But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. — Isaiah 40:31
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? — Psalm 27:1
Watch the edge of the candle flame. It shifts. Changes color. Jumps and flickers. It seems to be alive.
In your own body, your heart leaps. Your breath catches. You, too, are alive.
Writer and researcher Lee Daniel Kravetz suggests that during the urgency of crisis and other life-changing events, we especially seek hope. Such experiences shift ‘our focus to the legacy we’ll leave … It pushes us to ask the question, “What is truly important to me?”’ Extreme circumstances or changes in perspective cause such clarification of our priorities.
What has become important to you over the past year or more? What, in this season, arises to claim your energy and imagination? Part of hope is channeling your time and resources into those areas of your life that matter the most and offer the greatest sense of purpose.
Let your flame be fed by what you value above all else. — Rev Gail
Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality. — Jonas Salk
Light must come from inside. You cannot ask the darkness to leave; you must turn on the light. —Sogyal Rinpoche
O hope of Israel, its savior in time of trouble, why should you be like a stranger in the land, like a traveler turning aside for the night? — Jeremiah 14:8
Why is light given to one who cannot see the way, whom God has fenced in? For my sighing comes likemy bread, and my groanings are poured out like water. — Job 3: 23-24
Shining a light doesn’t always mean dispelling the difficult truths it reveals. When building resilience, which feeds hope, researchers state that many people begin with an optimistic or idealized worldview. For instance, many folks originally believe that the world is safe, the world is good, and good things will happen for good people.
Often experiences of trauma, challenge, or loss dismantle such an overly-idealistic worldview. Lee Daniel Kravetz writes, “This can feel terrifying and painful, but it’s healthy to accept a new, more realistic perspective. The world is safe—but also unsafe. Good things happen to good people—but bad things do too. I am a good person—but that doesn’t protect me from trauma.” When you shine a light, and then examine what you discover there, and allow it to reframe your perspective, this may become a strength. Now you have created the framework that allows you to discover how you can be a change-maker.
Knowing what you’re facing or undertaking, you also know what needs to adapt or change. Thus you can begin to imagine and plan for how to create that transformation. Jane Goodall, who collaborated with Douglas Adams on The Book of Hope, states, “Hope is often misunderstood. People tend to think that it is simply passive wishful thinking: I hope something will happen but I’m not going to do anything about it. This is indeed the opposite of real hope, which requires action and engagement.”
One light can become the spark that starts a revolution. — Rev Gail
You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope. — Thomas Merton
As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.— Mary Anne Radmacher
Water — Wendell Berry I was born in a drought year. That summer my mother waited in the house, enclosed in the sun and the dry ceaseless wind, for the men to come back in the evenings, bringing water from a distant spring. Weins of leaves ran dry, roots shrank. And all my life I have dreaded the return of that year, sure that it still is somewhere, like a dead enemy’s soul. Fear of dust in my mouth is always with me, and I am the faithful husband of the rain, I love the water of wells and springs and the taste of roofs in the water of cisterns. I am a dry man whose thirst is praise of clouds, and whose mind is something of a cup. My sweetness is to wake in the night after days of dry heat, hearing the rain.
Blessing of the Well — Jan Richardson If you stand at the edge of this blessing and call down into it, you will hear your words return to you. If you lean in and listen close, you will hear this blessing give the story of your life back to you. Quiet your voice, quiet your judgment, quiet the way you always tell your story to yourself. Quiet all these and you will hear the whole of it and the hollows of it: the spaces in the telling, the gaps where you hesitate to go. Sit at the rim of this blessing. Press your ear to its lip, its sides, its curves that were carved out long ago by those whose thirst drove them deep, those who dug into the layers with only their hands and hope. Rest yourself beside this blessing and you will begin to hear the sound of water entering the gaps. Still yourself and you will feel it rising up within you, filling every hollow, springing forth anew.
