Reflections on matriarchs and mothers

We are born of love; Love is our mother.
— Rumi

To My Mother (excerpt) — Edgar Allan Poe
Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
The angels, whispering to one another,
Can find, among their burning terms of love,
None so devotional as that of “Mother,”
Therefore by that dear name I long have called you—
You who are more than mother unto me,
And fill my heart of hearts …

What’s Going On? (song excerpt)— 
Alfred W Cleveland / Marvin P Gaye / Renaldo Benson
link to music video
Mother, mother
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today, eheh  …
For only love can conquer hate
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today, oh oh oh … Mother, mother, everybody thinks we’re wrong
Oh, but who are they to judge us
… Oh, you know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today, Oh oh oh

Of Mothers & Matriarchs

Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children. — William Makepeace Thackeray

The chain connecting mother to daughter was broken and the world passed to the keeping of men, who had no way of knowing. ― Anita Diamant

… give them to all the people who helped mother our children. … I don’t want something special. I want something beautifully plain. Like everything else, it can fill me only if it is ordinary and available to all. — Anne Lamott

Our images of God, then, must be inclusive because God is not mother, no, but God is not father either. God is neither male nor female. God is pure spirit, pure being, pure life — both of them. Male and female, in us all. — Joan Chittister

We are braver and wiser because they existed, those strong women and strong men… We are who we are because they were who they were. It’s wise to know where you come from, who called your name. — Maya Angelou

Motherhood: All love begins and ends there. — Robert Browning

Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love. — Stevie Wonder

The love of a mother is the veil of a softer light between the heart and the heavenly Father. — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A mother’s happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories. – Honore de Balzac

I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. — Abraham Lincoln

Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face. — George Eliot

For when a child is born the mother also is born again.—  Gilbert Parker

With what price we pay for the glory of motherhood. — Isadora Duncan

My dear Mama, you are definitely the hen who hatched a famous duck. — Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

It may be possible to gild pure gold, but who can make his mother more beautiful? — Mahatma Gandhi

God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers. — Rudyard Kipling

Mother and Child Louise Glück

We’re all dreamers; we don’t know who we are.

Some machine made us; machine of the world, the constricting family.
Then back to the world, polished by soft whips.

We dream; we don’t remember.

Machine of the family: dark fur, forests of the mother’s body.
Machine of the mother: white city inside her.

And before that: earth and water.
Moss between rocks, pieces of leaves and grass.

And before, cells in a great darkness.
And before that, the veiled world.

This is why you were born: to silence me.
Cells of my mother and father, it is your turn
to be pivotal, to be the masterpiece.

I improvised; I never remembered.
Now it’s your turn to be driven;
you’re the one who demands to know:

Why do I suffer? Why am I ignorant?
Cells in a great darkness. Some machine made us;
it is your turn to address it, to go back asking
what am I for? What am I for?


God as Creator: Source Code of Grace (excerpt from longer sermon)— Nadia Bolz-Weber

In the beginning, all there was, was God. So in order to bring the world into being, God had to kind of scoot over. So God chose to take up less space—you know, to make room. So before God spoke the world into being, God scooted over. God wanted to share. Like the kind-faced woman on the subway who takes her handbag onto her lap so that there’s room for you to sit next to her. She didn’t have to do it, but that’s just who she is . . . the kind-faced subway lady’s nature is that she makes room for others.

Then God had an absolute explosion of creativity and made animals. Amoebas. Chickens. Crickets. Bees. Orangutans.

Then God said, “Let us create humans in our own image and likeness.” Let us. So, God the community, God the family, God the friend group, God the opposite of isolation, said, “Let us create humanity in our image and likeness. Let there be us and them in one being.”

So God created every one of us in the male and female image of God. Then God gave us God’s own image —something so holy that it could never be harmed, and never be taken away. A never-aloneness. An origin and destination. A source code of grace.

THIS WEEK at Jackson Community Church and Around Town

TUE, May 7 – SUN, May 12

TUE, May 7

  • WAY STATION LEADERSHIP MTG
    11am • Way Station / Nativity Lutheran Church, No Conway
    Planning meeting for next steps to prep for opening of facility.
  • CLERGY GROUP
    12:30pm • Center Conway
    Clergy group gathers for lunch and colleagial work. Rev Gail attends.
  • DAISY SCOUTS
    2:45-4:30pm • Parish House, Jackson Community Church

WED, May 8

  • PASTOR’S HOURS
    7-8am • J-Town Deli
    Come for caffeine, good food, and conversation.
  • Community Event: BREWING in NH
    8:30pm • Jackson Public Library
    Glenn Knoblock explores the fascinating history of New Hampshire’s beer and ale brewing industry from Colonial days, when it was home- and tavern-based, to today’s modern breweries and brew pubs. More info.

