Beatitude Devotional: Wed, Feb 17 – SAW

WEEK 1: Scripture from Matthew 5: When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them …

Reflection on words from Beatitudes

Wed, Feb 17 (Ash Wednesday):  SAW

         To see. To be seen.

Today we burn palm leaves from last year’s Palm Sunday celebration. We burn away the innocent cheerfulness and euphoria — the ‘pomp and circumstance’ — of last year’s Hosannas. Truthfully, we may have a tough time remembering hosannas from last year — it has been a long twelve months. Symbolically, we burn away outer layers, veils and masks, and the external armor that hides us.

As we burn the leaves, we let go of something. We also reveal something.

The green leaves have dried and yellowed. They are only the memory of some portion of our lives that we’ve clung to — preserved for a year — now released by flames. In the flames, they curl and shrivel. Grow black and gray. Change to charcoal, soot and ash.

Today we gather up whatever is left, whatever didn’t go up in smoke. We scoop ashes. Combine them with the oil of anointing, and wear them.

Today is a confession. It’s a submission. It’s a surrender.

Today we bow our heads or fall to our knees, so we can rise again. Rise: known, named, claimed. Rise: beloved.

Oh, to be sure, we don’t become suddenly perfect as we confess. We’re as imperfect as ever. We’re as messy and broken as before, and also as beautiful and possible, as before. Yet we are also accepted and forgiven.

In this moment, we drop our guard. Look into the face of God, or ask God to look upon our faces. Doing so, we invite the experience of being fully seen, fully known.

Afterward, sooty leftovers grace our skin as thumbprints, crosses, or circles. We wear Christ’s fingerprints. Mark ourselves. Allow ourselves to be marked.

Thus, at our best, we are honest in these moments when we bare ourselves to holy Love. After all, what’s the benefit of hiding from Godself? We’ve been seen and known all along. The only ones from whom we really hide are ourselves, and maybe other people. God knows us, whether we choose to be known or not.

Yet it makes a difference, when we choose to participate, and to offer ourselves to the Love that sees us. Especially when we then turn toward the world, bearing the mark of being seen and known, and loved. — Rev Gail

Meditations:

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. ― Confucius

The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love. Meister Eckhart

Challenge: Look in the mirror. And with kindness, with compassion, meet your own eyes and tell yourself you are loved. If you have the chance, look someone else in the eye, and hold that gaze for 10 seconds, and at the end of it, tell the other person, “You are loved.”

Ash Wednesday Schedule: Feb 17

  • ASHES to GO
    8-10am • JTown Deli
    Ashes available in individually-prepared packages, on take-away cards, or in-person from Rev Gail. COVID precautions required: masks and hand sanitizing.
  • ASHES to GO
    11am-1pm • JCC Sanctuary
    Ashes available in individually-prepared packages, on take-away cards, or in-person from Rev Gail. COVID precautions required: masks and hand sanitizing.
  • ASHES to GO
    4-4:30pm • Shannon Door
    Ashes available in individually-prepared packages, on take-away cards, or in-person from Rev Gail. COVID precautions required: masks and hand sanitizing.
  • ASHES to GO
    6-7pm • JCC Sanctuary
    Ashes available in individually-prepared packages, on take-away cards, or in-person from Rev Gail. COVID precautions required: masks and hand sanitizing.
  • ASH WEDNESDAY WORSHIP
    7pm • Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/142985761?pwd=T214WDhHRmxoYXE0dWRCNk53SFppQT09. 
    Option: Call on touch-tone phone: 929.436.2866, Meeting ID: 142985761, Password: 603603.
    Join us for scripture and prayer. Join us (email church for link) for a brief observance of Ash Wednesday. Note that we are also offering ‘Ashes to Go’ throughout the day: 8-10am (JTown), 11am-1pm (JCC), 4-4:30pm (Shannon Door), 6-7pm (JCC).

Ash Wednesday Reflection

In order to rise from its own ashes
A phoenix first must burn.
― Octavia Butler, Parable of the Talents

You have risen from the ashes before.
The only way to survive … is to believe you always will.
― Samantha Shannon, The Song Rising

SONGS for ASH WEDNESDAY

What I Did With Your Ashes (excerpts)— Amy Gerstler
  … Remarked to your box:
“REINCARNATION comes from roots
meaning ‘to be made flesh again.'”  
Stowed your box under my bed for a week
to seed dreams in which you advise me. (This didn’t work.)  
Opened the Babylonian Talmud at random.
Read aloud to your gritty, gray-white powder:
“There are three keys which the Holy One, blessed be
He, has not entrusted into the hands of any messenger.
These are: the key of rain, the key of birth,
and the key of the resurrection of the dead.”

