THIS WEEK: June 3-9

MON, June 3

  • CLERGY PEER GROUP
    9-10:30am • Conference call
  • PEACE & EMPOWERMENT CAMP PLANNING SESSION
    1pm • JCC, second floor.
    Organizing content for Peace & Empowerment camp.
  • Community Event: MEET YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS
    7pm • North Conway Community Center
    Get to your know state legislators!

TUE, June 4

  • CLERGY LUNCH
    12:30pm • Center Conway, NH
    CLergy of the Eastern Slope meet for lunch and peer work. Rev Gail attends.
  • PASTORAL CARE VISIT
    Afternoon • Maine Med, Portland, ME

WED, June 5

  • PASTORAL CARE VISITS
    Locations in MA, ME & NH.

THURS, June 6

  • Community Event: WAY STATION LEADERSHIP TEAM
  • 8:30am • Way Station (Nativity Lutheran campus)
    Review of next steps prior to June opening.
  • 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: STORY TIME for TODDLERS
    10am • Jackson Public Library
  • AA
    6:30pm • Second Floor, Church
  • Community Event: AFRO-SEMITIC MUSIC
    7-9pm • Barnstormers, 104 Main St., Tamworth
    The group explores both African, American, and Jewish liturgical and secular music interpreted in jazz. David Chevan leads this  ensemble, doing their residency in Tamworth, and they will culminate their experience with this performance. For more information, email Carly.
  • Community Event: M&D Playhouse’ THE SHADOW BOX
    7:30pm – Thursday – Saturday • M&D Playhouse
    More info and tickets.

FRI, June 7

  • PASTOR’S DROP-IN HOURS @ JTOWN
    8:30-10am • JTown Deli, Jackson
    Come by to visit with Rev Gail or text/call to make a separate date: 978.273.0308.
  • PASTOR’S OFFICE HOURS
    9:30-11am • Find Rev Gail @ Church.
    Come by to visit with Rev Gail or text/call to make a separate date: 978.273.0308.
  • TRILLIUM SUMMIT SETUP
    11:15am • Whitney Community Center
    Setup for June 8th’s trillium summit event. More info or to register for this program.
  • Community Event: FIRST FRIDAY DENMARK ARTS CENTER SONGWRITING CIRCLE
    Noon • Brown Church, Conway Village
    This is a Mountain Top Music program.
  • Community Event: M&D Playhouse’ THE SHADOW BOX
    7:30pm – Thursday – Saturday • M&D Playhouse
    More info and tickets.

SAT, June 8

  • **MEN’s BREAKFAST** (updated location: Wentworth Hotel)
    7:30-9am • Wentworth Hotel
    Friends and members of church gather for breakfast and conversation.
  • Community Event: TRILLIUM SUMMIT
    8:30am-12:30pm • Whitney Community Center
    Initiative  to enrich and empower the lives of girls and women in Mt Washington Valley. Keynote by Riley Parkhurst. Includes interactive games, crafts, discussions, presentations
    and demonstrations. Girls and women will explore their own strengths, learn new skills, become better communicators and learn how to form healthy relationships with others. More info or to register for this program.
  • UCC Event: HORTON CENTER OPEN HOUSE
    All Day • Horton Center, Pine Mountain
    11am worship @ Castle Rock followed by BBQ, tours & games! All day! All are welcome to our Open House! Please call or email to register. No charge.
  • Community Event: M&D Playhouse’ THE SHADOW BOX
    7:30pm – Thursday – Saturday • M&D Playhouse
    More info and tickets.

SUN, June 9

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING
    8am • Gazeboby Jackson Historical Society
  • WORSHIP – PENTECOST
    10:30am • Jackson Community Church
    * Organ/piano by Alan Labrie
    * Worship leadership & message by Rev Gail Doktor
    * Wear red!
  • Community Event: EARLY MUSIC & INSTRUMENTS with Ferré – Lang Trio
    4pm • Pvt Home, Jackson
    Featuring  Ferré-Lang Trio. Music for harpsichord, viola da gamba, violincello and contrabass. Directions emailed to reservation-holders prior to concert. ($35/person). More info.
  • Community Event: DA CAPO CONCERT
    4-5:30pm • Whitney Community Center. Directed by Mary Bastoni-Rebmann and John Waldie. Performing songs by Bob Seger, Van Morrison, Billie Holiday, Paul Williams and more! Suggested donation $10/pp.
  • Community Event: M&D Playhouse’ THE SHADOW BOX
    3:30pm – Sunday matinee • M&D Playhouse, North Conway
    More info and tickets.

