Reflections on journeys: asking for help, and the entry into Passion Week

The imperative “Hosanna!” means “Save us now!” — Minoo Kim

We have a shared destiny, a shared responsibility to save the world from those who attempt to destroy it. — Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

There are many different kinds of power. True power comes from serving and helping others.— Dalai Lama

We need enlightenment, not just individually but collectively, to save the planet. We need to awaken ourselves. We need to practice mindfulness if we want to have a future, if we want to save ourselves and the planet. — Thich Nhat Hanh

Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you. — Mother Teresa

Asking for help is never a sign of weakness. It’s one of the bravest things you can do. And it can save your life. — Lily Collins

It may sound paradoxical, but strength comes from vulnerability. You have to ask the question to get the answer, even though asking the question means you didn’t know. —  Majid Kazmi

You can always give something, even if it is only kindness. — Anne Frank

Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver. — Barbara De Angelis

SONGS about ‘HOSANNA’ (Save Us):

SONGS about ASKING FOR or GIVING HELP:

BLESSING of PALMS — Jan Richardson

This blessing can be heard coming
from a long way off.

This blessing is making its steady way
up the road toward you.

This blessing blooms in the throats of women,
springs from the hearts of men,
tumbles out of the mouths of children.

This blessing is stitched into
the seams of the cloaks
that line the road,
etched into the branches
that trace the path,
echoes in the breathing
of the willing colt,
the click of the donkey’s hoof
against the stones.

Something is rising beneath this blessing.
Something will try to drown it out.

But this blessing cannot be turned back,
cannot be made to still its voice,
cannot cease to sing its praise
of the One who comes along the way it makes.

PALM SUNDAY: A Detail of the Stoy
— Maren Tirabassi

First, untie the donkey
the one that’s standing at the gate
waiting to be untied —

from some sorrow
or some guilt,
from somebody else’s judgment –
too young for the ride, or too old,
too much tattoo ink on the skin,
parkinsons in the hands,
pregnant in the belly.

First, untie the donkey,
the one that’s standing at the gate
waiting to be untied –

from some abusive relationship
or some really intricate
self-made knots,
because what binds
always pretends to be a blessing.

This is just the donkey God wants
for the ride –
this burro with no documents,
or others not-yet-ridden
because they are –
gender-queer, recovery-thin,
on-the-spectrum.

So, first untie the donkey –
this one –
the one who needs a parade,
the one willing to carry both joy
and the premonition of cross,

the one embracing
a day of song and danger,
fetlock deep in palms,
and a life that will echo … Hosanna.

PRAYERS ASKING to RECEIVE or OFFER HELP

Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours. Amen. — St Teresa of Avila

I prayed for change, so I changed my mind. I prayed for guidance and learned to trust myself. I prayed for happiness and realized I am not my ego. I prayed for peace and learned to accept others unconditionally. I prayed for abundance and realized my doubt kept it out. I prayed for wealth and realized it is my health. I prayed for a miracle and realized I am the miracle. I prayed for a soul mate and realized I am the One. I prayed for love and realized it’s always knocking, but I have to allow it in. — Rumi

His Holiness Dalai Lama’s DAILY PRAYER
Excerpt from Shantideva’s Way of the Bodhisattva

May all beings everywhere
Plagued by sufferings of body and mind
Obtain an ocean of happiness and joy
By virtue of my merits.
May no living creature suffer,
Commit evil, or ever fall ill.
May no one be afraid or belittled,
With a mind weighed down by depression.
May the blind see forms
And the deaf hear sounds,
May those whose bodies are worn with toil
Be restored on finding repose.
May the naked find clothing,
The hungry find food;
May the thirsty find water
And delicious drinks.
May the poor find wealth,
Those weak with sorrow find joy;
May the forlorn find hope,
Constant happiness, and prosperity.
May there be timely rains
And bountiful harvests;
May all medicines be effective
And wholesome prayers bear fruit.
May all who are sick and ill
Quickly be freed from their ailments.
Whatever diseases there are in the world,
May they never occur again.
May the frightened cease to be afraid
And those bound be freed;
May the powerless find power,
And may people think of benefiting each other.
For as long as space remains,
For as long as sentient beings remain,
Until then may I too remain
To dispel the miseries of the world.

Most Gracious and all wise God; Before whose face the generations rise and fall; Thou in whom we live, and move, and have our being. We thank thee for all of thy good and gracious gifts, for life and for health; for food and for raiment; for the beauties of nature and the love of human nature. We come before thee painfully aware of our inadequecies and shortcomings. We realize that we stand surrounded with the mountains of love and we deliberately dwell in the valley of hate. We stand amid the forces of truth and deliberately lie; We are forever offered the high road and yet we choose to travel the low road. For these sins O God forgive. Break the spell of that which blinds our minds. Purify our hearts that we may see thee. O God in these turbulent day when fear and doubt are mounting high give us broad visions, penetrating eys, and power of endurance. Help us to work with rewed vigor for a warless world, for a better distribution of wealth, and for a brotherhood that transcends race or color. In the name and spirit of Jesus we pray. Amen. — Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Try this prayer [following]… Yes, I borrowed the language from Princess Leia. Truth is truth! But seriously, our need is not for manna … but for Emmanuel. — Porter Case Taylor : “THIS DAY IS MY DARKEST HOUR. HELP ME LORD. YOU’RE MY ONLY HOPE.”

