Saturday, Sept. 14
Yom Kippur schedule
BENNINGTON -- Congregation Beth El has announced its schedule for Yom Kippur today:
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Main Service
10 a.m. to 12 p.m. - Family Service
4:30 to 5:30 p.m. - Contemplative Torah Study
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. - Book of Jonah Study
6:30 to 7:00 p.m. - Yizkor
7 to 7:45 p.m. - Neilah
7:45 - Community Break-Fast
Sunday, Sept. 15
Worship in North Bennington
NORTH BENNINGTON -- The North Bennington Congregational Church welcomes all to its 11 a.m. worship service led by the Rev. Penny Rich Smith. The sermon, "The Fullness of God," will be based on Luke 16:1-13 and 1 Timothy 2:1-7. There will be a children’s time, after which Sunday School classes will meet for pre-school through grade 8. Newcomers welcome.
Following the service, everyone is invited to stay for coffee hour and a time of fellowship. The church is located at 8 Bank St. in North Bennington and is wheelchair accessible from the back door at the parsonage driveway. For more information, call the church office at 442-5161. Worship at Second Congregational
BENNNINGTON -- As storms of war, anniversaries of 9/11 and Tropical Storm Irene, swirl around us, join for worship at Second Congregational Church, UCC, this Sunday morning at 10 a..m.. On this third Sunday in the Season of Creation, we observe "Storm Sunday," and the Rev. Mary Lee-Clark’s sermon is titled, "The Voice in the Storm." Following a Time for the Children in All of Us, children up through grade 5 are invited for Godly Play, and nursery care is provided throughout worship. The middle- and high-school class will be at the Kitchen Cupboard for their monthly service project.
A time of fellowship and refreshment for the whole church family follows in Webster Hall. Sign-ups for the October photo directory sessions will take place, and sponsor envelopes for the Oct. 20 CROP Walk will be available.
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 on Hillside Street is wheelchair-accessible, and hearing-assistance devices are available. For more information, call the church office at 442-2559 or visit www.bennscc.org.
Schedule at St. Peter’s
BENNINGTON -- The Rev. Justin Lanier will celebrate the Eucharist using the Book of Common Prayer on this the seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. The 8 a.m. Holy Eucharist is celebrated at the high altar without music in the traditional language of Rite I. At 10 a.m. the Holy Eucharist is celebrated with singing and music at the free-standing altar using Rite II, the contemporary language service. The Gospel for the day is Luke 15:1-10. The laying on of hands for healing follows each service.
Regularly scheduled events: There will be contemplative prayer and evening prayer on Wednesday, Sept. 17, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. On Thursday, Sept. 18, Lanier will celebrate the Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. All are welcome.
The Vestry will meet on Sept. 15 following the 10 a.m. service. The monthly potluck supper will be at 6 p.m. on Sept. 20 in the parish hall. Bring something to share and join in pleasant conversation.
Bill Harrington, the junior warden, will lead a St. Peter’s Fall Cleanup Day on Sept. 21. Call 442-2911 if you would like to volunteer tools, labor, time or snacks so that he may organize this activity.
Sunday School will be held in the parish hall on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch is included.
The annual Blessing of the Animals will be observed on Friday, Oct. 4, at 5 p.m., on the south lawn of the church. Bring your animals. The Chicken Pie Supper will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5.
St. Peter’s invites people of all faiths or those in search of faith to join them in thier service of Christ and of each other. The facility is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit www.stpetersvt.org or call 802-442-2911.
Monday, Sept. 19
Sukkah decorating and potluck
BENNINGTON -- Join Congregation Beth El at the Bennington Museum to build and decorate this year’s Sukkah. Starting at 2:30 p.m., they will need help adorning our timber-frame Sukkah in a field adjacent to the museum. Those participating will work with ladders and rope to adorn the Sukkah with the materials of nature and the bounty of the harvest season.
At 4 p.m. Judaism School, families will decorate the Sukkah with gourds, drawings, and paper-chains to welcome others to dwell in the Sukkah. A Community Potluck will commence at 5:30 p.m. Bring a kosher, nut-free dish to share with the community.
Opportunity for choral singers at Old First
OLD BENNINGTON -- Choral singers with an affinity toward classical church music in a more traditional setting, who might be available for a regular Sunday morning commitment, are being encouraged by Old First Congregational Church of Bennington to consider the opportunity provided by its choir program.