Meditation on sacred bodies: loving our bodies, caring for other bodies & living in the communal body (themes from 1 Corinthians 12 and Luke 4)

Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
no hands but yours, no feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes through which to look out
Christ’s compassion to the world
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good;
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.
― St. Teresa of Avila

I Sing the Body Electric Walt Whitman(1 – excerpt)
And if the body does not do fully as much as the soul?
And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?
… The natural, perfect, varied attitudes, the bent head, the curv’d neck and the counting; Such-like I love … (7 – excerpt)
…  This is not only one man, this the father of those who shall be fathers in their turns,
In him the start of populous states and rich republics,
Of him countless immortal lives with countless
embodiments and enjoyments. How do you know who shall come from the offspring
of his offspring through the centuries? (Who might you find you have come from yourself,
if you could trace back through the centuries?) (8 – excerpt)
A woman’s body … She too is not only herself,
she is the teeming mother of mothers,
She is the bearer of them that shall grow
and be mates to the mothers.
Have you ever loved the body of a woman?
Have you ever loved the body of a man? Do you not see that these are exactly the same
to all in all nations and times all over the earth?
If any thing is sacred the human body is sacred …

Except for the BodyMary Oliver

Except for the body of someone you love,
including all its expressions in privacy and in public,

trees, I think, are the most beautiful
forms on the earth.

Though, admittedly, if this were a contest,
the trees would come in an extremely distant second.

I Got Kin Hafiz
Plant: so that your own heart will grow.
Love: so God will think,
“Ahhhhhh, I got kin in that body!
I should start inviting that soul
over for coffee and rolls.”
Sing: because this is a food our starving world needs.
Laugh: because that is the purest sound.

Solitude Nancy Wood
Do not be afraid to embrace the arms of loneliness.
Do not be concerned with the thorns of solitude.
Why worry that you will miss something?
Learn to be at home with yourself without a hand to hold.
Learn to endure isolation with only the stars for friends.
Happiness comes from understanding unity.
Love arrives on the footprints of your fears.
Beauty arises from the ashes of despair.
Solitude brings the clarity of still waters.
Wisdom completes the circle of your dreams.

Our Bodies As Sacred

There comes a time when it is vitally important for your spiritual health to drop your clothes, look in the mirror, and say, ‘Here I am. This is the body-like-no-other that my life has shaped. I live here. This is my soul’s address.” — Barbara Brown Taylor

May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul. — John O’Donohue

If you have a body, you are entitled to the full range of feelings. It comes with the package. ― Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually)

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Breath is the gift of life from the one who created us – from the God who is both our origin and our destination … some Rabbis teach that Yahweh is not even really a word at all.  It is literally breath itself. Yah – exhale. Weh – inhale. Yah – exhale. Weh – inhale. Which would make sense – since the closest translation of its [Yahweh’s] meaning is The One Who Causes to Become. There is just something about being known by God and animated by God’s breath in our birth and in our death that wouldn’t leave me this week as I thought about talking to you all here in this room today … This is the comfort I thought of this week as I bore witness to both birth and death. That the God whose name is our very breath – who breathed the words let there be light, who breathed into dust to create humanity, is present when we breath our first breath and present when we breathe our last – I believe that our final exhale is Yah – and that God completes God’s name inhaling Weh – and carries us on God’s divine breath into the heart of God from where we came to begin with. … Amen. — Nadia Bolz-Weber

All great spirituality teaches about letting go of what you don’t need and who you are not. Then, when you can get little enough and naked enough and poor enough, you’ll find that the little place where you really are is ironically more than enough and is all that you need. At that place, you will have nothing to prove to anybody and nothing to protect. That place is called freedom. It’s the freedom of the children of God. Such people can connect with everybody. They don’t feel the need to eliminate anybody … ― Richard Rohr, Healing Our Violence through the Journey of Centering Prayer

Caring for Other Bodies As Sacred: Serving the Communal Body

We sit and talk,
quietly, with long lapses of silence
and I am aware of the stream
that has no language, coursing
beneath the quiet heaven of
your eyes
which has no speech.
William Carlos Williams

Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes. — Maggie Kuhn

… I see [God] here, in the eyes of the people in this [hospital] corridor of desperation. This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find [God] — Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. — Thomas Merton

You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are. — Fred Rodgers

Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come into being. — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond. — Gwendolyn Brooks