Life’s Milestones & Passages: Quotes
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. —Sun Tzu
That clock you hear is the sound of your own heart. Sink your teeth into this life, and don’t get let go. —Lin-Manuel Miranda
Remember this: You are awesome. I’m not suggesting you be boastful. No one likes that in men or women. But I am suggesting that believing in yourself is the first necessary step to coming even close to achieving your potential. —Sheryl Sandberg
It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. —Babe Ruth
If I must give any of you advice it would be say yes. Say yes, and create your own destiny. — Maya Rudolph
The best remedy for those who are frightened, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be alone with the sky, nature, and God. For only then can you feel that everything is as it should be and that God wants people to be happy amid nature’s beauty and simplicity. —Anne Frank
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. —Michael Jordan
You can’t do it alone. Be open to collaboration. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you. Spend a lot of time with them and it will change your life. — Amy Poehler
Now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. —Neil Gaiman
Change takes courage. —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Woman at the Well: Buddhist and Christian Stories (excerpts from reflection by Jyoti Sahi, Indian-Christian artist)
… I find myself often returning to … the story of Jesus conversing with a Samaritan woman at the well. I feel that this dialogue between a Jewish Rabbi and a woman who was considered by orthodox Jews as an outcaste, is similar to the dialogue between Ananda, one of the main disciples of the Buddha, and a Dalit woman who he asked to give him some water to drink. Finally the issue was concerning the line between purity and pollution, between water which should be for all, and which is essential for life on this planet earth, and the ritual distinctions which are made between individuals and communities. … The story is in that sense not only about the relation of Jesus or Ananda, with a particular woman, but about the basis for dialogue itself. I have felt that the story could be the beginning of a dialogue between the Christian tradition, and the essence of Indian spirituality. It is about a meeting which takes place beyond boundaries. … The same theme is also represented by a Buddhist monk artist in Sri Lanka who is … actually depicting not the Buddhist story, but his understanding, as a Buddhist, of the story of Jesus with the woman at the well. What struck me about this picture was that the woman is not alone, and it is not just a dialogue between the Guru and the disciple, but the woman is part of a whole community. In the Biblical story, the woman who comes to the well is alone with him, and it is only later that the disciples find Jesus talking to a woman, and that too a Samaritan, and feel shocked. And then it is later that this woman goes and tells her other Samaritan villagers about Jesus, and wonders if he is in fact a Prophet. In my own paintings on this theme, I suggested that the Woman was not only the human person, but was the water itself. Jesus in this dialogue is addressing, like Francis who talked to the birds, the whole of Creation.
Rain (c) 2016 — Gail Doktor
Around me the earth My little garden plot My sweet spot of earth The piece I own for now Where seeds and hopes Are sown
Oh, and everywhere else The fields where our children play The rivers in which we fish The lakes in which we paddle and boat The fresh wells on which we draw Have been thirsty And slow to refill
Parched Deep and empty Dry and dehydrated Tapped out Below any level of refreshing
And so Unable to give back When we turn the tap Drop the bucket Open the flow
Oh, we ask For lots Or a little more Or just the essential quotient That assures survival Of green seedlings And desperate beings Seeking life
We hear a guarded maybe A firm no A resigned shrug There isn’t anything to offer When you ask
Until today When water falls Like an answer Late in coming Just enough to assure us Some One is listening Or there’s yet balance in creation Sufficient to let loose What we need What our environment craves What our homes require What life itself must have Or nothing else matters
As essential as breath: Water
In Praise of Water — John O’Donohue Let us bless the grace of water: The imagination of the primeval ocean Where the first forms of life stirred And emerged to dress the vacant earth With warm quilts of color. The well whose liquid root worked Through the long night of clay, Trusting ahead of itself openings That would yet yield to its yearning Until at last it arises in the desire of light To discover the pure quiver of itself Flowing crystal clear and free Through delighted emptiness. The courage of a river to continue belief In the slow fall of ground, Always falling farther Toward the unseen ocean. The river does what words would love, Keeping its appearance By insisting on disappearance; Its only life surrendered To the event of pilgrimage, Carrying the origin to the end, Seldom pushing or straining, Keeping itself to itself Everywhere all along its flow, All at one with its sinuous mind, An utter rhythm, never awkward, It continues to swirl Through all unlikeness, With elegance: A ceaseless traverse of presence Soothing on each side The stilled fields, Sounding out its journey, Raising up a buried music Where the silence of time Becomes almost audible. Tides stirred by the eros of the moon Draw from that permanent restlessness Perfect waves that languidly rise And pleat in gradual forms of aquamarine To offer every last tear of delight At the altar of stillness inland. And the rain in the night, driven By the loneliness of the wind To perforate the darkness, As though some air pocket might open To release the perfume of the lost day And salvage some memory From its forsaken turbulence And drop its weight of longing Into the earth, and anchor. Let us bless the humility of water, Always willing to take the shape Of whatever otherness holds it, The buoyancy of water Stronger than the deadening, Downward drag of gravity, The innocence of water, Flowing forth, without thought Of what awaits it, The refreshment of water, Dissolving the crystals of thirst. Water: voice of grief, Cry of love, In the flowing tear. Water: vehicle and idiom Of all the inner voyaging That keeps us alive. Blessed be water, Our first mother. Like The Water — Wendell Berry Like the water of a deep stream, love is always too much. We did not make it. Though we drink till we burst, we cannot have it all, or want it all. In its abundance it survives our thirst.
