This Week: MON, Mar 18 – SUN, Mar 24

At Jackson Community Church and Around Town
MON, Mar 18

  • WHITNEY COMMUNITY CENTER OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
    3:30pm • Whitney Center / Grammar School Campus
    Programming team meets re schedule and operations of the Whitney Community Center. Rev Gail attends.
  • DEN MEMBERS from SCOUT PACK 321
    6pm • Jackson Community Church
    Den meeting at church to work on ‘pew holders’ for sanctuary.
  • RELIGION, CONFLICT & PEACE
    Harvard Online EdX course. Self-Paced. Continues 8 weeks • Expect: 4-8 hours of study per week. Registration Link to register for the Harvard Online EdX course.

TUE, Mar 19

  • CLERGY of the EASTERN SLOPE LUNCHEON
    12:30pm • Center Conway, NH
    Lunch and working group for local clergy and spiritual community leaders. Rev Gail attends.
  • DEACONS TEAM MEETING
    4pm • Jackson Community Church
    Meeting of deacons to plan worship, community care and other responsibilities.
  • FULL MOON SOUP & SKI (or SNOWSHOE)
    5-7pm • Jackson XC Center
    Come ski or snowshoe. Jackson Community Church co-hosts and provides selection of hot soups on-site at Jackson XC.

WED, Mar 20

  • TUNE UP FITNESS with Laurie McAleer 
    9:30am • Parish House.Fitness class. Free; open to public. These classes will continue through the end of March. Classes remain weather dependent; if schools are delayed or closed, the class will be cancelled.
  • COUNCIL MEETING (note: time changed)
    5-6:30pm • Jackson Community Church / Second Floor Library
    Church staff, officers and team leaders meet to review admin/operational and mission-based issues for the life and governance of the church. Open to the community.
  • Community Event: THE IMPOSSIBLE CLIMB with Mark Synnott
    7pm • Whitney Community Center
    Presentation starts at 7:30pm. In The Impossible Climb, Jackson’s own Mark Synnott uses his own career as a professional climber, its intersection with that of Alex Honnold and the lead-up to Honnold’s historic ascent, to paint a insider portrait of the elite climbing community, exploring what motivates them, the paradoxical drive to keep the sport pure and at the same time to fund climbs, and the role that awareness of mortality plays in the endeavour. We watch through Mark’s eyes as Alex plots, trains and attempts his heart-stopping free-solo ascent.  This is the story which was also chronicled as a documentary in Free Solo. Books will be available for purchase and signing by the author.

THURS, Mar 21

  • 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.
  • WAY STATION TEAM MEETING
    10am • Nativity Lutheran Church admin building
  • Leadership team meeting to review next steps for opening of day resource center to serve Mt Washington Valley’s homeless and housing-insecure population.
  • AA
    6:30pm • Second Floor, Church.

FRI, Mar 22

  • 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.
  • UCC Event: HORTON CENTER DEANS TRAINING
    Fri-Sat • Maine
    Rev Gail & Chris Doktor attend overnight training for Horton Center.

SAT, Mar 23

  • UCC Event: HORTON CENTER DEANS TRAINING
    Fri-Sat • Maine Rev Gail & Chris Doktor attend overnight- training for Horton Center Deans.

SUN, Mar 24

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING @ OLD LIBRARY
    8am • Old Library. Hot beverages available. Come for poetry, literature, conversation and prayer.
  • CHILDREN & YOUTH PROGRAM
    9am • Jackson Community Church
    Please RSVP to Rev Gail if you will attend our spring children & youth programming.
  • 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

Reflections on being curious and asking questions … the experience of the holy season of Lent.

In the holy season of Lent, we are called to the spiritual discipline of preparation. Some part of this is the practice of curiosity and questioning. Entering Lent is wandering into  the metaphorical  ‘wilderness’ … where everything is primal and makes a difference and you’re likely to be at risk and to get lost … it’s about life and death, about getting down to core values. From that deep place arises the deep questions, the underlying ‘why’ that shapes how we live. So Lent is about living close to the wellspring of creativity and tension, beyond the context that usually makes us comfortable, safe, and secure. Paying attention to Lent becomes an invitation to go into an emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual place where we have permission to wonder and doubt and explore and grow. — Rev Gail (with credit to Rev Sean Dunker-Bendigo of Madison Church for the inspiration to approach Lent as a series of questions)

Music Video Link: Question by the Moody Blues

Be present.
Make love. Make tea.
Avoid small talk. Embrace conversation.
Buy a plant, water it.
Make your bed. Make someone else’s bed.
Have a smart mouth and a quick wit.
Run. Make art. Create.
Swim in the ocean. Swim in the rain.
Take chances. Ask questions.
Make mistakes. Learn.
Know your worth.
Love fiercely. Forgive quickly.
Let go of what doesn’t make your happy.
Grow.
— Paulo Coelho

On Asking Questions: Being Curious

Always the beautiful answer / who asks a more beautiful question. —e.e. Cummings

Be curious. — Stephen Hawking

Don’t be afraid to look again at everything you’ve ever believed … I believe the more we search, the more we delve into the human teachings about the nature and God of life, which are in fact are the teachings of all the great religions traditions, the closer we come to a mature understanding of the Godself … In other words, doubt, questions, drive us to look at how we ourselves need to grow in wisdom, age and grace.  The courage to face questions is the first step in that process. — Joan Chittister

Instead of anxiety about chasing a passion that you’re not even feeling, do something a lot simpler: Just follow your curiosity. — Elizabeth Gilbert