THURS, May 9

  • 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.
  • Community Event: ECOFORUM – SMARTPHONE CITIZEN SCIENCE in the MOUNTAINS
    Noon • Nature Learning Center, Tin Mountain Conservation Center, Albany
    Do you take photos with your phone when out on the trails? Turn your mobile device into a reporting tool with iNaturalist and join other citizen scientists by documenting the flowering plants you observe on your next hike. By participating you can contribute to AMC’s Mountain Watch study. Join AMC staff science, Georgia Murray and Annie Evankow to learn more about the program, the results and how you can participate.
  • AA
    6:30pm • Second Floor, Church
  • Community Event: CROWS and their WINTER ROOSTS
    7pm • Nature Learning Center, Tin Mountain Conservation Center, Albany
    Crows are intelligent and adaptable birds. Dana and Bob Fox will share what they have learned about 25,000 wintering crows over two years through detailed observation and much reading.  They will share what crows do, don’t do and how they change their minds.

FRI, May 10

  • PASTORAL HOURS
    9:30-11:30am • Second Floor, Church
    Come by to visit with Rev Gail or call to make a separate date: 978.273.0308.

SAT, May 11

  • CHURCH SPRING CLEAN UP DAY
    9am-Noon • Jackson Community Church
    Wear work clothes, close-toed shoes or boots, bring work gloves, buckets, rakes, brooms, rags. Plan to work indoors or outdoors to clean up the grounds and interior of the church.
  • Community Event: BIRDING at BROWNFIELD BOG (Tin Mountain Conservation Center program)
    7-10am • Meet at G&S Store in Brownfield, Maine
    Join birders of all levels on this weekly bird walk through the bog and view the rich diversity of bird life that makes it way north to rest or nest. Bring binoculars (or borrow ours), rubber boots, and a snack. Our final week will be via canoe!

SUN, May 12

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING
    8am • Gazebo by Jackson Historical Society
  • YOUTH & FAMILY
    Come dressed for outdoor games or hike. RSVP Rev Gail if you plan to attend.
  • MOTHER’s DAY WORSHIP
    10:30am • Jackson Community Church
    * Organ/piano by Alan Labrie
    * Worship leadership by Rev Gail Doktor
    * Message by Tish Hanlon

Reflections on Mother’s Day Theme of Wisdom

Mother’s Day Theme – Sophia as Wisdom
Patanjali, Buddha, Moses and Jesus did not go to workshops or seminars or even churches. They went directly to nature: sat under a Bodhi tree or on top of a mountain or in a cave. … It is time to return to the source of this inspiration – the earth itself. ― Dolores Lachapelle, Earth Wisdom

… It´s not about Win or lose We all lose
When they feed on the souls of the innocent Blood drenched pavement
Keep on moving though the waters stay raging
In this maze you can lose your way (your way)
It might drive you crazy But don’t let it faze you no way (no way)
Gotta hold on Livin life day by day
Gotta hold on Put your focus on that one day

All my life I´ve been waiting for I´ve been praying for
For the people to say That we don´t wanna fight no more
There´ll be no more wars And our children will play
One day (one day), One day (one day) …

One day this all will change Treat people the same
Stop with the violence Down with the hate
One day we´ll all be free And proud to be
Under the same sun Singing songs of freedom like
Gotta hold on Livin life day by day
Gotta hold on Put your focus on that one day

All my life I´ve been waiting for I´ve been praying for
For the people to say That we don´t wanna fight no more
There´ll be no more wars And our children will play
One day (one day), One day (one day) …

Of Wisdom: Sometimes She’s a Feminine, Creative Holy Spirit

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. — Ludwig van Beethoven

… This mysterious Unity and Integrity is Wisdom, the Mother of all, Natura naturans. There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fount of action and joy.  It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being, welcoming me tenderly, saluting me with indescribable humility. This is at once my own being, my own nature, and the Gift of my Creator’s Thought and Art within me, speaking as Hagia Sophia, speaking as my sister, Wisdom. I am awakened, I am born again at the voice of this my Sister, sent to me from the depths of the divine fecundity. — Thomas Merton