In the evening we come down to the shore to drink our fill, and sleep, while it flows through the regions of the dark. It does not hold us, except we keep returning to its rich waters thirsty.
We enter, willing to die, into the commonwealth of its joy.
PASSAGES REVISITED: Graduation Thoughts
Commencement Address (1982) excerpts to women of Wellesley College — Maya Angelou
… Since you have worked this hard, since you have also been greatly blessed, since you are here, you have developed a marvelous level of courage, and the question then which you must ask yourself , I think, is will you really do the job which is to be done: Make this country more than it is today, more than what James Baldwin called “these yet to be United States”…
…It takes a phenomenal amount of courage. For around this world, your world, my world, there are conflicts, brutalities, humiliations, terrors, murders, around this world. You can almost take any Rand McNally map and close your eyes and just point, and you will find there are injustices, but in your country, particularly in your country, young women, you have, as the old folks say, your work cut out for you. For fascism is on the rise, and be assured of it, sexism, racism, ageism, every vulgarity against the human spirit is on the rise. And this is what you have inherited.
It is upon you to increase your virtue, the virtue of courage—it is upon you. You will be challenged mightily, and you will fall many times.
It is upon you to increase your virtue, the virtue of courage—it is upon you. You will be challenged mightily, and you will fall many times. But it is important to remember that it may be necessary to encounter defeat, I don’t know. But I do know that a diamond, one of the most precious elements in this planet, certainly one in many ways the hardest, is the result of extreme pressure, and time. Under less pressure, it’s crystal. Less pressure than that, its coal, less than that, its fossilized leaves are just plain dirt.
You must encounter, confront life. Life loves the liver of it, ladies. It is for you to increase your virtues. There is that in the human spirit which will not be gunned down even by death. There is no person here who is over one year old who hasn’t slept with fear, or pain or loss or grief, or terror, and yet we have all arisen, have made whatever absolutions we were able to, or chose to, dressed, and said to other human beings, “Good morning. How are you? Fine, thanks.”
Therein lies our chance toward nobleness—not nobility—but nobleness, the best of a human being is in that ability to overcome.
If — Rudyard Kipling (written to his son)
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools: If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Your hearts are troubled, and it is no sacrilege to let them be so … — Maren Tirabassi
I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process. ― C.S. Lewis
Your name is upon my tongue your image is in my sight your memory is in my heart where can I send these words that I write ? — Rumi
Naming Change and Loss: Recently, our community has experienced deep challenges, traumas and losses. These are events that occur beyond the pandemic’s complexities, or are exacerbated because of them. These range from life-limiting diagnoses and deaths to accidents and mental health crises. They may also include other life-altering changes, such as major shifts in relationship status, safety and wellbeing, shelter/housing, vocation/livelihood, and/or economic viability.
Some of these circumstances are reversible. Some are permanent and irrevocable. And heartbreaking.
We have been working on hope and resilience for months now. Coping. Managing. Not just surviving, but thriving at times. Reinventing ourselves. Being creative. Optimistic. Yes, and we’re good at it. We keep rising up and responding.
