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Reflections about new and old, aged and young.

Today I begin a new life. Today I shed my old skin which hath, too long, suffered the bruises of failure and the wounds of mediocrity. Today I am born anew and my birthplace is a vineyard where there is fruit for all. — Og Mandino

For I am full of words,
and the spirit within me compels me;
inside I am like bottled-up wine,
like new wineskins ready to burst.
— Job 32:18-19

Then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. — Deuteronomy 11:14

‘Israel will live in safety; Jacob will dwell secure in a land of grain and new wine, where the heavens drop dew.’ — Deuteronomy 33:28

‘May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness—an abundance of grain and new wine.’— Genesis 27:28


NEW WINE — Deakin Dixon

Black grape, black grape,
On the hillside growing clean;
Round grape,
Thick stem,
Curled green.

You were young snd green and tight,
Virgin blushing with the sun,
You have done what I have done,
Lain with summer,
Sweet and supple,
Yielded, given maidenhead,
While you lay in summer’s bed.

Black and golden,
Blue and purple,
Now you stand upon the vine,
Waiting for strong hands to make you
Into wine.


Wine has kind of like a binary moral value for the Hebrew Bible authors … because it’s a gift to the garden, which means it’s good. Genesis 1, it’s good. Psalm 104 says, “God gives grass to the creatures and makes crops grow out of the ground and vine to give joy to the human heart.” Psalm 104. But then you know, the Proverbs will also say wine is a mocker and strong drink is a brawler. It’ll make you get into fights and get hurt and then not remember in the morning. So, just like anything that’s good, it can be taken one of two ways… So it’s another way that the tree [of life] represents a choice for people. There’s all these stories about often leaders who get drank… It’s just being the fruit of the vine tree… Just comparing those two things, like you can be filled with God’s Spirit, his wisdom… You can be under the influence of the Spirit, in which case you’ll have discernment to make wise choices that bring good to you and other people. And if your brain’s not working right, especially if you caused your brain not to work right [by drinking too much, for instance], you’re going to hurt yourself or hurt other people or both. And that’s the way of folly. Two different ways. It can gladden your heart and be a gift of God, because it tastes amazing, but it can also destroy you, like most good things in life.— The Bible Project podcast. See full text:

The WINE of LOVE — James Thomson

The wine of Love is music,
And the feast of Love is song:
And when Love sits down to the banquet,
Love sits long:

Sits long and ariseth drunken,
But not with the feast and the wine;
He reeleth with his own heart,
That great rich Vine.

POEM — Rumi

You shattered my cup.

You shattered my cage.

Light, feast, triumphant blessing,

friend, trickster, haven for my drunken heart,

you brought my spirit to a boil,

turned my grapes to wine.

you lit a fire to the fragrant wood

and body of song in me.

Watch the smoke rise.

POEM — Rumi

We are the mirror,
also the face in it.

Drunk from eternal wine,
we are also the cup we sip from.

We prevent illness;
we also cure it.

We are the water of life,
also the jar that pours it.

Using the Three “R”s to Understand a Mysterious Teaching — Full article:

How to Avoid Exploding Wineskins

The comparison is a very apt one when we think of the properties of wine and wineskins. When wine is new, it is in a state of fermentation. It bubbles and expands as the fermentation gases are released. A fresh, pliable wineskin can absorb such expansion and slowly age-with the wine until the fermentation process is complete.

To put fresh wine into an old wineskin, however, is asking for trouble. The old wineskin has assumed a definite shape and is no longer pliable. It is fixed and somewhat brittle. The activity of new wine will stress it beyond its ability to yield. And so both the wine and the skin are lost.

We can’t put new ideas into old mindsets. We can’t get new results with old behaviors.

For example, one of the most common resolutions, and one that gets broken most often, has to do with weight control. … What most of us fail to do is address permanent changes in our eating habits. Trying to put the new wine of a trimmer body into the old wineskin of established and ingrained poor eating patterns cannot bring lasting results.

Habits unchecked are stronger than conscious willpower every time. Only when we fully understand what is really going on at the level of unconscious behavior can we take control and bring willpower to bear.

How many times have we said something like “I’m tired of procrastinating. Beginning tomorrow I’m not putting things off any longer”?

And we try! But somehow tomorrow never quite comes …

How about, “I resolve that this new year will be my most prosperous and rewarding year ever.” … Chances are we are still holding on to some old wineskin ideas concerning our true source of abundance. We haven’t fully bought in to the concept of giving and receiving.

