Sat, Mar 5: OPEN BODY

My steps have held fast to your paths;
my feet have not slipped. — Psalm 17:5

In this season, we renew our walk along the Way. We journey through the world with our human bodies. Though we also nurture healthy thoughts and emotions, it is our body that communicates the incarnate journey to our mind and heart. Our bodies are wired, by nerves attached to receptor cells, to transmit signals that conduct information to our brain. In this way, our body teaches and guides us.

         We know that throughout life, our bodies change. That the signals alter. We may have challenged eyesight or difficult hearing. Even how our bodies move may change. At different ages, we may move confidently and quickly or more intentionally and carefully. Our bodies change, and so does our experience of the world.

         What does the world say to you, when you pay attention as you move through it? Do you pause and listen, hearing bird song or river rush or traffic rumble? Do you look up and around and notice new things, such as the sunlight falling through the branches, or the satellite passing through the starry night sky, or the roll of clouds over the peaks? Do you walk steady on your feet, because the earth is bare and safe, or step gingerly, striving for balance after thaw-and-freeze cycles that lay down treacherous ice? Do you sometimes tiptoe or dance, instead of walking? Do you walk backwards or whirl in a circle? Do you change the way you move in the world, surprising yourself and others as you do? Do you, if you’re able, lay down on the ground and look up at the sky? 

         Are you able to move independently through the world, or do you use assistance, from a hiking pole or cane to a walker or chair? How does this different way of moving alter your perception? How does it change the way others perceive the world, because they know you and care about your experience?

         What do you say to the physical world, by how you are present as you live within its environs? Do you put on skis, snowshoes, spikes, or boots, and immerse yourself in the elements? Do you pick up litter or clear the trail when you’re out walking, hiking, skiing, or snowshoeing, to make it better for the next traveler? If you’re driving, do you minimize errands or bring along a friend to conserve fuel and steward energy and resources? Do you take a detour to visit a new neighborhood or appreciate and explore a different scene? Do you shovel or plow snow for your neighbor as well as yourself, to reinforce communal care and connections? Or does someone do these things for you?

         Let us consider how we move through the world. Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese monk who developed the practice of engaged Buddhism, often taught, “When we walk like (we are rushing), we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth… Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.” In other words, create a tender relationship between yourself and the environment.— Rev Gail       

         ————————————————————————————

Sometimes I need
only to stand
wherever I am
to be blessed.
Mary Oliver

PRAYER for WALKING
— Thich Nhat Hanh Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Bring the Earth your love and happiness.
The Earth will be safe

This Week: TUE, Sept 11 – SUN, Sept 16

THIS WEEK at Jackson Community Church and Around Town
This week at church & community: Tue – 9/11 Remembrance walking with flag at covered bridge, Wed – Tune Up fitness class, Thurs – legal training with ACLU to support asylum-seeking detainees in Stafford County Jail, Sat – Jen’s Friends Climb Against Cancer (church team walking together) Sun – 8am gazebo & 10:30am church worship with First Responder Celebration plus youth & family activity. Plus community events: Tue – voting, Sun: Rally for Recovery walk in No Conway, NH & and Interfaith Play in at Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, NH.

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SPRING SCHEDULE for Youth & Families with Jackson Community Church

APRIL

  • Fri, April 27 — 5:30-7:30pm • Friday Fun Night

    Spring Fling with Pizza & Games at JCC. RSVP by email if planning to attend or call/text Rev Gail (978.273.0308)
  • Sat, April 28 — 9am-Noon • Spring Cleaning at JCC

    Come prepared to work inside (or outside if you don’t mind the rain). We’re organizing closets, cleaning windows and hard-to-reach areas, touching up spots inside and outside the church, changing light bulbs, and sprucing up the church grounds. Wear old clothes, sensible shoes, and bring work gloves. We’ll add more info about any tools or equipment you should bring from home, such as buckets or rakes or brooms.
  • Sun, April 29 – 10:30am Worship includes traditional Sunday School. Parents may attend worship and children will have interactive lesson during portion  of service.

Continue reading “SPRING SCHEDULE for Youth & Families with Jackson Community Church”

SPRING SCHEDULE for Youth & Families with Jackson Community Church

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

APRIL

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

Continue reading “SPRING SCHEDULE for Youth & Families with Jackson Community Church”

This Week: Tue, April 3 – Sun, April 8

Highlights: community events include Wed’s Feast of the Valley and Fri’s Stage Adventure with the grammar school. Church events include Wednesday’s Tune Up fitness with Laurie McAleer and two Thursday yoga classes. Youth environmental summit takes place Saturday. Sunday resumes 8am outdoor ‘gazebo’ interfaith gathering and 9am family activity based on walking the Road to Emmaus.

Continue reading “This Week: Tue, April 3 – Sun, April 8”

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