A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea. — John Anthony Ciardi

Curiosity isn’t the icing on the cake. It’s the cake itself. — Susan Engel

We live in the world our questions create. — David Cooperrider

The role of the artist is to ask questions, not to answer them. — Anton Chekhov

I was looking for myself and asking everyone but myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. — Ralph Ellison

Ever since I was a little girl and could barely talk, the word ‘why’ has lived and grown along with me… When I got older, I noticed that not all questions can be asked and that many whys can never be answered. As a result, I tried to work things out for myself by mulling over my own questions. And I came to the important discovery that questions which you either can’t or shouldn’t ask in public, or questions which you can’t put into words, can easily be solved in your own head. So the word ‘why’ not only taught me to ask, but also to think. And thinking has never hurt anyone. On the contrary, it does us all a world of good. — Anne Frank

Judge a man by his questions, rather than his answers. — Voltaire

How do I create something out of nothing? How do I create my own life? I think it is by questioning. — Amy Tan

My mother made me a scientist without ever intending to. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school, “So? Did you learn anything today?” But not my mother. “Izzy,” she would say, “did you ask a good question today?” That difference—asking good questions—made me become a scientist. — Isidor Isaac Rabi

On Lent: Surrendering Ourselves

The reality is that I cannot free myself from the bondage of self.  I cannot keep from being turned in on self. I cannot by my own understanding or effort disentangle myself from my self interest and when I think that I can …I am trying to do what is only God’s to do. To me, there is actually great hope in admitting my mortality and brokenness because then I finally lay aside my sin management program and allow God to be God for me.  Which is all any of us really need when it comes down to it … —  Nadia Bolz-Weber

… another Lenten season, a time of lengthening days…not just in hours but in slowness, in taking time to linger over our spiritual lives, over our identity as a people of faith, over the texts that form us and the quiet places in which God speaks to us, still. — Kathryn M. Matthews

The big rub is that to surrender my “singularity” (John 12:24) and fall into this “altogether new creation” will always feel like dying. How could it not? It is a dying of the self that we thought we were, but it is the only self that we knew until then. It will indeed be a “revolution of the mind” (Ephesians 4:23). Heart and body will soon follow. This is the real “try harder” that applies to Lent, and its ultimate irony is that it is not a trying at all, but an ultimate surrendering, dying, and foundational letting go. You will not do it yourself, but it will be done unto you (Luke 1:38) by the events of your life. Such deep allowing is the most humiliating, sacrificial, and daily kind of trying! Pep talks seldom get you there, but the suffering of life and love itself will always get you there. Lent is just magnified and intensified life. — Richard Rohr

I think it is good news–because even if no one ever wants to go there, and even if those of us who end up there want out again as soon as possible, the wilderness is still one of the most reality-based, spirit-filled, life-changing places a person can be … What did that long, famishing stretch in the wilderness do to him?  It freed him–from all devilish attempts to distract him from his true purpose, from hungry craving for things with no power to give him life, from any illusion he might have had that God would make his choices for him. … But it would be a mistake for me to try to describe your wilderness exam.  Only you can do that, because only you know what devils have your number, and what kinds of bribes they use to get you to pick up.  All I know for sure is that a voluntary trip to the desert this Lent is a great way to practice getting free of those devils for life–not only because it is where you lose your appetite for things that cannot save you, but also because it is where you learn to trust the Spirit that led you there to lead you out again, ready to worship the Lord your God and serve no other all the days of your life.  — Barbara Brown Taylor

But the historic practices of Lent are Christian. There are three of them: praying, fasting, almsgiving. These are three things that Christians should consider doing all the time, but the 46 days of Lent provide us with an explicit invitation to do them more intentionally. I say an invitation, because we don’t have to do them, not during Lent, not ever. … I am going to make an unabashed case for Lent, myself. …  Lent is a chance to uncork the bottle, to unclog our spirits from what is stifling them, to sample the mystery. It is a chance to own that we do not wholly own ourselves, but acknowledge that God has a claim over us. We work so hard for radical equality in our lives—for equal marriage, equal pay for equal work, an end to bigotry of all varieties—and we sometimes delude ourselves, as religious people, that radical equality extends to our relationship with God … Taking on a Lenten discipline means surrendering to a higher power, it means placing ourselves under God’s authority and protection. But here’s the rub: to place ourselves under God’s authority is a reminder that we are under no other authority, or at least that all those other authorities are less than God’s. The church, the state, our remote fathers, our overbearing mothers, our inept boss who gets paid more than we do, our snarky coworkers, the popular crowd, the opposing football team, the opposing political party, Al Qaeda, alcohol, fried foods, chocolate, caffeine, porn, late-night cable. Whatever our addictions, whatever our self-medication devices, whatever our overlords of fear and control, none can match the power of God our Father and Mother, if we choose God as our God. To claim that we are in a direct relationship with our Creator, to join with that Creator and Sustainer in an act of self-disciplining, is an act of resistance. It’s a boycott of all that is body-wounding and soul-killing. It is a radical re-ordering of our priorities, and a reclamation of our God-given will and strength …  … What might you do, this Lent, to rend your heart, to give God an opening? What might you do to make God-shaped space within your heart, a space that will invite you to call on the name of God more frequently, to share the experience of your brother Jesus in the wilderness, to uncork the Spirit and let it flow freely, to release yourself from rage or addiction or the tyranny of lesser gods? What can you give up, or take on, as an act of resistance against the authorities that don’t deserve any claim over you?  — Molly Phinney Baskette

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