Under the direction of Charles Olegar, the church’s organist and choir director since this past December, Old First Church’s choir has been working to develop as a skilled ensemble, bringing to worship distinguished music covering several centuries of the art, including more recent classically-rooted compositions. "Each Sunday’s music is selected and prepared with the aim of bringing to our services the spiritual invigoration and nourishment that can be a special province of fine sacred music," states Olegar, whose career now spans over four decades as a professional church musician.
Along with its September-through-June schedule of weekly 11 a.m. Sunday morning services, the choir also appears regularly on Old First’s community musicale series, which was inaugurated last March with a program of Bach cantatas, often performed with instruments, which are likewise engaged for special music on Christmas Eve and Easter.
In opening choir membership to the community, Old First Church is reflecting its historic role in Bennington, where it long served as the town’s Meeting House, Thus, participation does not carry with it the prerequisite or expectation of church membership. With the congregation’s commitment to offering an inclusive, warmly-supportive community that welcomes and celebrates diversity, choir members often choose to become more extensively involved in church life. "We are about the spiritual power of great music offered as worship," Olegar says; "A concert venue might provide some of that, but in the context of worship an already superb piece of music can take on even greater dimensions and meaning. That’s our role at Old First."
Old First’s choir rehearses weekly on Wednesdays, from 7:-8:30 in The Barn, on Monument Circle, with Sunday morning warm-up at 10:30 a.m., for an 1100 a.m. service. Prospective singers should contact Olegar, either personally after a service or through the church office (email@example.com; phone 802-447-1223).
Pastor David Jinno retirement open house
NORTH BENNINGTON -- An open house celebration is planned at the North Bennington Baptist Church on Saturday, Sept. 21, beginning at 11 am. The event is to honor retiring Pastor David H Jinno. It will be held at the church social room.
This event is planned to celebrate 35 years of service by Pastor David H Jinno to the Lord and this community. He will be retiring on Sept. 30.
Jinno has been instrumental in leading this church to be "Mission Minded," having ventured to India a number of times to teach and share the Word with Love-N-Care Ministries and Pastor Yesupadam.
Pastor and Margaret-Elaine Jinno raised their daughter and two sons in North Bennington. Their attachment to his community is deep and long-lived.
All are welcome to attend. Bring your good wishes and God’s blessings on Pastor Dave and Margaret-Elaine. Light refreshments will be served.
First Baptist fall tag sale
BENNINGTON -- The First Baptist Church of Bennington has announced it will hold a fall tag sale on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4 and 5. The sale will be held on Friday, Oct. 4, from 3 to 6 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 5, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The tag sale features a wide variety of items: fall and winter clothes, household goods, toys, books, fabrics, decorative and household items, linens, and furniture. All proceeds benefit the work of the American Baptist Women’s Ministries.
For more information, contact the church office at 802-442-2105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Baptist is located at 601 Main Street in downtown Bennington. To learn more about First Baptist and its mission to be "a place for healing, community involvement, and spiritual grounding," visit www.fbcbennington.org. Worship services are held Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
Live classical and religious music at Old First Church
OLD BENNINGTON -- Old First Church of Bennington will continue its series of public musical presentations on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 29, at 4 p.m., as organist Charles Olegar and Old First’s choir present an hour of choral and organ masterpieces interspersed with congregational psalm reading, led by Old First’s minister, Dr. Kenneth Clarke, and several hymns. Musical highlights include J.S. Bach’s monumental Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor for organ, along with English choral music from the early twentieth century by Edward Bairstow and Charles Waters.
The Sept. 29 musicale, open to all without charge (freewill donations encouraged), launches the autumn segment of the Musick and Song at Old First Church community-outreach series, inaugurated this past winter. Noted for its outstanding beauty as a widely-renowned example of Colonial architecture, along with its historic role as the community meeting house, Old First Church also possesses exceptionally fine acoustics, providing an ideal setting for classical music.
In addition to its prominent musical content, the Sept. 29 event will feature a substantial amount of congregational participation, chiefly through responsive reading, a form strongly associated with the Congregational tradition, to which Old First is affiliated. "A Psalm rendered this way, in speech," Olegar said, "is its own form of music. Two responsorially-read psalms on this occasion, as well as other congregational readings and several sung hymns, assure ample full-group participation."