Today … let us, just for a moment, bear witness to the great sorrows that have also shaken us in the past several weeks, or in the last 24 hours. This message is to acknowledge wherever you may find yourself in this reality, in this time. Below are a few offerings. They presume to make things right or better. They don’t pretend to fix or explain anything. They simply articulate something about where we find ourselves. Just for now, let us be present to the truth and pain of these times, as well as the energetic ‘recovery and reopening and renewal’ strategies we implement.
Let us say here, too, that no words by any person, even those who have also known great suffering, are equal to all the realities that are happening among us. Accept whatever grace or support you may find in these words, put down what isn’t helpful or relevant to your situation. Know these are offered with love, but what we truly mean to offer is our presence in your life. — Rev Gail Pomeroy Doktor
Blessing for the Brokenhearted (excerpt) — Jan Richardson Let us agree for now that we will not say the breaking makes us stronger or that it is better to have this pain than to have done without this love. Let us promise we will not tell ourselves time will heal the wound, when every day our waking opens it anew. Perhaps for now it can be enough to simply marvel at the mystery of how a heart so broken can go on beating, as if it were made for precisely this— as if it knows the only cure for love is more of it, as if it sees the heart’s sole remedy for breaking is to love still …
For Grief (excerpt)— John O’Donohue
When you lose someone you love, Your life becomes strange, The ground beneath you gets fragile, Your thoughts make your eyes unsure … words have no confidence. Your heart has grown heavy with loss; And though this loss has wounded others too, No one knows what has been taken from you When the silence of absence deepens.
… There are days when you wake up happy; Again inside the fullness of life, Until the moment breaks And you are thrown back Onto the black tide of loss.
Days when you have your heart back, You are able to function well Until in the middle of work or encounter, Suddenly with no warning, You are ambushed by grief.
It becomes hard to trust yourself. All you can depend on now is that Sorrow will remain faithful to itself. More than you, it knows its way And will find the right time To pull and pull the rope of grief Until that coiled hill of tears Has reduced to its last drop.
Gradually, you will learn acquaintance With the invisible form of your departed; And, when the work of grief is done, The wound of loss will heal And you will have learned To wean your eyes From that gap in the air And be able to enter the hearth In your soul where your loved one Has awaited your return All the time.
Musings on Grief, Loss & Sudden Change
This business of having been issued a body is deeply confusing… Bodies are so messy and disappointing. Every time I see the bumper sticker that says “We think we’re humans having spiritual experiences, but we’re really spirits having human experiences,” I (a) think it’s true and (b) want to ram the car. — Anne Lamott
The Abyss of Grief (full essay here): Suddenly, the sacred fire I have been chasing all my life engulfed me. I was plunged into the abyss … So shattered I could not see my own hand in front of my face … Immolated, I found myself resting in fire. Drowning, I surrendered, and discovered I could breathe under water. … This was the sacred emptiness … And I hated it. I didn’t want vastness of being. I wanted my baby back. But I discovered that there was nowhere to hide when radical sorrow unraveled the fabric of my life. I could rage against the terrible unknown—and I did, for I am human and have this vulnerable body, passionate heart, and complicated mind—or I could turn toward the cup, bow to the Cupbearer, and say, “Yes.” I didn’t do it right away, nor was I able to sustain it when I did manage a breath of surrender. But gradually I learned to soften into the pain and yield to my suffering … I became acutely aware of my connectedness … everywhere … who had lost … who were, at this very moment, hearing the impossible news … Grief strips us. According to the mystics, this is good news. … Few among us would ever opt for the narrow gate of grief, even if it were guaranteed to lead us to God. But if our most profound losses—the death of a loved one, the ending of a marriage or a career, catastrophic disease or alienation from community—bring us to our knees before that threshold, we might as well enter … — Mirabai Starr for the Center for Action and Contemplation
Option B:Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy. This is a book available through the library or White Birch Books (place an order); it’s also a community-building resource through their website. Resources for grief due to death, domestic violence/trauma/abuse and other challenges.