The Ashes — Karin Gottshall
You were carried here by hands
and now the wind has you, gritty as incense, dark sparkles borne  
in the shape of blowing, this great atmospheric bloom,
spinning under the bridge and expanding—  
shape of wind and its pattern of shattering.
Having sloughed off the urn’s temporary shape,  
there is another of you now—
tell me which to speak to: the one you were, or are, the one who waited  
in the ashes for this scattering,
or the one now added to the already haunted woods,
the woods that sigh and shift their leaves—  
where your mystery billows, then breathes.


WED, Feb 19 – WED, Feb 26 — School vacation through Fri, Feb 21 —

WED, Feb 19

  • Schools closed
  • TUNE UP FITNESS with Laurie McAleer 
    9am • Parish House. 
    Fitness class. Free; open to public. Stretching and fitness workouts with certified fitness coach Laurie McAleer. Exercises can be adjusted to individual needs. Weather-dependent; if school is cancelled, class is cancelled.
  • COUNCIL MEETING
    7pm • JCC Elected church officers, staff, and team representatives meet to reviews church mission and decisions for governance and operations. Open to all.

THURS, Feb 20

  • Schools closed
  • Community Service: WAY STATION
    9am & 5pm • 15 Grove St, No Conway
    Friends, members & staff of Jackson Community Church are among volunteers to staff these shifts. Weather-dependent; if school is cancelled, Way Station is closed.
  • YIN RESTORATIVE YOGA for the Mindful Body with Anjali Rose 9am • Jackson Community Church
    Note: 6 weeks $60. Contact Anjali Rose for more info. Weather-dependent; if school is cancelled, yoga is cancelled.
  • Community Event: TODDLER STORYTIME
    10:30am • Jackson Public Library
  • Community Event: EVENING CRAFT-UP
    4pm • Jackson Public Library
    Bring an existing craft to do with neighbors at the library!
  • AA
    6:30pm • Jackson Community Church, 2nd Floor

FRI, Feb 21

  • Schools closed
  • PASTOR’S DROP-IN J-TOWN DELI HOURS
    7-9am • J-Town Deli
    Come for hot beverage and conversation. Or make a date to go for a walk or meet privately by texting/calling Rev Gail’s cell @ 978.273.0308.
  • Private Class: AVALANCHE CLASS
    8:30am-5pm • Jackson Community Church
    Class for back-country winter skiers and hikers to prepare for survival and response to avalanche conditions.
  • Community Event: SEWING with KATHY
    2pm • Jackson Library
    Special vacation week edition of sewing sweet things with Kathy! Make your own lovebug or lovegrub. Please sign up online or phone library at 603-383-9731 so they have materials prepared.

SAT, Feb 22

  • NHCUCC Event: PREPARED to SERVE
    8am-4pm • Pembroke, NH
    Workshops and training for church programs. Rev Gail attends afternoon sessions.

SUN, Feb 23

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING
    8am • Old Red Library
    Come for poetry, prayer and conversation.
  • BLESSINGS of BODIES, BOOTS & BINDINGS
    9:15am • Jackson XC Ski Touring Center
    Rev Gail provides blessings for staff and XC skiers.
  • POP-UP CHOIR
    10:10am • Jackson Community Church
    Come learn songs early and help as song leaders for congregation.
  • SUNDAY WORSHIP
    10:30am • Jackson Community Church
    * Message: Rev Gail Doktor
    * Music director & instrumentalist: Alan Labrie
  • CUTTING PARTY for MARDI GRAS
    11:45am • Jackson Community Church
    Bring your apron, favorite chopping knife, paring knife, cutting board. Chef Sue will direct our efforts!
  • Community Event: RACIAL JUSTICE CONVERSATIONS
    3:30pm • Jackson Public Library
    Third of 6-part series to hold conversations on racial justice and how our community can become more self-aware and active around this issue. Joint program sponsored by Jackson Public Library & Jackson Community Church. If you haven’t already joined us and want to attend,  RSVP to learn what we covered in the earlier sessions and feel free to join us for as many conversations as possible! Free and open to public.
  • Community Event: CONCERT with Dominique Dodge and Rosie MacKenzie
    5pm • Jackson Library

MON, Feb 24

  • Community Service: WAY STATION
    9am • 15 Grove St, No Conway
    Friends, members & staff of Jackson Community Church are among volunteers to staff these shifts.
  • COOKING for MARDI GRAS
    9am-Noon • Jackson Community Church
    Bring your apron, favorite chopping knife, paring knife, cutting board. Chef Sue will direct our efforts!
  • BARTLETT-JACKSON SCOUT PACK 321
    6pm • Jackson Community Church
    Meet for pack and troop activities. Contact pack organizer Allyn Roberts for additional information.