Our Father, who has set a restlessness in our hearts and made us all seekers after that which we can never fully find, forbid us to be satisfied with what we make of life.  Draw us from base content and set our eyes on far off goals.  Keep us at tasks too hard for us that we may be driven to Thee for strength.  Deliver us from the fretfulness and self-pitying; make us sure of the good we cannot see and of the hidden good in the world.  Open our eyes to simple beauty all around us and our hearts to the loveliness men hide from us because we do not try to understand them.  Save us from ourselves and show us a vision of the world made new. — Eleanor Roosevelt

O Lord, my God you are my refuge and my strength. You are my ever-present help in times of trouble. When it seems like my world is crumbling around me and I am thrown around by the storms of my life, take away my fear. When I am weak, you are my strength. When I am vulnerable, you are my refuge. When I cry for help, you will answer. Remind me Lord that you are always with me, you will never leave or forsake me. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. — from Connectus.com

May we realize that this earth is sacred and live accordingly.
May the suffering arising from oppression, hatred, and fear be righted and remedied.
May all those in the grips of insecurity be released to the safety of understanding.
May those weighed down by grief be given over to compassion.
May those lost in delusion find relief in the path of wisdom.
May all wounds to forests, rivers, deserts, oceans, all wounds to the earth be witnessed and healed through our right action.
May we work for the ending of suffering from consumerism, the climate catastrophe, war, economic disparity, racism, sexual violence, and the abuse of children.
May those in refugee camps and prisons find their way home, with our support.
May those who are alone or abandoned by friends and family, and those who are unsheltered find a safe and loving harbor in community.
May we have deep time in practice with each other and in the solitudes, to be taught by sangha and by silence, so that we have the courage and equanimity to be a source of love and wisdom for all beings.
May we all have the health, wisdom, and energy to serve in the years ahead.
May all awaken and awaken others.
— Roshi Joan Halifax

O God, make for me a light in my heart, a light in my ears, a light in my eyes, a light in my hair, a light in my skin’s surface, a light in my flesh, a light in my blood, a light in front of me, a light behind me, a light below me, a light above me, a light from my right (side), and a light from my left (side). O God, increase for me a light, give me a light, and make me a light– O Light of Light in Your (Infinite) Compassion! O Most Merciful of those who are merciful!. — Rumi

Lord, you are closer to me than my own breath, nearer to me than my
hands and feet. Amen. — St Teresa of Avila

Universal Prayer
 Sri Swami Sivananda

O Adorable Lord of Mercy and Love!
Salutations and prostrations unto Thee.
Thou art Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient.
Thou art Satchidananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute).
Thou art the Indweller of all beings.

Grant us an understanding heart,
Equal vision, balanced mind,
Faith, devotion and wisdom.
Grant us inner spiritual strength
To resist temptations and to control the mind.
Free us from egoism, lust, greed, hatred, anger and jealousy.
Fill our hearts with divine virtues.

Let us behold Thee in all these names and forms.
Let us serve Thee in all these names and forms.
Let us ever remember Thee.
Let us ever sing Thy glories.
Let Thy Name be ever on our lips.
Let us abide in Thee for ever and ever.

Let Us Be United
— Rig Veda

Let us be united;
Let us speak in harmony;
Let our minds apprehend alike.
Common be our prayer,
Common be the end of our assembly;
Common be our resolution;
Common be our deliberations.
Alike be our feelings;
Unified be our hearts;
Common be our intentions;
Perfect be our unity.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate or The Lorica  (excerpt)
(see notes on full text: https://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/st-patricks-breastplate.html)


I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

Christ shield me today
Against wounding …

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every [person[ who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
of the Lord of creation.

HOSANNA: Asking for Help, Crying Out “Save Us”

Until we can receive with an open heart, we’re never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help. — Brené Brown.

Say and do something positive that will help the situation; it doesn’t take any brains to complain. — Robert A. Cook

When a person’s down in the world, I think an ounce of help is better than a pound of preaching. —  Edward Bulwer-Lytton

You can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want. —  Zig Ziglar

When we feel weak, we drop our heads on the shoulders of others. Don’t get mad when someone does that…Be honored. For that person trusted you enough to, even if subtly, ask you for help. — Lori Goodwin

If you’re in trouble, or hurt or need – go to the poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones. — John Steinbeck

When you’re too religious, you tend to point your finger to judge instead of extending your hand to help. —Steve Maraboli

Life provides ample opportunity to test our mettle. When circumstances call for it, let’s give ourselves a break and ask for help. — Gina Greenlee

Refusing to ask for help when you need it is refusing someone the chance to be helpful. —  Ric OcasekBeing first to ask for help in a friendship takes courage and humility. — Afton Rorvik

Take the risk to ask for whatever you need and want. If someone says no, you will not lose anything. If someone says yes, you have a lot to gain. — Abhishek Ratna

However, if you find you can’t help yourself, there’s no shame in asking others for help. Sometimes asking for help is just as heroic as giving it. — Chris Colfer

In our communion with God, we are so busy presenting our problems, asking for help, seeking relief that we leave no moments of silence to listen for God’s answers. — Alice Hegan Rice

The only mistake you can make is not asking for help. — Sandeep Jauhar

There is no shame in asking for help; it is one the most courageous things you’ll ever do and will lead to greater connection with those around you. — Laura Lane

Sometimes the loudest cries for help are silent. — Harlan Coben

There’s freedom in hitting bottom, in seeing that you won’t be able to save or rescue your daughter, her spouse, his parents, or your career, relief in admitting you’ve reached the place of great unknowing. This is where restoration can begin, because when you’re still in the state of trying to fix the unfixable, everything bad is engaged: the chatter of your mind, the tension of your physiology, all the trunks and wheel-ons you carry from the past. It’s exhausting, crazy-making. — Anne Lamott

GIVING HELP

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others. —  Audrey Hepburn

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. — Dalai Lama

Nothing makes one feel so strong as a call for help. — Pope Paul VI

I believe the world is one big family, and we need to help each other. — Jet Li

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 sage does not hoard. The more he helps others, the more he benefits himself, having bestowed all he has on others, he has yet more; having given all he has to others, he is richer still. — Lao Tzu

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. —Muhammad Ali

He who sees a need and waits to be asked for help is as unkind as if he had refused it. — Dante Alighieri