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. — Rumi

Because you are women, people will force their thinking on you, their boundaries on you. They will tell you how to dress, how to behave, who you can meet and where you can go. Don’t live in the shadows of people’s judgement. Make your own choices in the light of your own wisdom. — Amitabh Bachchan

There is a wisdom of the head, and a wisdom of the heart.— Charles Dickens

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him. — Buddha

Remember Proverbs 8?  Sophia, the Wisdom of God is described at the creation of the world as rejoicing in the inhabited world
 and delighting in the human race. I want the day to come when Christians are described not as judgmental but as those who, like the Wisdom of God, rejoice in the world and delight in humanity.   — Nadia Bolz-Weber

… if there is only one God, then why would we be surprised that there is a common wisdom coming through every stream? And how can we ever again possibly dismiss any of these traditions as possibly not being of God? “I believe that wisdom is where you go before theology, canons, creedal statements, denominations, because holy wisdom enables respect. The mystics of all traditions did not deal in creeds, in denominations and canons. The mystics dealt with enlightenment, insight and wisdom.” — Joan Chittister

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. — Immanuel Kant

Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. — Francis of Assisi

What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? — Jean-Jacques Rousseau

One need not be a mystic or have had a near-death experience to understand this … God … reflects a wisdom found in ancient scriptures, a spiritual vocabulary articulated by biblical heroes, saints, reformers, and the humble poor through the ages. And this impulse toward spiritual intimacy is found not only in the Abrahamic faiths, but in Buddhism, Hinduism, and native religions. … speaks of God with us, God in the stars and sunrise, God as the face of their neighbor, God in the act of justice, or God as the wonder of love. The language of divine nearness is the very heart of vibrant faith. — Diana Butler Bass

Every Single Thing I Know, as of Today — Anne Lamott

“I thought I might take the opportunity to write down every single thing I know, as of today … (excerpt)”

  • “Life is a precious unfathomably beautiful gift…And it [is] filled with heartbreaking sweetness and beauty, floods and babies and acne and Mozart, all swirled together.”
  •  “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
  •  “There is almost nothing outside of you that will help in any kind of last way, unless you are waiting for an organ. You can’t buy, achieve, or date it.”
  • “Everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy, and scared, even the people who seem to have it more or less together. They are much more like you than you would believe. So try not to compare your insides to their outsides.”
  • “Families; hard, hard, hard, no matter how cherished and astonishing they may also be.”
  • “Food; try to do a little better.”
  • “The movement of grace is what changes us, heals us and our world. To summon grace, say, ‘Help!’ And then buckle up.”
  • “Emerson said that the happiest person on earth is the one who learns from nature the lessons of worship. So go outside a lot, and look up.”
  • “The love of our incredible dogs and cats is the closest most of us will come, on this side of eternity, to knowing the direct love of God; although cats can be so bitter, which is not the god part: the crazy Love is. Also, ‘Figure it out’ is not a good slogan.”
  • “Exercise: If you want to have a good life after you have grown a little less young, you must walk almost every day. There is no way around this.”
  • “Death; wow. So f-ing hard to bear, when the few people you cannot live without die. You will never get over these losses, and are not supposed to.”

This Week: May 8 – 13 at Jackson Community Church

 TUE, May 8
  • Community Event:
    SPRING EPHEMERAL WILDFLOWER WALK
    2:45 – 5pm, Meet at Diana’s Bath Parking Lot, car pool to Humphrey’s Ledge.
    Tin Mountain Conservation Center director (and church friend) Lori Kinsey leads this wildflower walk in search of  Spring Beauties, Trilliums, Trout Lilies and more. This is a moderately strenuous hike, the terrain on Humphrey’s Ledge is steep, hilly, and rocky: sturdy boots are highly recommended. To be notified about this walk and others like it, contact Donna Dolan at Tin Mountain Conservation Center.

