PEACE CAIRN: Vigil for Ukraine

PEACE CAIRN (and vigil) for the Ukraine: Sun, Mar 13 @ 1pm in Schouler Park.

Plus: 2 local Fryeburg Academy students set up fundraising campaign and site with additional resources. Details in email. Also: Donate, pray, stay informed, and advocate! Many ways to get involved.

Sunday, March 13th
1:00 PM
Schouler Park North Conway, NH
The Peace Cairn

“Let there be peace on earth…”
 
       In Ireland there is a tradition known as the “Peace Cairn”.  Stones, in this view, symbolize ancient weapons and the Peace Cairn is a heaping pile of stones laid down to stop war.  Each stone is balanced against other stones that represents the balance necessary for peace to exist.  Officially, the Peace Cairn is designated as ‘laying down primitive weapons – – turning them into building blocks for a better future.”
 
       On Sunday, March 13th at 1:00 p.m. people are asked to bring stones to Schouler Park in North Conway to build a Peace Cairn.  You may write a one-word, or a few-words of prayer, (if you choose), to help build a balanced heap of stones.  It is part of the Prayer Vigil the “Clergy of the Eastern Slope” are organizing to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine.  (Please feel free to wear clothing or scarfs of yellow and blue if you desire) … There is no dress code, we are just looking for kind souls to offer prayers for peace.
 
       Whatever your prayers are for those who live in fear, for refugees who wander, for families fractured and frayed, for the innocent to survive, for diplomats to build trust, for peacemakers on all sides, come to Schouler Park, add your prayers to ours, and help build the Peace Cairn.Vigil will include Prayer, Music, and the building of a Peace Cairn


United Church of Christ/UCC with its GLOBAL PARTNERS

The United Church of Christ is issuing an appeal for the people of Ukraine and will be working with global partners to assist vulnerable communities within that country. (more info: https://www.ucc.org/ucc-issues-appeal-for-ukraine-calls-on-u-s-to-provide-humanitarian-aid/)

What you can do through the UCC and its partners:

  • DONATE: Donate to the UCC Ukraine relief effort here.
  • READ & LEARN: Access daily updates from Ukraine. Global Ministries will be posting daily updates provided by the Reformed Church of Hungary here.
  • PRAY: Access the UCC officers’ call to prayer here.
  • ADVOCATE:  Action alert directed to current administration for direct forms of assistance in this crisis: https://p2a.co/OKUfu7z

The appeal joins an earlier call to prayer issued by the UCC’s executive officers and an invitation from Global Ministries to pray with the worldwide interfaith community. The national ministries are also encouraging people to call on the Biden administration to offer Ukrainians more humanitarian assistance, both in the U.S. and abroad.

  • Interfaith call to prayer issued by the UCC’s executive officers and an invitation from Global Ministries to pray with the worldwide interfaith community.
  • The UCC, through Global H.O.P.E. and Global Ministries, will be collaborating with ACT Alliance and the Reformed Church of Hungary (RCH) to bring aid to Ukraine. RCH is responding to the situation in the war-torn country through its agency, Hungarian Reformed Church Aid. That group has been offering humanitarian assistance since Russian troops first attacked Ukraine on Feb. 24. It’s working with elderly and other vulnerable communities inside the country who have not been able to leave, including immigrants and migrant populations who are experiencing difficulties crossing into other European countries. HRCA is also working with refugees who are leaving the country. 
  • Gifts to the UCC Ukraine Emergency Appeal will provide shelter, food and other care to war refugees and internally displaced people. It also will help refugees and asylum seekers from African, Middle Eastern and other countries who had sought refuge in Ukraine and now are twice displaced, as well as other citizens of more than 125 countries living in Ukraine. Donate here.
  • The UCC’s advocacy office in Washington, D.C., is encouraging people through this action alert to: providing significant humanitarian assistance, both in terms of financial support and operational personnel, rebuild a robust, well-resourced refugee program that can effectively process refugees from a variety of regions across the globe, including Ukraine, designate Ukraine for Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to protect Ukrainians already in the U.S., grant Special Student Relief (SSR) to allow eligible students from Ukraine to remain in the U.S.

SOME PATHS to HELP

NEW: Fryeburg Academy students set up website to make donations toward resources for Ukraine. Anna Bondar, 17, a junior at the school, and Daryna Serediuk, 18, a senior are both from western Ukraine. One thing they did was to create online “Help Ukraine Now” posters with built-in QR codes that direct people to a website where people can donate to causes like the Armed Forces of Ukraine as well as humanitarian causes or buy Ukrainian Army themed merchandise. The link is linktr.ee/help_ukraine_global.

