Holy Week Meditations Maundy Thursday

Meditation on cup & bread, love & service

In the poor man who knocks at my door, in my ailing mother, the young man who seeks my advice, the Lord Himself is present: therefore let us wash His feet. — CS Lewis

Maundy Thursday’s Text — John 13:1-17, 31-35
13Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. 6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” 9Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” 11For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Meditations on Bread, Cup and Service

Serving with Hands and Feet
 
Give your hands to serve and your hearts to love. — Mother Teresa 

It is hard to feel bad about yourself when you are doing something good for someone else. There are a lot of ways to lift your self-esteem, but making a positive difference in another’s life has got to be my best leadership guidance. Serving others and working to add value to them will lift your spirits in a way that nothing else will. Trust me on this one. — John C. Maxwell

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them. — Dalai Lama

What people see you do may not be remembered; what they hear you say may be forgotten; but how they feel your intervention in their times of need will forever be remembered. ― Israelmore Ayivor
 
You never know when a helping hand will change another person’s entire life. — Zig Ziglar
 
Condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way. — Swami Vivekananda
 
The happiest people I’ve ever met, regardless of their profession, their social standing, or their economic status, are people that are fully engaged in the world around them. The most fulfilled people are the ones who get up every morning and stand for something larger than themselves. They are the people who care about others, who will extend a helping hand to someone in need or will speak up about an injustice when they see it. — Wilma Mankiller
 
We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes. The highest test of the civilization of any race is in its willingness to extend a helping hand to the less fortunate. — Booker T. Washington
 
There are only four kinds of people in the world – those who have been caregivers, those who are caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers. — Rosalynn Carter

Bread as Sacred Element

There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread. ― Mahatma Gandhi

When I hold a piece of bread, I look at it, and sometimes I smile at it. The piece of bread is an ambassador of the cosmos offering nourishment and support. Looking deeply into the piece of bread, I see the sunshine, the clouds, the great earth. Without the sunshine, no wheat can grow. Without the clouds, there is no rain for the wheat to grow. Without the great earth, nothing can grow. That is why the piece of bread that I hold in my hand is a wonder of life. — Thich Nhat Hahn

There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread. ― Mother Teresa

Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one. – Nikoli Berdyaev

Even in the inevitable moments when all seems hopeless, men know that without hope they cannot really live, and in agonizing desperation they cry for the bread of hope. — Martin Luther King, Jr

Jesus has made Himself the Bread of Life to give us life. Night and day, He is there. If you really want to grow in love, come back to the Eucharist, come back to that Adoration. — Mother Teresa

In biblical times, bread (“lechem”) was such an important element of the diet that sometimes the word was synonymous with food in general.* Indeed, the prophet Ezekiel imagines God’s meting out punishment by breaking the “staff of bread.”* Its importance helps explain why special grain offerings featuring cakes (unleavened) were offered as sacrifices in the Temple. Remnants of bread’s importance survive in that the blessing for bread retains its primacy in the hierarchy of food blessings and that full grace after meals (birkat ha-mazon) is not required unless bread has been eaten. — David Arnow

Bread is vital to Christians. It symbolizes the living presence of Jesus, reminds us of our need for divine and human nourishment, and reminds us of our obligation to alleviate the world’s hungers. — Mary Boys

Cup & Fruit of Vine as Sacred Element

We bear fruit not by squeezing it out of ourselves but because we are extensions of the vine, pruned by the gardener-God who wants us to be fruitful and to be drawn into the unity of the Father and Son. God’s love, presence, and pruning are gifts. But we do choose the abiding place of our soul. If we want to bear Jesus’ fruit, then we choose to abide in him, which we will learn in John 15:9 means to abide in his love. — Meda Stamper

This supernatural bread and this consecrated chalice are for the health and salvation of mankind. — Cyprian

In that first ‘fusion’ with Jesus (holy communion), it was my Heavenly Mother again who accompanied me to the altar for it was she herself who placed her Jesus into my soul. — Therese of Lisieux

Have a great love for Jesus in his divine Sacrament of Love; that is the divine oasis of the desert. It is the heavenly manna of the traveller. It is the Holy Ark. It is the life and Paradise of love on earth. — Peter Julian Eymard

