clergy convene for conversations, ecumenical event-planning, and peer support. Rev Gail attends.
  • Community Event: CHAIR YOGA
    9:15am • Zoom.
    Pre-registration required. Register for the Zoom link. https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIvd-CpqD4sEtdFkuT2horCr6QrTMdCHnGD. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Classes resume, after this week, on 1/4/22. This class is sponsored by the Whitney Community Center in Jackson for Jackson residents however, non-Jackson residents are encouraged to attend. Non-Jackson residents pay a class fee .More info: https://www.anjali-rose.com/yoga
  • Community Event: FLOW & ALIGN YOGA
    4:30pm • Zoom.
    Pre-registration required. Register for the Zoom link. https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUrf-Gvqz0sRf0_-P230qBI9VLMei_Ytw Classes resume, after this week, on 1/4/22. This class is sponsored by the Whitney Community Center in Jackson for Jackson residents however, non-Jackson residents are encouraged to attend. Non-Jackson residents pay a class fee. More info: https://www.anjali-rose.com/yoga
  • Community Resource: LIBRARY OPEN
    10am-7pm • Jackson Library
    Contact the library for additional help: 603.383.9731 or by email: staff@jacksonlibrary.org

WED, Dec 15

  • FITNESS with Laurie McAleer
    9am • JCC Parish House
    Free to participants. Last class of 2021: sessions resume January at 9:30am on Wednesdays.
  • Community Resource: LIBRARY OPEN
    2pm-5pm • Jackson Library
    Contact the library for additional help: 603.383.9731 or by email: staff@jacksonlibrary.org
  • SANCTUARY DECORATING
    1pm • JCC
    Rev Gail and volunteers continue decorating the sanctuary,
  • ADVENT 3-Week Study Group: The Redemption of Scrooge
    5pm: Dec 15, Dec 22 (zoom)
    • Co-facilitated as shared Jackson-Bartlett program by Rev Gail Doktor (Jackson) and Rev Pojen Lee (guest preacher at Bartlett)
    • Free copies of book available in front entrance of Jackson Community Church. Judy Ludgate also has a few copies available for Bartlett Conrgegational Church’s friends and members who may wish to participate.
    • Attend via Zoom link. COntact church for link and password: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org.
    • The Redemption of Scrooge is written by Matt Rawle. Book description: Is redemption possible for Ebenezer Scrooge? Pastor and author Matt Rawle  discovers the teachings of Jesus in the words of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Rawle dives deep into the dark, sad, greedy world of Scrooge and discovers a man in dire need of a second chance. Along with Scrooge, we meet the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future and in the process learn about living with and for others in a world blessed by Jesus. Rediscover and reinvigorate your faith this Advent and Christmas season and look at this familiar classic through the lens of faith.
  • COUNCIL MEETING
    7pm • Zoom.
    Contact church for link and password: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org.
    Leadership meeting with staff, church officers, and team leaders to make decisions that support the church’s mission and operations. Open to public. This month we prepare budget for consideration during January 2022’s annual meeting.

THURS, Dec 16

  • Community Resource: LIBRARY OPEN
    10am-7pm • Jackson Library
    Contact the library for additional help: 603.383.9731 or by email: staff@jacksonlibrary.org
  • Community Service: WAY STATION SHIFT
    All Day • Way Station, 15 Grove St, No Conway
    Volunteers open day resource center for showers, mail pickup, grocery distribution, more.
  • Community Event: WINTER BIRD ECOLOGY (TIn Mountain Conservation Center)
    7pm • Zoom Link pending.Brush up on your winter bird identification as we review local winter bird field marks as well as pass on a few bird feeding tips for the winter season ahead. This program is a great refresher for the fast approaching Christmas Bird Count. More info: https://www.tinmountain.org/event/winter-bird-ecology-7/
  • Community Event: CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS  with Heather Pierson Jazz Trio (Mountain Top Music)
    7pm/8pm • Majestic Theater, Conway
    Heather Pierson, piano and vocals; Shawn Nadeau, bass, and Craig Bryan, drums, will perform Vince Guaraldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at the Majestic Theatre. Doors open at 6:30 and refreshments will be available in the Majestic Cafe. Info & tickets: https://mountaintop.ludus.com/index.php
  • Community Event: A CHRISTMAS CAROL (M&D Theater Productions)
    7:30pm • M&D Theater, North Conway
    Patrick Barlow, writer of the Broadway and West End hit The 39 Steps, has retold Charles Dickens’ holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. This thrilling adaptation uses only five actors to bring some of Dickens’ most beloved characters to life. From Scrooge and Tiny Tim to Bob Cratchit and Mrs. Fezziwig, Barlow’s A Christmas Carol uses nothing more than some simple props, fresh physicality, and the power of imagination to convey this timeless story of redemption. Witness Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation from a stingy miser to a man who generously celebrates the spirit of the season all year long, in this highly theatrical adaptation. Tickets and info: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=124639
  • Community Events: MUSIC AROUND TOWN
    • Wildcat Tavern: Rafe Matregrano • 6-9pm