If you suddenly and Unexpectedly feel joy, Don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty Of lives and whole towns Destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, And not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way Of fighting back, that sometimes Something happens Better than all the riches Or power in the world. It could be anything, But very likely You notice it in the instant When love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, Don’t be afraid Of its plenty. Joy is not made To be a crumb.
ANTIDOTES to FEAR of DEATH — Rebecca Elson
Sometimes as an antidote To fear of death, I eat the stars.
Those nights, lying on my back, I suck them from the quenching dark Til they are all, all inside me, Pepper hot and sharp.
Sometimes, instead, I stir myself Into a universe still young, Still warm as blood:
No outer space, just space, The light of all the not yet stars Drifting like a bright mist, And all of us, and everything Already there But unconstrained by form.
And sometime it’s enough To lie down here on earth Beside our long ancestral bones: To walk across the cobble fields Of our discarded skulls, Each like a treasure, like a chrysalis, Thinking: whatever left these husks Flew off on bright wings.
Kindness (excerpt) — Naomi Shihab Nye
Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth. What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved … … You must see how this could be you, … someone who journeyed through the night with plans and the simple breath that kept him alive. Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow. You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth. Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread, only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say It is I you have been looking for, and then goes with you everywhere like a shadow or a friend.
The Peace of Wild Things — Wendell Berry
When despair for the world Grows in me And I wake in the night At the least sound In fear of what my life And my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down Where the wood drake Rests in his beauty on the water, And the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things Who do not tax their lives With forethought of grief. I come into the presence Of still water. And I feel above me The day-blind stars Waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace Of the world, And am free.
Excerpt from writings by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Contrary to the general assumption, the first days of grief are not the worst. The immediate reaction is usually shock and numbing disbelief. One has undergone an amputation. After shock comes acute early grief which is a kind of “condensed presence” — almost a form of possession. One still feels the lost limb down to the nerve endings. It is as if the intensity of grief fused the distance between you and the dead. Or perhaps, in reality, part of one dies. Like Orpheus, one tries to follow the dead on the beginning of their journey. But one cannot, like Orpheus, go all the way, and after a long journey one comes back. If one is lucky, one is reborn. Some people die and are reborn many times in their lives. For others the ground is too barren and the time too short for rebirth. Part of the process is the growth of a new relationship with the dead, that “véritable ami mort” Saint-Exupéry speaks of. Like all gestation, it is a slow dark wordless process. While it is taking place one is painfully vulnerable. One must guard and protect the new life growing within– like a child.
One must grieve, and one must go through periods of numbness that are harder to bear than grief. One must refuse the easy escapes offered by habit and human tradition. The first and most common offerings of family and friends are always distractions (“Take her out”–“Get her away” –“Change the scene”–“Bring in people to cheer her up”–“Don’t let her sit and mourn” [when it is mourning one needs]). On the other hand, there is the temptation to self-pity or glorification of grief. “I will instruct my sorrows to be proud,” Constance cries in a magnificent speech in Shakespeare’s King John. Despite her words, there is not aristocracy of grief. Grief is a great leveler. There is no highroad out.
Courage is a first step, but simply to bear the blow bravely is not enough. Stoicism is courageous, but it is only a halfway house on the long road. It is a shield, permissible for a short time only. In the end, one has to discard shields and remain open and vulnerable. Otherwise, scar tissue will seal off the wound and no growth will follow. To grow, to be reborn, one must remain vulnerable– open to love but also hideously open to the possibility of more suffering.
Most of us do as well as possible, and some of it works okay, and we try to release that which doesn’t and which is never going to. … Making so much of it work is the grace of it; and not being able to make it work is double grace. Grace squared. — Anne Lamott
Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect the shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe that their husband is about to return and need his shoes. In the version of grief we imagine, the model will be “healing.” A certain forward movement will prevail. The worst days will be the earliest days. We imagine that the moment to most severely test us will be the funeral, after which this hypothetical healing will take place. When we anticipate the funeral we wonder about failing to “get through it,” rise to the occasion, exhibit the “strength” that invariably gets mentioned as the correct response to death. We anticipate needing to steel ourselves the for the moment: will I be able to greet people, will I be able to leave the scene, will I be able even to get dressed that day? We have no way of knowing that this will not be the issue. We have no way of knowing that the funeral itself will be anodyne, a kind of narcotic regression in which we are wrapped in the care of others and the gravity and meaning of the occasion. Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief as we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absence that follows, the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness itself. — Joan Didion, Year of Magical Thinking
When great trees fall, rocks on distant hills shudder, lions hunker down in tall grasses, and even elephants lumber after safety.