Recognize in this bread what hung on the cross, and in this chalice what flowed from His side… whatever was in many and varied ways announced beforehand in the sacrifices of the Old Testament pertains to this one sacrifice which is revealed in the New Testament. — Saint Augustine

When we have been to Holy Communion, the balm of love envelops the soul as the flower envelops the bee. — John Vianney

I hunger for the bread of God, the flesh of Jesus Christ …; I long to drink of his blood, the gift of unending love. — Ignatius of Antioch
If we but paused for a moment to consider attentively what takes place in this Sacrament, I am sure that the thought of Christ’s love for us would transform the coldness of our hearts into a fire of love and gratitude. — Angela of Foligno

If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the church door, you will not find Him in the chalice. — Saint John Chrysostom

HOLY WEEK with JCC: April 8-12 (Easter)

Do you need support of any kind? We have volunteers ready to assist with errands, access to emergency supplies, and Rev Gail is available for emotional and spiritual companionship. Email the church:  jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org.

Wed, April 8

Thurs, April 9

  • MAUNDY THURSDAY GATHERING (via ZOOM)
    7pm • ZOOM LINK: zoom.us/j/467763000 (password required).
    Plan to celebrate an after-dinner ritual of washing hands (symbolic of foot-washing), stripping altar, and putting out candles as darkness falls and we enter the Triduum: three holy days of Easter weekend. Option: call in via touch-tone phone: 929.436.2866, meeting ID: 467763000 (password required – contact: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)).

Fri, April 10

  • BREAKFAST with REV GAIL (via ZOOM)
    8am •  ZOOM LINK: zoom.us/j/170985789 (password required)
    Social gathering. Option: Call in via touch-tone phone: 929.436.2866, meeting ID: 170985789 (password required – contact jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)
  • WAY of the CROSS
    Live-streaming via  Facebook.com/JacksonCommunityChurchJCC website
    Virtual contemplative journey through stations of the cross. Share where you would direct your prayers for each station of the cross, Rev Gail will post reflections at different Jackson and Bartlett locations to symbolize each station of the cross. This will take place throughout the week, but we especially welcome your comments during the hours of Christ’s crucifixion and death. We will use Marcia McFee / Design Worship Studio materials to focus. 
  • LAST SEVEN WORDS Holy Friday Event (via ZOOM)
    5pm • ZOOM LINK: zoom.us/j/531729008) (password required)
    Reflect on the events of Holy Friday through the last seven words of Christ. Option: Call in via touch-tone phone: 929.436.2866, meeting ID: 531729008 (password required – contact: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)

EASTER SUNDAY, April 12

  • CHOIR PRACTICE (via ZOOM)
    9:15am • ZOOM LINK: zoom.us/j/142985761 (password required)
    Choir practice with choir director Billy Carleton and music director Alan Labrie. Option: Call on touch-tone phone: 929.436.2866, meeting ID# 142985761 (password required – contact: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)
  • VIRTUAL EASTER SERVICE (via ZOOM)
    10:30am • ZOOM LINK: zoom.us/j/142985761 (password required)
    Join us for worship, special music including flute duet by Lauren Weeder & Jeanette Heidmann, choral performance by JCC’s choir & harp with Dominique Dodge, plus prayer, reflection and interactive transformation of the cross with butterflies on this special Easter Sunday! Service will also be live-streamed to website and Facebook, and afterward, recordings of service will be posted to FB, youtube, vimeo. Option: Call on touch-tone phone: 929.436.2866, meeting ID# 142985761. (password required – contact: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)
  • BUTTERFLY the CROSS
    All Day • Jackson Community Church (outside)
    All day on Easter Sunday, you may add a butterfly to the cross, which will stand outside the church (weather permitting), or take one home, if you need an Easter symbol. If you can’t be here, send us your prayers and we’ll add your butterfly for you.

This Week: MON, April 1 – SUN, April 7

THIS WEEK
at Jackson Community Church and Around Town

MON, April 1

  • SCOUT PACK 321
    6pm • Jackson Community Church
    Den meeting at church to work on ‘pew holders’ for sanctuary.
  • LENTEN RETREAT
    7pm • Our Lady of the Mountains, No Conway
    Theme: Easter journey. A 3-day retreat (April 1-3, each day at 7pm).