FRI, Dec 17

  • Community Resource: LIBRARY OPEN
    2pm-5pm • Jackson Library
    Contact the library for additional help: 603.383.9731 or by email: staff@jacksonlibrary.org
  • C3: COCKTAILS & CHRISTIAN CONVERSATION
    5pm • Zoom.
    Contact church for link and password: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org.
    Bring your adult beverage and your curiosity for a conversation about our sacred texts.
  • Community Event:  MAJESTIC CAFE Concert: Dan Moore on piano, with Rick Gordon and Mike (Mountain Top Music)
    7pm • Majestic Theater, Conway
    $10/pp. More info: https://mountaintop.ludus.com/index.php?step=seats
  • Community Event: A CHRISTMAS CAROL (M&D Theater Productions)
    7:30pm • M&D Theater, North Conway
    Patrick Barlow, writer of the Broadway and West End hit The 39 Steps, has retold Charles Dickens’ holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. This thrilling adaptation uses only five actors to bring some of Dickens’ most beloved characters to life. From Scrooge and Tiny Tim to Bob Cratchit and Mrs. Fezziwig, Barlow’s A Christmas Carol uses nothing more than some simple props, fresh physicality, and the power of imagination to convey this timeless story of redemption. Witness Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation from a stingy miser to a man who generously celebrates the spirit of the season all year long, in this highly theatrical adaptation. Tickets and info: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=124639
  • Community Events: MUSIC AROUND TOWN
    • Wildcat Tavern: Al Shafner • 6-9pm
    • Shannon Door: Marty Quirk • 6-9pm
    • Red Parka: Shark Martin• 8-11pm
    • Shovel Handle: Rek’lis Duo • 6-9pm

SAT, Dec 18

SUN, Dec 19

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING
    8am • Old Red Library next to church (indoors) & Zoom.
    COntact church for link and password: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org.
    Poetry and conversation. Join us. Bring your own hot beverage on cold mornings!
  • WORSHIP IN-PERSON & ZOOM – Advent 4: Love 
    10:30am •  Zoom & Live. Contact church for link and password: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org.
    • Join us for worship with music, scripture, prayer and reflection.
    • Live music by Alan Labrie
    • Advent 4: Love candle-lighting by Robert Carper & Elizabeth Polansky
    • Choral song debut
    • In-person attendance requires social distancing and masking for all attendees (additional precautions may be changed based on COVID stats and CDC guidelines).
    • Service will also be live-streamed to website and Facebook (if technology supports this function on the day of event). Afterward, recordings of worship service will be posted to FacebookVimeo.com channel & Youtube.com channel.
  • CHRISTMAS STORYTELLING with Doug Brendel 
    4pm • JCC
    Author, minister, and humanitarian Doug Brendel performs Christmas stories in Parish House. Join us for seasonal reflections and delicious goodies. Donations will benefit the nonprofit New Thing and the local nonprofit the Way Station. This will also be livestreamed to Facebook and church website.
  • Community Event: A CHRISTMAS CAROL (M&D Theater Productions)
    3:30pm • M&D Theater, North Conway
    Patrick Barlow, writer of the Broadway and West End hit The 39 Steps, has retold Charles Dickens’ holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. This thrilling adaptation uses only five actors to bring some of Dickens’ most beloved characters to life. From Scrooge and Tiny Tim to Bob Cratchit and Mrs. Fezziwig, Barlow’s A Christmas Carol uses nothing more than some simple props, fresh physicality, and the power of imagination to convey this timeless story of redemption. Witness Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation from a stingy miser to a man who generously celebrates the spirit of the season all year long, in this highly theatrical adaptation. Tickets and info: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=124639
  • Community Events: MUSIC AROUND TOWN
    • Shannon Door: Riley Parkhurst • 6-9pm

Advent Daily Devotional: WEEK of PEACE: DAY 12 -Thurs, Dec 9

Peace be within your walls. — Psalm 122:7

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. — Isaiah 60:1

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The two Advent candles create more light together. The pair of lights suggest a relationship.

            Peaceful relationships involve communication, reciprocity, and cooperation. People connected in such a way also recognize, accept, and trust each other.

            How do you spend time being present to people with whom you have relationships? How do you ‘show up’? How do they ‘show up’ for you? How do you share time and connection? What forms of communication do you choose? In what ways do you build trust between yourself and others?

            Clarity about being ‘okay’ yourself, so that you can be available to someone else, actually strengthens your ability to contribute to relationships. Think of it as the oxygen mask lesson on an airplane, when you are told to put on your own mask first, before assisting someone else. For instance, be sure you continue to be attentive to your own equilibrium via self-care: sleep, exercise, good nutrition, strategies for relaxation and renewal. Set reasonable limits to the way you offer your presence to others, whenever you can establish such boundaries, though sometimes caregivers are in situations that challenge self-care). Always check your boundaries within relationships.

            Sometimes, when you are connected to people who are struggling with circumstances outside their control, and beyond your capacity to change, showing up is the most significant contribution you can make. In caregiving circles, this can be called ‘bearing witness.’ Sometimes it takes the shaping of being a consistent presence or companion, perhaps it takes the shape of mentoring or coaching, or just being a friend who listens and hangs out. This attentiveness may often be the best, most significant response you can offer someone.

            Ultimately, peaceful relationships permit each participant to honor the light within other(s). Such a bond also enables you to shine your own light, too. Shine on! — Rev Gail

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No person, no place, and no thing has any power over us, for ‘we’ are the only thinkers in our mind.
When we create peace and harmony and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives. — Louise Hay

Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset. — St. Francis de Sales

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