We can’t put new ideas into old mindsets. We can’t get new results with old behaviors.

So how do we get these new wineskins—these new minds out of which our new life will emerge? [With] three strong verbs, “Repent, Replace, and Relax.”Repent Means to Change Your Thinking

Repent means so much more than being conscience-stricken or contrite. The underlying Greek word is a form of metanoia, which means to undergo a fundamental change in one’s mind or character. Simply put, to repent is to change one’s thinking. Shift paradigms.

The apostle Paul grasped this well. To his friends in Rome, he said, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds” (Romans 12:2). And to those in Philippi, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).

The way Jesus saw the world is crucial to understanding and living in the new paradigm, the new wineskin. Do we want prosperity? We can adopt the Jesus mind-set of an opulent universe. The old wineskin says that the harvest comes only at a certain time and in a certain way. The new wineskin of the Christ mind says, “But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting” (John 4:35) and “give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap” (Luke 6:38).

The old paradigm says, “Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it!” The new paradigm says, “Ah, you’ll see it when you believe it!”

The essence of repentance is letting go of old, limited ideas and investing our belief in new, expansive ideas.

Here are some bold thoughts for your new future:

  • I am transformed by the renewing of my mind.
  • I have the mind in me that is also in Christ Jesus.
  • I lovingly release all old, unproductive thoughts and feelings and let them go.
  • I change my thinking now from lack to plenty, from illness to health, from the old me to the new me.
  • I joyfully welcome new ideas from the Christ mind in me, and I am transformed.

Replace with New Thoughts

Now let’s do some replacing, our second “R.” The Unity method of affirmative prayer can be very helpful here. We construct meaningful affirmations that keep our conscious mind interested and entertained and then we practice them repetitively so that our subconscious mind is impressed with the change.

Then start replacing the old lifestyle: My meals are healthy and balanced, and my exercise is sufficient. I am trimmer and fitter now.

Make sure that the two conditions in the affirmations are true, that your meals are healthy and balanced and that you are getting enough exercise. We can’t kid ourselves here. Such an affirmation keeps us conscious of our goal, and practice and repetition make it a habit.

As we replace old patterns with new ones and use them, not as temporary measures but as permanent changes, we become transformed. Our repentance takes on visibility.Then Relax About It

And now the third “R”—relax. Let the process work. Relaxing doesn’t mean going back to the old patterns. It means not worrying or straining for results. Don’t establish unrealistic time frames. It took us awhile to get this way, and it will take a while for changes to fully materialize.

Relaxing means to give things the light touch. It means not condemning the old concepts and behaviors. Just let them go. They have served their purpose of bringing us to this present moment.

Talk to your body and give it instructions to relax, beginning with the toes and working upward or with the scalp and working down. A regular period of time set aside for the purpose of relaxing can be of inestimable value for our bodies and our minds.Don’t Forget to Pray

It is always a good idea to surround the whole process of repenting, replacing, and relaxing with prayer. Spend time in the silence with the Lord of your being, your source of guidance and energy.

In the deep silence, you may tap into that vast, inexhaustible source of universal energy and become fully empowered to change your thinking and to begin replacing old, limited patterns of living with new, vital ones. You can change your thinking now from the old to the new, from the impossible to the possible, from the limited to the unlimited.

JCC and Around Town: MON, Aug 24 – SUN, Aug 30

Note: Rev Gail will be on vacation/”stay-cation” during the period Aug 20 – Aug 31 while her family visits. You may continue to email Rev Gail, especially in emergency, but responses and availability will be limited during this time. You may contact deacon Meg Phillips if any urgent needs arise.

MON, Aug 24

  • 1pm Leaders in Training program is concluded for the summer. We will resume in September.
  • 4pm Youth Choir & Band resumes on Mon, Aug 30. We are taking a break this week as band & choir members submit their recordings. Contact Billy Carleton for more info or if you have questions.