TUE, April 2

  • CLERGY of the EASTERN SLOPE LUNCHEON 
    12:30pm • No Conway, NH
    Lunch and working group for local clergy and spiritual community leaders. Rev Gail attends.
  • LENTEN STUDY GROUP: Anne Lamott’s Almost Everything
    4pm • Jackson Community Church
    Come if you started the book. Come if you want to pick it up and begin. Come if you just want good conversation. Anne Lamott’s essays are good for the soul. Rev Gail facilitates this group. 1-2 copies available at church, others at library. Please RSVP to Rev Gail if you plan to attend this study group!

WED, April 3

  • Community Event: WILDER than WILD
    7-8:30pm • Tin Mountain Conservation Center
    Movie Screening! Four years in the making, this one-hour documentary reveals how fire suppression and climate change have exposed our forests and wildland-urban landscapes to large, high intensity wildfires – and explores strategies to mitigate the impact of these fires. David Govatski, retired US Forest Service Fire Management Office, will lead a discussion following the film.

THURS, April 4

  • 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.
  • SPRING EPHEMERALS
    7-8:30pm • Whitney Community Center
    Join Tin Mountain’s Executive Director Lori Jean Kinsey for a pictorial journey of early spring wildflowers. From hepatica to Dutchman’s breeches she will look at what makes each flower unique from its pollinators to its habitat. Free for Tin Mountain Members, otherwise $3/pp or $5/family.

FRI, April 5

  • 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 • Jackson Community Church
    Drop by or make an apt with Rev Gail by calling her cell (978) 273.0308 or email.
  • Community Event: 10th Annual Opening Reception for ART CELEBRATES PLACE for Upper Saco Valley Land Trust
    5pm • Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center, Fryeburg, ME. More info www.usvlt.or

SAT, April 6

  • Community Event: RISE UP AGAINST HUNGER
    10am • Setup & 11:30m • Meal Prep
    River Church, Center Conway, NH
    Volunteers of all ages welcome. Hosted by the River Church by McSherry’s in Center Conway, NH. Sponsored in part by local Rotary. Set up starts at 10am. The actual preparing of 10,000 or so meals starts around 11:45am. If 80 volunteers show up; we prepare 10,000 or so meals in less than two hours. If 40 – 50 volunteers show up; it may take us the full 2 hours to complete the project. Once the two hours to prepare the 10,000 or so meal are finished, we then help clean up.
  • Community Event: Mountain Top Music School’s 24 HOURS OF MUSIC!
    Noon, Sat, Apr 6 – Noon, Sun, Apr 7 • Locations around the valley.
    Valley musicians and Mountain Top students perform for dollars at Merrill Farm Inn and locations around the valley. This is Mountain Top’s biggest music school fundraiser of the year. Students are challenged to recruit sponsors for their performances, a la the popular “walkathon” format. More info.

SUN, April 7

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING @ OLD LIBRARY
    8am • Old Library. Hot beverages available. Come for poetry, literature, conversation and prayer.
  • CHOIR REHEARSAL
    9am • Jackson Community Church
    Ellen Schwindt works with church choir. Drop-ins welcome.
  • WORSHIP 
    10:30am •  Jackson Community Church.
    * Story: Rev Gail
    * Accompanist: Alan Labrie
    * Choir: directed by Ellen Schwindt
    * Sunday School: Lisa White, teacher. Please RSVP to Rev Gail if you plan to attend Sunday School!
  • Community Event: POETRY WORKSHOP
    2pm • Jackson Public Library
    Learn about poetic forms, and write your own poetry with professional poet, Sarah Audsley. Some forms we will explore include the sonnet, ode, ghazal, and epistle.
  • SECOND CHANCES CONCERT with Bennett & Perkins and Taylor Whiteside4pm • Jackson Community Church
    Kathy Bennett, Thom Perkins and Taylor Whiteside: featured artists. Supports the Way Station:  more info about the Way Station here.

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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