Olegar also underscored the spiritual dimension of Musick and Song at Old First Church events: "We wish to place this great music in its intended forum, worship. It is written expressly to glorify God, and needs to be encountered in that context, wherein it can take-on meaning quite different from that imparted by concert presentation."
Old First Church is located at 60 Monument Ave, and Main Street, on the public green and adjacent to Old Bennington’s historic cemetery.
Bishop asks House to oppose cuts to nutrition assistance
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development urged the U.S. House of Representatives not to accept a proposed $40 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, called the program "one of the most effective and important federal programs to combat hunger in the nation" in his Sept. 11 letter.
"SNAP helps relieve pressure on overwhelmed parishes, charities, food banks, pantries and other emergency food providers across the country that could not begin to meet the need for food assistance if SNAP eligibility or benefits were reduced," Bishop Blaire wrote. "The faith community and the private sector are vital in the fight to combat hunger. But government has an indispensable role in safeguarding and promoting the common good of all. This includes ensuring that poor and hungry people have access to adequate and nutritious food."
Bishop Blaire said how the House chooses to address hunger and nutrition programs has "profound moral consequences" and that, in an economy in which 4 million people have been unemployed for over six months, and in which millions more have stopped looking for work altogether, "SNAP remains an essential tool to help struggling individuals and families avoid hunger and stay out of poverty."
Bishop Blaire called proposals to eliminate SNAP access for people who have committed certain crimes at some point in their lives "counterproductive and an affront to human dignity." He also urged that states should retain the flexibility they currently have to respond to local needs and economic conditions.
Johnson named director of Missouri Synod’s disaster response ministry
ST. LOUIS --The Rev. Ross E. Johnson has accepted a call to serve as director of LCMS Disaster Response, the disaster response and human care ministry of The Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod (LCMS), effective Sept. 3.
In this role, Johnson will oversee the church’s comprehensive disaster response program, including planning, training and implementation of immediate and long-term responses to help people in the aftermath of disastrous events wherever they occur. He will facilitate relationships with federal, state and community disaster response agencies; consult with LCMS district, congregations and international church partners to prepare for and respond to natural and man-made disasters around the world; and make available pastoral care in the field while responding to a disaster.
"Pastor Johnson is an experienced team member and team builder," said the Rev. Gregory K. Williamson, chief mission officer for the LCMS. "He understands the ministry concepts that have created a remarkable disaster response team, and I anticipate that he will quickly become a valued member of the disaster response community.
Johnson will succeed the Rev. Glenn Merritt, who has served as director of the LCMS’ disaster response ministry since 2003 and will be retiring June 30, 2014.
"With Ross now on staff, our disaster response leadership team is complete," said the Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the LCMS’ Office of National Mission, which helps oversee LCMS Disaster Response. "With our team in place and ready for the transition after Glenn’s retirement, we can be confident in our church’s ability to continue to bring Christ’s Gospel and the highest level of care and service to those suffering as a result of a disaster."
Prior to joining the staff of the LCMS International Center in St. Louis, Johnson served as pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Fairhope, Ala., a call he accepted in 2006 upon graduating from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. Johnson served his vicarage in Guatemala and Venezuela, working as a member of the former LCMS World Mission overseas missionary staff. Also, Johnson joined the U.S. Army Reserves in 2002 and now serves as a battalion chaplain. His military service has taken him around the world.
More tolerant Iran reopens film group
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iranian authorities say a prominent center for filmmakers and artists can reopen, more than 20 months after it was closed by hard-liners.
The decision, reported Thursday by the official IRNA news agency, appears to reflect the more tolerant views on social and cultural issues by Iran’s new moderate-leaning president, Hasan Rouhani.
IRNA quotes Hojjatollah Ayoubi, a deputy culture minister, as saying the reopening of the House of Cinema is an indication of support for film by Rouhani’s government.
The closure of the 20-year-old center in early 2012 brought an outcry from many prominent filmmakers, including director Asghar Farhadi, who won Iran’s first Academy Award in 2012 for "A Separation."
Hard-liners had repeatedly criticized the film center for supporting liberal views.