Full article in Conway Daily Sun: https://www.conwaydailysun.com/news/local/fryeburg-academy-students-from-ukraine-holding-fundraisers/article_62101efc-9e5e-11ec-8837-7b4d619c6fb6.html

Recommended by other congregation friends and members. Note: These are suggestions about how you might contribute to the relief effort, should this be something you feel you’d like to do. We are not prioritizing any one agency or group. Here are several organizations with excellent reputations for supporting refugees or assisting with on-the-ground relief work:

PRAYER CONCERN & PERSONAL SITUATIONS

If people have prayer concerns or specific situations to bring to our community’s attention, we will continue to share such information. We will trust that all such recommendations are authentic.

Caution: We remind donors that such personal fundraising initiatives are not monitored or supervised, so it is best if you have a direct connection (or at least know and trust the person making the request) if you are moved to support these personalized campaigns. Sadly, even in the midst of crisis, people will also try to use this as a chance to scam others for money.

Kimberli Jo Lewis’ Family: Additionally, this is about a friend and neighbor of a member of our congregation. Sue Carrigan brought to our attention to a specific Ukrainian family’s plight and the Go Fund Me page set up to assist them (they are family to a neighbor in NH): https://gofund.me/8b517a9f.

Updates:

  • “Update is the family is in a shelter near me in Prague, my apartment is too small for 2 adults and 2 children. We supply most to them but the 7 year old is traumatize with entire situation , so is Grandma who is same age as many of our friends. All had to flee their home, each had one bag.  It is nothing we can think about other than our for 100 years many of our families did the same.  We appreciate the support as there is a long way ahead of them.”
  • I spent 2 hours yesterday at the embassy, we are doing everything we can.  Thank you, everything helps.  We have some people in RI reaching out to the state department.”
  • … I just traveled to to pick up Lena’s Mom, Sister and 2 children 7 and 19 months.  They are now with me, and we are trying to get them to US and … despite what is on TV, they can not get to the US because the 19 month baby has no visa. I hate to ask you this but in your friend group if you know anyone who would give 25 USD it will help us.  Personally, it has costed me until now 5000, to get them this far, and to start a new life once we get them in is horrible.  If you in your church group know anyone 10 dollars helps I would appreciate it. I am so tired and so stressed, I remember when you did fundraiser after the accident , I get it now … I have now done 1 intensive week to get them out, I attach the story, anyone who can give 10 dollars we would appreciate, it is not to reimburse me, it is for the next step once we get through the US BS,
    Please read the story of my best friend, a devoted Catholic who gave his live for 1 week to save my family.  Please say him in your prayers, he got them to me without one ounce of selfishness the story I need to tell you in person.  I called him for advice and he said no advice “action.”

Advent Daily Devotional: Day 12

Thurs, Dec 10 – DAY 12

Communal peace requires a different form of attention and advocacy. By our choices, with our voices, through our actions, we foster local peace. While some people may be in positions to affect national and global peace through high-level policy and practices, many of us shape peace through regional and neighborhood-based activism and engagement.
— Rev Gail

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. — Matthew 5:9

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” — John 20:21

Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. — John F. Kennedy

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
— Desmond Tutu

Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that
we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all
that they are. —Hafsat Abiola

Local RACIAL JUSTICE RESPONSES and in-depth RESOURCES

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. — James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Addressing events surrounding the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and resultant nationwide/global protests and demonstrations. Acknowledging the need for racial justice initiatives in our own hometowns as well as regionally and nationally.

Immediate Responses: RACIAL JUSTICE

  • Courageous Conversations: Racial Justice – 6-week dialogue series to be co-facilitated by Jackson Community Church and Jackson Public Library via Zoom on Wednesdays (June 17-July 22). Morning and afternoon sessions will be offered. RSVP to jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org if you’re interested in participating in the morning or afternoon sessions. We will share links as plans progress.
  • Additional programming is under consideration with the support of local advocates, the library, the church and other organizations. We will keep you posted.
  • Local organizers and educators:
    • NH Listens: Carsey School of Public Policy
    • World Fellowship Center also organizes and educates in the valley. More info.
    • Reading lists available through local librayr coop: In an effort to provide further materials, the coop libraries (Jackson, Cook, Madison and Conway) have shared lists for adults, teens and children within our joint KOHA catalog on books across our collections on race, racism and anti-racism.  There is also a list pertaining specifically to children’s books at the Jackson Library on these vital topics.  Numerous online resources are also available.   Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair at the University of South Carolina, has created a list of Anti-Racism Resources for all ages and the National Museum of African American History & Culture has a page called Talking About Race.  While our statewide inter-library loan system remains on hold, if there are other books or informational resources you are looking for, we would like to hear from you so that we can best provide you with the materials you need. You can email us at staff@jacksonlibrary.org, send us a chat, or leave a voice message at 603-383-9731.

