Religion Briefs


Saturday, May 24

First Baptist Mayfest Pancake Breakfast

BENNINGTON -- The First Baptist Church of Bennington invites all to a Mayfest Pancake Breakfast on Saturday May 24, from 7 to 11 a.m. The church is located at 601 Main St., downtown.

Join them for breakfast before enjoying Mayfest. The breakfast tickets cost $6 for adults, $4 for children, or $20 for the whole family. Tickets are available at the door.

All funds raised at this event benefit facility upgrades at First Baptist. Your patronage of the pancake breakfast helps First Baptist in the effort to provide accessible and convenient space in downtown Bennington for non-profit organizations to help our community meet basic human needs: healthcare access, disability advocacy, support of families, and other community and interfaith collaborative efforts.

Sunday, May 25

Worship and events

at Second Congo

BENNINGTON -- All are welcome to join in worship and fellowship at Second Congregational Church, UCC, on this last Sunday morning in May at 10 a.m. The chancel choir’s anthem is "A Prayer for Peace" by Paul Fetler.

The Rev. Mary Lee-Clark’s sermon is titled, "To an Unknown God," based on the reading from Acts. Following a Time for the Children in All of Us, children up through grade five are dismissed for Godly Play and the middle- and high-school class meets. Nursery care is provided throughout worship.

A time for fellowship and refreshment for the whole church family follows in Webster Hall. Eaarth Advocates meet at 11:30 a.m. in the Clayton Room, and all who are interested in this work of responding to our climate crisis are invited to join.

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 Worship and events

at St. Peter’s Church

BENNINGTON -- The Rev. Justin Lanier will preside as St. Peter’s Episcopal Church celebrates the Holy Eucharist using the Book of Common Prayer on the sixth Sunday of Easter.

The 8 a.m. Eucharist is celebrated at the high altar without music in the traditional language of Rite I. At 10 a.m., the Holy Eucharist will be celebrated with music and singing using Rite II, the contemporary language service. The Gospel for this day will be John 14:15-21. The laying on of hands for healing follows the service.

Later in the week, contemplative prayer will be held on Wednesday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. On Thursday, the church will celebrate the Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

The Bike Blessing is set for this Sunday at the municipal parking lot across from the church at 12:30 p.m.. Note that the Rev. Penny Hawkins Farrara will be retiring after 26 years in the diaconate. In recognition of her dedication in her ministry, a retirement reception will be held on Saturday, May 31, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the parish hall.

Also upcoming, the rector’s Bible study will be held on June 1 following the 10 a.m. service, in the parish hall. St. Peter’s Silent Auction is scheduled for Saturday, June 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 and will include a beverage and dessert. Donations are now being accepted. More details to come.

St. Peter’s invites people of all faiths or those in search of faith to join them in their service of Christ and of each other. The facility on Pleasant Street is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit or call 802-442-2911.

Blessing of the Bikes

BENNINGTON -- A Blessing of the Bikes (motorcycles) is set for Sunday, May 25, at the Municipal Parking Lot at Pleasant and School Streets across from the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church at 1 p.m.

Staging will begin at 12:30 p.m. Come early and enjoy time with fellow bikers, and friends. Light snack and drinks will be available. All are welcome. Get your group together for a ride to Bennington or plan a ride for after. Questions? Call 802-442-2911. The blessing will be done by the Rev. Justin Lanier of St. Peter’s Church.

Worship in North Bennington

NORTH BENNNINGTON -- The North Bennington Congregational Church welcomes all to its 11 a.m. worship service led by the Rev. Penny Rich Smith on this Memorial Sunday.

The sermon, "Looking For God Everywhere," will be based on John 14:15-21 and Acts 17:22-28. There will be a children’s time, after which Sunday School classes will meet for pre-school through grade 8.

Following the service, everyone is invited to stay for coffee hour and a time of fellowship. The church is located at 8 Bank Street 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.

Meet the Episocopal Bisop at St. James’

ARLINGTON -- St. James’ Episcopal Church is looking forward to a big day on Sunday. The entire community is invited to meet the Rt. Rev. Thomas C. Ely, 10th Bishop of Vermont, at 2 p.m.

There will be an open forum to "Meet the Bishop" and a free make-your-own sundae bar.

This event is part of the year-long celebration of the 250th Anniversary of St. James’ as a community of faith, family and worship. Ely is looking forward to answering any and all questions, about Christianity, about faith in general, anything that’s on your mind. The event will be informal, casual and fun.

For more information, call 802-375-9952; email; visit; or find the church on Facebook. Established in 1764, this year St. James’ is celebrating its 250th anniversary as a community of faith and worship. It is the cradle parish of the Episcopal Church in Vermont. The first Diocesan Convention was held here in 1790. The present church building was consecrated in 1833, built after an earlier one was destroyed by fire. St. James’ strives to be a community of open hearts and discerning minds. It practices open table fellowship and all are welcome to attend.

UCC Worship in Williamstown

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- First Congregational Church, UCC, 906 Main St., will hold worship at 10 a.m. in the sanctuary.

The sermon by the Rev. Mark Longhurst will be "On Not Being Afraid." Scripture will be from 1 Peter 3:13-22. Sunday school and childcare available.

An open and affirming and just peace church. Phone: 413-458-4273 phone; email:; visit

Memorial Day, May 26

Memorial Day Mass

NORTH BENNINGTON -- All are welcome on Monday, May 26, at 10 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church’s Cemetery for a Memorial Day Mass. Bring a chair. At the end of Mass, flags will be blessed and distributed to be placed on the grave sites of our veteran family members. (In the event of rain, Mass will be celebrated at the church).