TUE, Feb 25 – FAT TUESDAY!

  • CLERGY LUNCH
    12:30pm • Brown Church
    Clergy gathering to plan ecumenical services. Rev Gail attends.
  • Community Event: CRAFTERNOON
    Noon • Jackson Public Library
    Bring an unfinished craft to the library and work with others while you visit, too.
  • No more meetings in Feb for the Multi-Church BIBLE STUDY GROUP
    Resumes in Lent, beginning Tue, Mar 3rd.
  • FAT TUESDAY PREP COOKING & DECORATING
    Noon-6pm • Jackson Community Church
  • DAISY SCOUT TROOP HELPS with MARDI GRAS
    Afternoon • Jackson Community Church
  • FAT TUESDAY CELEBRATION
    6-8pm • Jackson Community Church
    Come for jazz music with KHS Jazz Ensemble & Slimpikcins! Enjoy Mardi Gras cuisine and costumes. Come dressed up!
  • Community Concert: JAZZ with HEATHER PIERSON TRIO
    8pm • Stone Mountain Arts Center, Denmark, ME
    Tickets and info.

WED, Feb 26 – ASH WEDNESDAY

  • ASHES to GO
    7-9am • JTown Deli
  • ASHES to GO
    10:30am-12:30pm • Jackson Community Church
  • TUNE UP FITNESS with Laurie McAleer 
    9am • Parish House. 
    Fitness class. Free; open to public. Stretching and fitness workouts with certified fitness coach Laurie McAleer. Exercises can be adjusted to individual needs. Weather-dependent; if school is cancelled, class is cancelled.
  • Community Event: ECUMENICAL ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE
    5:30pm – Choir Practice • Brown Church, Conway Village
    6:30pm – Worship Service • Brown Church, Conway VillageClergy of the Eastern Slope invite friends and members to attend a jointly-run services hosted at the Brown Church. Rev Gail officates along with colleagues. All welcome!

This Week: MON, Feb 25 – SUN, Mar 3

At Jackson Community Church and Around Town

At JCC: Mon – Scout Dinner, Tue – Clergy Lunch, NH Conference Planning Mtg, Wed – Fitness & Womens Group Thurs – Yoga & Drum Lessons & AA, Fri – Pastors Hours & Youth Group Overnight, Sat – Way Station Community Service Work Day (Nativity Lutheran) & Youth Group Overnight, Sun – XC Blessing & Worship. Around Town: Tue – Affordable Housing Panel, Thurs – Coalition on Homelessness & Grammar School Ski-a-Thon, Sat – Guided Snow Shoe Tour. Save These Dates: Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Celebration & Ash Wednesday Observances plus  Classes in Advanced Facilitator Training on Active Listening & Impact of Homelessness on Children & Harvard EdX course on Religion, Conflict and Peace

MON, Feb 25

  • PACK 321 SCOUT BLUE and GOLD DINNER
    5:30pm • Parish House
    Scout dinner for pack sponsored by Jackson Community Church! The pack will be providing community service with the church in March.

TUE, Feb 26

  • CLERGY of the EASTERN SLOPE
    12:30pm • Lunch for local clergy from Mt Washington Valley faith communities. Rev Gail attends.
  • United Church of Christ / NH Conference Event: ANNUAL MEETING PLANNING COMMITTEE
    2-4pm • Conference Call
    Rev Gail participates in planning NH Conference annual meeting scheduled for autumn 2019.
  • AFFORDABLE HOUSING DISCUSSION
    6-7pm – social • 7pm – panel discussion.
    Eastern Slope Inn, No Conway, NH.
    Sponsored by our local Home Builders Association.

WED, Feb 27

  • TUNE UP FITNESS with Laurie McAleer 
    9:30am • Parish House.Fitness class. Free; open to public. These classes will continue through the end of February, then the instructor will re-evaluate whether she can continue into March. Classes remain weather dependent; if schools are delayed or closed, the class will be cancelled.
  • WOMEN’S GROUP
    10:30-Noon • Parish House
    Social gathering of friends and members of the church.
  • THREE MINUTE FICTION SLAM
    6pm • White Birch Books, No Conway
    Sponsored by Jackson Women’s Writing Group as part of the statewide NH Writers’ Project.
    * Open to the public. Anyone 17 years old or older may compete. Writers take turns presenting original flash fiction pieces of no more than three minutes in length when read aloud.
    * Email Anne to register.
    * Questions?  Call Anne at 603-236-6724 or White Birch Books at 603-356-3200
    The judges keep a private score for each piece. At the end of the night, the contestant with the highest score wins. Regional winners are invited to participate in the Three Minute Fiction Slam state finals run by the NH Writers’ Project. Among other prizes, the winner of the finals gets free entrance to The 603 Conference (the region’s largest literary conference) on April 27, 2019. There they will read the winning work before an audience of publishers, editors, agents, and fellow writers. 