NH JUNETEENTH EVENTS: Facebook Page (all events collated at this site)

Become more informed about yourself:

Dive deep through other available resources. Some recommendations on different topics.

Starting-point to talk about race:


The NH Council of Churches has written letters and recommended next steps regarding racial justice responses to deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery,. See below.

The NH UCC offers this Theological Roundtable on Racial Justicehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iczYc42Y1Rw&feature=youtu.be. 

  • This video features reflections shared by The Rev. Gordon Rankin, Conference Minister, New Hampshire Conference, United Church of Christ (NHCUCC); and members of the NHCUCC Racial Justice Mission Group, Kira Morehouse, Member and Delegate, Brookside Congregational Church U.C.C., Manchester; Rev. John Gregory-Davis, Co-pastor, Meriden Congregational Church; Rev. Renee’ Rouse, Pastor, Northwood Congregational Church; Harriet Ward, Member, Pilgrim United Church of Christ, Brentwood-Kingston; and Rev. Dr. Dawn Berry, Member, First Congregational Church, UCC, Hopkinton, and Chair, Racial Justice Mission Group.

Recommended reading: Collected lists for different ages

  • NY Times: These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to Your Kids
  • USA TodayBooks to Learn More About Anti-Racism
  • Embrace Race: 31 Books for Children about Race, Racism, and Resistance
  • Most lists will include these and many other books to get you started:
    • Fiction: The Hate U Giveby Angie Thomas
    • Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt
    • How to Be an Antiracistby Ibram X. Kendi
    • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
    • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
    • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Learning about the social construct of ‘whiteness’ & race:

  • Scene On Radio presents Seeing White. A series on the history of whiteness as social construct in America.
  • People Talk about White Fragility with Dr. Robin DeAngelo (from White Fragility: Why Its Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
  • Watch PBS Frontline episodeA Class Divided about Jane Elliot’s 3rd-grade class in Iowa, and the exercise she used to teach them about prejudice, discrimination and implicit bias, by segregating blue-eyed and brown-eyed children.

History and experience of race in America:

Justice System, Policing, and Mass Incarceration:

Activism & Being an Ally:

Movies:

  • Netflix: 13th directed by Ava DuVernay offers documentary summarizing events and experiences since the 13th amendment was passed
  • Amazon Prime: I Am Not Your Negro features links between Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter movements through the work and words of James Baldwin, featuring the lives of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr, and Medgar Evers
  • Disney: Zootopia by addresses racism and prejudice through animated animal narrative. Discussion guide to go with this film.
  • The Hate U Give on Hulu based on the book by Angie Thomas is about a black woman’s struggle to speak out when she witnesses the death of an unarmed friend killed by local police. Book discussion guide.

Churches and faith community resources:

Public policy bodies that are exploring and shaping equity initiatives and conversations in New Hampshire:

Other Organizations.
This list provided through a Jackson resident who is active on racial justice advocacy groups. “I invite you to join me in standing in solidarity with others who are organizing across the USA and the world for racial and social justice …”

  • NH UCC Racial Justice Mission Team: website. Sign up for their emails with recommendations on programming and engagement. The Purpose of the Racial Justice Mission Group is to awaken the NH Conference to issues of racial justice and equality within our churches, state, and country. We are called to be: LEARNERS in a community of mutual accountability studying the impact white privilege and the history of slavery has on racism; INTERRUPTERS of the continued cycle of racism; and  ALLIES with People of Color in challenging race-based injustice in the areas of criminal justice, environmental degradation, economic deprivation, and exclusion from full participation in our communities of faith.
  • White Mountain Action Network is organizing awareness and activism events. You can find them on Facebook or request to be added to their mailing list via white.mtn.action.network@gmail.com.
  • Black Lives Matter / North Conway Edition: See Facebook for organizer / contact info.
  • Poor People’s Campaign: Facebook | Website
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People / NAACP
  • Black Lives Matter: Seeks to “eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes by combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy.”
  • Girls for a Change: Supports Black girls and other girls of color and inspires them to visualize their bright futures and potential through discovery, development, and social change innovation in their communities.
  • Sistersong: Strengthens and amplifies the collective voices of indigenous women and women of color to achieve reproductive justice by eradicating reproductive oppression and securing human rights.
  • The Essie Justice Group: Nonprofit organization of women with incarcerated loved ones taking on the rampant injustices created by mass incarceration.
  • Higher Heights: Building a national infrastructure to harness Black women’s political power and leadership potential.