Hail to the man who went through life always helping others, knowing no fear, and to whom aggressiveness and resentment are alien. Such is the stuff of which the great moral leaders are made. — Albert Einstein

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, What’s in it for me? — Brian Tracy

Remember this. Hold on to this. This is the only perfection there is, the perfection of helping others. This is the only thing we can do that has any lasting meaning. — Andre Agassi

We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. —Ronald Reagan

I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. — Charles de Lint

Carry out a random act of kindness with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. — Princess Diana

You’ve heard it said that when all else fails, follow instructions. So we breathe, try to slow down and pay attention, try to love and help God’s other children, and – hardest of all, at least to me – learn to love our depressing, hilarious, mostly decent selves. We get thirsty people water, read to the very young and old, and listen to the sad. We pick up litter and try to leave the world a slightly better place for our stay here. Those are the basic instructions, to which I can add only: Amen. ― Anne Lamott

Asking for help is courageous — Command Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Mazzone, 6th Air Mobility WIngm, Air Force
 In the 1990s it was not uncommon for an Airman to hear the phrase “Suck it up!” It was also rare to find the supervisor who would encourage Airmen to seek help to work through mental health concerns … We have the opportunity to break the cycle. Are you up for the challenge?

In 2004, a technical sergeant found himself sitting in a corner of a darkened room in the back of his house, sobbing. He was alone, and his life had just fallen out from under his feet. For over 30 hours he sat there, cried there and slept there. He didn’t eat and he didn’t drink. He simply stared at the emptiness in front of him, wondering how this had happened. How had his life gone from seemingly normal to quiet chaos in less than a day? He didn’t know how to ask for help.

He was in no condition to dissect his situation, as he lacked rational thought and had just sustained fresh, deep emotional wounds. Sitting in that corner, he challenged his faith, asking how his God could allow something so wicked to occur. He challenged himself, wondering if he didn’t do enough to keep this from happening. The phone rang as he sat there. He thought about unplugging it, but it was too far away. He wondered about “making the pain go away,” but instead he rolled over to fall asleep yet again. This time he awoke to the sound of his name being yelled in his own house. He never cried out “I’m back here; please help me!”

When they found him, he was a wreck. His legs were weak and he didn’t want to move. He just wanted his life back … he wanted his family back. He wanted things to be the way they were before, even though he knew that was not possible. One person walked him to the living room couch. Another got him some water. They sat there in silence with him, waiting patiently, hoping he would say something. He was ashamed and didn’t speak. He couldn’t stomach the thought of people knowing about this, even if they were his friends. He felt they wouldn’t be able to do anything for him, and he never asked them to find someone who could help.

One of them contacted the first sergeant, who arrived soon after. Together, they started doing things for him … simple things. They turned on the shower, they got him clean clothes, they made him a bowl of cereal and they drove him to see his commander. He sat in the office, his commander making the time to listen to nothing being said, only the sobs of a broken man. Finally, he was asked if he would like to see a chaplain or someone from Mental Health.

I said “no,” because I was scared and because that’s the way I was raised in the Air Force. I was taught that seeking help was a sign of weakness, that it hurt careers and it could negatively impact the mission. My commander didn’t force me. Instead he made a deal with me. He made me promise to answer the door no matter what time there was a knock, and to answer the phone at any hour. He pulled me from the flight schedule to ensure my personal safety and the safety of my fellow crewmates. He knew my passion for history and instructed me to begin a research project for the unit. All the while, he reminded me constantly of my options to speak with someone, and that it was a path back to wellness. After weeks of not smiling and busy work meant to keep my mind occupied, I finally told someone I was ready to talk.

There was no pause. I was immediately driven the 15 miles to our supporting hospital, and met with someone who wanted only to learn about what happened to make me go through the pain I felt. She gained my trust, assuring me that these steps to heal myself were courageous. It took time, but I worked through it. It took friends who legitimately cared about me and did whatever was needed. It took a command team to let me know it was okay to expose my wounds, since that was the only way to heal them. It took more time, but I was finally back in the air, doing what I loved, safely. It took a lot of people doing a lot of things at just the right time to make sure I was cared for. They never let me feel as though I was on my own. It also took a patient and loving God to wait for me to come back, and to show me there is a purpose for everything.

… We should be inspiring our Airmen and conditioning them to seek whatever help they need in order to succeed personally and professionally. Healthy Airmen accomplish the mission efficiently, and with pride. Full link: https://www.afmc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/804148/commentary-asking-for-help-is-courageous/

How to Politely Ask for Help When You Really Need It: 7 Steps — Erica Krull (excerpt), full link: https://www.joincake.com/blog/ask-for-help/

Step 1: Take the Risk of Asking : People often don’t ask for help because they assume the person they ask might say “no.” The fear of rejection is strong, and nearly every human worries about this to some degree. Asking for help can be uncomfortable, and people want to avoid the embarrassment of rejection, so they say nothing. But several research studies have shown … People generally like to see themselves as useful and are often willing to take action when asked. That social pressure alone drives people to say, “how can I help,” even if they would hesitate for other reasons. …

Step 2: Clarify What Kind of Help You Need : Before you ask for help, clarify what you need. Knowing this can determine who you ask and what you need them to do. Think about your problem and decide what missing part matters the most. … Write down what you need so you can say it clearly. Make sure your list is simple and accurate so it’s easier to get the right kind of help.

Step 3: Be Thoughtful About Who to Ask : Once you know what kind of help you need, consider who to ask. Keep in mind you may need to speak to a few different people before you get the help you need.

  • Consider what kind of information you need. Do you need to speak to a professional? Or can a friend or family member help?
  • … pick someone that may have some knowledge and start there.
  • You may need to approach someone you’ve never met before … gather your courage and prepare to ask.

