Sat. - Sun., Aug. 25-26
'Back to School Blessing' at Bennington church
BENNINGTON -- This weekend, Aug. 25 and 26, Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales Church will celebrate the return to school with a Back to School Blessing. At the end of all Masses, students from grade school through college, as well as those adults involved in the education of children, youth and adult learners -- teachers, bus drivers, aides, food service, custodians or support staff - will receive a special blessing.
After Mass they will be given a key chain with a Christian sign on it to help remind them that they are followers of Christ (in the world but not of the world) and to help them remember that they are never alone -- that Jesus is always with them.
Sunday, Aug. 26
Worship at Second Congregational
BENNINGTON -- All people of faith or in search of faith --or even skeptical about faith --are invited to worship at 10 a.m. at Second Congregational Church on this last Sunday in August.
The Rev. Mary Lee-Clark's sermon is entitled, "Is it worth the effort?" based on Jesus' response in John 6 to the complaint that his words were hard to understand and Paul's urging of Jesus' followers to put on "the whole armor of God." David Haley will offer special music this Sunday, including involving the congregation in a "Silver Lake Trilogy" of gospel songs and "Precious Lord, Take My Hand." Meredith Lee-Clark is the guest organist/accompanist. Nursery care is provided throughout worship. A time of fellowship and refreshment will follow in Webster Hall.
At 2 p.m., 2003 MAU graduate Alex Lee-Clark will offer a trumpet recital in the sanctuary of the church. Lee-Clark and friends will perform music by Handel, Bach, Bozza, Ellington/Strayhorn, and Lee-Clark. All proceeds will go to the Interfaith Food and Fuel Fund. A $5 donation is suggested.
Second Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, welcomes all people of faith or in search of faith, without regard to age, race, sex, economic condition, disability, or sexual orientation. Its building is wheelchair-accessible, and hearing-assistance devices are available. For more information, call the church office at 442-2559 or visit http://www.bennscc.org.
Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost at St. Peter's
BENNINGTON -- All are welcome to the Holy Eucharist at 8 a.m. (Rite 1) and 10 a.m. (Rite 2). Worship is led by the Rev. L. Paul Gratz, transition minister, and Derek Stannard, organist/choirmaster.
Rick Howe, tenor, will perform this week at the 10 a.m. service.
In John's Gospel, Jesus says, "Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever." He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
Following worship, all are invited for coffee hour in the parish hall. St. Peter's is an open and affirming church that respects religious inquiry and welcomes all people to the good news of Christ's presence and a place at his table. For more information, call the parish office at 442-2911 or visit www.stpetersvt.org The church is located at 200 Pleasant St. and is wheelchair accessible. 'Name Calling' at the Federated Church of East Arlington
EAST ARLINGTON -- As the summer draws to a close, this Sunday will be the final Sermon by Request Sunday at the Federated Church of East Arlington at the 10 a.m. service of worship. Our airwaves and newspapers and computer screens are filled with finger pointing and disparaging speech. The sermon from the Rev. Kathy Clark, titled "Name Calling," will focus the microscope on we Christians who have plenty of less than positive things to say about our fellow Christians. What does Scripture have to say about this pastime? Is there any hope for a truce in the war of words?
Plan to arrive by 9:45 a.m. for the return of the monthly time preceding worship in which the congregation sings a number of favorite hymns during a praise sing led by Patti Cody, who will also serve as accompanist for the day's service. This Sunday will mark the beginning of a new tradition with Coffee Hour Plus with a buffet lunch. This will immediately follow the service of worship and will be held in Bailey Hall, where there will be a special menu and the opportunity to sit and spend more time in fellowship. Freewill offerings will be gladly accepted in baskets on each table.
Senior meals are served on Tuesday and Thursday at noon in Bailey Hall. To participate in the ride share program, call the church office at 802-375-2548. For more information, visit www.federatedchurchofeastarlington.org or look for the church page on Facebook.
The Federated Church of East Arlington maintains denominational ties with the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church. Its mission is "To welcome all, follow Jesus Christ together, and live God's Word with compassionate service."
Ice cream social
at All Saints Church
HOOSICK, N.Y. -- The All Saints Youth Ministry is hosting an ice cream social on Wednesday, Aug. 29, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at All Saints Church. The community is cordially invited to join them for an evening of ice cream and lawn games. This is an opportunity to join in fellowship and community with one another before summer ends and school is back in session. Fun for all ages. Youth Ministry Leaders will be on hand to answer any questions about the ministry's fall programming. For more information, call 518-867-2062 or visit www.allsaintshoosick.org.
at Peace Pagoda
PETERSBURGH, N.Y. -- A sunrise ceremony to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the opening of the Grafton Peace Pagoda will be held on Saturday, Sept. 1, at 7 a.m. It will also exactly commemorate the 17th anniversary of the death of the death of Hank Hazelton, who donated the property for the pagoda.
The event will include a Buddhist sacred ceremony, interfaith prayer, and closing music. "We are gathering at sunrise, a most sacred time, to honor Hank and all who have been a part of the Grafton Peace Pagoda community over the years."
Those present will share a (preferably vegetarian) potluck breakfast together after the ceremony. If getting to teh pagoda early is difficult, arrange to spend the night by calling a few days ahead for planning purposes. For more information, call the Peace Pagoda at 518-658-9301.
The Nipponzan Myohoji - Grafton Peace Pagoda is located at 87 Crandall Road, Petersburg, NY 12138. Web: www.graftonpeacepagoda.com
Tot Shabbat program
MANCHESTER -- Israel Congregation of Manchester will offer a Tot Shabbat program on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 9 to 10 a.m. It will be held at this time on the second Saturday of each month.
Join toddlers, children, parents, and grandparents for grape juice, challah, fun activities and a chance to spend time together. Interfaith children, parents and grandparents are welcome. There will be a free children's picture book or CD on different Jewish themes every month.
No synagogue affiliation/membership required Let usknow you're coming. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 362-4578.
Leader of Indiana National Guard criticized for video
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The leader of the Indiana National Guard asked an evangelical Christian organization to take down a web video he made praising its marriage counseling following a complaint from a military watchdog group.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation argues that Maj. Gen. Martin Umbarger violated military rules and the First Amendment by promoting a religious group in the 33-second video while in uniform, The Indianapolis Star reported Tuesday.
Former Air Force attorney Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Albuquerque, N.M.-based group, said Umbarger's message promotes one religious group over others and that such a show of support from a two-star general is intimidating within the military.
"He should be removed immediately and, from our perspective, court-martialed," Weinstein said.
Umbarger made the video in September 2011 on behalf of Centurion's Watch, a Christian group based in Indianapolis that offers marriage counseling to military families. It was posted on the nonprofit's website.
In the video, he says in part: "Any donation or resource that you can give this organization -- it's faith-based, it's wanting to keep families together with the stresses and strains of being apart, being in harm's way, risking their lives for this, for this country. I can't think of a better organization that you can support."
Umbarger was appointed Indiana's adjutant general in 2004 by then-Gov. Joe Kernan, a Democrat, and has remained in the position under Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels as leader of more than 15,800 Guard personnel.
Daniels on Tuesday rejected calls for Umbarger's removal.
"He's a great soldier. If, and I don't know the military regs, if there was a mistake, it's obviously an innocent one," Daniels told The Associated Press. "It's one of the best appointments that I ever made, and I'm not making any changes."