TUE, Aug 25

  • Community Event: STORY by Believe in Books
    9:30am • Believe in Books Livestream
  • STATEWIDE VIRTUAL CHOIR: Tenor & Bass Rehearsal
    10am • Zoom (link available for choir member – RSVP by email to participate) 10am – Tenor & Bass
    11am & 1pm • Nature Learning Center, Albany
    To register for any session call 603-447-6991 or email us at
    • Please bring a mask for each participant.
    • Suggested Donation $15/family for members and $25/ family for non-members. Scholarships available.
    • Make a day of it and bring a picnic lunch. Each family (or families that prearrange to come together) will sign up for an 11am or 1pm start time and will travel between stations along the trail with a Tin Mountain staff member.
    • And because each family group stays with the same instructor for the duration, programming can be tailored to and appropriate for any age!
    12:30pm • Zoom
    Local clergy gathering for meal and discussion.
    2-6pm • Jackson Public Library
    You can place a hold –
    • online via your Koha account using your 14 digit library card number
    • Contact by email: or leave a voice message at 603-383-9731
    • We will send you an email as soon as your item/s are ready for pickup. If you need to make special arrangements, please let us know, we want to help.
    • Printing and scanning services are also available. Contact us for details.

WED, Aug 26

  • Community Event: STORY by Believe in Books
    9:30am • Believe in Books Livestream
  • Community Service: WAY STATION BOARD of DIRECTORS
    9:45am • Zoom
    Board meeting to discuss policies and programs. JCC volunteers attend as officers of board.
    Noon • Jackson Community Church

THURS, Aug 27

  • Community Event: YIN/RESTORATIVE YOGA with Anjali Rose
    **8am** • Zoom (Link provided once participants complete health waiver is sent to and registration/payment for class received.) See Anjali’s website for full list of classes offered and instructions to register. 
  • Community Event: STORY by Believe in Books
    9:30am • Believe in Books Livestream
  • STATEWIDE VIRTUAL CHOIR: Soprano & Alto Rehearsal
    10am • Zoom (link available for choir member – RSVP by email to participate) 10am – Sopranos & Altos
  • Community Event: NATURALIST LED HIKES  (Tin Mountain Conservation Center – Jackson Field Station)
    10am • Jackson Field Station, Jackson, NH
    Registration required: call 603-447-6991. Highlights include the summit of Tin Mountain, a tin mine on the property, and historic homestead, and a mountain pond. Tin Mountain’s naturalist will explain the historic use of the property, help identify plant species, and point out animal signs. These hikes are a great way to explore the lesser trod trails of the White Mountains and avoid the crowds. Participants of all ages a welcome. Reservations required – please call by the Wednesday prior at noon. Limited to 10 participants. Program fee of $5/person or $20/family; members free. More info:
    Noon • Jackson Community Church
    2-6pm • Jackson Public Library
    You can place a hold –
    • online via your Koha account using your 14 digit library card number
    • Contact by email: or leave a voice message at 603-383-9731
    • We will send you an email as soon as your item/s are ready for pickup. If you need to make special arrangements, please let us know, we want to help.
    • Printing and scanning services are also available. Contact us for details.
  • Community Service: WAY STATION SHIFT
    3pm • Curbside package preparation
    5pm • Shift at curbside with guests
  • Community Event: CRAFTUP (Jackson Library)
    4pm • Zoom: 
    All crafts and all skill levels are welcome.
  • Community Event: WHITE MOUNTAIN JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL featuring GOD’s SLAVE (final in summer series) with guest speaker Marjorie Agosin.
    7:30pm • Zoom 1) Contact organizer IN ADVANCE register. Please email:
    2) In advance, watch the film under discussion, GOD’S SLAVE. Available to rent on Amazon Prime for $4.99 HD,  or click on “more options” for the $3.99 SD version. Here’s the link to God’s Slave on Amazon Prime: The film’s running time is about 1:35 minutes.   3) Then look for followup email (once registered) that includes link to attend the Film Forum.
          Additional info about Marjorie Agosin: poet, human rights activist, and literary critic. Marjorie Agosin is Professor of Spanish,  at Wellesley College. Her diverse writing and teaching focuses on Jewish literature, women’s rights and human rights in Latin America,  as well as migration, identity and ethnicity. Professor Agosin’s accomplishments are many — deeply tied to her love of her adopted home: Chile,  and her commitment to social justice. The United Nations has honored Agosin for her work on human rights. The Chilean government awarded her with the Gabriela Mistral Medal of Honor for Life Achievement in 2000.  And in the United States, she has received the Letras de Oro, the Latino Literary Prize, and the Peabody Award, together with the United Nations Leadership Award in Human Rights. Here is a link to learn more about her: and a sample of her books for adults and children which are available on Amazon:
    A Cross and a Star: Memoirs of a Jewish Girl in Chile and I Lived on Butterfly Hill  and Taking Root: Narratives of Jewish Women in Latin America (Ohio RIS Latin America Series Book 38)