This Week: Sept 2-Sept 9

This Week at Jackson Community Church
and Around Town

This week @ JCC: Mon-Fri: Star Island retreat, Wed: Fitness tune-up with Laurie McAleer, Thurs: Yoga with Anjali Rose, Sun: Gazebo led by Sandi & Eileen & Denise and trad’l worship with favorite songs & scripture with guest soloist Kevin O’Neill and start-up of church choir practice. Plus community events: Mon – covered bridge closing on weekdays, Tue – farmer’s market.

Note: Rev Gail Doktor will be on vacation through Sat, Sept 8. See below for coverage in case of pastoral care emergencies.

Continue reading “This Week: Sept 2-Sept 9”

UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES for Youth & Families at Jackson Community Church

(See end of posting for summer intensives and international internships for youth & young adults. Fast-approaching deadlines [March 15, April, etc] for registration and applications or scholarships for some of these opportunities.)

THURSDAYS, Mar 15 & Mar 22

  • Soup & Ski with Family & Friends
    5pm • Parish Hall of Jackson Community Church. Gather with members and friends for soup supper.
    5:30/6pm •  Meet at church parking lot for evening XC ski. Optimal starting point to be determined. For those who able and interested, if weather permits, come on a ‘night ski’ on Jackson XC Center’s trails. Donations will be collected for Jackson Ski Touring Foundation. Bring your own head lamps, ski equipment, layers, and be prepared for outdoor conditions. Ski at your own risk. Bring friends! Open to everyone. All ages welcome.

FRI, MAR 23

  • Film Screening of “404 Not Found” & Soup Supper: Bowls for Homeless Teens in Mt Washington Valley
    5-7pm • Gibson Senior Center, North Conway. In collaboration with Clergy of the Eastern Slope and First Church of North Conway’s Missions Team, screening the film “404 Not Found” that highlights the homeless youth in NH.  Check out the film trailer @  404notfoundfilm.com.  Held in collaboration with Governor Sununu’s “Sleep Out”.  This is a valley issue and will take a valley solution.
  • “Sleep Out” (Stay-Up-Late or Sleep Over at Church)
    8pm, Mar 23 – 9am, Mar 24 • Jackson Community Church
    For youth & chaperones. Stay late at church. Or spend the night. To be held in solidarity with Gov Sununu’s “Sleep Out” event to raise awareness about homelessness. We will stay up late at Jackson Community Church with games and worship, learn about homelessness in the valley, make civic engagement posters. If some people stay overnight, we will wake up to have breakfast together. RSVP and permission slips required.

WED, APR 4: MLK Remembrance Bell Ringing

  • 6pm. • Front door of sanctuary, Jackson Community Church.
    Help ring the bell 39 times in memory of Martin Luther King Jr. This is a national vigil; learn more at www.MLK50Forward.org.

SAT, APR 7: New England Youth Environmental Justice Summit

  • 9am-4pm • Brookside Congregational Church, Manchester, NH
  • Jackson Community Church will cover the cost of registration and attendance. $20/day. RSVP to the church asap if you plan to attend, so that we can register you. Or let us know if you register separately, but plan to attend, so we can coordinate rides and reimbursement for attendance.
  • Rev Gail will attend summit and provide rides.
  • The Summit is open to all middle school, high school and college students; as well as teachers, mentors, pastors, lay leaders and advisors: and anyone interested in acquiring tools for facing the pressing moral issue of climate change.
  • Keynote Speakers:
    • Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, Massachusetts Conference Minister, UCC
    • Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt, UCC Minister for Environmental Justice
  • Afternoon Breakout Sessions include:
    • Pam Arifian, Director, UCC Northeast Environmental Justice Center
    • Marla Marcum, Founder, Climate Disobedience Center
    • John Ungerleider, Professor, School of International Training
    • Jehann El-Bisi, PhD and Film Director, and Art Desmarais
    • Representatives from 350.org and other groups will lead a workshop on activism in climate change issues

SUN, APR 8: Road to Emmaus Hike

  • 9am • “Road to Emmaus” Walk. Meet at church for family hike if weather permits. Indoor activities available if weather turns

Note: Additional spring youth & family schedule to be announced. Expect outdoor youth & family activities every Sunday at 9am, beginning April 22.