Saints cannot exist without a community, as they require, like all of us, nurturance by a people who, while often unfaithful, preserve the habits necessary to learn the story of God. — Stanley Hauerwas

This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to do with it. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

That day, for a moment, it almost seemed that we stood on a height, and could see our inheritance; perhaps we could make the kingdom real, perhaps the beloved community would not forever remain that dream one dreamed in agony. — James Baldwin

The lack of material well-being among the poor reflects a lack of spiritual well-being among the rest. — William Sloane Coffin

God does not look at your forms and possessions but he looks at your hearts and your deeds. — Prophet Muhammad 

Loving with Body & Soul, Heart & Mind: Holy Acts

Let me tell you about love, that silly word you believe is about whether you like somebody or whether somebody likes you or whether you can put up with somebody in order to get something or someplace you want or you believe it has to do with how your body responds to another body like robins or bison or maybe you believe love is how forces or nature or luck is benign to you in particular not maiming or killing you but if so doing it for your own good. Love is none of that. There is nothing in nature like it. Not in robins or bison or in the banging tails of your hunting dogs and not in blossoms or suckling foal. Love is divine only and difficult always. If you think it is easy you are a fool. If you think it is natural you are blind. It is a learned application without reason or motive except that it is God. You do not deserve love regardless of the suffering you have endured. You do not deserve love because somebody did you wrong. You do not deserve love just because you want it. You can only earn – by practice and careful contemplations – the right to express it and you have to learn how to accept it. Which is to say you have to earn God. You have to practice God. You have to think God-carefully. And if you are a good and diligent student you may secure the right to show love. Love is not a gift. It is a diploma. A diploma conferring certain privileges: the privilege of expressing love and the privilege of receiving it. How do you know you have graduated? You don’t. What you do know is that you are human and therefore educable, and therefore capable of learning how to learn, and therefore interesting to God, who is interested only in Himself which is to say He is interested only in love. Do you understand me? God is not interested in you. He is interested in love and the bliss it brings to those who understand and share the interest … Amen. ― Toni Morrison, Paradise
On Interdependence
When this is, that is.
From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
When this isn’t, that isn’t.
From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.
Buddha, Assutava Sutta, Samyutta Nikaya 12.2

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born toeternal life. Amen. — St Francis, Prayer
Madhyamika means “middle way,” and it examines the nature of existence. Madhyamika tells us that nothing has an intrinsic, permanent self-nature. Instead, all phenomena — including beings, including people — are temporary confluences of conditions that take identity as individual things from their relationship to other things. — Barbara O’Brien, Interbeing: The Inter-existence of All Things (essay excerpt)
Clouds In Each Paper  —  Thich Nhat Hanh
If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow: and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are.  “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter” with the verb “to be”, we have a new verb, inter-be. Without a cloud, we cannot have paper, so we can say that the cloud and the sheet of paper inter-are.  If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see the wheat. We know that the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.

Meditation on Strangers & Bread: Road and Table with the Unknown

Whom Aren’t You Noticing?
Who or what has the capacity to break you open?

More Blues and the Abstract Truth (excerpt)
— C. D. Wright
… Well. Then. You say Grandmother
let me just ask you this:
How does a body rise up again and rinse
her mouth from the tap. And how
does a body put in a plum tree
or lie again on top of another body
or string a trellis. Or go on drying
the flatware. Fix rainbow trout. Grout the tile.
Buy a bag of onions. Beat an egg stiff.
Yes … And how does a body break
bread with the word when the word
has broken. Again. And. Again.
With the wine. And the loaf.
And the excellent glass
of the body. And she says,
Even. If. The. Sky. Is. Falling.
My. Peace. Rose. Is. In. Bloom.

And if strangers come to supper they shall be served with more according as they have need. — Robert Grossteste

It’s good to remember that in crises, natural crises, human beings forget for awhile their ignorances, their biases, their prejudices. For a little while, neighbors help neighbors and strangers help strangers. — Maya Angelou

There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t met yet. — William Butler Yeats
We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken. — Fyodor Dostoevsky

Even in the inevitable moments when all seems hopeless, men know that without hope they cannot really live, and in agonizing desperation they cry for the bread of hope. — Martin Luther King, Jr

There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.  ― Mahatma Gandhi

I was raised in a group home for 14 years, so I was a beneficiary of philanthropy. I didn’t have a family. The nameless, faceless strangers were my family. They gave me an education, put food on the table and clothes on my back. I am who I am because of that formative experience. Now I am paying it forward. — Darell Hammond