Step 4: Be Thoughtful About How to Ask: How you ask for help makes a big difference, so think about how you’d like someone to approach you. Use the following tips to improve your chances of getting a “yes”: 

  • Avoid making your request sound like a demand …
  • Appeal to them with kindness and humility …  show your vulnerability in some way….
  • Show trust and respect – Show a willingness to listen and learn …
  • Be considerate of timing – … avoid asking…at the last minute or odd times of the day … ask about a good time to talk.

Step 5: Be Specific: Use news-gathering questions to get more specific about what you need to ask.

  • Who – Who needs help? Clarify if it’s only you or if others are involved.
  • How – How will their actions help you? Explain what you have tried already and where you fall short.
  • Why – Why did you choose them to help you? Mention their expertise, a referral, or your personal connection.
  • Where – Where do you need to have help? Narrow down the part that you need help with, or a physical location if that applies.
  • When – When do you need help? State a deadline, if you have one.
  • What – What is your specific need? Spell out what you want in plain language.

Step 6: “Can You Help Me?”

Ending your request with this question is another way to show your vulnerability … Even if the other person isn’t able to help … They might suggest different ways of getting assistance or other people to ask.Step 7: Give Help to Others 

Make a habit of offering your time and talents to others…

BLESSED IS the ONE
For Palm Sunday

— Jan Richardson

Blessed is the One
who comes to us
by the way of love
poured out with abandon.

Blessed is the One
who walks toward us
by the way of grace
that holds us fast.

Blessed is the One
who calls us to follow
in the way of blessing,
in the path of joy.

HOSANNA COMMENTARY

… tongue-speak, hosanna, holy, the kind of clarion call that would make Maya Angelou hoot and James Baldwin holler. — Robert Jones Jr.  

It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt.  — Fyodor Dostoyevsky

We should never forget that Jesus was executed in the name of “freedom and justice” … But the cross shames the ancient deception that freedom and justice can be attained by killing. The crowd believes this pernicious lie, but Christ never does. The Passover crowd shouted, “Hosanna!” (” Save now!”) until it realized that Jesus wouldn’t save them by killing their enemies; then it shouted, “Crucify him!” Jesus refused to be a messiah after the model of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Judah Maccabeus, William Wallace, or George Washington – and the crowd despises him for it. The crowd loves their violent heroes. The crowd is predisposed to believe in the idea that “freedom and justice” can be achieved by violence. — Brian Zahnd

I have never seen the swing from “Hosanna!” to “Crucify!” more graphically evoked than in the virtually insane way the crowd goes berserk when the  toreador makes an adroit turn, and they immediately follow this with insane howling and whistling when some mishap occurs. The momentary character of this mass mood goes so far that they applaud for the bull and against the toreador if, for example, the latter proves to be cowardly and quite understandably his courage fails him for a moment. — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I have never been given these words in this way before. This small piece of gospel, three parts hosanna, two parts testimony, one part lamentation. — David Levithan

I do not know much about God and prayer, but I have come to believe, over the past twenty-five years, that there’s something to be said about keeping prayer simple. Help. Thanks. Wow. You may in fact be wondering what I even mean when I use the word “prayer.” It’s certainly not what TV Christians mean. It’s not for display purposes, like plastic sushi or neon. Prayer is private, even when we pray with others. It is communication from the heart to that which surpasses understanding. Let’s say it is communication from one’s heart to God. ― Anne Lamott

SAVE US: Commentary

Great leaders are willing to sacrifice the numbers to save the people. Poor leaders sacrifice the people to save the numbers. — Simon Sinek 

In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. — Carl Sagan

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. — John F. Kennedy

With our love, we could save the world. — George Harrison

God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools. — John Muir

If we pollute the air, water and soil that keep us alive and well, and destroy the biodiversity that allows natural systems to function, no amount of money will save us. —David Suzuki

I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t. — Audre Lord

Music will save the world. — Pablo Casals

We need to save the Arctic not because of the polar bears, and not because it is the most beautiful place in the world, but because our very survival depends upon it.— Lewis Gordon Pugh

The power of the ballot we need in sheer defense, else what shall save us from a second slavery? — W.E.B. Dubois

I learned that I can’t save the world, but I can help a child at a time. — Afeni Shakur

Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives. — Tony Robbins

There are good people who are dealt a bad hand by fate, and bad people who live long, comfortable, privileged lives. A small twist of fate can save or end a life; random chance is a permanent, powerful player in each of our lives, and in human history as well. — Jeff Greenfield

If you want what you’re saying heard, then take your time and say it so that the listener will actually hear it. You might save somebody’s life. Your own, first. — Maya Angelou

The only thing that can save the world is the reclaiming of the awareness of the world. That’s what poetry does. — Allen Ginsberg

Mental health can improve overall well-being and prevent other illnesses. And since mental health problems have a serious economic impact on vulnerable communities, making them a priority can save lives and markedly improve people’s quality of life. — Vikram Patel

There is no person that love cannot heal; there is no soul that love cannot save. — Carlos Santana

I don’t believe our works save us, but I believe they follow us into heaven and bring glory to God. — Max Lucado

Bullying is killing our kids. Being different is killing our kids and the kids who are bullying are dying inside. We have to save our kids whether they are bullied or they are bullying. They are all in pain. — Cat Cora

It’s not new that architecture can profoundly affect a place, sometimes transform it. Architecture and any art can transform a person, even save someone. — Frank Gehry

But where do we even start on the daily walk of restoration and awakening? We start where we are. We find God in our human lives, and that includes the suffering. I get thirsty people glasses of water, even if that thirsty person is just me. My friend Tom goes through the neighborhood and picks up litter, knowing there will be just as much tomorrow. We visit those shut-ins whom a higher power seems to have entrusted to our care – various relatives, often aging and possibly annoying, or stricken friends from our church communities, people in jails or mental institutions who might be related to us, who benefit from hearing our own resurrection stories. My personal belief is that God looks through Her Rolodex when She has a certain kind of desperate person in Her care, and assigns that person to some screwed-up soul like you or me, and makes it hard for us to ignore that person’s suffering, so we show up even when it is extremely inconvenient or just awful to be there. ― Anne Lamott

HELP: 4 Tips to Ask for (and Get) Help — Jeffrey Davis, Psychology Today (excerpt)

1. Be concise and specific. Asking for and offering help can only be productive under one crucial condition: clear communication. Try to communicate your request as clearly and concisely as possible. There is no need to over-explain: simply describe what the task is, why it matters, and how the person you’re asking can contribute. Try to be as specific as possible so they know exactly what it is they will need to do and can accurately judge how much time and energy the task will take.