Indoor tag sale in Pownal

POWNAL -- On Saturday, May 31, an indoor tag sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pownal United Methodist Church, located at the corner of RT 346 and Church Street. There will be a variety of items including men’s and women’s clothing (some still have the original tags), shoes and accessories, puzzles, dishes and glassware, books, toys, games, holiday items, and much more. Questions? contact Mary Louise at 802-823-7769.

’Jewish Lifecycle’ program offered

BENNINGTON -- Jewish Lifecycle will be offered Mondays 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. on June 2, 9. 16, 23, 30 and July 7, 14.

This seven-session class will explore Jewish lifecycle milestones and the rituals, customs and meanings ascribed to them by Jewish tradition, including birth, bar/bat mitzvah, conversion, marriage, aging and death. Readings will be provided for each topic. The class will meet in the Richard and Pamela Ader Social Hall at Congregation Beth El (107 Adams St.) and is free and open to the public. To register, email or call 802-442-9645.

Joint Shavuot Celebration

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- This year the Congregation Beth Israel community, the Congregation Beth El community, and the Williams College community will celebrate Shavuot together at the Williams College Jewish Religious Center on June 3. It will begin at 8 p.m. with a short-and-sweet festival ma’ariv (evening) service, and then they’ll segue into an evening of studying and noshing.

It’s traditional to study Torah all night on Shavuot, so that we don’t replicate the behavior of our ancestors at Sinai (who, midrash tells us, slept in and almost missed the revelation.) But there’s no need to commit to staying all night -- come for whatever amount of time you can.

If you would like to offer a shiur/teaching, contact Rabbi Rachel Barenblat at Any topic which relates to Torah is appropriate, and you can teach for 15 minutes, half an hour, or longer, whatever is right for you. Join us for this evening of joy, celebration, and the opportunity to receive whatever Torah we most need revealed to us this year at this moment in our lives.

Dedication ceremony

BENNINGTON -- A dedication ceremony for the Beth El Cemetery Meditation Garden will be held on Saturday, May 31, at 1 p.m.

Join us for the dedication of the meditation garden in the Beth El cemetery, where Cemetery Committee Chair Lora Block and members Stella Ehrich, Peter Rubin, Suzy Yucht and Phyllis Kaplan have ushered into existence a beautiful and sacred space in view of the mountains to encourage meditation, memory and reflection.

First Baptist Church

of Cambridge will close

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- The First Baptist Church of Cambridge will hold its final service of worship on June 8. The Rev. Jerrod Hugenot, associate executive minister, American Baptist Churches of New York State will conduct the service, which begins at 10:30 a.m. All members of the Cambridge community are encouraged to attend.

First Baptist, which stands at 29 West Main St., between the Cambridge Village Market and Glens Falls National, has been a part of Cambridge since before there was a village of Cambridge. The church performed its first service of worship in 1843, nearly 20 years before the beginning of the Civil War, and more than two decades before the hamlets of White Creek and Cambridge were incorporated to create the village of Cambridge.

For more information about attending regular worship services or the final worship at First Baptist, contact Beverly Collamer at 518-677-3327 or call the church at 518-677-5487.

Veterans’ Recognition Service

BENNINGTON -- On June 7, at 10 a.m., Congregation Beth El will combine its Shabbos morning service with a recognition of the nation’s veterans.

Falling less than two weeks after Memorial Day, one day after the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and one day after the 47th anniversary of the liberation of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, this service will feature a special D’var Torah and a special prelude to Kaddish, both presented by Lt. Colonel Lance Allen Wang (U.S. Army, Retired), CBE president, Iraq veteran, and Commander of Jewish War Veterans of the United States Post 105.

Make the effort to attend this special service, and we especially invite our veterans of both the United States Armed Forces and Israel Defense Force to participate in a group Aliyah. The president and his wife, Tech Sergeant Hatti L. Wang (US Air Force Reserve, Retired) will provide Kiddush.

Ham and strawberry

shortcake supper

PITTSTOWN, N.Y. -- A ham and strawberry shortcake supper will be held on Saturday, June 14, at the Pittstown United Methodist Church Hall from 4 to 6 p.m. Eat in or take out. Menu: ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, applesauce, rolls, strawberry shortcake. Cost: adults $10; children 5 to 12, $5; children under 5, free. For reservations or more information, call Ruth at 518-753-4304.

Free chamber music concert

ARLINGTON -- St. James’ Episcopal Church will present a free concert of chamber music on Saturday, June 7, at 7:30 p.m. This is the second in a series of concerts in celebration of the 250th Anniversary of St. James’ as a community of faith and worship.

The concert features music for piano and strings by Mozart, Wolf and Schumann featuring Daniel Shulman, piano; Kaori Washiyama, violin; Melanie Dexter, violin; Catharine Hall Schor, viola; Jonah Thomas, cello. The music has been chosen with reference to the 250th anniversary celebration. Another special feature of the evening will be Daniel Shulman’s conversational "Notes" on the music, offered during the concert.

The concert is free and open to the public. It is made possible by a generous gift in honor of the 250th anniversary by donors who wish to remain anonymous.

For more information, call 802-375-9952; email; or visit The church is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Annual Peace Pagoda Flower Festival

GRAFTON, N.Y. -- The annual Grafton Peace Pagoda Flower Festival, celebrating the birth of the Buddha, will be held on Sunday, June 8, at 11 a.m.

Join them in celebrating Buddha’s Birth in this world and in reawakening the belief in humanity’s noble, spiritual purpose on this earth.

The event will include a traditional Buddhist ceremony and ecumenical prayers, and a pot luck lunch. The speaker will be Deb Krol, on the dangers of fracking. The Peace Poets and the Peace Band will perform.

The Nipponzan Myohoji, Grafton Peace Pagoda, is located at 87 Crandall Road in Petersburgh. For information call 518-658-9301 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.


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