THURS, Feb 28

  • Community Event: MEETING of MWV CARE & SERVICE PROVIDERS (public, nonprofit, private) re HOMELESSNESS & HOUSING INSECURE ISSUES
    9-11am • SAU#9 Professional Development Building
    Rev Gail attends.
  • FLOW & ALIGN 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.
  • Community Event: GRAMMAR SCHOOL SKI-A-THON
    12:30-4:30pm • Jackson XC Center Fields
    This annual fundraiser by the PTO  provides funds to support the enrichment programming for the school! The PTO splits the profits with a charity selected by the Student Council, which selected “Molly’s Place” at the Children’s Hospital in Dartmouth as the recipient of their proceeds. Molly’s Place is a center at the hospital where children can play, relax or unwind while they or a sibling are being treated.
  • Private Event: DRUM LESSONS with Brian Craig
    4:30-7:30pm • Parish House
  • AA
    6:30pm • Second Floor, Church.

FRI, Mar 1

  • PASTOR’s DROP-IN HOURS
    7-9am • J-Town Deli
    Come for caffeine, conversation. Or make a separate date to meet with Rev Gail by calling her cell (978) 273.0308 or email.
  • PASTOR’s OFFICE HOURS
    9:30-11:30am • Church. Drop by or make an appointment to meet with Rev Gail by texting or calling her cell (978) 273.0308 or by email.
  • Community Event: GUIDED SNOW SHOE TOURS
    10am & 1pm • Start from Jackson XC Ski Touring Center
    $15 includes ticket and tour; rental equipment available. Tours are approx. 90 minutes. More info.
  • YOUTH GROUP OVERNIGHT
    9pm, Fri – Noon, Sun • Parish House.
    Youth Group from First Church in Ipswich, UCC will be hosted at our church on Friday and Saturday. They will participate in community service and recreation at local ski areas (XC and downhill) and also join us for worship on Sunday morning. Local middle and high school youth are welcome to join them for community service, recreation and dinner on Saturday.

SAT, Mar 2

  • WAY STATION WORK DAY
    9am – 4pm • Nativity Lutheran Church
    Come help paint and prep more rooms at Nativity Lutheran Church to welcome guests of the Way Station, a day resource center to provide essential services to the valley’s homeless and housing insecure population, including showers, laundry, internet access, post office box, lockers and more. Wear old clothing. Supplies and paint will be provided!
  • YOUTH GROUP OVERNIGHT
    9pm, Fri – Noon, Sun • Parish House.
    Youth Group from First Church in Ipswich, UCC will be hosted at our church on Friday and Saturday. They will participate in community service and recreation at local ski areas (XC and downhill) and also join us for worship on Sunday morning. Local middle and high school youth are welcome to join them for community service, recreation and dinner on Saturday.
  • Community Event: GUIDED SNOW SHOE TOURS
    10am & 1pm • Start from Jackson XC Ski Touring Center. $15 includes ticket and tour; rental equipment available. Tours are approx. 90 minutes. More info.

SUN, Mar 3

  • YOUTH GROUP OVERNIGHT
    9pm, Fri – Noon, Sun • Parish House.
    Youth Group from First Church in Ipswich, UCC will be hosted at our church on Friday and Saturday. They will participate in community service and recreation at local ski areas (XC and downhill) and also join us for worship on Sunday morning. Local middle and high school youth are welcome to join them for community service, recreation and dinner on Saturday.
  • INTERFAITH GATHERING @ OLD LIBRARY
    8am • Old Library. Hot beverages available. Come for poetry, literature, conversation and prayer.
  • BLESSING of BODIES, BOOTS & BINDINGS
    9:15am • Jackson XC Ski Touring Foundation
    Rev Gail offers blessings to staff, volunteers and skiers.
  • WORSHIP 
    10:30am •  Jackson Community Church.
    * Story: Rev Gail
    * Accompanist: Alan Labrie
    * Guests: First Church of Ipswich, MA Youth Group/UCC
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