Furthermore, be willing to negotiate. Let them decide how much support they can offer and try to find a mutually beneficial solution.

2. Don’t apologize. Don’t apologize for asking for help. No one gets excited about a task that the asker feels the need to apologize for. We all need help sometimes and it’s nothing to be ashamed of—but apologizing makes it seem like you’re doing something wrong by asking and casts the task at hand in a negative light.

On that note, don’t minimize your need with phrases like “I hate to ask…” or “It’s just a small thing.” This suggests that their assistance is trivial and takes the joyous sense of accomplishment out of helping. After all, how am I supposed to feel if you “hate to ask” for my assistance? Similarly, don’t ask them to do you a favor. This can make people feel obliged to say yes.

3. Make it personal, not transactional. Don’t ask for help over email or text. Though it’s easier to send a written request, it’s also a lot easier to say no to one. Try to speak face to face or call. Studies show that face-to-face requests are 34 times more successful!

Make your request more personal by explaining why the person’s skills or expertise make them uniquely suited to this task. This casts them as a helpful person and not just another person you can resort to for help. Studies show that when people are asked to “be a generous donor”—rather than simply asked to donate—they are more likely to say yes and donate larger sums.

Finally, don’t emphasize reciprocity. While we tend to think that sweetening the deal with the promise of a returned favor is a good strategy, this kind of language makes your request feel transactional. People don’t like feeling indebted to others, and others are more likely to help you if you show genuine appreciation for their aid rather than assign their efforts a monetary value.

4. Follow up with results. Beyond expressing your gratitude, you should follow up with the helper to share the tangible results of their aid. As much as we’d like to think that acts of generosity are their own reward, the reality is that people long to feel effective. We want to feel that the work we do and the help we give matters. Take the time to show the people who help you why their support not only matters to you, but how it makes a larger impact on your life, work, or community.

5 Ways to Get Better at Asking for Help — Wayne Baker, Harvard Business Review (excerpt), full link: https://hbr.org/2014/12/5-ways-to-get-better-at-asking-for-help)

It seems like leaders are always lamenting the lack of cooperation and collaboration in their organizations. … the culprit isn’t their … unwillingness to give others a hand — it’s the fact that most people simply don’t, or won’t, ask for help.

Why? First, asking for help is often perceived as a sign of weakness or ignorance, implying that someone can’t get their work done on their own. A second common barrier is nervousness about incurring social debts or obligations — ”What do I owe this person now?”

Third, and for American workers in particular, personal values can get in the way. Self-reliance is one of the 10 core values that I recently documented in four national surveys, and while it’s an admirable trait, it’s also self-limiting. In today’s organizations, you can’t be successful if you don’t ask for what you need.

So how can you make asking for help easier? …

1. Earn responses to your requests by generously helping others in the first place. By building a positive reputation as someone who helps others; others will then want to help you — even those you haven’t directly helped …The desire to repay help appears to be hard-wired in the human species, as neuroscientists have shown … and the norm of reciprocity is so powerful that you can generally expect help if you’ve helped others. This also yields a psychological benefit for those wary of reaching out —it’s much easier to reconcile asking for help when you yourself have been helpful.

2. Know what you want to ask. This sounds elementary, but I’ve observed many people struggling with the task of coming up with a request. A common refrain is this: “I’ve always wanted to be in a room with knowledgeable, well-connected people and be able to ask for anything. But I can’t think of a thing!” Here’s something you can do to prepare for this situation: Focus on a current project and write down your goals for it. Take the most important goal and list the action steps and resources needed to achieve it — materials, information, data, or advice. You’ll then have a series of needs that you can frame as questions, using the SMART request methodology outlined below …

3. Ask SMARTly. Many requests are so poorly worded that it’s difficult to respond. A well-formulated request is SMART: Specific, Meaningful (why you need it), Action-oriented (ask for something to be done), Real(authentic, not made up), and Time-bound (when you need it). A SMART request is easier to respond to than one that is misses one or more of the five criteria.

4. Don’t assume you know who and what people know.Underestimating the willingness of others to help is a common mistake … The fact is, you never know what people know or how they can help until you ask … Even if those you ask can’t help you directly, they can tap their personal and professional networks. Until you ask, you don’t know who other people know…

5. Create a culture where asking for help is encouraged. Make it easy to ask for and give help by setting the tone, norms, and practices in your work environment. Industrial design firm IDEO has strong norms that motivate asking for and giving help … in this culture of helping designers are coached from the get-go to expect that they will need help and to ask for it. Watching others give and get help reinforces norms and creates a feeling of psychological safety. IDEO’s leaders model behaviors by asking for and giving help.