Great perils have this beauty, that they bring to light the fraternity of strangers. — Victor Hugo

Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people – your family, friends and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way. — Barbara Bush

bread (excerpt)
—  Kamau Brathwaite
… life itself.
the dream of the soil itself
flesh of the god you break.
peace to your lips.
strife of the multitudes
who howl all day for its saviour
who need its crumbs …
to keep their groans alive
and this loaf here.
life now halted.
more and more water add-
itive. the dream less clear.
the soil more distant
its prayer of table.
bless of lips.
more hard to reach
… the hands that should have
broken open its victory
… searching searching …

Meditations: immersing ourselves in wild creative energy of life & Spirit

As Kingfishers Catch Fire — Gerard Manley Hopkins
~~
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

~~
I say more: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —
Christ — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. ― Black Elk

The Spirit breathes order into creation, but also energizes possibility amid the united, and often chaotic, processes of evolutionary becoming. Dabhar and ruach seem to arise from, and cocreate within, the same foundational energy that has intrigued mystics and scientists over several eons. Energy is a richly endowed concept in many of the great Eastern philosophies. The Chinese Chi, the Japanese Ki, and the Sanskrit Prana are understood to arise from a cosmic energy flow, a vital force hat courses throughout the entire universe … “Chi is a vital, dynamic, and original power that permeates the entire universe and leads to an ultimate unity,” writes theologian Grace ji-Sun Kim. It envelops the personal, social and cosmic realms. At one and the same time it is physical, psychological, and spiritual. —  Diarmuid O’Murchu from In the Beginning was the Spirit: Science, Religion, and Indigenous Spirituality

On life’s journey
plowing a small field
going and returning
— Basho

For ‘the Spirit breathes where He wills, and thou hearest His voice, but canst not tell whence He cometh or whither He goeth.’ He blesses the body that is baptized, and the water that baptizes. Despise not, therefore, the Divine laver, nor think lightly of it, as a common thing, on account of the use of water. For the power that operates is mighty, and wonderful are the things that are wrought thereby. — Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa

But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being. ― Hermann Hesse

Fire —  Eunice Tietjiens
~~
Love, let us light
A fire tonight,
A wood fire on the hearth
~~
With torn and living tongues the flames leap.
Hungrily
They catch and lift, to beat their sudden wings
Toward freedom and the sky.
The hot wood sings
And crackles in a pungent ecstasy
That seems half pain of death, and half a vast
Triumphant exultation of release
That its slow life-time of lethargic peace
Should come to this wild rapture at the last.
~~
We watch it idly, and our casual speech
Drops slowly into silence.
Something stirs and struggles in me,
Something out of reach
Of surface thoughts, a a slow and formless thing –
Not I, but dim memory
Born of the dead behind me. In my blood
The blind race turns, groping and faltering.
~~
Desires
Only half glimpsed, not understood,
Stir me and shake me. Fires

Meditations: ashes, sand & stones ~ lessons from the wilderness

Sense how
Even the smooth stones ache
With stories of their own
In the shuddering light of day.
― Scott Hastie

In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth. ― Rachel Carson

Individually, every grain of sand brushing against my hands represents a story, an experience, and a block for me to build upon for the next generation. ― Raquel Cepeda from Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina

I wanted to feel the blood running back into my veins, even at the cost of annihilation. I wanted to shake the stone and light out of my system … To be of night so frighteningly silent, so utterly incomprehensible and eloquent at the same time. Never more to speak or to listen or to think. ― Henry Miller from Tropic of Capricorn

All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one’s heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes. ― Cormac McCarthy from The Road

The sand doesn’t care if you’re made of flesh or stone. ― Joaquin Lowe from Bullet Catcher

These are burning times. And they call for Burning Women. Women embodied in their passion. Woman feeling in their bodies. Creative women. Courageous women. Women who have learned to run on a different power source to the world which is falling into flames around her. … she will not be dazed, confused and disorientated by the systemic changes happening around her. Centred within herself, receptive to the Earth beyond her, she knows how to cultivate from the ashes, she knows how to find the embers to fuel the new fire.

Burning Women arise.
Our time is now.
Our time has come.

― Lucy H. Pearce from Burning Woman

When surrounded by the ashes of all that I once cherished, despite my best efforts I can find no room to be thankful. But standing there amidst endless ash I must remember that although the ashes surround me, God surrounds the ashes. And once that realization settles upon me, I am what I thought I could never be … I am thankful for ashes. ― Craig Lounsbrough