After co-leading a memorial service at a Rotary Summit meeting: “… thank you for including me in the Summit Memorial Service … a portion [came from] the traditional Yom Kippur “Eyleh Ezkarah” (“These We Remember”) afternoon service. It was very appropriate for a memorial service, and I was honored to participate … May God bless your ministry in myriad ways.” — Rabbi Mark Golub
About the church’s coordination to offer a class facilitated by Rev Gail called “Introduction to Islam” through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute / OLLI class: “Thank you so much for volunteering to be an OLLI presenter. I know how much time and effort it takes to develop a class and it is greatly appreciated! I was sorry to have to miss the second class, but I know that each time was thought provoking and informative. After the last class I asked my husband how he thought it went and his comment was “superb”. I’m sure that opinion would be reflected by all. Again thank you so much for bringing this opportunity to Conway.” — Laura J
“So many hugs! Thank you so much for the delicious soup, salad and bread you sent home with me after a spontaneous stop … it was so nice to meet you. Your church seems so wonderful and has such good, positive energy. Thanks for all you do.” — JW
- Take a survey about books & themes that interest you to read and explore with Jackson Community Church. Help us offer programs that feed your mind & soul.
- Upcoming book discussions: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, Tue, March 20, 4:30pm @ Jackson Library
- Upcoming film screenings: “404 Not Found” about teen homelessness in NH with soup supper on Fri, Mar 23, 5-7pm @ Gibson Senior Center & “Cyrano deBergerac” film & discussion on Sun, Apr 29, 3-6pm, Whitney Community Center
Inspired by recent ski races, upcoming Olympic games, and today’s Superbowl Sunday, we discussed how we might pray during competitions or periods of conflict, stress, and struggle. We discussed forms of prayer or reflection that might center us at these times:
- For Preparation (becoming focused and ready to engage in the experience)
- For Support (intercession for comfort, strength, gifts and resources to go through the game, the contest, the stressful or conflicted situation)
- For Others (teammates, competitors/opponents, allies/friends, families/fans, coaches/teachers/mentors, colleages, etc)
- For Gratitude (thankfulness in the midst of challenge)
People sat at tables during brunch church, picked a scripture from among the collection of Bible passages in baskets at the table, and discussed their selected passage’s potential as a resource for prayer or reflection. People discussed how they might categorize the text among the four possible prayer opportunities above (prayers for preparation, for support, for others, for gratitude).
Here are the scriptures below. They were selected based on themes of athletes and contests, strength or vigor, images of body, gifts and blessings, victory and triumph, weakness or loss, and other such key ideas that might intersect with times of competition and challenge, conflict and struggle.
Is there one that resonates for you?
Contemplating Thanksgiving— receiving and giving support — as themes from Matthew 25 about separating goats from sheep and “doing unto others.” When do you need to hold out your hands and open your arms and accept the grace available to you, and when may you be a tangible source of grace for others?
What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like. — St Augustine
Pie with Spirits — Mary Wellemeyer
This is the very pumpkin pie
my grandmother made—almost.
She was a modern woman
who knew how to follow recipes.
Receipts, she called them, because they had been received.
She had a rule for pie crust that was constant
until, from time to time, it changed.
I have that rule, in turn, and it has moved on,
just a bit, from where she left it.
This is my special shared moment
with her, departed a quarter century.
As I work, I am all ages of myself,
and the thought of my tall son comes to join us,
though he hardly knew her.
He makes pies with wild abandon,
sculpting them from material and artistry.
He has received pie somehow at the level of soul.
The three of us make pie together,
preheating the oven,
cutting butter into flour, adding water,
flouring a board, rolling the crust.
To honor her, I follow the recipe.
To honor him, I change just one thing.
To honor myself, I take my time and smile.
Receiving Help: Accepting Grace
None of us got where we are alone. Whether the assistance we received was obvious or subtle, acknowledging someone’s help is a big part of understanding the importance of saying thank you. — Harvey Mackay
Somebody help me, tell me where to go from here, because even Thugs cry, but do the Lord care? — Tupac Shakur
You can’t change the world alone — you will need someone’s help — and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the good will of strangers and a strong coxswain to guide them. — William McRaven
“You should ask for help,” he said. “I don’t know how to do that, either.”
― Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. — C.S. Lewis, character Aslan speaking in The Last Battle
Being first to ask for help in a friendship takes courage and humility. ― Afton Rorvik, Storm Sisters: Friends Though All Seasons
… for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. — Matthew 25
Gracious acceptance is an art – an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving … ― Alexander McCall Smith
A lot of the time we don’t know when we’re surrendering that we’re actually, at the same time, maybe establishing connection … to a power greater than ourselves — or something in the next concentric circle out whose name is not me. So, that to me is where help begins. You know, we’re often ashamed of asking for so much help because it seems selfish or petty or narcissistic, but I think, if there’s a God — and I believe there is — that God is there to help. That’s what God’s job is. — Anne Lamott
No man is an island, Entire of itself, Every man is a piece of the continent, A part of the main. — John Donne
Inter-being: Tiếp Hiện (接現) is a Sino-Vietnamese term. Tiếp means “being in touch with” and “continuing.” Hiện means “realizing” and “making it here and now.” The translation “Interbeing” (French: Interêtre) is a word coined by Thich Nhat Hanh to represent … Buddhist principles … to describe the essential interconnectedness of the universe … If we look deeply into the nature of our universe we can see all things as profoundly interdependent.
… Without a cloud, we cannot have paper, so we can say that the cloud and the sheet of paper inter-are. If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see the wheat. We know that the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist. — Society of Interbeing, Thich Nhat Hanh
Small Acts of Grace
Non nobis solum nati sumus. (Not for ourselves alone are we born.) ― Marcus Tullius Cicero
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another. — Charles Dickens
The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served. ― Gordon B. Hinckley, Standing for Something
No one has ever become poor by giving. ― Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank: the play
Frankly I’m not religious, but I believe in the cause of humanity — doing good work. — Sukhwinder Singh
It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely. ― Leo F. Buscaglia
Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. — Franklin D. Roosevelt
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. — Dalai Lama XIV
While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary. — Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah
The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful then a thousand heads bowing in prayer. — Mahatma Gandhi
We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself. — Dietrich Bonhoeffer
We must forgive God God’s story.