Meditations on Palm Sunday

The word endures. The Word endures. We who stand among the Palm Sunday crowds know that the Word will soon be beaten, mocked, and killed. We know, too, that that is not the end of the tale. — Jan Richardson

“Hey sanna, ho sanna, sanna, sanna, hey sanna, ho sanna sanna sanna , ho sanna, hey sanna, Hey, hey JC, JC won’t you smile at me. …” — Webber and RiceJesus Christ Superstar (rock opera)

Songs


Blessing of Palms
This blessing
can be heard coming from a long way off.
This blessing is making its steady way
up the road toward you.
This blessing
blooms in the throats of women,
springs from the hearts of men,
tumbles out of the mouths of children.
This blessing
is stitched into the seams
of the cloaks that line the road,
etched into the branches
that trace the path,
echoes in the breathing
of the willing colt,
the click of the donkey’s hoof
against the stones.
Something is rising beneath this blessing.
Something will try to drown it out.
But this blessing
cannot be turned back, cannot be made to still its voice,
cannot cease to sing its praise
of the One who comes along the way it makes.
—Jan Richardson

Hosanna: Help Us!

The Hebrew word Halleluia means “praise the Lord;” Hosanna means “save us!” or “save!” The Palm Sunday crowd falsely assumed that Jesus would bring political liberation.— Steve Vredenburgh

We think of “Hosanna” as a shout of praise, but the basic meaning of this Hebrew word is “Help!” It is an SOS cry. That appears to be the way the first Palm Sunday crowd used it. Having heard of Jesus’ ability to feed an army with a school boy’s lunch and His recent accomplishment of bringing a dead Lazarus back to life, they were convinced He was a candidate for the monarchy. “Jesus, Help! Expel our hated Roman rulers. You be our King!” How disappointed they were when Jesus, after riding into the capitol city on the wave of the crowd’s enthusiasm, merely looked around and walked back out. — Merwin VanDoornik

But what I didn’t know until this week is what the word “hosanna” actually means.  All these years, I thought it meant some church-y version of “We adore you!” or “You rock!” or “Go, king!”  It doesn’t.  In Hebrew, it means something less adulatory and more desperate.  Less generous and more demanding.  It means, “Save now!”  — Debie Thomas

“Hosanna” 
does come from an old Hebrew phrase, but one that was less praise and more desperate plea. “Save now!” It was a phrase stripped of all pretense of politeness. “Help!” Its insistent cry was one reserved for royalty or divinity. “Deliver us! Don’t wait!” The people are either calling Jesus “king” or “God” or both. … My own mind is drawn today to Anne Lamott’s book, which you have heard us reference a few times: Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. In it, Lamott says that all prayers boil down to these three simple words: help, thanks, wow. And more often than not, these concepts overlap and run together. … I think a truly holy Hosanna can hold these three words together, this help, thanks, and wow. Hosanna cries for deliverance. It calls out in gratitude. And it gives voice to holy awe. — Marthame Sanders

By Which Gate? 

Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan argue that two processions entered Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday two thousand years ago; Jesus’s was not the only Triumphal Entry.
    Every year during Passover — the Jewish festival that swelled Jerusalem’s population from its usual 50,000 to at least 200,000 — the Roman governor of Judea would ride up to Jerusalem from his coastal residence in the west.  He would come in all of his imperial majesty to remind the Jewish pilgrims that Rome demanded their complete loyalty, obedience, and submission.  The Jewish people could commemorate their ancient victory against Egypt and slavery if they wanted to.  But if they tried any real time resistance, they would be obliterated without a second thought. 
      As Pilate clanged and crashed his imperial way into Jerusalem from the west, Jesus approached from the east, looking (by contrast) ragtag and absurd.  Unlike the Roman emperor and his legions, who ruled by force, coercion, and terror, Jesus came defenseless and weaponless into his kingship.  Riding on a donkey, he all but cried aloud the bottom-line truth that his rule would have nothing to recommend it but love, humility, long-suffering, and sacrifice.  — Debie Thomas

The Rest of the Week

It seems reasonable to me that people choose to go from the Big Parade to the Empty Tomb and skip the stuff that makes them uncomfortable: stuff like how Jesus ate his last meal with the people he loved most, all of whom (perhaps like me) would betray abandon or deny him, that these friends (perhaps like me) couldn’t even stay awake while he prayed in the garden, that the crowd (perhaps like me) would strike and taunt him for not living up to their expectations, that the people would (perhaps like me) shout crucify him! And twist him a crown of thorns, that passersby would (perhaps like me) shout “for God’s sake, save yourself”.  Because we would save ourselves.  And the fact that Jesus got himself killed in a totally preventable way never once showing enough self-respect to fight back or get himself off that damned cross…well maybe he had it coming. — Nadia Bolz-Weber

Five hundred years after that  … this story continues, the story of God’s decision to not hold back and watch to see what we might do on our own but instead to get involved, to take matters into the divine hands, to join God’s own self to us fully and completely so that we might live and die – and live again! – in hope and courage. That’s the story we tell, the story of this week’s dramatic reading, the story of God’s passionate and relentless quest to redeem each and all of us in love.  — David Lose

Lenten meditation on “I Am” as Way, Journey, Life: themes for PALM SUNDAY including pilgrimage, arrival/departure, companionship, and joy in the shadow of death.


Texts for this week include Psalm 118 and Matthew 21, as well as “I am the way, the truth and the life” from Gospel of John.

Questions to Consider: Questions raised up in commentary on Palm Sunday from Jan Richardson:

  • Are we allowing ourselves to be swept along by circumstances, traveling our road by default?
  • Or are we seeking to walk with intention and discernment, creating our path with some measure of the courage and clarity by which Christ walked his, even in the midst of forces that may lie beyond our control?

And from a different commentary by Jan Richardson:

  • I find myself wondering, what is the way that I am preparing … Am I clearing a path by which [Christ/Holy Love] has access to my life?
  • Am I keeping my eyes open to the variety of guises that Christ continues to wear in our world?
  • What am I lifting up, that God might come down and dance with me?