WED, May 9

  • PASTOR’S DROP-IN HOURS
    7-9am • J-Town Deli
  • TUNE UP Fitness with Laurie McAleer 
    9am • Parish Hall, Jackson Community Church
    Free. Men and women join  fitness trainer Laurie McAleer for a gentle, introductory fitness class for beginners. Wear comfortable clothing, sensible shoes, and bring a bottle of water. Also bring a ski pole and a small ball and hand weights. Men and women both welcome to come try this class. Laurie will lead a fitness class that can be customized to each person’s abilities, and help improve overall wellbeing, as well as focusing on body areas.  that may need additional support and care.
  • CUTTING PARTY for VETERANS CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS
    10am – Noon • Fellowship Hall immediately after fitness class. Mission Committee is hosting: prepare the materials for veterans’ Christmas Stockings. People should bring sharp scissors and common pins if they have them. We expect to cut out the 60 stockings that morning, so the more the merrier. Once completed, these stockings go to the Pease Greeters group and are distributed incoming and outgoing military personnel at Pease Air Force Base.
THURS, May 10
  • INTRODUCTORY YOGA with Anjali Rose
    9am • Parish Hall, Jackson Community Church. Join instructor Anjali Rose for a gentle, introductory yoga class. Wear stretchy fitness clothing, bring a matt and a cushion/blanket if you have them. $10/class for 6 weeks. Scholarships available.
  • YOGA & MEDITATION with Charlotte Doucette
    3:30pm • Parish Hall. $10/pp fee. (Scholarships available)
  • AA
    6-7pm • Church Library

SAT, May 12

 

  • MEN’S GROUP
    7:30 •  Wentworth Inn
    Come for breakfast and conversation with other men from the community.
  • Community Event: WOMEN BUILD with HABITAT for HUMANITY
    5 Burgdorf Drive, Madison, NH
    Please RSVP for this event to  cheryletoneill@gmail.com, Cheryle O’Neill, MWV Habitat for Humanity Family Support Committee Member and Women Build 2018 Coordinator. No construction skills or knowledge are necessary; just your presence and enthusiasm. Our church has a team of volunteers going to work on this project.

SUN, May 13: MOTHER’S DAY

 

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING
    8am • Gazebo. Bring your hot beverages. Dress warmly. Gather for readings and spiritual conversation.
  • CHOIR REHEARSAL 
    9am •  Jackson Community Church.
    Drop-in choir. Join us to practice and sing during the service.
  • WORSHIP SERVICE
    10:30am •  Jackson Community Church.
    Sermon: ‘First Sanctuary’
    Guest leadership: Accompanist & choir director Alan Labrie

Note: Office administrator Joanne Turner is on vacation this week.

SPRING SCHEDULE for Youth & Families with Jackson Community Church

Spring youth and family schedule: Friday fun nights, service opportunities, Sunday morning activities and lessons, Sunday afternoon hikes, end-of-year Youth & Children Sunday plus summer camps for families and work camps/advocacy trips/retreats for high school youth.

APRIL

  • Sun, April 8 – 9am • Road to Emmaus activity & walk: Meet at church and wear outdoor clothing for a spring walk. Focus on people who met God on their walk and didn’t recognize their companion. How do we see and meet God in our world? Walk includes lessons on shared meals, communion, and breaking bread together. Also it’s Holy Humor Sunday … bring a joke to tell!
  • Sun, April 15 – 9am • Planting Activity with Lisa White at JCC. Preparation for Mother’s Day and anticipation of Earth Day. Meet at JCC for this activity.
  • Sun, April 22 — 10:30am • Worship
    service includes presentation by Lauren Orsini from Starting Point about being aware of domestic violence and ongoing initiatives for safety for local children and families
  • Sun, April 22 — 1pm • Afternoon Earth Day Hike – Intergenerational outdoor hike to be led by church youth. Bring proper equipment; route to be announced. Allow 2-3 hours for this activity.
  • Fri, April 27 — 5:30-7:30pm • Friday Fun Night
    Spring Fling with Pizza & Games at JCC.
  • Sat, April 28 — 9am-Noon • Spring Cleaning at JCC
    Come prepared to work inside or outside. We’re organizing closets, cleaning windows and hard-to-reach areas, touching up spots inside and outside the church, changing light bulbs, and sprucing up the church grounds. Wear old clothes, sensible shoes, and bring work gloves. We’ll add more info about any tools or equipment you should bring from home, such as buckets or rakes or brooms.
  • Sun, April 29 – 10:30am Worship includes traditional Sunday School. Parents may attend worship and children will have interactive lesson during portion  of service.

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