When great trees fall in forests, small things recoil into silence, their senses eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die, the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile. We breathe, briefly. Our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity. Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines, gnaws on kind words unsaid, promised walks never taken.
Great souls die and our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us. Our souls, dependent upon their nurture, now shrink, wizened. Our minds, formed and informed by their radiance, fall away. We are not so much maddened as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of dark, cold caves.
And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.
SMALL GROUP STUDY & REFLECTION
3:30-4:30pm • Pastor’s Office. Group gathers to study selections from Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. Themes of adversity, resilience and joy. Meet in pastor’s office on second floor. Books available to borrow through local libraries as hard copies or downloads (reserved as Jackson Community Church reading group in Jackson library) or for purchase from White Birch Books or as audio books through sites such as Amazon. This group will meet Feb 20, Feb 27, Mar 6. Drop-in participation is welcomed.
WED, FEB 21
7-9am • JTown Deli. Come by for caffeine, cuisine, and conversation.
10am-Noon • Jackson Community Church
Stop by or make an appointment! Rev Gail available to meet.
THURS, FEB 22
3:30pm • Yoga with Charlotte Doucette • Parish Hall. $10/pp fee. (Scholarships available)
6-7pm • Church Library
SOUP & SKI with FAMILY & FRIENDS
5pm • Parish Hall of Jackson Community Church
Gather with members and friends of a few of the valley’s faith communities for soup supper. Menu this week: clam chowder, salad, bread. Please RSVP to church if you can bring loaf of bread, salad, or second crock pot full of soup!
5:30/6pm • Meet at church parking lot for evening XC ski. Optimal starting point to be determined. For those who able and interested, if weather permits, come on a ‘night ski’ on Jackson XC Center’s trails. With permission of Jackson Ski Touring Foundation: donations will be collected for Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, but trail passes not required. Bring your own head lamps, ski equipment, layers, and be prepared for outdoor conditions. Ski at your own risk. Bring friends! Open to everyone. All ages welcome. Note: We will continue this practice from Feb 22-Mar 22, and will end the Lenten soup series with a Maundy Thursday meal on March 29.
SAT, FEB 24
PREPARED to SERVE
6am (promptly) • Leave from Jackson Community Church.
8am-4pm • Pembroke Academy, Pembroke, NH. Includes all-day experience with worship, workshops, exhibits, food and fellowship with folks from all over NH. Over 50 different workshops offered on a variety of topics.Jackson Community Church will cover the cost of registration, if you wish to attend. Rev Gail will be going for the day, so car-pooling is possible. Youth are also encouraged to consider attending.
Topics range from stewardship and youth engagement to social and environmental justice issues and pragmatic ways that the church can address such issues. You can register on the “Day Of” for a fee of $50/person. Please RSVP to the church if you want to attend and have a ride with Rev Gail!
SUN, FEB 25: Lent 2
8am • Madeline’s Deli, Jackson, NH
Starts indoors. Reflection & prayer using literature, sacred texts, personal sharing. Continuation of ‘outdoor gathering’ that was affectionately called ‘gazebo church.’
BLESSINGS of BODIES, BOOTS n BINDINGS
9am • Jackson XC Ski Center. On-site blessings for skiers.
ADULT CHOIR PRACTICE
9am • Jackson Community Church
WORSHIP: Lent 2
10:30am • Jackson Community Church
Theme: Lent 2
MON, FEB 26
PROTESTANT CHAPEL ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING
4pm • Church Library (2nd Floor)
See outline of meeting agenda below. All members encouraged to attend.
COMMUNITY FORUM on HEALTHCARE
6pm • Whitney Community Center
SCOUTING BLUE & GOLD CEREMONY
6pm • Parish Hall, Jackson Community Church (closed to public)