Songs About Pilgrimage, Companionship, Joy in the Presence of Death: Palm Sunday Themes

Opening Thoughts

To feel the pull, the draw, the interior attraction, and to want to follow it, even if it has no name still, that is the “pilgrim spirit.” The “why” only becomes clear as time passes, only long after the walking is over. ― Kevin A. Codd

I do not understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us. ― Anne Lamott

When you’re in the day-to-day grind, it just seems like it’s another step along the way. But I find joy in the actual process, the journey, the work. It’s not the end. It’s not the end event. — Cal Ripken, Jr.

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument. Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. — Mevlana Rumi

And this is it. This is the life we get here on earth. We get to give away what we receive. We get to believe in each other. We get to forgive and be forgiven. We get to love imperfectly. And we never know what effect it will have for years to come. And all of  it…all of  it is completely worth it. ― Nadia Bolz-Weber

Little Gidding (excerpt) — TS Eliot
With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time …

Renga with Kate (excerpt) Eric Overby,
There’s no better place
Than in each moment with you
Traveling through life
Regardless of place and time,
Or seasons and location …

On Pilgrimage

With the right attitude, any journey to a sacred place becomes a pilgrimage. — Dalai Lama

Faith is not the clinging to a shrine but an endless pilgrimage of the heart. ― Abraham Joshua Heschel

You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. — CS Lewis

It’s funny how you doubt yourself through & through, when the sun & the moon are parabolically on a pilgrimage, encircling the mecca of you. ― Curtis Tyrone Jones

There is a time for stillness, for waiting for Christ as he makes his dancing way toward us. And there is a time to be in motion, to set out on a path, knowing that although God is everywhere, and always with us, we sometimes need a journey in order to meet God—and ourselves—anew. — Jan Richardson No one is climbing the spiritual ladder. We don’t continually improve until we are so spiritual we no longer need God. We die and are made new, but that’s different from spiritual self-improvement. We are simultaneously sinner and saint, 100 percent of both, all the time … The movement in our relationship to God is always from God to us. Always. We can’t, through our piety or goodness, move closer to God. God is always coming near to us. Most especially in the Eucharist and in the stranger. ― Nadia Bolz-Weber

My ideal journey: set out early and never arrive. ― Marty Rubin

No pilgrimage is holier than compassion, no gospel is truer than kindness, no offering is grander than love. ― Abhijit Naskar

I think joy and sweetness and affection are a spiritual path. We’re here to know God, to love and serve God, and to be blown away by the beauty and miracle of nature. You just have to get rid of so much baggage to be light enough to dance, to sing, to play. You don’t have time to carry grudges; you don’t have time to cling to the need to be right. ― Anne Lamott

That very fast train reminds me that, as a pilgrim, travel is made holy in its slowness. I see things that neither the passengers of the train nor the drivers of the automobiles see. I feel things that they will never feel. I have time to ponder, imagine, daydream. I tire. I thirst. In my slow walking, I find me. ― Kevin A. Codd

My prayer is my pilgrimage. ― Lailah Gifty Akita

Pilgrimage: to journey to a sacred place. Pilgrim: a traveller or wanderer, a stranger in a foreign place. Crusaders: pilgrims with swords who attempted to conquer the Middle East. Hajj: the journey to Mecca, one of the five pillars of Islam. Shahadah, Salat, Zakat, Sawm, Hajj. Pleasant, perhaps, to say that I am a pilgrim … who isn’t a … pilgrim anyway? ― Claire North

The pilgrimage provided a sense of purpose … calmed what was restless within me, and … I noticed how the minutes slowed and the silence assembled, until the days were worth more than they had been before. ― Guy Stagg

The purpose of a pilgrimage is about setting aside a long period of time in which the only focus is to be the matters of the soul. Many believe a pilgrimage is about going away but it isn’t; it is about coming home. Those who choose to go on pilgrimage have already ventured away from themselves; and now set out in a longing to journey back to who they are.  … Yet we do not need to go to the edges of the earth to learn who we are, only the edges of ourself. ― L.M. Browning

Mountains have long been a geography for pilgrimage, place where people have been humbled and strengthened, they are symbols of the sacred center. Many have traveled to them in order to find the concentrated energy of Earth and to realize the strength of unimpeded space. Viewing a mountain at a distance or walking around its body we can see its shape, know its profile, survey its surrounds. The closer you come to the mountain the more it disappears, the mountain begins to lose its shape as you near it, its body begins to spread out over the landscape losing itself to itself. On climbing the mountain the mountain continues to vanish. It vanishes in the detail of each step, its crown is buried in space, its body is buried in the breath. On reaching the mountain summit we can ask, “What has been attained?” – The top of the mountain? Big view? But the mountain has already disappeared. Going down the mountain we can ask, “What has been attained?” Going down the mountain the closer we are to the mountain the more the mountain disappears, the closer we are to the mountain the more the mountain is realized. Mountain’s realization comes through the details of the breath, mountain appears in each step. Mountain then lives inside our bones, inside our heart-drum. It stands like a huge mother in the atmosphere of our minds. Mountain draws ancestors together in the form of clouds. Heaven, Earth and human meet in the raining of the past. Heaven, Earth and human meet in the winds of the future. Mountain mother is a birth gate that joins the above and below, she is a prayer house, she is a mountain. Mountain is a mountain.
― Joan Halifax

None of your knowledge, your reading, your connections will be of any use here: two legs suffice, and big eyes to see with. Walk alone, across mountains or through forests. You are nobody to the hills or the thick boughs heavy with greenery. You are no longer a role, or a status, not even an individual, but a body, a body that feels sharp stones on the paths, the caress of long grass and the freshness of the wind. When you walk, the world has neither present nor future: nothing but the cycle of mornings and evenings. Always the same thing to do all day: walk. But the walker who marvels while walking (the blue of the rocks in a July evening light, the silvery green of olive leaves at noon, the violet morning hills) has no past, no plans, no experience. He has within him the eternal child. While walking I am but a simple gaze.
― Frédéric Gros

On Companions
Interrelationship – Thich Nhat Hanh  You are me, and I am you.
Isn’t it obvious that we “inter-are”?
You cultivate the flower in yourself,
so that I will be beautiful.
I transform the garbage in myself,
so that you will not have to suffer.
I support you;
you support me.
I am in this world to offer you peace;
you are in this world to bring me joy.