FRI, APR 20-MON, APR 23: Ecumenical Advocacy Days

  • 1pm, Fri – 5pm, Mon • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Washington, D.C.-Crystal City, 300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA.
    A WORLD UPROOTED: Responding to Migrants, Refugees and Displaced Peoples. A weekend of faith-rooted worship, learning and advocacy in our Nation’s capital – will focus on the uprootedness of our world. We will analyze current policy and envision ways to more fully and justly respond to the global and local needs of displaced communities. Together we will seek policy changes that advance hope and overcome the devastating impacts of conflict, climate change and corruption on God’s people. Ends with congressional advocacy day.

    • REGISTER – Early-bird registration rates available through March 17th. Register now.
    • SCHOLARSHIPS – Justice and Witness Ministries has designated funding for UCC young adults (ages 18-35) to attend Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) in 2018. Learn more and apply by March 23rd.
    • Travel costs and hotel accommodations are separate expenses.
    • Additional scholarships, such as Bushee-Thorne Scholarship, can be applied to this conference!

FRI, MAY 19 – SAT, MAY 20: Middle School Retreat

  • 3pm, Fri – 6pm, Sat • Ipswich, MA
    Spend weekend on retreat with Ipswich Middle School youth group. Stay overnight in sleeping bags at the church on Friday and return to Jackson on Saturday evening. RSVP to church by April 15, 2018  if interested.
YOUTH & YOUNG ADULT INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
through the UCC
A tuition-free program of the Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, the IFYI Fellowship is an all-expense paid interfaith immersion experience for young leaders (ages 15-19) providing an opportunity to meaningfully engage together with important global and local issues through the lens of their different religious, ethnic, cultural, economic, social and political backgrounds.

(Ages 21-29)
This Internship Programme stretches over an 18-month period, for four young people aged 21-29. Each intern is assigned to work for 12 months at the WCC offices in Geneva, Switzerland, in one of our many programme areas. This is then to be followed by a six-month work placement in the intern’s own country.
HORTON CENTER
FAMILY CAMP & YOUTH GROUP CAMP
Sun, July 1- Sat, July 7
Flexi-Week.: Come for the day or for a period of days.
  • Rev Gail & Chris Doktor will be deans of family camp.
  • Our youth can come for one day or an overnight!
  • Registration available here:
  • Scholarships such as Bushee-Thorne (for which applications already being considered as of April) can be applied to this camp.
  • Additional camp weeks are also available with focus on different skills such as archery, rock clibing, etc. Full schedule available here.
EASTERN REGIONAL YOUTH EVENT
July 19-22, 2018 

California University of PA, California, Pennsylvania
(grades 7 through 12 )
  • 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.
  • Scholarships from Bushee-Thorne (applications already being considered as of April) can be applied to this experience.

Sampling of the workshops that will be offered at ERYE.  Each participant will be able to attend 3 workshops. (Workshop list subject to change.)

  • Authentic Faith: The Wisdom of Not Knowing All the Answers
  • Becoming a Transgender AllyBuilding a Team – Playing a Game
  • Disabled God, Queer God: Understanding the Divine Through Identity
  • Disabled in Church: Struggles and Triumphs
  • Earth Avengers: Superheroes for the Planet
  • From Barbie to Wonder Woman!
  • How An Orphan In Mexico Inspired Thousands – And How He Can Inspire You.
  • How Can I Help My Community Prepare For And Respond To A Disaster?
  • Identity Bowling: Intersectionality through Music
  • Our Gender & Sexuality: Confusions and Questions and Wonder
  • Praying with Color, Clay, Beads and Ribbons
  • Praying with the Body
  • Sacred DanceStorytelling for Social Change
  • The Conflict Skills That Nobody Got (but everybody needs)This Is Really Happening
  • Tie-Dyed Faith: Revealing Your God-Colors
  • Walking the Labyrinth to Rejuvenate Your Spirit
  • Watershed Management
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