FRI, Aug 28

  • Community Event: STORY by Believe in Books
    9:30am • Believe in Books Livestream
    Noon • Jackson Community Church
    3pm •Glen Cemetery, Glen, NH
    Link to memorial website:
    RSVP to the service:
    Rev Gail facilitates the gathering. From Judy’s Family: “We would like you to join us for a beautiful memorial service planned for Judy. It will be held at the Glen Cemetary in Glen, NH. This will be a casual, socially distanced, outdoor service, in order to accommodate all those who would like to attend.  We would like an RSVP and also ask that everyone be considerate and please wear a mask.” They write: “About Judy… Judy was born on April 2, 1936 to Roger A. and Isabel M. Griffin, in Boston, MA. She was the first born of the 6 Griffin children, who’s births spanned 18 years. Being the oldest, Judy was relied upon to help care for her younger siblings, and as the only girl in the first 4, she quickly learned be very resourceful. Her Life… After graduating from college, she met and married the love of her life, in a ski club in Glen, NH. Together, Judy and Carl raised a family that she was most proud of, ran a successful small retail business, and she generously gave her time and energy to many organizations including Cranmore Mountain, the garden club, and the Meister Cup Race. Upon retiring to NH full time, Judy enjoyed their social life, playing golf with the ladies, and skiing with “the gang”. Together, Carl and Judy traveled all over the US and the World to visit with their many friends and family.  They enjoyed life on their many trips to fish at Jones Pond, and the chores of daily retirement life, like making homemade maple syrup. Judy will be dearly missed by her family, close friends, and the many people that came to know her.”

SAT, Aug 29

  • Community Event: LIBRARY PICKUP HOURS
    10am-2pm • Jackson Public Library
    You can place a hold
    • online via your Koha account using your 14 digit library card number
    • Contact by email: or leave a voice message at 603-383-9731
    • We will send you an email as soon as your item/s are ready for pickup. If you need to make special arrangements, please let us know, we want to help.
    • Printing and scanning services are also available. Contact us for details.
    Noon • Jackson Community Church
  • Private Event: WEDDING
    Afternoon • Jackson Community Church

SUN, Aug 30

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING (pavilion only)
    8am •  Pavilion **ONLY** this week and next week. No zoom in Rev Gail’s absence, group will be lay-led. Small group gathering outside at pavilion. Use social-distancing protocols: bring your own mask. Join us for poetry, prayer and reflection.
    9am • Zoom link & password required. Contact church for more info.
    9:15am • Social-distancing & Masks REQUIRED
    We will use only designated open pews only (2 out of 3 pews are roped off). Families (and quaran-team groups who have already been in close proximity) may sit together. We will avoid passing of peace, handshaking, hugs, etc. We also ask that you use hand sanitizer as you enter and wear your own mask throughout service. Worship will be streamlined with scripture, prayer and live music by Alan Labrie (if he’s able to arrive while worship is in session): no congregational singing. When worship ends, participants are asked to leave the church with social distance between each group;  we will immediately be preparing for the next zoom-based 10:30am worship service. If you have any signs of illness such as fever, cough, congestion, stomach upset, you are courteously asked to remain home and take care of yourself.
    10:30am •  Zoom link & password required. Contact church for more info.
    Join us for worship, music, reflection, prayer, scripture. Stay for virtual coffee hour. Service will also be live-streamed to website and Facebook (if technology supports this function on the day of event). Afterward, recordings of worship service will be posted to channel & channel.
    Noon • Jackson Community Church

This Week: Sun, Aug 26 – Sun, Sept 2

This Week at Jackson Community Church
and Around Town

This week @ JCC – Wed, 8/29: Fitness tune-up with Laurie McAleer, Thurs, 8/30: Yoga with Anjali Rose, Sun, 9/2: Gazebo led by Sandi & Eileen & Denise and trad’l worship with favorite songs & scripture plus guest soloist Kevin O’Neill and start-up of church choir rehearsals for the fall. Plus community events – Sun, 8/26: Bach festival in No Conway, Mon, 8/27: covered bridge closings begins on weekdays, Tue, 8/28: farmer’s market, Wed, 8/29 – Wednesday at Wildcat, Thurs, 8/30: back to school, Sat, 9/1: Fall Book Sale at old library.

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: Sun, Aug 26 – Sun, Sept 2”

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