And for all that walk in the world in these after-days. For such is the way of it: to find and lose … But I count you blessed … for your loss you suffer of your own free will, and you might have chosen otherwise. But you have not forsaken your companions … — J.R.R. Tolkien

Those who are enjoying something, or suffering something, together, are companions. — C.S. Lewis

Is he alone who has courage on his right hand and faith on his left hand? ― Charles A. Lindbergh

… is it any wonder that we find comfort and solace in hairy, furry, and scaly companions? ― Nick Trout

People will walk in and walk out of your life, but the one whose footstep made a long lasting impression is the one you should never allow to walk out. ― Michael Bassey Johnson

Death is our constant companion, and it is death that gives each person’s life its true meaning. ― Paulo Coelho

I have no companion but Love, no beginning, no end, no dawn. The Soul calls from within me: ‘You, ignorant of the way of Love, set Me free.’ — Rumi

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
― Mary Oliver

On Arrival & Departure

Go. The word is my last and most beautiful gift. ― Anne Fall

If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong. ― Masaru Emoto

Well, my friends give me purple flowers and orange tea
and goosedown spinning quilts and torquoise chairs
we greet one another in a wild profusion of words
and wave farewell amidst the wonderment of air
In the laughing times we know we are lucky
In the quiet times we know that we are blessed
And we will not be alone.
― Dar Williams

What we’re searching for will determine where we arrive, or if we arrive. And right in the middle of such risky choices  … God perfectly solving the problem by showing us what to search for and then bringing it to us. ― Craig D. Lounsbrough

You must clear out what you don’t want, to make room for what you do want to arrive. ― Bryant McGill

That (labyrinth)…became a world whose rules I lived by, and I understood the moral of mazes: sometimes you have to turn your back on your goal to get there, sometimes you’re farthest away when you’re closest, sometimes the only way is the long one. After that careful walking and looking down, the stillness was deeply moving…It was breathtaking to realize that in the labyrinth, metaphors and meanings could be conveyed spatially. That when you seem farthest from your destination is when you suddenly arrive is a very pat truth in words, but a profound one to find with your feet. ― Rebecca Solnit

To have no more running to do … to have arrived, and have no more need to run. The appetite changes. Now I think it would be a beautiful thing to be still. ― Ellis Peters

I wanted to say goodbye to someone, and have someone say goodbye to me. The goodbyes we speak and the goodbyes we hear are the goodbyes that tell us we´re still alive. ― Stephen King

Looking back I can see that there have been no breaks from one departure to the next; I start planning again before we’ve even arrived back home. ― Barbara Hodgson

Arrival in the world is really a departure and that, which we call departure, is only a return. ― Dejan Stojanovic

It is odd how, when you have announced that you are leaving, it is as if you are already gone, even if your physical departure still lies months away. ― Paul Watkins

You know, even when we leave a place, we leave our memories there and they will represent us in our absence! So, in reality, we will always continue to be in every place we depart! ― Mehmet Murat ildan

On Joy

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. — Tecumseh

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive. — Eleonora Duse

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. — Buddha

Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy. It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity. — Henri Nouwen

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. — William Arthur Ward

Joy, feeling one’s own value, being appreciated and loved by others, feeling useful and capable of production are all factors of enormous value for the human soul. — Maria Montessori

Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy. — Mahatma Gandhi

For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair. — Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy. — Joseph Campbell

I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few. — Brene Brown

Joy is the serious business of Heaven. — C. S. Lewis

The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse. — Helen Keller

HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE

  • April 5, PALM SUNDAY
    • 8am interfaith gathering (outdoors if possible)
    • 10:30am worship
  • April 7, TUESDAY
    • Final meeting of the Lenten ecumenical study group that’s reading Max Lucado’s Jesus, and meets weekly at Conway Public Library (6-7:30pm), unless public libraries decide to close or cancel public gatherings for safety. If cancelled, we may offer it as a Zoom meeting for those who wish to continue. 
  • April 9, MAUNDY THURSDAY
    • JCC joins the MWV Chavurah for a Passover Seder to be hosted at Gibson Senior Center. RSVPs to JCC by March 24 so we can provide a comprehensive RSVP from our faith community to MWV Chavurah. Cost is $40/pp for full meal (please let us know if you need financial help to attend, scholarships can be made available). Expect worship at tables in groups. MWV Chavurah leaders are deciding (relatively soon) whether to go forward with this event, but they do want RSVPs.
  • April 10, HOLY FRIDAY
    • 12-3pm – “Stations of the cross”. It may be held outside if it’s unsafe to hold it indoors.
    • 6:30pm – Ecumenical Holy Friday service scheduled at First Church of Christ, UCC in North Conway. (Choir rehearsal for the Holy Friday evening ecumenical service would take place earlier, probably 5pm.) This service may be adapted to follow safety precautions for large gatherings during this public health crisis with COVID19.
  • April 12, EASTER SUNDAY
    • 6:15am Sunrise Service (outdoors at gazebo by Historical Society)
    • 8am outdoor services
    • 10:30am service indoors with flowering of the cross, harp music, flute duet, and choir performance plus sacred dance followed by egg hunt.

NOTE:

If we cannot worship together inside, it is likely we’ll go forward with outdoor worship and adapt as possible. Continue to check jacksoncommunitychurch.org website or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/jacksoncommunitychurch for updates.

Live-streaming will be an option for worship if we cannot gather indoors. Or for those who need to stay home for their own safety.

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